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The Single-Hand Spey Revolution

Posted on December 01 2015

Single-hand spey casting.
Trevor, single-hand rod, and a spey cast. Photo: Kyle Shea.

Most of the time, when people hear the words ‘spey casting,’ they immediately think of two-handed rods. Heck, we refer to two-handed fly rods as ‘spey rods’ for a reason!

However, it’s important to note that by definition spey casting is a style of fly casting, one that can be performed by both two-handed “spey” rods AND your run of the mill single-hand fly rod. Proficient trout anglers are well aware of this, and often use traditional spey casts to help make fishable casts in extremely tight quarters.

With that said, most fly lines designed to be cast overhead with a single hand rod generally don’t cast overly well using spey casts, particularly ‘sustained anchor casts’ – those often associated with skagit style casting (think snap T, circle spey, double spey, etc.). Can they get the job done? Sure they can, but they’re not ideal.

Therefore, as some of you may have noticed, a few fly line manufacturers have now begun producing spey lines designed specifically for single hand rods. We think they’re onto something, and after fishing OPST’s new light weight Commando Skagit Heads on tiny single handers this past summer at Alaska West, we think the advantage is undeniable (see them in action in the video below!).

The good folks at RIO have released a new award winning line this year called the In-Touch Single Hand Spey line. The name of the line is pretty self explanatory, but is built off much of the same premise, a spey line designed for single-handers. The difference being a longer head than a typical skagit head, and a longer front taper for more ‘trouty’ applications.

Aside from the pure fun factor, single-hand spey casting offers a bunch of advantages that haven’t been completely explored with the lack of appropriate lines -The ability to cast in really really tight quarters or throw heavy junk with surprisingly light weight rods and very little effort to name a few.

We think there’s a future to single-hand spey, we’re pretty excited about it, and if you like spey casting, we think you should be too.. Join the revolution!

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