I’m not a big steelhead guy—I’ll go once in a while, usually for the company and not so much the fishing, which is generally pretty slow. So I rarely find myself needing a ton of “big-water” casting skills. But one skill I learned while chasing steelhead is the one RIO’s Simon Gawesworth describes below—spey casting with a single-handed rod.
As you’ll see in the short video above, spey casting with a single-handed rod is perfectly doable (but I do like to overline my rod by a size or two if I know I’m going to be using the technique). It allows for more distance and flexibility than a simple roll cast, and it’s really not that tough to master. Gawesworth best describes the differences between the roll cast and the spey cast as the size of the “D” loop an angler carries into the cast. Roll casts depend on water friction to load the rod, while spey casts depend more on line weight to load the rod, and need a bigger “D” loop (hence my preference for overlining my rod a bit).
It’s a great instructional video that will get you thinking when you’re on bigger water for trout or even smallmouth bass (I actually found myself using the technique while bonefishing last month!). With a spey cast, you can switch directions easier, throw more line and adapt quicker. I’m a fan, and after you get the hang of it, I bet you are, too.
— Chris Hunt