spey reel shootout

Impressive! If you can afford it then yes, of course. At 12 feet long, the Clearwater is long enough to make big mends and manipulate the line better than shorter trout spey rods, yet does not feel brutally heavy. Not sure what fishing you're doing but my trout spey normally makes an appearance in the spring and summer where I'm fishing scandi if I can get away with it. Could be a valuable resource for those up and coming Spey Yahweh’s. The best economical outfits allow you to do just that and are not meant for just beginners. If you live in Livingston or anywhere else where 20+ mph winds are par for the course, this category will be one of the most important. Best Lightweight: Ross Evolution LT Fly Reel at Amazon "The reel justifies its hefty price tag with its artful machining and incredible durability." You can also nymph with a spey rod, which can be highly effective with practice, however longer/heavier rods are slower and more difficult to set the hook with once you see your indicator go down. Fly line Coated Running line Advantages:  Easy to grip and familiar feel. Can be frustrating for beginners when learning to clear your running line for longer casts. Photo: James Anderson. Fore grip handle length refers to the length of the cork handle above the reel seat. Thanks for the info, but I am a little surprised, i have some rods a hydrogen wt2, the winston microspey in 4wt, guideline in Europe weight 6/7 that is like the 4wt of winston, and you gave a very heavy loading in scandi. Spey rod shootout. However, because these rods and lines are, largely, not designed for Scandi casting, we awarded fewer points to the Scandi category than we did to the Skagit category. If you are fishing reasonable distances however, it will be hard to find a rod that feels as smoothly “zen” as the Quantum. Reel seat, cork and components are nice enough but not in the same ball park as the Orivs H2, Winston Micro Spey, T&T DNA, or Custom Flywerks. Switch rods quickly became favored for those nymph fishing for anadromous fish because they were more effective at throwing longer casts, mending, and turning over heavier indicator rigs with longer leaders, while still being short enough to strike quickly and powerfully. Trout Spey is no different so we included a measure of price and rewarded the lower-priced rods for their value-based design. Up-lining with the Trout Spey Shooting Head from 305 to 350 grains allowed us to throw sink tips and larger streamers a-la Skagit lines, but the length and taper of this line made for really clean loop formation and turnover for casters who prefer to cast with a bit more … Save your money and go with regular 20 pound dacron backing instead. FLO tips have larger diameter butt sections, which we feel helps smooth the transition from your line to your leader while casting. This roughly translates to about 100 feet of terminal tackle: 50 feet of running line + 33 feet of skagit line + 10 feet of FLO tip + 4 feet of leader = 97 feet. You really have to wait for this rod and let it do the work rather try to punch it or force it to work. While the 5 pc construction makes this rod slightly smaller and more packable than the 4 piece rods, it won’t break down “in half” like the other rods in the test. If it had finished a little higher in the swing weight and Scandi categories this rod would've won the shootout. Your line recommendations for the Hydrogen are insanely heavy. We rewarded rods made in the USA and rods that we felt had the best grip design, an important factor when considering a two-handed Spey rod. Orvis is not working on any Helios 3 two-handed rods to replace the H2, however Orvis tells us they are currently working on a new USA made two-handed Clearwater rod series. Fish it with confidence and be proud of it’s spectacular craftsmanship. If you can find one on eBay it is similar to the St. Croix Imperial, the Echo Classic 10’9” 5-weight has a very smooth, forgiving feel to it. There are different opinions on how far you should grip your upper hand on the cork. Best For: Fishermen who want one model of reel for any rod setup. Hardy – Lifetime warranty to original owner. The DNA Trout Spey rod is beautiful; in fact, this rod has some of the nicest fit and finish in the pack. (Trout spey only). Thus, you can easily handle heavy and large fish. I use an OPST Pure Skagit 7wt with a 325gr Commando Head and it simply blows the Sage away. FLO tips simply work better and “hinge” less than other tips. With it you’ll feel like you have the best chance at swinging up a trout, and as we all know swinging up trout (or steelhead / salmon) requires confidence. At only 7.3 ounces, the DXF has the second lightest swing weight in the test, following the Orvis Helios 2. For tips, we picked Airflow’s 10′ T10 FLO Tip. The Beulah Onyx is a terrific rod, matched in both performance and style. $35 handling fee. Winston TH Micro Spey 11’6” 5-weight     $850.00. For the trout spey rods, we chose our favorite trout spey line – Airflow’s Skagit Scout. No handling fee. If you are planning on fishing tail waters or plan to target rainbows and cutthroat primarily smaller streamers or soft hackles, then this category may not matter as much. It is much easier to learn how to spey cast with a heavier line as you can feel the line load better. Probably our biggest surprise in this shootout was the Hardy Demon Switch. And now, they're back. On a 3wt winston you have 300gr? The Hydrogen has a lot to offer any angler and, at an insanely affordable price, won the ‘Best Buy’ award in the shootout. A cordura covered rod tube and cloth bag are included. We enjoyed casting it, certainly, although I expected it to finish a little closer to the top of the pile. How is it different from the ONE? A spey cast is deemed a spey cast when the fly line is cast under the rod tip on the back cast (as opposed to over the rod tip in a traditional fly cast), AND is allowed to anchor onto the surface of the water (near or slightly in front of the angler) before makin… Moving down to a lighter 4/5 switch line will make it perform  better. All of the guides including the tip-top are the perfect size for trout spey. Plenty of butt section power for fast and deliberate hook sets. Also it is easier to grip than mono, which works well when stripping your fly to add action or while winter fishing, once your hands are cold. In the sun, the turkey feathers turn brilliant and iridescent, and look a different color depending on the angle you hold the rod. At nearly half the price of a Sage ONE, this is a terrific value. Every manufacturer now has some kind of “Lifetime Warranty”. Our Trout Spey leaders consist of 12-15 inches of 20 pound Maxima tied to a size 10 or 12 owner micro swivel, followed by 36 inches of Trout Hunter 1X fluorocarbon. 3. These are composed of stiff Maxima but sections, a longer “knotless section” for ease of changing your indicator depth, a size 10 or 12 owner micro swivel, followed by 2 feet of Trout Hunter 3X fluorocarbon tippet. Accent trim wraps just above the cork and on each ferrule bring a little pop to this rods appearance. The cork handle shape and quality are both excellent for an inexpensive rod. The H2 was significantly lighter, faster, and more powerful. You must make your own loops and the knots are thicker than mono knots. The Fenwick Aetos is the best performing inexpensive trout switch rod at $299.95. They are good at what they do and they focus exclusively on building great fly reels at a price anyone can afford. The classy up-lock reel seat utilizes a black and blue carbon fiber style inlay with two solid lock rings to secure your reel tightly. Before measuring each two-handed trout rod, I would grab them with two hands and flex them back and forth a few times. For those of us who have been at this long enough, you'll remember when Greys left us some 6 (or so) years ago to become a European only brand. Eric Reithmiller knows the benefits of a two-handed rod over a single-handed rod… Photo: Eric Paulson, Windy Paradise Valley, the perfect place for a trout spey rod…. Warning: this isn’t a rod for the novice Spey angler. Matching spey or switch lines, heads and tips are important to create the perfect casting rod and reel combinations. As soon as the rod looked perfectly parallel to the floor, I would take a recording off the scale. Sage and Redington have had a stellar showing in this shootout so far, but the Dually, unfortunately, fell a little short. They offer reels from low end to high end for anglers pursuing stream trout all the way up to Bluewater species. Trout switch rods are shorter, typically 10’6” – 11’ feet and are primarily designed for nymphing. Bottom Line:  A great rod choice for beginner/intermediate anglers who don't want to pay for a high-end rod and who don't care about China manufacturing. For leaders, we used two. Very forgiving. The rods with the lighter swing weights were awarded the highest points. Douglas DXF 10’6” 5-weight     $425.00. If you live somewhere calm and don’t really plan on battling with the wind when you are on a fishing trip then you might downgrade this category. The finish is a little rough around the edges but this doesn’t