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Any Day for a Spot of Spey by John Gummer

September 09, 2014 1 Comment

A guest post by John Gummer.

Fly Fishing with Spey rods has always caught my eye in overseas magazines, and photos of huge salmon and steelhead from the likes of Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia. I have always considered this art form of fly-fishing to not be possible in the trout streams of New Zealand that anglers pursue with tiny flies, and delicate presentation.

When Loop Tackle NZ had a Spey casting weekend with FFF certified casting instructor Juan Del Carmen, I couldn’t wait to see what Spey fishing really had to offer. Well blow me down, what ecstasy I had discovered! Juan taught us the basics of Spey casting in the classroom, the first physics lesson that I actually found interesting! Although it wasn’t complicated I was able to think about fly-casting in more detail and how it really works. We had a couple of river sessions on the Tongariro trying a huge range of Loop double handers. I couldn’t wait to try my new addiction on the Manawatu and Rangatikei.

Over the last few weeks I have been using the Loop Xact 13’0” #7 and a Loop Multi #9-12. Loaded on the Multi reel is a #7 scandi line, which has a less bulky head than a skagit. This combo performs like a champ, throwing #4 streamers to #14 nymphs, handling all with total ease. The Loop Xact has a great build quality and isn’t too far behind the top end rods like the Cross S1 and Goran Anderson Signature Series. At a $599 price point you just can’t match it.

The ‘Snap T’ cast - an extremely efficient way of getting your fly serious distance with no back cast. Spey casting is not necessarily only for double handed rods. You can apply these casting techniques to your single-handed fly casting (provided that you haven’t totally converted). For example I have recently improved my roll casting because I now understand the dynamics behind it. Not unlike a chef really. If he knows how different flavours work with each other, he will create more precise and tastier food, just like a Spey cast.

Creating the D-Loop, then casting out my streamers.

Ben Febery firing out a skagit line on his Loop Goran Anderson Signature Series 11’ 6’ #8


The ‘Master’ Greig Cousins demonstrating how to handle Skagit lines and heavy tips.

A small fish, but a fish. My first on a Spey rod!

Swinging at sunset


So, get out there and give spey a go.  As they say, any day for a spot of spey!

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