I’ve fallen hard over the past few years for the 6-piece Spey rod.
It’s really nothing complicated. They break down to almost the size of a 9-foot single hander, so they fit inside your luggage; you don’t need to check an extra “bag” (rod tube) on a flight or find an special spot inside an already full vehicle. This comes in especially handy when you just want to squeeze in a day of fishing on a business or family trip, where paying to check a rod each way makes zero sense, as does occupying a bunch of vehicle space.
Six-piecers also break down in half, like a four-piece, which is really nice when you want to keep the rod rigged but need to downsize it to fit in the car between spots. Ferrules use to be a weak spot in rod technology; they added a lot of weight, created stiff spots and also were likely to break. Rod technology has come so far that those concerns are negligible in most all quality rods. So, for me, the six-piece has few downsides.
I am lucky enough to own a few I really like these days from Loop, Bruce & Walker and most recently a rod from R.B. Meiser — a Highlander 14′ 8 wt. (rod model: S2H14079CX-6). I find a 14′ 8-wt a great choice for an all-round rod, which is what I wanted in this 6-piece, and I’ll travel with this one back to visit friends in the Great Lakes, to BC (when we get to travel again), to chase sea-runs in Argentina and throughout the PNW.
The Meiser came with me on recent family trip that allowed one day to fish — perfect for that, as previously mentioned. The RB Meiser’s CX graphite is phenomenally light, sensitive, and quick in recovery. The Highlander series is known for a wide-grain window (tons of line choices). I have tried several so far and favor lines at the higher end of the window — which is the norm for me. For my day of winter steelheading, I fished a 600-grain Scientific Anglers intermediate scandi that I cut 15′ off the front to attach 120 grain sink tips to, but a 600-grain Skagit also suits my taste.
I recently was also able to cast a 9-wt Gaelforce 15m Extended Shooting Head (approx. 700 grains) from the Red Shed a go. For a mid-length dry line, this is a match made in heaven. And because I am a tinkerer, I’ll likely chop it for tips at some point as well, and it will likely become my go-to line for most scenarios with this rod. (For those looking for something of a similar length in a sinktip line, without the tinkering, try the Gaelforce EEMT Multi-tip.)
Will 6-piecers make 3- and 4-piecers obsolete? No, and nor should they. But if you’re in the market for something new, you might consider what a little rod tube can do for you.