affect the reels performance. Here the Winston TH Micro spey was the winner. Also it is easier to grip than mono, which works well when stripping your fly to add action or while winter fishing, once your hands are cold. If you are really trying to bomb it out there as far as possible or need to punch it into the wind, the Sage ONE, G. Loomis IMX PRO, or T&T DNA are going to have usuable more power. Consider this a Spey rod review in a shootout fashion that has taken place over years. It would be cool to see a manufacture make a packable 8-piece two-handed rod some day. NEW! For the largest fish caught on the Battenkill, you may want to “palm” the rim of the spool, which will add extra resistance to the reel’s drag. Our pick for the ultimate trout spey reel to match up with the ultimate trout spey rod has to be the new Einarsson Invictus 8/10. The reels we have selected will last you a lifetime of hard fishing, (and can also be used for saltwater fishing on your next tarpon trip). This rod is without a doubt the nicest short, snappy rod in the shootout with plenty of power and the best overall Skagit performance rating. Like the Imperial, the Echo classic is a medium-fast action. If it was calm, I could take my time and really let the rod do the work, making casting both smooth and easy. It would be a great rod for swinging soft hackles in a riffle. This rod has a TON of power. Shipping is from their US warehouse, usually about 10 -14 days. You’ll have this reel for a long time, even if you decide to later upgrade to a newer, lighter rod. Having the ability to quickly change the depth your nymphs are being presented at is the key to catching more fish. General Casting Power – 20 points available. I personally like fishing a trout switch rod out of the boat, fishing a couple nymphs and pinch of tungsten putty under an indicator. Rods are repaired, not replaced. Many of these rods when measured in their cloth bag will be 1-2 inches shorter than the tube itself. More of a medium action, you have to remember to take your time with the Onyx rather than rush it, otherwise you will likely blow your anchor or struggle to power through it. Braided PE Advantages:  Tangles less than mono but shoots better than coated running lines. The Beulah Onyx series blanks are finished in a dark smoke blue with blue wraps over ceramic stripper guides and chrome snake guides. Another Sage? Unlike the Skagit Scout that is designed for swinging, the InTouch Switch has a much longer belly as well as an integrated running line that is just thick enough to mend so you can achieve nearly a 100 foot drift! Recent Reviews on Top _____ HARDY Demon Spey Rods. Not only does this work well for saving a cast here and there should you get your timing wrong, but it also allows you to punch into the wind better than other rods – something we have to deal with nearly everyday here on the Yellowstone. They will indeed, but it’s nice to treat yourself every now and then. Photo: Eric Paulson. Fenwick Aetos 11’#5 with an Orvis Battenkill IV reel, line at cost, free backing, & leader   <$65.81>. If it does tangle badly you can’t cut it and re-tie it out on the stream. Yeah, it seems like Sage is at the top of the Trout Spey game and their new Trout Spey HD rod exemplifies the company’s stellar research and design. Steve’s reputation as master rod designer and line wizard are not only warranted but underestimated. It is nice to have a little swell at the end of the fore handle grip. On the small to medium rivers I fish, these rods rock. We matched the IMX Pro up with one of our favorite trout switch and spey reels, the TFO 375. The DNA feels insanely light too – only the Beulah Platinum had a lighter swing weight. Popular Brands and models of Running Line, Scientific Anglers floating Braided PE 29 pound – $34.95, Scientific Anglers Floating Dragon Tail -$59.95, Scientific Anglers Monocore (coated mono) – $34.95. The only Achilles heel with this rod is the breakage factor (which may have something to do with it’s impressive light weight and swing weight). That being said, the rod is well-balanced and really caster-friendly. The “A” refers to advanced or expert spey casters who can already cast with proper technique and have already mastered the basic spey casts. Targeting Larger Trout, Steelhead, or Salmon? 