3 Dynamite Spey Rods For 2015

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

I’ve had the chance to cast a lot of Spey rods this year and 3 have earned my respect.

Whether I’m fishing switch rods for trout or full-on Spey rods for steelhead and salmon, I love swinging flies with two-handed rod. I only wish I got to do more of it. This year I’m trying to fix that and as a result I’ve had the chance to fish some really cool new rods and I’ve fallen in love with three of them. They are very different rods and I like each of them for different reasons. I’ll tell you what I like and why, and you can decide if one of these beauties is right for you.

ECHO GLASS 8130-4 13′ 8 weight $300


Fiberglass Spey rods? This was love at first sight. Fighting a fresh, wild steelhead on a fiberglass rod is a dream come true. The rod is beautiful and casts extremely well. It’s likely not what you expect. It’s not as slow as you might think and it packs a serious punch in the distance column. It does however, bend to the cork with a nice fish on, which is awesome.

Here’s the thing. I found that I loved fishing this rod when I dedicated myself to it. When that’s the only rod I carry and fish, I get in the groove and it’s a real pleasure. But if I’m taking several rods out for the day, switching up is tough. You have to really slow down with a glass rod and it takes me a minute to get my timing right. That’s not to detract from the rod, I guess it’s what you’d call a personal problem.

The Echo glass is not a niche rod. I’d feel perfectly comfortable going on a trip with nothing else. If you like glass rods and you like two-handers, I think you’ll love it. If you are used to a fast-action rod, just expect to spend some time working out your timing. Don’t cast it once or twice and make a judgment. I think most new Spey casters use too fast a stroke and this rod may well build better casting habits than a faster stick.

Get yours HERE!


SAGE  8136-4 13’6″ 8 weight $950


This rod truly surprised me. Having cast the single-hand one, I expected something completely different. This rod is as soulful as it is powerful. It’s capable of launching a laser-tight loop and yet retains amazing feel during the sweep. You really feel the rod load, which makes it easy to cast. You don’t find yourself rushing the sweep to try and load the rod. I honestly think it makes me look like a better caster than I am.

I’ve fished a couple of One Spey rods and this one is my favorite. It’s just right for most of the fishing I do and it’s a joy to cast. I wish I could tell you how it handles a fish. I don’t own one of these rods, I’ve just fished a buddy’s and I’ve had some tugs on it but never landed a fish. I have fished it as my only rod for a couple of days, however, and feel very confident in it. It’s the best Sage rod I’ve ever fished, single- or double-hand.

Get yours HERE!


THOMAS AND THOMAS 1307-4 DNA 13′ 7 weight $1025


I’ve spent some serious time with this rod. I’ve also put it in the hands of several guides and the one word that everyone uses is, “Wow!” I’m serious, every time I’ve put this rod in the hands of an experienced caster, their eyes have about popped out of their heads. The DNA is pure dynamite.

It’s light and responsive with a crisp powerful action that begs you to cast the far bank. I was impressed with how it casts in my hands but I was blown away when I handed it to Stevie Morrow, head guide at Kinsquit Bay Lodge. Stevie is a remarkable caster, and in his hands the DNA seems to have no limits. If you buy yourself one of these you’d better order extra running line.

The DNA has an amazing feel. It’s a pleasure with either Scandi or Skagit lines. It casts heavy tips and intermediate heads like it was nothing. It has complete authority when fighting big fish. It’s light and easy to cast, meaning you don’t feel like you’ve had your shoulders worked over at the end of the day.

Like all T&T rods, the hardware, cork and finish are the absolute best there is. There are no corners cut at Thomas and Thomas. One thing worth mentioning is that T&T has shortened the cork on their Spey rods. The new grips are much more contemporary and I like them a lot. This rod is an investment, to be sure, but one you will not regret.

Get yours HERE!


Whatever you’re looking for in a Spey rod, you can find in one of these great rods. I feel very confident recommending any of them. They have given me a lot of pleasure on the water and I’m sure they will do the same for you.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “3 Dynamite Spey Rods For 2015

  1. Thanks for your capsule reviews! There is a lot of info out there about Spey rods and switch rods today, but mostly it’s about the spendy stuff.
    I appreciate you including the Echo. There are many of us who can’t or won’t spend (what I feel are) large dollars on a rod. That said, “Can I cast it what it’s worth?” It’s like owning an exotic sports car and not being able or willing to drive it.

    OK. What line or lines did you mate with the rods tested? And, how about the reel? Spey or Switch, it’s all about balancing the package to maximize performance.

    Maybe, you might do a comparison of “working man”s” rods?


  2. Yup,
    I’d much rather read about rods under 400.00. Wife would kill me if I dropped that kinda coin on a rod, not that I have it anyway.

  3. If I currently use and love the Orvis superfine glass rod in a 4 weight, will the casting of the echo relate pretty well to that single handed orvis rod? I find that I don’t use graphite rods now that I have the orvis glass rod and prefer the slowness of glass. I have never used a double handed rod, but want to use it for steelhead and maybe bass and hybrid stripers in the summer.

  4. Nice write up. Have you had a chance to play with the Sage Method 7126 yet? A friend just broke his Deathstar and Sage replaced it with the Method. I’ve heard nice things about it. I’m still using my Beulah Classic but looking forward to trying out the Method. Sage Warranty program rocks.

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