Top Spey Rod Setups
By: Ross Purnell
Ross Purnell shares his favorite Spey options for trout, steelhead and stripers
My first Spey rod was a 14-foot 9-weight with an action described as “Euro.” At the time that I bought it, it was probably the best-selling, two-handed rod in America. I caught a memorable 20-pound, fire-engine-red steelhead on the Suskwa River with it, and some June Atlantic salmon on the Gaspé Peninsula. I believed it to be a fantastic rod.
Now it sits in a corner, neglected and unused. Technically there’s nothing wrong with it except for a few bumps and scratches, but I couldn’t in good conscience give it away.
That’s because today’s new two-handed rods are light years ahead of where they were when Spey rods first arrived North America. In general, the more popular models today are shorter and lighter, both in the physical weight of the rods and in the weight of the lines recommended for them. Instead of using 9- and 10-weight rods to carry huge amounts of line, and create immense D loops, the most popular (and effective) rods in the U.S. today are meant to throw relatively small D loops with a quick, compact stroke using much shorter Skagit and Scandi heads.
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