Sunday, April 13, 2014

To Spey or to Switch?

I would like to point out some obvious things that I have learned in my short time using both types of fly rods.  The size, depth, and the fish you are after are going to govern your choice of weapon.

Many techniques are utilized by both fly rods.  A two-handed rod will not make you a better caster off the bat.  If you are getting a two-handed fly rod because the rod is 12 feet long and your a below average caster you are in for a rude awakening.  A lot of folks out there have this idea if my fly rod was longer I could cast farther.   This would be true if you have above average casting mechanics.

I am far from a professional, but this is just some of the things I have figured out on my own.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. What casting style will I use primarily with this rod?
A Skagit
B Scandinavian
2. How much of an upfront investment do I need, want, or have make?
A. It is from my experience you get what you pay for, but with that being said you can get a great rod for around 350 - 500 dollars.  You are buying the warranty remember that
3. What is going to me my primary rivers or creek I will use this rod on?
4. What is going to be the target species with this rod?
5. What are the depths I want to fish at?
6. What size patterns do I want to throw?
7. There are plenty of reasons to and not to spend a bunch of money on a set up
A How often will I use it

B If you want to be commited to the 2 hander  better equipment would be a good choice.

C If your significant other does not own anything close to the price tag of some of your gear.

D The rivers or creeks you fish are not wide enough to cover the water with a two handed rod.

E You see this as a fad and you simply think it will go away.
8 Lets talk reels wow this will confuse most people.   You need a reel that has a huge line capacity rating.  You need to go look at some Skagit and Scandinavian lines.   These heads are huge and can be 20 to 40 feet long and have a diameter of 3/16 to almost 3/8 of an inch.  These are tapered but they still take up a lot of room.   Make sure it's high capacity and you can load all you want on it.   I have accidentally balanced my 13'-9" Spey rod with a Galvan T-12 and 675 grain head with a shooting line accompanied by 200 yards of backing. When I put a 15' section of T-17 it's loaded and balances with my rod go figure.   This is the exception and not the norm.

You will i can almost guarantee you will catch less fish and appreciate it when you do catch a fish.   There are so many variables to consider when using a two handed rod that you need to consider when using a single hander.  For instance you want to find where the holding lies are for fish.  The little fish are going to be not where the apex preditors are, but where they can find shelter.   Not to say they can't be picky, but the fish I am after are the grandma and grandpa fishes! If I use a 12" bunny leech that is going to take some serious grain weight to even cast it like 750 grains to 1000 grains depending on the rod.  If I want to skate dries I can use a line for that could be much lighter 600 grains to 800 grains.   So there is a slippery slope here of information.   In lining a switch rod you must pay close attention to the grain weight window and not the rod weight rating on the rod.   A weight forward line on a 7 weight switch rod will need to be a 9 or a 10 weight line.  This has all to do with the grain weight window and not the weight rating of line.   Well folks if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Be well,