What do I need?
I'm looking for guidance as I'm a beginning speyfisher.
I will most likely be fishing the Fall/Winter runs on the Salmon and Clearwater Rivers, but someday would like to wander further into the 'PNW'.
Will one rod (for now) handle most situations I may encounter in these area's?
And "if so" what should I be looking for in a rod? My price range for my first rod needs to be in the $300.00/$500.00 range, not including the reel and line. As I gain experience I plan on this rod becoming a back up rod when I take the next step for a better rod.
Sorry if the info I've given is lacking, as mentioned I'm new to playing this wonderful game. If more info is needed, please ask and I'll answer as best I can.
Thanks in advance for your opinions. :)
First, I have never fished that region, but I have read a bunch of threads about it. For chasing Steelhead there, consider a 7/8 weight rig. For your price range that you are considering, take a look at the Beulah Spey 7/8 12'7" ($425 msrp). It has a full to mid flex that will allow you to feel it loading. I tested the Spey 7/8 with the Beulah Tonic 7/8 (435 grain Scandi line) with 15 foot polyleaders and the Monic 7/8 (485 Skagit line) with 15 foot Versitips. It cast well with the lines and their respective payloads.
This rod casts so well that you may want to keep it as a main stick. It's that nice of a rod! You can grow your quiver with an 8/9 for BC size Steelhead and a 5/6 for trout.
PS see you on the NAFFF
Knowing very little about the clearwater river I am assuming its the Idaho one ,my strong advice to you is talk to Mike aka Poppy at the redshed Idaho ,he will put you right with far more than just the right gear.
Thanks for the info and suggestions guys. :)
Here's what I'm thinking of doing at the moment....A friend is willing to trade me a Redington RS-4 speyrod 14' 8wt with a RIO" line of my choice. I'm thinking this rod will work great as a starter rod and be a fine back up or #2 rod later on.
I would eventually like to work up to a Meiser or a Burkheimer but for the initial learning curve this rod do for a couple years.
Any thoughts on this or which RIO' line to use with it would be appreciated.
Only one piece of advice
Work backwards from the size and weight of fly you are fishing most often as well as length and diametre of leader, weight of line, then, finally the rod length/line rating.
If you proceed from the other direction, you will risk much dissatisfaction, expense and angst.
One who has been there.
Thank you Humber.
So how do I now proceed if I'm going to being swinging flies in the range of a #4 Freight Train up to a much larger wind resistant Guide Intruder? :confused:
Across Scotland. we fish for Atlantic Salmon over the near 10 month long season with Heavy Copper or Tungsten tubes of about 1.5" in the Spring and Autumn down to size 14 or even 16 Trebles on tiny slips of tubes in low water. We would also tend to use Trebles (Esmond Drury style) Doubles and Singles in the range 4-12 a lot although some are fishing with 1/0 and 3/0 single hooks.
Clearly, we need a range of leader thicknesses to ensure that the fly is able to be cast out and then to "swing" correctly in the current. So using Maxima as the standard for the puprose of comparing leaders, we would tend to use all strengths from about 30lb in Spring/late Autumn down to about 8lb leader material and the length will range from about 3-4ft for a real heavy copper/tungsten fly up to around a tapered 15ft leader for a small fly.
Spey lines and Shooting Heads seem to be the most popular types of lines here with 9/10 and 10/11 being the normal lines for a 14 -15ft rod. Skagit lines are used but not widespread - yet. They can make a bit of a splash if mis-cast
We tend to use 2-3 different rods over the course of our season
1) A 14-15-16 ft rod rated 9/10, 10/11 or 11/12 although some use up to 18ft for specialist Shooting Head casting of 50yds or more on the lower River Tay
2) A lighter 12-13 or 14ft ft rod rated 8/9 approx for summer fishing; and
3) a rod for low water of around 10ft rated #7/8 approx
I understand your season to be all year apart from May-June and that one rod may well do you all season long.
If you are going to use or stick Spey Casting as your principal method of delivering fluffly tube flies like the Intruder series (with a single hook) I do not think the size is a real issue as once the fly gets wet, weight is not such an issue. Is the leader the correct length and thickness to allow a nice turnover may be a more appropriate question to consider.
I do not know if you are a "traditional" or "modern" style of Speycaster. However, from my own experience of Salmon Fly rods, i would say that most of the ones made now are so good compared to the ones of 20-30 years ago. The longer rods weigh so little and the extra length of ,say, a 14ft rod compared to a 12ft rod gives you better line control, helps gain extra distance as well keeping a fish under control.
Don't be put off a longer rod without trying it first and making your own mind up.A Spey Clave is the best place to help you reach a decision
What actual make/brand of rod you pick is up to you and your budget. it is often the finish on a rod that "does it" for some anglers. it is impossible to be definitve about which is "best" or even "best Value" All I would say in conclusion is that there are many good rods in Europe costing less than $200 and there are ones that cost up to $1200 -$1500 I would not fish with!
Reflecting again on what I wrote above, I would be very happy fishing your waters with my rather elderly Daiwa 13ft #8/9 Amorphous Whisker Fibre rod.
Near 20 year old, I think it would do all you require from a rod. They sometimes come up secondhand or on Ebay etc. They are incredibly tough but also a true "Spey" rod.
Good rod for a learner/improver to use for a season or two before buying the rod of a lifetime
How do I define a true "Spey" rod?
One where the Butt bends a bit when you place it over your thigh and press down either end. That is a Progressive action and you cannot go wrong with that action for just about all your fishing (except maybe Skagit)
Hope all this helps you in the quest for a suitable rod