TROUT SPEY AND KEEPING YOUR SPEY CASTING ALIVE
I've frequently fished for trout with a spey rod, just not a dedicated trout spey rod. Recently, I acquired the Sage One Trout Spey 3110-4. At eleven feet long, this light three weight is a very impressive piece of gear. Paired with a 275 grain Rio Skagit Max Short shooting head and Rio Slickshooter 25 pound running line, you'll quickly find that you can cast this setup as far as your bigger 6 and 7 weight steelhead rods. These rods are able to easily cast intermediate tips, all the way to a section of T-8, if needed. After that, jumping up in rod weight and speed would certainly be a good idea for the larger tips.
I've been really impressed with how accurate and light these rods are. Every grab is a blast and your 16" bows or small mouth bass will keep you guessing until you get a good look at them.
So why grab a dedicated trout spey rod? Simply put, it keeps you in the double hand game all year, outside of the steelhead and salmon seasons. I believe it will also make you a better caster, for the obvious reason of having a spey rod with you all year, but also in a sense that it makes you focus more on your mechanics. Essentially, with the shorter shooting heads, it forces the caster to focus on anchor placement and keeping that anchor all the way through the rod load, effectively using all of the rod (as designed). It really forces a caster to stay inside the "phone booth" when setting up the cast.
To get started, go to your local fly shop and pick up a few of these to see what you like. Most of the larger manufactures are (and have been for a while) producing a line of trout spey rods. Sage, Winston and Thomas and Thomas (just to name a few) all make excellent trout spey rods that won't disappoint. If you're on a tighter budget, Redington's Hydrogen is an excellent option to get started with. As a guideline, go with a reel two sizes up to achieve good rod balance.
So do some research and feel free to contact Fly Side Angling for any questions about getting started. See you on the river.