Posts Tagged ‘Sage Rods


The Spey Rod (the jaw drops more than once; frigging amazing!) )

The Focus

The Focus

As a young man working in the Fly Fishing industry, I have the pleasure and opportunity to see, use and fish all kinds of gear. This can be very exciting, rewarding and sometimes overwhelming! In the past couple of years, I have been introduced to the style of spey casting with a two-handed rod. At first, the idea of this was fun and exciting, but my first shot at it was a total bust, but I promised myself I woudn’t give up. Attending spey claves (more of a fish-story-telling affair than a how-to), spey classes, seminars, on-river practicing with friends and co-workers, Matt McCrary and Jack Hagan, and taking a demo-rod out of the shop and trying myself have helped me progress. Of all the methods of teaching, that have been the most helpful and most inspirational to me, has been having the good fortune of being on the river with Matt McCrary.

imgp4712aHe is a co-worker of mine at the fly shop, but in the last 2 years he has become far more than that. He is a role model of how a man should be, an amazing fishing buddy and teacher, a brother, a friend and when it comes to the two-hander….the best instructor and spey caster out there (in my opinion). Matt is a guide and a busy one at that, but Matt has taken me under his wing in many ways. We hang out in the “man cave” a couple times a week, drink Hamms and talk fishing, where it is going, the new styles of lines, rods and casting. And most of all how to increase my success as a retailer of these products and my skills at using them. It has taken me awhile to warm up to the idea of switching to a two-hander for steelhead, though in the past year or so i have come to realize that this is probably the most fun and effective tool we fisherman have out there.

The pro’s of this style of fishing are endless, but lets go over the biggest ones. Line control: we are fishing an 11′-14′ rod making our mending better and fly control more steady and paced. Casting: we are able to cast great distances with very little effort or exhaustion at the end of the day. Equipment used: in the summer we are using smaller flies and lighter heads and tips, making it easy to cast a long line. But, when casting a Skagit style head, a tip and a fly the size of a dead chicken, the true value of a spey rod comes out.

imgp5501A couple weeks ago, I bought a Sage Z-axis 7136-4 (13’6″ 7wt. 4pc.) two-hander and was given a beautiful Hardy Marquis reel to match it up. The moment I got it all set up, I couldn’t wait to get out on the river!! I put on an Airflo Skagit 510gr. head with an 8′ section of CCT 200 tip looped on the end along with a short leader. Talk about a sick set up. So, today was my first day out on the river. I headed up to Dabney State Park (Sandy R.) after classes and got suited up. It couldn’t have been a more classic fishing day either, overcast sky, drizzling, good water temp, clarity and height and a few fish in the runs. I got out there around 2pm and was practically trippin over myself running to get out there. For those of you who are stepping into this world of steelheading or are thinking about it….do it!! There is nothing on this earth that lives in water and has fins, as crazy and fun to fight as a NW steelhead!! Also, to go along with that statement, there is no better way to go about catching these specimens than with spey rod. My biggest goal today was to work on my cast, use my new set-up and see if I couldn’t rip one out of the seam while doing so, and believe it or not….I did!! A perfect cast (for me), swing, fly movement and run and I get a pull. I got the initial jet upstream and me trying to strip up my running line and getting some line on the reel, but before iI knew it the high-strung torpedo was making a run downstream into the tailout. Well, in the end he kind of schooled me and I lost him, but it didn’t matter. The combination of improving my casts and getting out there, my own flies doing exactly what i wanted them to and fishing the most effectively I have ever fished was the highlight of this afternoon! 


For those of you who have given into the sickness of this sport of steelheading with a two-hander, i feel your pain and frickin’ love it. And, for those of you who haven’t tried it or are too timid, i strongly urge you to take a class, come into a local shop and get some info on it, or tackle it on your own. You CANNOT find a more enjoyable, sick-deadly, rewarding tool in the fishing world…period!! With the technology in rod manufaturing, lines, reels and misc. equipment, this way of fishing is becoming readily accessible to the masses. With rods ranging from $300-$900 and a good reel from $200-$800, the options are out there and a set up can be found in most folk’s price ranges. Though i will say this, when purchasing a two-hander, i have come to find that spending a little extra money does make a difference in the overall effectiveness and fun you will find when using a spey rod.

Until next time, 

Have fun, swing the seams and be safe!!

Tony Muncy

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