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Switch Rods

Switch rods  

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  1. 1. Are switch rods useful or just a gimmick?

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      33
    • Gimmick
      16


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Hasn't been much spey discussion lately (other than Speyghillie captured on film casting a girly rod) so I thought I'd throw this out there for a little debate...

Are switch rods useful or a gimmick? If you find them useful, are you mainly overhead casting or spey casting them or do you truly "switch" between the two styles when fishing them?

I have a 10'6" Beulah 5/6 switch and find I don't use it anywhere near as much as my single- and two-handed rods. The switch is fun to cast, but for utility I find I'd rather carry one single and one double with me when I fish. I also spey cast the switch (two-handed) around 99.9% of the time that I do use it since I find it a little too heavy for overhead casting.

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these rods should be called 'compromise rods' as they don't single hand or speycast as well as their dedicated counterparts. Personally I find many of the commericailly available switch sticks to long and heavy to comfortably single hand. Obviously biased but I still feel the G&L Flycraft Whistler series (10'3" #6/7)to be the best switch rod ever made. I also had a hand in the design of the new Loop switch rods though had to scrap it out with the other design team members to get the length reduced from 10'7" to 10'5". These rods are very light and cast great,look for them to hit the market sometime early this winter-sweet sticks that double hand great and are light enough to single hand all day.

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Hi Headscan,

You may have noticed i was fishing a single-handed rod in that well written article, and not a Ladies rod.

Switch rods are a bit of fun i guess, but i would rather use a 10ft single handed rod, or like in the UK a long single handed with a detachable 4in butt, this way the bottom handle can be removed if its getting in the way, and you can switch from a single-handed rod to a little double Hander.

The term Switch rod goes back over a hundred years, and was a rod for switchcasting, something between a Speycast and a rollcast, these rods where bigger than the normal Spey rod, and where the longest of all Double-handed rods.

There is a Switch rod, a trout Spey rod, an underhand rod, an overhead rod ,and even a rod with a wonky handle, a Spey rod, and a Alberta Ladies rod, :laugh: think i will just stick with a Real Double-Handed rod or Single Handed rod.

A little switch rod might be really useful for someone with an injury, or just for a bit of fun.

 

Gordon fae Hollywood.

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I think what I've found is that since I figured out the "turbo spey" with a single-hander I haven't had any need for a switch rod. I can overhead cast the single-hand rod for more delicate stuff (or when I feel like it) and single-hand spey when there's no back cast room (or when I feel like it). No real need for a compromise rod as Brian puts it.

 

Sorry Gordon, I got the pink golf clubs confused with the rod :P

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i lvoe my switch being a 11'2" 7wt loop opti (discontinued) i like it mainly for the days i dotn need the range of a spey but need too fish at a decent distance fmo time too time, i mainly use one hand to do a lot of shortrange(under 50 feet) casting, highsticking. if i start too ge tlazy i use two hands and if the need too toss streamers and big rigs a long way i use the double overhand cast too do so... looking forward too seing the new loop stick.. wil be added to teh collection forsure!

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A good friend of mine has the same switch rod as headscan. For him it is absolutely, the only way to go. Let me explain, he is paralyzed from the waist down and has braces on his lower body that allow him to walk. This of course means that he supports his 200 pounds on crutches. Over the course of the last 60 plus years, his shoulders have taken a beating and he cannot do a conventional overhead cast. Withoutr the switch rod (or spey rod style) his fishing would have to be trolling or similar. The switch rod allows him to park someplace beside a stream or sit in a boat and cast to rising trout like the rest of us. I'm thinking of picking up a switch rod so we can both fish out of the same boat.

 

Murray

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Murray, that's really cool to hear. A longer two-handed rod would probably be more awkward for your friend than a switch and possibly start to wear on his shoulders after a while as well so I can really see how it's useful for him. Do you know what kind of lines he's using on it? I'm going to try a slightly customized line on mine that a guide out in BC showed me. If it works well I'll let you know if he wants to test it out.

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Headscan, I have no idea what kind of line he's using.He bought the rod,reel and line from Courtney the first year he was out for the Fly Fishing Expo at the Max Bell a couple of years ago. He had a bit of a problem in that the reel would not hold very much backing, only about 75 yards or so. He upgraded to a bigger reel and now has lots of capacity. If you find another line that works well, let me know.

