It can seem like every year a million more spey products flood the market and muddy the waters. Reinventing the wheel is a great way to sell gear but ultimately the new technologies are meant to make your time on the water a little easier. Most commonly spey lines will fit into the following 3 categories:
Skagit Lines- skagit lines are like the 18 wheelers of fly lines; fat at the front for turning over heavy tips and big flies; Clunky but extremely effective; Typically head under 30 feet and commonly closer to 20 feet or less.
Scandi- This is your small sleek sports car; weight to the rear of head with a nice front taper; delivers delicacy at end of cast; long leader like length of rod or alternatively light tip or poly leader; excels with unweighted flies; ideal for skating/ grease line. Typically 20-30 foot heads.
Long Lines- short heads (under 50 ft), mid speys (under 65), long bellies (65+) are for the traditionalist in your life. Aggressive tapers are more common now with heavier front tapers and more uniform weights from front to back. Old line styles with excessively gutless forward and rear tapers are largely obsolete. Aggressive examples include Nextcast, Aero Head and BC’s own Bridge lineup.