Ok, here it is, quick and dirty. And wet. Because I just clocked off work, and my feet are wet from a day of compacting rock with water using a fire hose and these things called jumping jacks, and “whackers.” I therefore qualify as and actual working man although my bosses might say I am neither. Very funny guys these bosses.
I’m in McDonalds, because I’m working away from home today, and I need supper and WiFi so I can make this post about Spey rods for everyman. I will do a short wacker roundup including the coveted “Impact Jack RAMMER Tamper Jumping Jack Compactor Wacker”and make several models available through this site if you want. That is my humble pledge to you. (stay in school, kids!)
Back to our Working mans Spey rod review, complete with misspelled words.
Uber cheap models
If you you’re on a budget, or want your first spey rod that will work for all waters, including smaller rivers, buy the Anglers Roost 12′ 5/6 Spey rod. Its a wonderful very mellow, sweet medium action rod with a progressive taper but with a reasonably firm tip- If you don’t line it too heavy it doesn’t get “squishy.”
Amazing rod for the price. Its fine for large trout and your basic Steelhead unless its a whale- likes shooting heads around 300-375 grains. Its around a hundred bucks plus shipping. It would be a bargain for 200 bucks. I’ve had oodles of Anglers Roost rods. They are the best buy in the Spey rod market. It was my very first Spey rod. I still own several including the 12′ 5/6
If you want a 13′ #7 spey rod for your basic first Spey rod for Steelhead, buy the Anglers Roost 13′ 7/8 this is the one you want. It likes Skagit and Scandi heads from 400 to 500 grains. Its a pleasure to cast. I’ve owned one and I would be very happy to have this as my go too Steelhead rod. It would be lovely with a Beulah Arrowhead or Airflo Delta in 6 or 7 weight configurations. It has a amazingly smooth progressive action, which, in working mans terms, means as the load on the rod from the weight of the line increases the rod continues to bend further down the length of the rod from the tip. But the tip is still fairly strong.
If you want more of an 8 weight get the Anglers Roost 12’6″ 9/10. Yes, it says 9/10 but its not, although if you like to load up your Skagit heads on the extra heavy side, this thing will handle it. It likes 500 to 600 grain Skagit heads. This rod has a softer, very powerful action. It has a very powerful tip section and a butt section that is expertly designed a tad on the softer side. What that means is this thing can sling out some heavy lines and sink tips if your in the market for a Winter Steelhead rod that is an absolute sleeper of a Skagit rod. This was my very first Spey rod and I wish I still had it. It retails for 89 bucks before shipping.
If you want a 14 foot Steelhead rod get the Anglers Roost 14′ 5/6 Euro Scandi IM8 spey rod. (it’s a 7/8 weight though) It has a pretty soft tip and a very stiff butt section and creates very high line speeds with Scandi shooting heads such as the Rio Scandi body with 15′ Rio tips. This one is in my current lineup now and its a blast to cast.
Yeah, the components might seem a little funky and the eyelets might be a tad smaller than most but if you break a tip Johnny will sell you replacement parts for a song (Inagodadavida should suffice). Once, a butt cap fell off of a friends Anglers Roost Spey but Gorrilla glue works really good for that kind of stuff.
If your not sure what line to get, call Steve Godshall 541-840-2594 and he will help you.
The only rods that can compare with the Anglers Roost rods price wise are the Cabelas Spey and Switch rods if you buy them on sale. I’ve not used one but hear great things about them from people who have owned and cast them. They are sweet and they are a steal. If you could pick up a Cabelas LSI Spey rod I would say go for it.
Another good choice for a first Spey rod is the Redington Dually, which I have never cast, but hey, its two hundred and fifty bucks and Redington has a great warranty although it’s been a while since I had one. (make that two) Anyway, how could you go wrong?
un poco más de dinero
Ok, my top pick in the 7/8 range category for moderately priced rods is the Deer Creek 13′ 7/8 Spey rod.
This thing can create line speed and handle heavy payloads and I wish I still had mine. It has a stiff tip and a very slightly soft- butt section and is an amazing rod. If you’re going to go for the moderately middle to lower end price range get this rod because line speed is fun.
The Echo TR 1307-4 is also popular and much coveted by some casters such as Tropher Brown and Travis Johnson. I bought mine from Travis Johnson and he sent me the tube without the rod. Ha Ha, some working mans humor that almost gave me a heart attack until I called Travis and he apologized profusely be cause he is a cool guy and also a working man and sometimes we working men forget stuff.
Anyway, The TR 1307 was just ok for me, I wasn’t totally nuts about it, although, knowing what I know now I could easily fall in love with this rod. Rod action preference is very personal and subjective, so you can’t go wrong with the TR. Still, get the Deer Creek.
However, if your first Spey rod, working mans style, needs to be more of a 6/7 weight and you want a smoking hot super duper WARRANTY, pick up the Echo Tr 12’6″ 6/7 Spey rod. I don’t own this rod but my buddy Greg Holt does and he can absolutely jack some serious line and tips with that thing. I’m not sure but from his description I’m thinking it has a stiff tip and stiffer butt. It gets rave reviews on Spey pages so if you want a rod in this price range, this is the workhorse you need.
My go to favorite Spey Rod (because its what I have) for summer and Winter Steelhead fishing on Oregon waters is the Beulah Classic 12’7′ 7/8 modeled after the Bob Miezer Highlander Classic Series. So if you can still find one, and maybe you can for a bargain, I would be all over it. Its great with the Scandi Short Versitip system and pretty good for Skagit but If you strictly want to be a Skagit guy, go with the Deer Creek.
Another thing. If you are dead set on learning nothing but touch and go, airborn anchor style casting with Scandi shooting heads I think you’re better off with a stiffer rod than a super soft rod to begin with. For me the Beulah Classic was much easier preform a single spey with than say a Beulah Platinum, which is slightly softer in the butt section but is a nice Skagit rod. (I had the 12’4″ #8) Another good choice for an #8 Skagit rod.
Here’s the deal. If your a beginner just pick a rod, and buy the thing because 15 different guys will give you 15 different opinions about rod actions etc. All that stuff doesn’t matter that much now, With all of the great rods on the market you cant go wrong if you buy something with a great warranty, ie. Sage, Echo, Anglers Roost etc.
Get something fairly common or with a reputable dealer close by, I mean real close by, like in the same town. But least make sure there is an actual person you can talk to in the same State, or Nation, or at least on the same continent or you may be in for a real hassle when it comes to warranty issues, and your most likely gonna break the tip, not absolutely, but there is a good chance. You want great customer service. Sage is great, Echo is great.
Also, think twice about learning to cast big dumbbell eyed Intruders with your first Spey rod, or any Spey rod, because when you smack your tip section or any section with led eyes its probably eventually going to break.
So use a few extra feet of sink tip or weight the body of your fly with something UNDER the body if your dead set on fishing weighted flies. A few years ago, I bought a T&T 1208-3 which was one of my favorite Spey rods of all time (they all are) and low and behold it took a smack from a dumbbell eyed Intruder and months later broke. I bought it used so I didn’t have a warranty card. All told it cost me about 175 bucks to get it fixed. Once it was properly repaired at the T&T factory and shipped back it had to go by by.
So there you have it, my favorite Spey rods on a budget, for your first Spey rod or your working mans specials. There is so much more to say, but my feet are wet and I think I’m about to get kicked out of McDonalds so have a good day at work tomorrow and enjoy that wacker!