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Choosing the Right Spey Rod for Trout Fishing

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 11:19 -- Tom Larimer
Trout Spey
Steven Wohlford & Guide Jeff Forsee admire a giant Alaskan dolly.

Spey fishing for trout may be one of the fastest textures of our sport. For good reason… It’s mega fun and incredibly effective! Like single-hand fishing, there are line weights that can cover many techniques much like #5 weight single-hander. Conversely, there are rods that work well for specific fishing situations. Today’s post covers the full array of two-hand weapons used for chasing trout and the techniques applicable to each line size.

  • #6 Weight Spey

Six weight Spey & switch rods are great tools when you’re throwing extremely large, heavy streamers. Think 2”-4” sculpin and leech patterns and massive Alaskan rainbows. They posses the lifting power to pull big sink-tips from the depths and can handle trout in the “Big Jerry” category.

  • #5 Weight Spey

For medium to large flies and big trout, a #5 weight Spey rod commands the water. They can handle fairly large sink-tips when dredging for “Walter”. A #5 weight Spey is also a superb instrument for mouse fishing, which is about the most fun you can have standing up. Although a #5 is heavy for soft hackle fishing, they will perform with heavier tippets like 3x. Finally, they’re fantastic tools when the wind is blowing.

  • #4 Weight Spey

I consider a #4 weight Spey rod the most versatile of the line sizes. If you were only planning on owning one spey rod, this would be a good choice. Most #4 weights are light enough to swing soft hackles and caddis pupa but still have enough in the tank for hucking a moderately heavy sink-tip like T-10 and a small weighted bugger. Plus, they’re still stout enough to handle “Bubba” sized trout.

  • #3 Weight Spey

If you’re looking for a rod to swing soft hackles & caddis pupa or for indicator nymph fishing, look no further. A #3 is light enough to handle 5X tippet (I’ve done 6X) –and small flies (I’ve gone down to #22 but don’t recommend it). These are also incredible tools for fishing dry flies, especially big stones and hoppers in those tough to reach seems just out of single-hand range. These smaller rods are not as easy to fish heavy streamers with, however, a skilled caster can make them work just fine with small to moderate baitfish patterns. Finally, while Walter and Big Jerry might give a #3 Spey a run for it’s money, it will handle 10” to 20” fish with no issues. (I’ve seen 25” rainbows & Dollies landed on a #3 Weight Microspey)

So there you have it… Obviously a #4 weight Spey gives you tons of versatility and is a good choice if you’re just getting into the sport. However, if you’re a serious angler you’ll soon find that like single-hand rods, it’s hard to own only one.

Read about the family of Microspeys I help design for Winston

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