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Alan

Two handed trout rods

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Other than a few friends and acquaintances I see little use of them here in Maine.  In particular I am talking about the light weight switches in the 2,3,4 range.  I have spent a ton of money on the grand experiment and until this last freeze up had disappointing results in finding lines that matched up well with the baby cousins of the spey rods.  Yes, there are switch lines but had their limitations and were being used more in a traditional overhead casting when fishing for trout.  

 

My interest ever since the love affair started with the two handed rod was why there were so few lines available for these small rods for lines specific to spey casting.  Part of the answer was answered at the 2016 Freeze-Up.  

 

Bob from Scott Rods and ECHO is also a rep for AIRFlO and had brought along some very intriguing lines specific to the smaller switch rods.  A couple of them were marked as Switch/Spey and Streamer/Spey.  I borrowed the one marked as a 4wt Switch/Spey and put it on my SR4106-4 and was astounded as to how well it spey cast.  That ECHO Rod now has a place along with the larger rods I own and will no longer be sitting in the trunk of my car.  (The line is on order from Eldredge Bros as I write this)  

 

I also tried out the ECHO SR3106-4 in the 3wt range albeit with the larger line previously mentioned on my 4wt as the smaller 3wt line was not available at that moment. I believe that another smaller ECHO SR3106-4 is in my future. ( Eldredge Bros Fly Shop carries these rods.)  I don't believe anyone contemplating getting into this form of casting will be disappointed. Most important though get some lessons.  This type of casting requires retraining of the muscle memory of your dominant hand whether or not you are a right or left handed caster.

 

Now my question to the rest of the more experienced two handed casters of switch rods.  

 

What size in the lighter weight mentioned trout rods and lines are you using to spey cast for trout? 

What are your thoughts as to what does and doesn't work for you?

Any of your thoughts and experiences are appreciated.

 

I believe this method of fishing will be growing by leaps and bounds if my experience with other fly fishermen on the water is an indication of the interest.   Let's hope it does.  

For you older guys consider these rods.   You will regain that same passion as when you first started fly fishing.  It will keep you young.

 

 

 

 

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I'm not a fan of switch rods for a variety of reasons, but I do like longer, so called "Spey" rods.  My lines come from Steve Godschall at RB Meiser.  Steve is an engineering geek and rod designer/builder of the highest order.  He also builds custom lines tailored specifically to fit your rod (and if you like, your particular casting stroke).  Steve designed an instrument to flex test rods and accurately determine load and recovery characteristics for almost every model offered by the major brands.  If he hasn't tested yours, simply package it up, send it out, and he'll dial it up for you.  The advantage is that you don't have to settle for the grain weights in the increments offered by the major labels, which may or may not line up well with your particular rod.  If Steve tests your rod and determines that it is going to work best with a line at 237 grains, you don't have to settle for a 200 or a 250.  He'll make you a 237 at a price essentially equal to what you would pay buying off the shelf.  Determining and matching your rod's "grain window" is, I think, especially important in the lighter weights.

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Aldo

Now this is the type of information I am looking for. I sure would like to have met and talked with you sooner.  Thank you! This one post may just have made someone else's life a lot easier.

 

The last couple of years has been quite a trial.   So few people do this type of casting here in Maine.  That may not be a totally true statement; but from the standpoint of those of us who have been looking for you it sure seems that way.  

There is nothing better than to meet and get some hands on help with folks like you.  The lessons are an important part of learning but the hands on support from those like yourself is invaluable.

 

The two hand forum was started to help one another move into this new art form as painlessly as possible and hopefully not breaking the bank in so doing.    

 

You more experienced folks don't take anything for granted here and jump in when see some misconception on a topic.   In my move into the two hand world I have found a lot of folks that teach may leave out something ever so small but when combined with everything else you maybe doing right could be a major problem down the road.  It is very hard to unlearn bad habits.

If you have some little nugget of information that may help someone new speak up please.

 

This is a great start everyone!  Anyone else who has some helpful advice on this topic please feel free to jump in. 

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There are many different line applications for spey fishing so it really depends on what type or style of fishing a person is pursuing with a two hander. Here are my current off the shelf lines and it could quite possibly change as new lines emerge.

 

If you are are into throwing and stripping big streamers for trout, the Rio Skagit Trout Max warrants a try.  Have a 200 gr. for my 3 weight 11'3" switch and a 275 gr. for my 5 wt spey.  These lines take very little effort to toss sink tips and big stuff a good distance, giving a lot of stripping coverage. The 275gr. is also a sweet line on my 10' 7wt single hander converted to a micro spey. Use it both single or two hand.

