The why’s of my drawn out dalliance with a spey rod go back some 15 years. Years ago, I won a raffle prize, a guided trip on the Deschutes R. to fish for Steelhead. Oddly, there was not a single handed rod in the drift boat. All very long two handers. That was an awkward day. The guide scouted the bank from above for holding fish and left my son, Kelly, and I to flail away. This was the days of long line spey lines. No running line.
But, despite many awkward roll casts, I could still see the fly going out into a zone that only dangerous wading and exceptional casting would have afforded me. I felt the possibilities. Yet, I didn’t mess with it again, preferring the single handed rod for swinging or nymphing. It worked just fine.
Years later, there was a bargain on a telephone pole length spey rod at a shop. It was suggested I should grab it and just have it in case I got immersed in the new wave of spey fishing. I did, a heavy 10 wt. with a Rio Windcutter set up and multiple heads. Again, I tried it and again out there by myself, it kind of worked but again, I ventured back toward the tried and true single hander…..but, this time in my life there was a difference. My shoulders were failing. My hips/lower back were riddled with arthritis and nerve damage. My casting stroke and wading were becoming more painful and tentative.
So, a few years back, I purchased a mid-level set up: Echo spey rod and Lamson reel. Not the top of the line set up my son, Tony, has. But, it is much more of a delight to manage than my old, lumbering spey rod from years ago. It is now much easier on my my body. No, I am not much better than before in casting. But, I have an incentive to reduce pain, wade safely, reach a reasonable distance. I have never felt compelled to cast long distances with a single hander, nor will I with a spey rod. I just want to be smooth and on target like I am with the single hander. I like the new challenges and it feels easier and I like the sense of rhythm. Now, that’s out of the way as to the why’s…. how about something re line management…management of the loops.
The stripped in running line always drifts down stream in a long loop. The drag upon that loop is resistance that hinders the running line zipping up the guides with the casting stroke. So, how to manage that running line. I have tried multiple coils pinched in the top hand and the bottom hand. It works ok. The torque of the casts sometimes causes the slippery running line to separate away from my grasp against the upper grip. I do need to better manage this if I want to reach reasonable distances. Here are a few suggestions on how to better manage running line loops.
Deneki Fly Fishing has a visual to study. I need to better understand the turning of the hand.
Salmon River Spey suggests the multiple loops gathered in descending sizes.