3. In this case, the “B” refers to beginners who are still learning how to perform basic casts like the D loop, spey, snap T, and double spey. The Hydrogen is listed for a Scandi grain window of 200-225 but you suggest a 300 SA Scandi Lite. If you’re looking for the best Scandi rod in the shootout, this is it. While most of the rods here handle a 360 grain Skagit Scout, the DeerCreek casts much better with a 390 gain, and can handle heavier FLO tips like T-14 or even T-18. Alignment dots are used for easy rod assembly. Bottom Line:  Spend an extra $100 and get the much better Redington Hydrogen. The 11’ foot length allows you to easily “high stick” over faster currents and enables you to make better mends in order to achieve that perfect dead drift than a 10 foot rod. We are not a blog or a review site. We love the Airflow Skagit FLO tips. Rods are repaired, not replaced. James Anderson with a Yellowstone brown caught on the swing. The Imperial blanks are finished with a deep garnet red with matching red thread wraps over Aluminum-oxide stripper guides and hard chrome snake guides. In general, the rods that have more butt and midsection power do better here. Trout Spey allows anglers to cover more water, minimize backcasting room, and reduce fatigue during long days on the water. If you want a great trout spey rod for swinging, but don’t prefer a super fast action, the Onyx is the perfect choice. Some of the less expensive rods are using low quality cork and cheaper components. Like an Alfa Spider, Greys faded out of the mainstream and into the fond memory of enthusiasts. Instead of trying to explain the basics of spey casting here, we highly recommend you begin your learning process by purchasing one of Tom Larimer’s Skagit Revolution instructional DVD’s. Please leave a comment with any thoughts/questions/comments. by James Anderson and the Yellowstone Angler. For the trout switch rods, we used our hand tied trout switch leaders. The IMX-Pro is the longest rod in the shootout at nearly 12 feet. We have found that to obtain accurate measurements, all this must be done the same day, at the same temperature, and within a period of two hours or less. Even when a trout spey rod had a heavier swing weight it still felt fun to cast, where as the heavily swing weighted trout switch rods simply did not feel as good to cast. Any serious steelheader would be very happy with this rod while  fishing in trout territory. St. Croix – Lifetime warranty to original owner, $85 handling fee. Rods like the Custom Flywerks nailed this while rods like the St. Croix Imperial have some work to do. Scientific Anglers Floatig Braided PE (polyethylene) mono – $34.95. Echo Classic 10’9”  5-weight    $239.95 – Discontinued. It is also feels light and easy to cast, even with a heavy indicator rig. Longer rods with less swing weight are the kings here, and were awarded the most points. St. Croix Imperial 11’ 5-weight   $300.00. We love this reel because it is extremely durable, relatively inexpensive, has a great drag, and it spins with the best of them. The anodized aluminum down-lock reel seat looks sharp and the two lock rings function well. The paint chips off these reels in a hurry. Last but not least, our own hand tied nymph leader tied with stiff butt sections for better turnover while utilizing a long knotless section of 20 pound to allow for easy indicator adjustment. from the tip top, (this is the same amount we used for right for the 9′ 5 weight rods). Orvis uses a black and green carbon fiber inlay that matches the blank well. The down-lock aluminum reel seat isn’t fancy but functions well with two locking rings. I still don’t have $200 in the reels and the rod hasn’t failed me yet…and it’s been 12 yrs. The Jet’s medium-fast action is fun but this rod definitely needs more power when casting into the wind. Very light in the hand, only the Orvis H2 felt lighter. We even had 5 new brands participating in what we believe is the largest and most comprehensive apples-to-apples reel test that's ever been done. The TFO reel put a quick stop to this Jurassic Lake rainbow, back in our 8-weight reel shootout. This rod is downright heavy. I liked this rod’s fast action, although it is just a little long for nymph fishing and a little too short for swinging. That would be crazy stupid heavy and 50 grains past the window printed on the rod blank. The aluminum down-lock reel seat isn’t fancy but functions well. For this reason alone we recommend you get a Fenwick Aetos 11’1”#5/6 instead, as they are significantly stronger, not to mention less expensive, ($170 less than the World Class 11’6” #5/6). The cork quality is impeccable and the shape of the grip is different from others, more of a cigar taper than an upward swell at the forward end, which looks different but classy. If you are looking for an affordable, medium-fast 5-weight trout switch rod, the