Fishing with Spey rods is fun, anyone who likes to cast double-hand rods would agree. Since the introduction of modern Spey rod fishing, the technique and gear have evolved and gotten better over time. As part of this evolution, Switch rods were introduced in the early 2000s to blend single-hand casting and two hand casts with one rod. Switch rods are a great way to single-hand nymph a variety of water, yet still can offer the range of a traditional Spey rod… or at least pretty darn close.
Now we have Trout Spey rods. Trout Spey, mini Spey, micro Spey, or short Spey, these rods are similar to traditional Spey rods, yet are good for much smaller water and species, where traditional Spey rods might be “too big.” Not just used for trout, but more aptly for fish who reside in smaller water.
Trout Spey rods are typically all under 12′ and range from 2 weight rods to 6 weight. With similar setups as traditional Spey rods, you can line them with Scandi or Skagit heads, depending on the type of presentation you’re looking to achieve.
The size of Trout Spey rods is where people limit themselves, especially here in Alaska. There is no doubt a Trout Spey rod is not only useful and fun on a variety of waters in Alaska, but also very effective. The size range, 2 weights to 6 weights hinders many anglers in even giving them consideration at a fly shop because they equate the rod weights to single-hand rods.
Similar to traditional Spey rods, they don’t equate to a single hand rod. For example, a 7 weight single hand rod is not a good choice to target King Salmon, but some 7 weight two handed rods can be adequate while fishing for King Salmon. In general, to equate a Trout Spey rod to a single hand rod, you have to add three. In other words, a 5 weight Trout Spey will manage fish you would target with an eight weight, single-handed rod ( 5 weight Trout Spey + 3 = 8 weight single-handed rod). In Alaska, an 8 weight single-handed rod is probably the most popular individual fly rod.
Another way to think about Trout Spey rods is the weight of the fish you’re targeting. With Trout Spey rods, you can match the rod with the weight of the fish by doubling the size of the rod to the fish weight in pounds. E.g. 5 weight Trout Spey rod will manage properly with a 10-pound fish. 4 weight rod for an 8-pound fish. 3 weight rod for a 6-pound fish…so on and so forth. In other words, Trout Spey rods are not only appropriate for Alaska, but they are also ideal, because of the type of waters a Trout Spey rod can cover. With all that being said, you should not only consider the weight of the fish but also consider the weight of the tip and the fly you’re trying to turn over to make sure you have the ideal casting experience.
There is a myriad of waters, Trout Spey rods can cover, especially here in Alaska. Whether Western Alaska on the Kanektok, the variety of waters in the Katmai region of Alaska, or any South Central Alaska rivers, the Trout Spey rod is something every fly angler should add to their arsenal.
If you’re still not quite sure about Trout Spey or how to match the appropriate setups with reels and lines, the best thing to do is contact your local fly shop and see what they recommend. Or feel free to get in touch with our team and we’ll help point you in the right direction.
If you have a Trout Spey rod set up and have used it at home, in Alaska or anywhere else, ping us back and let us know how it went and what you think.