To Clear up a bit of confusion,Spey Rod lengths begin at 11' and continue all the way up to an astounding 18'. Most modern rods start at 11'6" and continue to approximately 15'. It seems that this range covers most situations for casters . Todays excellent rod blank materials develope awesome performance, is light in hand ,and can be well matched with a variety of new Spey lines found within this technical world.
To better understand this chapter you need to grasp that there are 3 basic Spey Rod Groupings. All of these rod types can crossover somewhat acceptably to other casting styles but are best suited for their designed purpose.
In North America, often times when you try to understand the Spey Fishing trends related to geographic areas it reminds me of the weather patterns, some merging into others; Thunder storms in some areas with sun in others. So,lets say that the Thunder Storms are related to West Coast...big.loud and at times obnoxiously large, fast, loud waters with equally big, loud and smashing fish! On the otherhand lets relate the East Coast to a more suptle,quieter slow moving River with large fish laying in deep tea coloured pools being teased by the many insects that inhabit that area! What this really means is "different Strokes for different regions" somewhat! So the needs of One area can overlap into the other but not be necessarily the "Ticket" to success.
Skagit or Modern techniques
Lets break this down...since we are located on the West Coast we will start with the needs of much of this region of North America...Huge forests,deep Canyons, large Rivers, big fish,few insects,and plenty of decaying fish carcases providing nutrients into these systems during High Water events. What this created was a need for 'Shorter" Spey Rods that had the ability to deliver very heavy flies with relative ease into the elements in order to have a chance at hooking into Mostly Steelhead and Chinook Salmon. Thus the Skagit style of Spey Casting and all that comes with it! This style of Spey Casting has revolutionized all fly fishing as we know it, across the board.
The need for a delicate presentation in most cases here on the West Coast is not a reality. The need to get down to the fish is the key factor followed by natural drift and then presentation.These same needs are present across the Planet but only at certain times, such as when fly fishing for "Black Salmon" or drop backs from over wintered Atlantic Salmon when water conditions are highish and somewhat coloured.