I recently bought a spey rod, not for searuns, steelhead or salmon, but for carp on fly…You see I live in South Africa and we can cast across most of our trout streams with a 3 wt (and we don’t have any searuns, steelhead or salmon). While I’ll definitely also be hurling flies into the sea with this 14 foot, 9-10 wt NRX Spey rod to catch things like kob, I actually chose this rod to ‘dip’ feeding carp with.

spey rod

I grew up dipping for carp with conventional tackle, using long, telescopic or multi-piece graphite rods to reach feeding fish with smallish lead head jigs. I simply couldn’t (and still can’t) get enough of the adrenalin rush I experienced while tip-toeing towards tailing carp and gently lowering the jig in front of their noses without spooking the fish. Hooking and landing big carp like that was an exhilarating experience and the reason why I got a spey to do the same with fly tackle.

spey rod

Fighting a catfish on the NRX Spey – photo by Greg Glazer

I read up on spey rods and decided to buy a G-Loomis NRX Spey because they use a fibre blend technology to reduce weight and increase sensitivity in the NRX blanks. The sensitivity of the rod blew me away on the 1st outing; I could feel even the small carp ‘eat’ the fly through the NRX Spey, which amplified the nibbles so that they felt like a bass chomping on a Texas rig. The 14 foot spey rod was also surprisingly light for its ‘size’.

I have since gone on many carp missions with the spey rod and if I had to take a guess it probably doubled my fish numbers on most of the trips. I’ve also caught some really good fish over 20 lb on it, and in many cases fish that were difficult to target with a standard 9 ft fly rod – like fish feeding in the holes of thick weedbeds.

The sensitivity, light weight and strength of the NRX Spey makes it the finest setup for dipping carp with small carp flies and tungsten jigs in my opinion – it beats the old spinning tackle setups hands down. Give spey carpin’ a shot, you won’t be disappointed.

PS – the NRX Spey also works well for ‘calling’ sharptooth catfish with the rod tip near structure

More on technique and flies in the next blog….

Sharptooth catfish on the spey – photo by Greg Glazer

My first Breede carp hooked and landed in a thick weedbed, thanks to the NRX Spey.

Get the Mission Fly Mag in print

Looking for something good to read?

Shop for The Mission Fly Mag print issues here or read the mag online, for free, as always.