Top Trout Spey Rods

November 13, 2015

I work with a lot of anglers on selecting the right rod for the job.  I also get to hear a ton of feedback from folks after they get out there on the water and put these tools to use.  A couple of rods have really been jumping out lately as the popularity of spey fishing for trout is on the rise.  Right now on our home water, located about 200' from where I am right now, the spey fishing with small buggers is at its best.  These are the two finest trout spey rods that we sell.  

These are not a toy or a wanna ? be single handed rod with butt.  These are the Real Deal trout spey rods.  Capable of delivering long delicate shots with reasonable sized trout streamers.  They are a joy to cast and the customer satisfaction I have witnessed out of these two rods is outstanding.

Winston 3106-4 4.3oz 27.5? balance from butt. 845.00

Sage 2109-4 ONE 4.4oz 25.5? balance from butt. 950.00

Notice we got the price out of the way right at the start as they are not the cheapest rods on the planet. Only the final customer can decide if the rod is worth the price.  They are fine instrument developed for providing the best possible casting experience.  

What can we do with a two handed trout rod we can not do with a single handed trout rod besides use either one or two hands, (tennis elbow anyone). Absolutely nothing much. Generate a higher rod tip speed with the same motion/energy, and a higher line speed and more distance, but most fish are caught at a shorter distance than we can cast anyway. We determine the size of the fly we can cast by the taper of the line we are using not the length of the rod. A large streamer wants a line with the mass of the taper closer to the streamer not a long fine taper that will softly land a size 22 midge with a 14? leader and unrolls gently in the air before landing, gets blown all over the river in much of a breeze at all. You can Stack Mend a bit further with the longer rod when nymphing or with dries if we have a line taper that allows this, (again back to the line). Owning both of these rods personally, you will very seldom see me pick up a single handed rod any longer, whether in a float tube, on the beach, or standing in a river these will be the rods I go to first. What you will see is too many lines on spools or in my head wallet for the type of fishing I am doing.

The 3106-4 MS weight is 4.3oz, naked rod an tin can balances at 27.5? for swing weight, foregrip is 11? with a 3.68? reel seat and a 3.5? but grip. Overall 18.18?

The 2109-4 ONE is 4.4oz, naked rod on tin can balance point is 25.5? for swing weight, foregrip is 10.12? with a reel seat at 3.62? and a 4? butt grip. Overall 17.75?.

The Sage 2106-4 ONE is the fastest of the two and will cast a wider grain weight of the two. Slightly lighter in swing weight and slightly lighter in hand fully dressed fishing. The Winston is a joy to cast with any size dries and soft hackles. It will not cast large dead chickens as well as the 2106-4 ONE will with the stronger butt section on the ONE.


Take into account I do have tendonitis in both elbows so I do like to use two hands along 5 fused vertebrae to hamper my casting ability. Pretty much a fearless wader my entire fishing career.

I use a line made for nymphing on most of my rods from single handed to two handed and it will have a long back taper to allow stack mending.

For dries or for swinging soft hackles you can go a lot of different ways, the Airflo Switch Float 3.5 is the best choice for me as it has a 26? body/head and turns over trout versileaders and polyleaders floating and sinking and comes with a clear Polyleader 10? long so mending can be done until the running line gets too far out of the rod tip. Yes this line works on both rods.

For Steamers my go to line in the NEW OPST Commando Heads by Ed Ward and Jerry French. A spey cast can be done with a much wider grain window than we are comfortable casting overhead. As the mass of the commando head increases the mass of the tip you can use increases as well as the size of the fly you can cast comfortabley. A 225 Commando with 10? MOW tips Light T-8 is probably the sweet spot for both rods spey cast and is also the choice for single handed 5wt rods (give this a try on your 590-4 go to trout rod for streamers with a Lazar running line). 

A 275 with the T-8 works well on the 2106-4 ONE but is a bit on the heavy side for the 3106-4 MS and even on the 4110-4 MS the 275 feels a bit on the heavy side. A 275 will throw a larger dead chicken than a 225 will and a MOW tip will turn that dead chicken over with more ease than a versileader or polyleader will. Overhead I can use the 225 Commando on both or drop down a bit lighter on both with trout versileaders.

Want to test drive one just stop by the shop any week day I am working or make arrangement prior to have the rod and line available on a day I am not here.

  1. Hey Joe, what about integrated lines for these rods? While the commando head is plenty short, I don't line stripping the head into the guides Have you tried the new lightweight Rio switch chuckers, Airflo Streamer switch or even the Snowbee switch lines on these ultra micro-Speys? Do the utility, swing preferred, nymph preferred monikers still play in this ultra light line category
  2. For indicator fishing you have to go up to a WF6 indicator II. For dries and soft hackles an Airflo Switch float with a 26' head includes a 10' Airflo Trout Polyleader clear floating is a fully integrated line. Of course I have chopped the head off the Switch Float so I can use it with the same reel and Lazar running line as the Commando. Craig