The Bauer Rogue Classic, Made for Spey

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Swinging the Dean Photo by Louis Cahill

With more anglers every day discovering Spey casting, I’m shocked at how few really good Spey reels are on the market.

Most of the guys I see fishing two handers are using saltwater reels on them and there’s something to be said for that. Most saltwater reels have features like large spools that will carry Skagit heads and good drag systems for fighting big fish but some of the finer points are quite different.

For the past year, I’ve been fishing the Bauer Rogue Classic on my Spey rods and I couldn’t be happier. The Rogue Classic is one of very few reels designed specifically for the Spey caster. The primary distinction is the weight. We are trained these days to believe that lighter is better but that’s not the case. Balanced is better.

With a lightweight saltwater reel, your long two-handed rod is out of balance. When swinging your fly you are forced to make a choice. To keep the proper angle with your rod, you must either hold the rod tip up with force or move your hand forward off of the cork. Neither is a good solution. Moving your hand off the cork means you have less line control and you risk missing fish. Using force means fatigue and fatigued anglers make mistakes. It’s better to be balanced.

The Rogue Classic features a solid back frame which gives the reel the weight it needs as well as a heft that I have to believe translates into durability. It has quick change spools, V-arbor design and comes in a list of cool custom finishes. The state-of-the-art carbon fiber disk drag system features the patented zero backlash seamless clutch and is completely enclosed. The same drag system I rely on in my tarpon reel and has never let me down. An all together modern reel in spite of the classic name.

It comes with a lifetime guarantee and best of all, in my opinion, it’s made in the U.S., Oregon in fact, by a guy who swings flies for steelhead. I have no doubt that Jon Bauer made this reel to fish himself and that’s the kind of reel I want. A reel designed on the river by a fisherman not in a conference room by sales reps.

Here’s a great photo of Jon in his racing days.

Days of Thunder

Come fish with us in the Bahamas!

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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One thought on “The Bauer Rogue Classic, Made for Spey

  1. So is the goal of picking a reel for spey rods to have the rod balance where your natural hand position is (Somewhere on the cork), or to have a butt heavy rod (so the tip is up in the air)? Would the same hold true to switch rods or would the reel need to be a different weight for a different style (overhand vs spey casts)?

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