Spey Rod Review: Beulah 12' 4" 8 wt Platinum Spey Rod

Spey Rod Review: Beulah 12' 4" 8 wt Platinum Spey Rod
The 12' 4" 8wt Platinum retails for $575

The spey rod market has never been so ripe with Skagit rods. Nearly every manufacturer has a stick or two in their arsenal that excels at throwing short heads and big flies. Most of these rods are 13 footers designed for the big water situations we see in the media: broad, riffling runs with a half dozen fish-collecting boulders strewn about.

But if you come tour the West Coast's winter steelhead rivers, you might be surprised by how much "unconventional" water you see. In fact, (dare I say it) the majority of our winter steelhead are holding not in the easy-to-fish runs but in the tighter and deeper runs in between. And these spots rarely have easy beaches to wade--or wide open skies that allow long rods.

The rod designers at Beulah understand this, clearly. Enter the 12' 4" 8 wt Platinum, a big game two-hander that excels at fishing the tighter and deeper runs that--at this very moment--are holding big, dime bright steelhead.

The 12' 4" 8wt Platinum retails for $575

I've been fishing this rod since January. It's the stick I reach for when I'll be standing on a bouldery shore, casting big or heavy flies out from under a canopy of alders. Its shorter size allows a full rod stroke in more places, but it remains long enough to allow technical mending and swing steering for those far-side lies. Its flex profile allows it to cast well at short ranges (casting with just the tip) and at longer distances (casting with the whole rod). And it has the power reserve to turn over my heaviest tips (T-17) and, if the current is really cranking, worm weights.


I match the rod with a 580 grain Beulah Tonic Skagit head, though if I'm going to be throwing the heavy stuff, I bump up to a 600 grain Compact Skagit. I suspect the rod could handle a much heavier head without tip-wobbling, especially for short-range work.


The rod is listed as having a slightly "regressive flex," meaning the majority of the flex happens lower in the stick. My own experience with the rod is that feels more progressive than Beulah's other rods in the Platinum Series. In fact, its flex profile is one that makes timing during the cast essential; hence, I recommend the rod for intermediate and experienced spey casters, folks who have learned how to maintain load through the sweep and D-loop.

The rod has Beulah's trademark lightness and recovery. At 7 ounces, it is far lighter than most 8 wt 12 footers, and thanks to its smartly designed taper and graphite, it recovers after the forward stroke almost instantaneously, resulting in immediate transfer of power from the cast into the line. In short, you can have a poorly placed anchor or an abbreviated D-loop and--so long as you come to a crisp stop on the forward stroke--still send a fishable cast.

This rod, like the other Beulah's I've fished, is clearly designed by folks who spend a lot of time on the water catching steelhead. Give it a fish, and I think you'll be impressed.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

Huk Waypoint Collection

Huk Waypoint Collection

Huk's new Waypoint Collection fishing apparel is conservation-minded by using recycled water bottles.

Bull Trout Bastion

Bull Trout Bastion

Hilary Hutcheson fishing for bull trout in the Elk River of B.C.

RIO Slickcast Fly Lines

RIO Slickcast Fly Lines

Chris Walker, with RIO Products, talks with Editor/Publisher Ross Purnell of Fly Fisherman magazine about the new SlickCast lineup of fly lines for 2020.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp flies! Flies

The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp...

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. Beginners

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

It's a land of beautiful rivers, friendly people, and like a magnet it will draw you back. Worldwide

South Island: The Mount Everest of Trout Fishing

Barry Beck | Photography & Text - September 25, 2019

It's a land of beautiful rivers, friendly people, and like a magnet it will draw you back.

Locating fish is the first step to a successful outing. Beginners

Best Spots to Find Trout and Bass

Ross Purnell

Locating fish is the first step to a successful outing.

See More Trending Articles

More Rods

The new G.Loomis IMX-Pro Musky rod was designed to increase efficiency to reduce fatigue while fly fishing for muskies. Rods

G.Loomis IMX-Pro Musky

Jeff Simpson - September 03, 2019

The new G.Loomis IMX-Pro Musky rod was designed to increase efficiency to reduce fatigue while...

Proper rod angles while fly fishing, varying from fish size to situation. Rods

Rod Angles for Fly Fishing

Ross Purnell, Editor - May 15, 2014

Proper rod angles while fly fishing, varying from fish size to situation.

Here's a list of the best new fly rods of 2018. Rods

7 New Fly Rods for 2018

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 03, 2017

Here's a list of the best new fly rods of 2018.

Exocett SS The series hits an appetizing balance between weight and power, perhaps part of the reason the Exocett SS has become a common saltwater rod. Rods

Thomas & Thomas Exocett SS

Ross Purnell, Editor - December 12, 2017

Exocett SS The series hits an appetizing balance between weight and power, perhaps part of the...

See More Rods

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now