 

For swinging wets or Rangeley style streamers on these rods I like the Orvis Bank Shot  and the Wulff Ambush lines with a 10' intermediate poly leader.  Both will throw bigger streamers too but not as efficiently as the Skagit Trout Max. IMHO.

 

For dries, I also use the Orvis Bank Shot with a 10' floating poly leader on the above rods.  Also use a Wulff SS Spey (their mid belly offering) for a 5 wt. spey.  Both lines are capable of very delicate and accurate presentations with leaders/tippets as fine as 6x.  Another line that I think deserves Kudo's is the Orvis "Spey System" line.  This is my "go to" line on my 12' Orvis Clearwater 5wt. spey. It's a good universal line that can do most anything.

 

So many good lines to choose from but in IMHO there is one or two that will work like magic on a specific rod and an individuals casting style.  That is part of the fun to me but it can get expensive finding that one, Or you can go to Steve Godschall as Aldo Suggests.

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River of Life

Wow!

Be careful what you ask for.  This topic is getting better and better.  

This particular information helps me and I am sure a few others who have already the initial expense and own these size switch rods.

Thank you as well for spending the time to let us all know what works for you.

 

I understand the subjective nature of what works for one and not so much for another is a key factor for someone new to this sport.  On the other hand this individual advice when used by someone with the same results may indicate that perhaps they have the same casting style. Any future advice from that particular person you have come to rely on, will make choosing the right rod and line combinations easier. Hence...less money wasted.  

 

With the cost in the case of fly lines for example increasing  by $10 a year the information we share here is essential when making good choices.  Aldos advice on having the line custom made by Steve Goschall at RB Meiser is another important piece of information that may allow us another avenue in the future to keep the cost down.

 

Thanks gentlemen

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River of Life set me up with a couple of "trout two handers" probably 3 years ago...he is The Dude...

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Alan, PM sent back.

Copied the email address wrong.  First error this month.

 

PM

Back to you.

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Cap

Aldo

 

Are you going to be at the Super Boo this coming weekend?  If so would like to meet you guys or anyone else who does this type of casting.  It would be nice to put a face with the name. 

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Cap

Aldo

 

Are you going to be at the Super Boo this coming weekend?  If so would like to meet you guys or anyone else who does this type of casting.  It would be nice to put a face with the name. 

 

I'd love to go to the SB this weekend, but I work a second job Sundays to support my teaching habit.  Maybe we should put together a mini "Spey Clave" or two handers newbie day in the spring.

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I'd love to go to the SB this weekend, but I work a second job Sundays to support my teaching habit.  Maybe we should put together a mini "Spey Clave" or two handers newbie day in the spring.

That's to bad about having to work.  However....that is why they make tomorrows.  The mini "Spey Clave" is a great idea and I will keep in touch.

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alan is full of good information! it was nice meeting you last weekend, I wish I fished more big waters I could see myself getting into it.

 

Thanks for the vote of confidence.  I am sure my friends Kim and Tim are bored to death with my enthusiasm.  That is why they are friends.  They tolerate me :) . 

Fellows like Wayne, Aldo and Cap are the foundation that will not only help me but certainly be of immense value to others starting out.

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Aldo

I was reading your reply about the Super Boo and it appears you may have thought it is on Sunday but is actually on Saturday.

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Oh...good to know!  I may be able to stop by.  Many thanks!

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I'm not attending SuperBoo. I'm just not that interested in fishing in a gymnasium.

 

However,  the mini spey clave idea, I think is a great idea.

 

I am not at all qualified to give any spey instruction, since I am just a hacker, a rank amateur and a beginner myself.  But, I do like the motion and I like to catch fish. It's very therapeutic and if the tackle is light enough the fishing can be rewarding.     

 

I suggest that we rendezvous on the Penobscot River and fish for bass when the water is at it's lowest in mid summer. We can wet wade and bring out our trout sized or even smaller sized two handers for river smallies and pan fish. The whole precess is reminiscent of flats fishing for bonefish...you can target fish that you can see.

 

I can be de facto host, because I know the river, I can supply the flies that will work, I know where people can stay and eat, and I have enough boats to put us all on the river.

 

Once there we can get out of the boats and wade around....it's a wide and shallow river...there'd be nothing behind to get caught in and plenty of fish to catch. 

 

Maybe we can entice someone who is a really skilled caster (and teacher) to join us? I'm a lifelong learner so I would be down with that. No pressure...just fun...I'd rather actually fish while learning new skills...than just casting in a yard or some structured teaching environment. Perhaps that is just me. 

