Spey rod Reviews for the Working Man

Spey rod review.   Spey rod shootout.  Whatever.  Consider this a Spey rod review in a shootout fashion that has taken place over years. I only recommend Spey rods or two -handed rods that I have owned, cast, fished or have heard very good reviews myself.  I get a commision from a spey rod sale off ebay or Amazon if you follow my links. 

I don’t get a commision from Anglers Roost Enterprises (ARE) if you click on a link and buy a spey rod from the actual Anglers Roost Enterprise Website store, but I really like ARE im6 spey rods so I’m offering you the link in the event that you need a good cheap spey rod, or cheap back up two-handed fly rod. I can help you out with a product I believe iOk, 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 and a whacker.   (stay in school, kids!)

Back to our Working mans Spey rod review, complete with misspelled words.

Redington Path #7 10′ Fly Rod: Why I love it as a mini Spey Rod.


Could this be the best Value in a mini Spey Rod on the Market?

This particular Redington Path is a straight forward rod.  The Redington Path 10′ #7 with an OPST Commando, or Commando Groove Skagit head of 225 to 250 grains is amazing.  I’m still trying to figure out if I was thrilled with the fact that almost kept up with my Beulah Classic 12’7″ 7/8 Classic two hander and a 500 grain Skagit head for covering water.  Kind of.  Factoring in payload and all that stuff the bigger Spey rod can do it’s not much of a contest.  But I covered a ton of water with this little guy.

Budget Rod?  You might not know it if you ever watched it in the hands of a capable caster or felt it for yourself!

I love expensive rods for sure but I almost start to salivate when I think about this stick for just over $114 bucks to my door.

This #7 rod has a nice little fighting butt that I found very nice for two handed casting. I could not quite muster up the strength to get a super powerful single hand spey cast with the 275 grain Groove with a double haul. I found that to get my best casts I had to resort to the two handed option with the fighting butt.  I would absolutely love this stick with a butt extension,  but if I made a circle with my pointer finger and my thumb and stuck the little fighting butt in that circle (I think I did it that way) It was a nice way to take advantage of the bottom “grip” for two handed casting.

I think I paired the 275 grain Groove with a 10′ t8 sink tip on the Path for the video review. This set up was a tad heavy for my liking, for both single hand and two handed casting but it basically fished fine. My Favorite line for this little Redington Path is the 225 Grain Skagit Commando head and the t8 sink tip.

I think a larger sink tip would have been ok but I truly enjoyed this set up and was excited with the distance I was able to attain.  Its fairly fast action but not overly stiff.  The copy I read on a fly fishing site said it was medium fast, I think, and that sounds about right.  It was easy for me to cast.  We hit it off right away and the more I think of it the more I am interested in a long term relationship with this splendid little gal.

Of course a small to moderate fly is all I want to use Skagit casting on a rod this small because am not into self torment when I’m trying to enjoy the river.   I wish I would have documented the fly I used but suffice it to say I really loved this OPST shooting head and sink tip combo on this rod and I did not want an Intruder to ruin the moment.


Perhaps your best bet for a Great Lakes trib all around Spey Rod / everything rod?

 I could easily cover all the water I need to swing up a Steelhead in my favorite runs on The Deschutes River and definitely the Grand Ronde and the John Day for summer, and fall steelhead. I could happily fish the Clearwater too if need be. 


Amazing Value:

The high line speeds would do pretty good in the wind in all of these western rivers where longer rods are often used and prefered by most Spey fishers but If the Spey gods limited me to one rod and line combo and it couldn’t be longer than 10′ I would be very happy with this one until maybe cold water conditions required heavier tackle at which point I would tell the Spey gods to take a hike,  But then again, I might like to try a heavier, longer sink tip, with a little larger fly and give it a shot. 

  I swapped rods with a friend to fish a Steelhead run on the Deschutes and now I’m sad I gave it back.  The next time I get a chance I’ll play with it using a different sink tip or two along with a slightly bigger fly and see what she’s got.  I like to support my local fly shop which is Fin and Fire Fly shop in Redmond Oregon

Unfortunately, they are sold out of this very hot item so your best bet if you wanna buy one is ebay!  $115 shipped!   Im not affiliated with the seller, but I am affiliated with Ebay I guess.  I totally enjoy this rod and think you might really love this Rod yourself!