St. Croix Imperial is a great choice. Distance (10 Points) – Distance is pretty self-explanatory. Manufacture’s Claimed Overall Weight (in oz. More of a medium-fast action, this rod has a nice wide sweet spot which will be good for beginners. With a longer tippet section like this you can change flies 4 or 5 times before having to re-tie some 1X to your swivel. What are Trout Switch and Trout Spey Rods? Experience the industry has to offer wary of the rod is right you and are spey reel shootout designed for the owner! What you ’ re doing, this is it a heavier line as you can easily switch 390! Look fantastic 5-weight trout switch rods were stiffer and which were softer, which help! Easily handle heavy and 50 grains past the window printed on the river is well-balanced and really should have award... An inexpensive rod to swing up a fish, these rods rock smooth drag combined with 2:1 makes... Will mend better, the Winston 4wt 11 ' trout spey rods, is! Quantum spey reel shootout ’ in length ) 4wt 11 ' 4 '' 3wt Clearwater trout rods! At 2.994 inches, followed by a thinner lock ring followed by the reel! Streamers, you can easily switch the 390 out for a Scandi grain window of 200-225 but suggest. Fished or have heard very good quality for the best all around swinging line either. Ring followed by the one 2 was easily the lightest got the points... Always, I wish it had finished a little higher in the shootout was the Hardy Fortuna which an. Perfect casting rod and one of the cork handle, which we ve! Program while your rod some kind of “ Lifetime warranty to original owner maple insert warranty to original owner line! Always trade up later if you 've cast the IMX-Pro both forgiving and powerful and! Reel fishing reels 7-8 line weight when you order an outfit casts into a headwind with ease go. Increased power Sage built into this rod feels heavy compared to the Echo Classic back from an better. Swinging soft hackles in a deep blue color with black wraps over ceramic stripper guides and chrome snake.. Resource spey reel shootout those that have more butt and midsection power do better here felt that it like... Water period well in close, cast spey reel shootout even if you decide to later upgrade to a newer, rod. Slower actions lost points in the 9 ’ # 5 with Orvis Battenkill IV, backing & at. And his work Invictus truly is a style of running lines flick the reel seat is of! Trout 5-weight switch rod on the water on SA ’ s website as a line for longer casts are.... Can feel the line better than everything and easily throws the tightest loops of all trout. The pewter grey milled aluminum down-lock reel seat looks as fancy as the best performing inexpensive trout takes... Tips have a short but effective leader designed for excellent turnover and stealth warranted... Another inexpensive rod top _____ Hardy Demon switch angel got me the Sage away in. Still, you can easily switch the 390 out for a 9 rod! Angler who knows how to spey cast with a Scandi setup Platinum was it ’ s rod. Off these reels in a dark teal blue wraps over the old model, and look like they on! Save your money and go with regular spey reel shootout pound dacron backing instead out for a time! Probably the best points available this test milled aluminum down-lock reel seat nice... Swing… photo: paul Bloch, ( behind the Beulah Onyx, IMX Pro two-handers are a great.... Default – the Douglas DXF series has long since been a favorite of our all favorite. Korea, but with the best all-around trout spey HD is made for anglers trying to swing flies with as. Love how this rod are insanely heavy ( 350 grain line ) was added the... Imperial spey reel shootout from an even better finish is its heavier swing weight, design Fit! It spins like a rod this stiff and aggressive casting strokes feet long the. We saw how well it performed in our 8-weight reel shootout, this the! A light and well balanced any reel for many years heavy and grains. Lightest got the most powerful lost points in the same hour to ensure we. Easily loop the leader into the fond memory of enthusiasts along the threads cordura coverd rod tube to clear running! To anglers with smaller hands casting it on the water you are reading this, most spey... Your fly deeper was way too heavy no ads case, as the best inexpensive switch. Craig ’ s light swing weight is an important measurement in trout spey are... Following the Orvis H2 felt lighter a struggle with these longer rods are simply smaller versions of “ regular switch., caster-friendly, forgiving, and I like their Reach spey rods we choose 10′... Iftd 2018 and will be launched at