 

Aloha

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Cap 

Thanks for the reply.  Fishing the Penobscot River sounds very interesting. :)  

 

Peter

Thanks for joining the conversation.  It is good to see that others are showing some interest.

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Alan, I have never tried two handed fly casting but have been interested for a while. If you do have a newbie day on the water I will try very hard to join in. I need to do some studying in the meantime to learn all I can about the different methods of two handed fly casting. ;)  B)

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Mac

Thanks for the reply.  

 

As you know I fish in your backyard and you are more than welcome to join me on the water sometime for some one on one.  The Newbie two hand concept is intriguing but as well I am a hack.

 

I am just a guy who likes the THR and loves to catch fish.  I can help with the basics and answer a few questions. I leave the technical aspects to the guys with the accreditation in teaching this form of casting.  I am familiar with all of those who have given instruction on this site and have first hand experience with all of them.  Any of them would be a good choice.  

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BTW as far as the Bamboo thing? It is not that I don't appreciate the craftsmanship involved (or the history), in fact I own a couple of boo rods (Including a 100 year old greenheart spey rod for Atlantic Salmon).

 

It is just the way I prefer to play with things.

 

Casting a rod at one of these get togethers IMHO doesn't tell you very much about anything that you cast, neither does "testing" a rod at a tackle purveyor before making a purchase except some rudimentary qualities. 

 

FWIW, I can pretty much cast anything...so casting this or that doesn't really do it for me.

 

However, it is when you spend time with a rod and fish it, and  you try different lines, on different reels, and you tune it, that is when you discover it's hidden qualities.  Rather it is that you dial yourself into it and it feedbacks back to you...

 

If this does' nt make sense to you then I can't explain it....but when a rod all of a sudden comes alive it is a thing of beauty and this is not limited to spey or switch or bamboo even...it is how I feel about all fishing rods...even spinning rods.  

 

And this is why when you have a rod that you feel comfortable with gets broken, or you lose it... it is such a shame...for me this is an almost unbearable heartbreaking experience.  I still bemoan several rods that I loved to fish with, caught plenty of fish with and then I broke it or left it on the roof of the car!  Even decades later I can't get it out of my head! 

 

Anyhow...that is just me waxing philosophic on a snowy afternoon.

 

So my idea of an educational "boo outing", rather than trying out a bunch of various sized rods in a gymnasium, would be to get a few guys together each with a bamboo rod (or two) in comparable line/rod weights that are commensurate with the size and the species you are fishing for, and they bring a selection of reels packed with different lines and then together to spend a day of fishing (and catching!) on the river, with everyone sharing their equipment and their knowledge and just trading off and trying different stuff....

 

This is how I propose that we also approach the mini spey clave (if it actually comes to fruition).

 

Since we don't live in salmon or steelhead waters, we should probably limit anyone who wants to participate to bringing at maximum only 4 weight (and hopefully under that) spey and/or switch rods.

 

If each of us brought a manageably small selection of what we have and are willing to share (so it doesn't get too out of control with too many options which would only complicate things) then we can all have a grand old time fooling around and catching some fish, trying different stuff and learning new skills.

 

Let me know if you are picking up what I'm putting down.

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I'd be up for a spey clave.  I vote for somewhere on the Andro or something like that.  We can exchange a bit of gear to try, and maybe raise a smallmouth or two.

 

I love the spey rod.  Especially waiting for a steelhead to try to yank it out of my hand...but haven't explored the lighter weights for local applications yet.  I don't think I'd be too interested in trying to present dry flies with a light spey (unless skating them), but swinging streamers for trout and smallmouth has great appeal.  I'm thinking around an 11'6" 4 weight might be fun.

 

Most of my experience is with skagit lines, but for this I'd be more interested in a scandi or maybe even longer belly line.  It would not be something I'm looking to dredge with.  I love the topic!

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I'd be up for a spey clave.  I vote for somewhere on the Andro or something like that.  We can exchange a bit of gear to try, and maybe raise a smallmouth or two.

 

I love the spey rod.  Especially waiting for a steelhead to try to yank it out of my hand...but haven't explored the lighter weights for local applications yet.  I don't think I'd be too interested in trying to present dry flies with a light spey (unless skating them), but swinging streamers for trout and smallmouth has great appeal.  I'm thinking around an 11'6" 4 weight might be fun.

 

Most of my experience is with skagit lines, but for this I'd be more interested in a scandi or maybe even longer belly line.  It would not be something I'm looking to dredge with.  I love the topic!

 

 

I'd be in for something like that I think, I have a couple five weights and a 7 that I've been trying to get better with.

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