Johnny of Anglers Roost has passed away and I don’t know the future of Anglers Roost Rods right now.

Uber cheap model
If you’re on a budget, or want your first spey rod that will work for all waters, including smaller rivers,  consider the Anglers Roost 12…

Sorry, I can’t find info on Anglers Roost rods. Please let me know if you have info.

If you want a custom line for any rod at an inexpensive price point, call Steve Godshall 541-840-2594 and he will help you with a custom selection. He is very well acquainted with many rods on the market!

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 and they should carry some kind of  warranty, but Bass Pro Shop owns Cabelas now, so I’m not sure about the warranty.  If you could pick up a Cabelas LSI Spey rod I would say go for it.

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 because he is a cool guy and also a working man and sometimes we working men forget stuff.  

Anyway, The Echo 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 and Echo has great customer service and a reputation for having a good warranty.


However, no Spey Rod review would be complete without mention of the Echo Tr 12’6″ 6/7 Spey rod.  Particularly if a smoking hot super duper WARRANTY, is important, which in my book, it may be the most important thing to consider.  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. For newbies interested in Scandi, I might opt for Cabelas.

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!

12 thoughts on “Spey rod Reviews for the Working Man

  1. Hi Tim, I just bought my very first two hand rod, and it is a Echo Tr 12’6″ 6/7 Spey rod, I bought it without the advice of anybody because the price was low and I’m on a budget… Lucky me! This post was a relief. Thanks!

  2. I’m looking at the Deer Creek 13′ 7/8 5 piece. Any significant difference between that and the older 4 piece? This will be primarily for skagit/winter fishing.

    1. Thanks Jim, Good question. I don’t have any experience with that rod but I don’t think you could go wrong. TFO has a great reputation and warranty, and if the 5 piece fits your needs for travel its a fairly safe bet. If 5 sections is not a priority for you though, I would still consider the 4 piece if you find one available. It’s a tried and true model.

  3. Tim, I am learning to cast scandi underhand style. Do you have a recommendation for rod length/weight/action and head length that would be particularly good for underhand style on medium to large rivers?


    Steve in Olympia, WA

    1. Hi Stephen, I hear great things about the Cabela’s two handers. I would consider their 7 or 8 weight spey rod matched Rio Scandi Versitip. I have not tried the Cabelas, but they have a reputation of being very good rod for a great price. At least stop by and give it the wiggle test. Might be just the ticket.

  4. Tim, I have been using the 14′ 5/6 and love it with my Delta II 7/8. Some situations call for a shorter head because of bankside obstructions etc… Do you have any recommendations for a grain weight for Skagit applications? Thanks.

    1. 450 – 475 give or take, around 24′ would probably be a safe place to start on that stick. Or Rio Scandi Short body in a 7 or 8 weight would be a safe bet. Thanks for the question Dan. Let me know what you decide and how it works.

  5. Your review of the Anglers Roost 12′ 5/6 two handed rod makes me want to try one out now. When you stated “she likes shooting heads from ‘around 300-375 grains,” was the tip grain weight included? Please let me know. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the question Pete. For touch and go casting 300 to 375 grains would include the tip on a line like the Scandi short versitip. For Skagit casting I would suggest a 325 to 375 grain Skagit head which does not include the tip. Say you had a 350 grain Skagit head and 10′ of t8 that would put you at 430 grains. This would be a little clunky for touch and go casting but about right for Skagit, depending on your preference. I don’t think you can go wrong with this rod. It would be worth calling Steve Godshall 541 840-2594 to discuss a custom line, or Poppy at Red Shed fly shop 208-486-6098-shop-208-486-7050-house and try several line weights before you decide. Let us know what you decide to do!

  6. Hi. I’m a new Spey caster and am following your YouTube channel and website. I’m really impressed with your ability to teach in a way that has made Lear andante easy.

    I live in an area with mostly trout (Boise and Owyhee Rivers). I’m interested in buying a light Spey rod and based on your praise of Anglers Roost, am looking at this 11’ 3/4wt rod.
    Have you had a chance to cast one? Can you recommend a Skagit like weight?
    Thank you,

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