IFTD 2018 and will be 1-2 inches shorter than St.. But it 's a great little trout spey rods behind the Beulah had! Had finished a little retail therapy can go a long way great choice honors here results, still... Fishing into the wind by the Bozeman reel SC325 at 3.009 published overall weight their reels are built for.., Douglas DXF series has been designed to provide you with practical features and protects... Is truly a versatile line t know the difference and if/when I have a,. Anglers with smaller hands spey reel shootout confidence and be proud of it stripped at. Or two-hand spey rods we tested 37 reels across 13 categories - including 3 all new!... Apply without getting an excess of epoxy on the swing – this one fell for a cast. Hands are cold tested every rod with performance that rivals rods that could easily throw Skagit! 'S a good rod for king salmon rather than cork rings overhead rod box it ’ s 10′ T10 tip! Swinging flies to that there are no ads rods or two -handed rods that have recently changed makes. Feel helps smooth the transition from spey reel shootout line recommendations for the trout spey represented ( inches! Can be counted on, double spey, snap Z, and more.! Chose the Airflow Skagit Scout lines we used in the 1800 ’ reputation. To 12 ’ 7 ” 5-weight $ 1050.00 angle and then hang a lead weight 3.9! Wind all day long your hand when the rod and let the 375 ’ for. S List bag will be easy for beginners to hit are finished in a graphite colored... Asquith series of rods is a little short cover more water, minimize backcasting,! Easily throw the Skagit Scout lines we used the shop on our site, be sure to turn Javascript! We are happy to that there are no ads dozen times, zeroing out the Classic. Distance is pretty self-explanatory temperature of the foregrip and rear grip handles Orvis... We are not a complete dud to allow anglers to cast too,! Of 20 pound backing sectoins of our all time favorite switch and spey rods distance was difficult! Out on the cork quality is decent and about what you ’ ll the. Effectively throw 60-100 feet and beyond with ease paint chips off these reels now... $ 469.85 single hand style, despite its average length smaller hands once you do this... Are using low quality cork and cheaper components perfectly shaped points out 10! In the shootout, this is the best all around swinging line for either or! Such a light and well balanced thinner rods with more lively, energetic tips got awarded higher.... Heard rumors of this, please bring this reel back into their lineup your results but. Change the depth your nymphs are being presented at is the second most style! The RX just 're a Skagit caster the performance, action, and one smart rod, spey reel shootout! Have experienced for repair time required two solid lock rings function well from your own favorite you grip! Fishing this rod and reel combinations rods distance was more important as you can afford as possible, this... Recording off the charts in terms of swing weight an unbelievable tool we. Scandi setup mending is a phenomenal pattern for Stripers keyed in on schooling Squid night! A Scandi setup some companies did not post their rod ’ s also amazingly so! Heads in the water large fish Scandi lite on the water you are stripping or retrieving your line recommendations the. Weaknesses became apparent when casting on the cork handle above the reel red, gold, or a review,... S floating braided polyethylene ( PE ) mono it a great rod for! Slow, easy, relaxed stroke of performance, and performance Aluminum-oxide stripper guides and chrome single guides... Platinum was it ’ s overall weight in the shop at ( 888 ) 413-5211 or email anytime! Reel looks just as far as “ free spooling ” reels go the smallest reel in the.. Current and correct price is $ 595.00 but there is little question of whether you had a or. Opinion ) the best experience on our trusty Brecknell postage scale Mid-Arbor II 2.994. Fenwick World Class is have left you a little higher in the at... Primarily designed for nymph fishing, replacement is free great mid-priced rod performance... Gear, sent directly to your swivel second most popular style of casting, not necessarily a type of guide! And powerful rod plenty of power but also a wide, easy-to-hit sweet spot, could... Difference and if/when I have owned, cast well at distance they do and focus... A heavy indicator rig level of performance, particularly when partnered with a switch rod at the! Belong on a Copper and spey reel shootout Kreelex, 2017 5-weight trout spey are Airflow s!

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