Everybody comes to me saying : “spey casting lets you throw longer casts”, it seems it is all they know of it.
Yesterday, I was fishing by myself. I came to a pool where trouts where rising. A fisherman was in the middle of the spot trying to reach the rises. As he couldn’t get his fly, a not so big muddler, on the spot, he changes for a smaller fly. Then attempt again with a little more success. Amazingly, his repeated noisy casts haven’t stopped the trouts. Understanding that he won’t move for a good time, I asked politely if I could fish downstream of his position. As usual I had 2 rods, one two hands 15′ #8 and one standard 9′ #8. I let the one hander and come in the water for a few feet. I was farther from the other shore than my neighbour of 20 feet but at my first cast, I cast across and put my fly along the rocks and start fishing. The guy turns his head and look at the rod thinking so loudly too easy with this big rod. I try a few flies without results and the next one I’d like to pass is on my other rod. So I reel in and get my one hander. First cast, I cast across. The guy turns his head and loudly thinks some bad words. Honestly it was funny to read his expressions. Some time I must do some advertising so after a few overhead casts, I start one hand speys. This times it was too much and he left.
Hey, I’m not a show off type of guy. I’m a professional casting everyday while most of the fishermen are casting 5 days a year.
What I mean is if you are not fishing at 200′, the spey is not you advantage. Technic is. The guy was turning his hand around. He was loosing at least 50% of his energy in this huge arc around himself. I didn’t want to intrude in his fishing but he won’t have been long to correct his hand’s trajectory to solve his problems. And change your fly won’t help, you just don’t see anymore that your fly doesn’t go the end of your leader. It’s an exercise, I love to use during teaching. Take a big fly and let the student try to push his limits
Don’t think you’ll achieve greater distance with a spey rod because it is longer, heavier or more expensive. Longer means more difficult to sync. Heavier means more exhaustive. And more expensive means more expensive.
Anybody can cast 80′ with a basic rod. I’m using the cheapest rods I can find as they are as good as the ones in the thousands. In the thousand they cost, there is $900 which have been spent in these beautiful ads you see everywhere from TV to magazines. The other cost are testing by well known names. The rods blank are for some tiny cents in the price. Don’t be fooled by presentation. Choose the rod for its action and primarily accordingly to your preferences and skills.
For the distance, whatever the rod, slow down! As I was working on the needed skills to go to certification, one caught my eye: ” be able to slow down your movement to have the student see all phases”. At first I thought “how is it possible to slow down a cast?” There is a timing which has to be strictly followed? Yes this timing is very important but it can be slow down quite a bit. Since then I certainly cast slower than ever. I think that most fishermen cast briskly because they’re afraid to be caught in the trees behind or that their line goes to the ground, or the wind blow off the line. Many reasons which are like ghost over their heads. Nobody has eyes all around the head to be sure that these terrible events won’t occur. When I’m teaching, I spend my time saying slow down, wait longer, wait, let the line roll to his end etc.
Put more energy in your cast to keep the lineup and the line up.
So don’t buy a two hand rod to go farther, go farther in your understanding with a two hander.
If you are interested in trying the big fly exercise, change your leader! The goal is to drive the energy along the line and leader but a too small leader isn’t able to conduct much energy. It’s a basic electricity problem, a tiny wire won’t run a big current or it will over heat. So for the training, use a 9 feet, 10 pounds, leader. The fly could be a big muddler, a mouse, a big stealhead fly.
For $20, you could cast all the year long. Buy the indoor training rod and cast when you want. Train in you backyard as often as you can. Go to see a professional to fix your defaults. Or learn spey to have a better control of your rod and line, it will be profitable for your overhead casting.