 

As it is now, the switch rod is one of the best things for him. It lets him cast to rising trout like the rest of us.

 

Murray

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Good topic, could be controversial. I find switch rods ideal for that late summer early fall time (now) when fish are more spread out as opposed to hugging the bank. I like working a true spey while fish are stacked in over wintering spots. A spey rod is a bit much for Bow river trout fishing, but its still fun. I find that overhead presentations with switches (dry fly) are not quite as accurate as a single hand rod, but acceptable when using larger flies. They have almost the same power as speys and thus help me on those windy days. They do suit me well when swinging wets while searching the water for fish. They don't spey cast as well, double spey, the various snap casts, etc. However they do switch cast, single spey, and scandi cast well(all basically the same) . I think the misconception people have with these is that they believe it is a one rod does all thing. As 'headscan' said switchrods over 10 1/2' are too long and heavy to single hand. That being said I have a Meiser 2 (10' 6") switch and don't find much advantage over my Sage SP 696 other than it's less tiring to use all day(two handed), and I can cast further without a lot of false casting. They are fun to fish with and thats all that matters.

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That being said I have a Meiser 2 (10' 6") switch and don't find much advantage over my Sage SP 696 other than it's less tiring to use all day(two handed), and I can cast further without a lot of false casting.

 

Those reasons almost take the cake right there.

 

I like my 10'6 Beulah 6/7. Great in the high water for presenting streamers across different seams and for dealing with heavy streamers in the wind.

It makes an excellent Bull Trout/ streamer rod and yet it is still a managable length for walking through the bush along a stream edge (as much as a 9-11 foot pole is manageable).

 

Do I use it for low water... not yet, I prefer a single dry for my fly fishing, and the switch isn't a good as my singlehand 5 or 3 wt for that.

<--poke--<

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Good topic, could be controversial.

 

Yeah, I figured there hasn't been enough controversy on FFC lately :lol:

 

I think the other question that kind of arises from this is how many people who find switch rods useful also own/use a full two-handed rod? Personally, I'd rather use my Decho 12'2" 5wt for fishing the Bow than a 10'6" 5/6. Sure it means that I'm limited to spey/scandi/skagit casts (hey, let's start a debate on the differences in casting styles next) and can't really overhead cast, but that's why I always carry a single-handed rod as well.

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(hey, let's start a debate on the differences in casting styles next)

 

Give 'er!

 

Yup, I'd rather fish with my Scott LS2 1206 (missed out on those 1205's.... #$%^) and carry a 4 or 5 wieght for those picky risers when the need to two hand it calls. I still find the switch useful, but if the wife ever tells me one has to go, than the switch would be it. Lets face it we really only need two or three rods to fish just about any where, so all these other rods and styles are just to keep things interesting and different.

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I think what it breaks down to is personal reference. No one rod or casting style is perfect for everyone. It would depend on what type of water you fish and what presentation for the time of year you want to achieve. I know a lot of us will carry several rods at times to cover vastly different presentations of fly fishing. Get out there and try different rods, see what suits you. Those Spey gatherings have been fun to try a variety of rods.

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This is a great topic and well thought about. I believe ,in my modest opinion, that the Switch rod has opened the door for many fly casters to enhance their experiences and abilities much more easily. This is obvious since we have seen all the major rod manufacturers jumping on the band wagon once many fly fishers began to really "DIG" using fine smaller rods able to be cast as a single or Two hander,and produce desired results immediately. Now with the advent of certain companies designing specific lines for their rods ,the results are that "other manufacturers are following suit. We wll all benefit from this output in new designs and products.

Even when fishing a 4/5 weight switch there are times ,for me , when the need to apply much more torque to the rod produces beneficial results. For some their physical issues demand a much more balanced means to use this tool, in such a case as my wife's. As with Murray's pal, it has opened a greater possibility. Here on the Coasts the new 11' Surf Rods are again answering a call for super fast action lighter rods to deliver flies greater distances with less effort for those understanding the need for proper line matches.

