Trout Spey - Part Two

Sean Visintainer - 03/27/17

Trout Spey Fly Fishing

Line Overview

Ask twenty spey guys what is the best line and you will get 36 answers. This is not a video to tell you what is the best spey line for every condition. There is no one line that does everything perfectly, does not, and will not exist. Physically impossible, but what is possible is to have lines that cater to certain situations and preferences. Lines that are meant for swinging, indicator fishing, and yes... some that do a little of both. Asking a line to do both swing and nymph is a lot.

There are two different groups of lines for Trout Speys, those two groups can be broken down further and fine tuned for preferences after that. The two styles of lines are 1: Shooting Heads 2: Integrated / Switch Lines. Let's discuss a little of each.

What is Trout Spey?

Shooting Heads

  • Comprised of Three Parts. 1: Running Line, 2: Heads, 3: Tips. The running line can be either monofilament, or extruded line (regular fly line). Mono shoots the fastest. Extruded is easier to feel. There are two types of heads. Skagit and Scandi.
  • Skagit - There are numerous skagits on the market now for trout speys. They are simply scaled down skagit heads in grain weights / lengths appropriate for shorter / lighter rods. These are ideal for sink-tips and streamers. Yes, polyleaders can be used in some cases, although we find salmon/steelhead polyleaders to work best for anchoring and turnover.

  • Scandi - Longer and finer than skagit heads. Scandi styles of heads are more suited for soft hackles and light duty streamer fishing. Typically fished with polyleader added to the end of the head. Lightweight scandi's are shorter in length than there steelhead counterparts, although a true "trout scandi" is not to the market yet.

Integrated Lines / Switch Lines

  • Integrated, or switch lines, are for lack of better description a big ass weight forward line. The running line and head are all one seamless piece. The rear tapers tend to be a little longer so they mend easier. While these can work great for most swinging conditions, they really do shine as indicator lines. There are integrated lines that mimic the multi-piece shooting heads like scandi or skagit setups mentioned above, the downside is they are not as customizable.

  • Check out the brief Trout Spey Line Overview video we put together and let us know if you have any questions rigging your Trout Spey rods!


  • In this video I am using the following equipment. It is my go-to rig for the Spokane and many rivers around the region.

  • Sage ONE Trout Spey 3110-4
  • Hardy Marquis 7 Fly Reel
  • OPST Command Head 225 gr
  • OPST Lazar Line 35 lb
  • OPST Command Tip Run 96 gr
  • Rio Powerflex PLUS 1x Tippet
  • Zirdle Bug Black and Brown (Custom Tied Silver Bow)