August 26, 2023
One of the most important tackle trends of the past decade has been Spey rods sized right for trout. Steelheaders just can’t get that swinging lifestyle out of their blood, streamer junkies want to throw their big juicy steamers with greater ease, and new fly fishers are discovering how effective it can be to swing small soft-hackles during a hatch.
The R.L. Winston Rod Company was one of the first to fully adopt this idea of Spey casting in trout streams, by developing the Boron III TH-Microspey in 2014. Much has happened in those subsequent years, most notably Winston’s AIR 2 rods technology with a new resin and a new blend of boron and graphite materials that was lighter and loaded smoothly, yet recovered quickly with higher line speeds.
Of course it made sense to bring this tech into the Spey world with a the new Microspey AIR 2. The rods come as 2-, 3-, or 4-weights in lengths of 10'9", 11', and 11'3", respectively. The new materials provide for smoother transitions during the loading process, and greater feedback during the cast, the swing, and the pickup. But it’s not just the blank that makes it work better. Working with Spey expert Brian Silvey, Winston has redesigned the handle, with a thinner-diameter foregrip so you can hold your hand in different fishing positions, feel rod vibrations better during the swing, and more easily pinch thin-diameter running lines against the handle. The bottom grip is longer and slimmer than on full-size Spey rods, providing more of a lightweight feel, and infinite ways to grip and control Spey casts.
For the 2-weight, Silvey recommends a 210-grain Skagit or a 180-grain Scandi line with a sinking-tip or poly leader in the 80-grain range. The 3-weight takes a 240-grain Skagit or a 210-grain Scandi and 10' of T-10 for a sinking tip. For bigger flies and bigger rivers, the 4-weight matches up with 300-grain Skagit or 275 Scandi lines and 12-foot tip choices.
$1,295 | winstonrods.com