My personal favorite Switch rod is the 8/9 10'6" Beulah...I can be fishing Steelhead in chest deep water wading under a tree and still make the demanding cast with super fast lines and big flies, or beach fishing for Pink Salmon and needing to cast 110' in the wind, or fishing for big Trout on the Thompson,Clearwater, Mitchell,Horsefly, Campbell River or on the other hand playing with 40 lb. Chinook on the Stamp,and other such Rivers. Yet I can still enjoy the many smaller trout that happen along the way...a great tool

C

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I'm curious as what weight switches are most common the Bow? I've been looking into a 5 weight that is designed for fish up to 4 lbs, which sounds about right to me. I was also wondering if a standard 8 weight reel designed for a single hand casting line would be a good match, or, should I be looking into something bigger? Thanks.

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I'm curious as what weight switches are most common the Bow? I've been looking into a 5 weight that is designed for fish up to 4 lbs, which sounds about right to me. I was also wondering if a standard 8 weight reel designed for a single hand casting line would be a good match, or, should I be looking into something bigger? Thanks.

 

Sounds about right. I have a 5/6 Beulah switch for the Bow with an 8 wt reel. You could even go with a 4/5 and a 7 wt reel. But honestly, if you just want to be able to fish where there isn't much back cast room, just spey cast your single-handed rod. I do that with my 9'6" 7 wt Loop Opti Coast and can spey cast it as far as I need to on the Bow and it's far better for overhead casting than a switch.

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I think what it breaks down to is personal reference. No one rod or casting style is perfect for everyone. It would depend on what type of water you fish and what presentation for the time of year you want to achieve. I know a lot of us will carry several rods at times to cover vastly different presentations of fly fishing. Get out there and try different rods, see what suits you. Those Spey gatherings have been fun to try a variety of rods.

 

Doc hit it on the nose here.

 

Personally I do not own a Switch Rod myself but I do own a variaite of rods.

 

I have a 10 foot 7weight, 10 foot 6weight (these were some of the first rods I ever bought and are great little sticks for using in high water or high sticking.

 

I also have 1 9 foot 6weight and a 9 foot 7weight. I use these for my single hand stuff, the 6 weight for nyphms and dries and the 7 weight for streamers. I use these mostly out of the boat or in the dark were I can't see my anchor points.

 

Finally for the little sticks I have a 3weight 9foot for the smaller strams.

 

Now onto the big sticks.

 

I have a 6/7weight 11.6 two hander which I primarly use for nymphin and heavy sinktips.

 

I have a 6 weight 12.6 two hander which I use for the lighter nymphs and big foam patters (skids, hoppers, etc..)

 

And then I have a 7/8weight 12.6 which I am planing on using as my bull trout rod as it is currently set up with a compact head for tossing big heavy *hit in tight cramp areas.

 

so as you can see I personally own 8 rods which all have their own perpose. Could I get away with reducing the amount, sure, but I have each rod dailed into my casting style and ability which helps out in the long run as I am not fighting with the rod but fighting with the trout instead.

 

In the endding use what you want and don't let anyone tell you diffrent, but at the same time keep an open mind as someone might be onto something that could change your experince for the better when out on the river.

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I use switch rods on the coast for Salmon/Steelhead and in the Bow. They are ideal for fishing small runs or where you don't have muck room to make a D loop. I can chuck streamers with a 10th of the effort of a single hand and likely am able to cast twice as fast. The best part is the amount of control you have over the fish when you are bringing them in, I hooked into a Chinook last year in a small run and I can assure you would not have landed it with a single hand.

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Have a Gloomis Roaring River 11 foot Switch in 7 wt. that is nice. Have used it for Cutties & Salmon in the Salt, and lakers in Miniwanka. But most of the time I'll use my Meiser 2 handed Spey rods. Much smoother presentation.

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I have a Method switch but ever since I put an OPST Commando head on my 9'6" Radian I've been using that on the Bow instead.

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there has GOT to be a way that this doesn't get bumped to the top, everytime someone votes..right?

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there has GOT to be a way that this doesn't get bumped to the top, everytime someone votes..right?

Super annoying right! Do my FFC scan and always disappointed when it is the polls.

 

 

FFC's version of the rickroll.

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