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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-26-2014, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Switch Rods Help

I am slightly confused. Right now I use a regular spey rod, and often I pack along my single hander(in certain situations) in case I see some water that would suit that style. For instance I will swing for aggressive fresh chums, then if I see a slow water area, I may cast and strip for coho.

Does using a switch rod allow this with the same setup? I don't quite understand the line setup. When you overhand cast a switch, are you casting basically a skagit or scandi head, or are you simply using a regular fly line, just lined a little heavier to facilitate a half ass spey cast?

Who here is using one and what for? Don't be shy speydicators ( : I feel like the best use would be indicator nymph fishing and fishing larger flies with a lot of brush around in the back cast.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 01:49 AM
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I have a few switch rods and love 'em. They are basically a short spey rod so I primarily use short skagit heads (Skagit Switch) and compact scandi. When I decide to go overhead I use a switch line or a steelhead tapered fly line. You are right that they are heavier than the same numbered SH rod, but I never use them to spey cast with. The switch lines just don't work like a skagit or scandi head do.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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So you bring a spool with different line on it? One skagit one switch?

I guess I don't quite get the point, but for some reason I still want one..
Seems like most people I see just put a skagit head on them and never overhand cast. Wouldn't it be better to just go full spey?

And I am assuming a 6-7 switch is equivalent to say a 8 single hander in terms of size and power?
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 12:35 PM
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I use different heads on my switch rods. For instance on my 8110 Z-Axis I will use a #9 Rio Scandi short for most of my swinging. When I want to over head with it for coho I use a #7 Rio Scandi short. It only takes a couple minutes at most to switch with the loop to loop.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-27-2014, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bluemoon View Post
I use different heads on my switch rods. For instance on my 8110 Z-Axis I will use a #9 Rio Scandi short for most of my swinging. When I want to over head with it for coho I use a #7 Rio Scandi short. It only takes a couple minutes at most to switch with the loop to loop.
Okay I think what was confusing to me was thought of overhand casting a shooting head and stripping with running line ect. Still sounds a bit awkward. I will have to try one out and see how it goes.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-28-2014, 04:45 PM
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It is all very confusing. Personally I use switch rods purely as baby Spey rods. I use a sage TCX 8 wt which is 11'9" and a little heavy for me to cast single handed for any length of time. I occasionally over head with 2 hands but don't particularly like it.
For over head casting I have used a 9 wt airflo 40'+ which is an integrated shooting head rated on a normal AFTM scale. This works very well. I have also used the Rio switch 7/8 which is also ok but does not load the rod well for Spey casting.
I have not used a normal full fly line on this rod but to Spey cast you go up 2 to 3 lines so on my 8 wt I would use a 10 or 11wt line. To over head cast one line up seems ok.
Over all if I need to cast and strip in slower water I still Spey cast and it does me. If I had to overcast the airflo is perfect
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 10:35 AM
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I've always looked at switch rods as a compromise. But they do have their uses. I have a Meiser System 6 (10' 6") switch rod (I think in terms of line weights it's like a 7 wt spey rod) with which I use a SGS Skandit head for spey casts and swinging for anadromous species on smaller rivers. I have also used it (a) wading for bonefish, overhead casting and stripping with a 9 or 10 wt integrated bonefish taper, and (b) overhead casting and stripping a 325 gr. integrated sink tip line fishing for stripers. I have a Meiser 909 7/8 switch that I use for overhead casting and stripping an integrated 12 wt line for GT's and milkfish because it's much easier on my shoulder than a SH 9' 12 wt. rod. Also, I use a 4 wt TFO switch and a SGS Skandit head line for Spey casts and swinging for smallmouth bass and for trout on big rivers, mainly because I enjoy standing in the river making loops employing spey casts. If there is room to cast and stripping is involved, for me a SH rod is usually a better tool.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 12:11 PM
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I utilize short double hand rods quite often on smaller to mid sized moving water. Primarily speycasting and single hand overhead.

A few rods are physically much lighter than others which is a nice feature with any amount of single hand overhead casts. I only use these in certain situations. Often while fishing from the banks of muddy / silted areas, makes for a much stealthier tact. The single hand overhead is more accurate than a spey cast (for me) and can provide tighter / better presentation to cover with less risk of hanging the fly.

I prefer an integrated head. When starting short fresh pools often, and cold conditions with guide icing, it is an advantage. The sink tips I use are 10 grains per foot and almost always 8' - 10' in length. 6/7 and 7/8 Beulah Elixirs turn these over fine, over or underhand. It's a feel for the cast and workable technique.. no need to change heads / terminals at every corner. No HUGE flies but not what I'd call small either. A lot of #4 - 1/0 sculpin ties.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 01:30 PM
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I am also new to switch rods.

Picked up a used Orvis Helios 11' 7 wt. switch and have it paired right now with a WF8F steelhead tapered line. Hopefully it works...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-29-2014, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CastAndStep View Post
Okay I think what was confusing to me was thought of overhand casting a shooting head and stripping with running line ect. Still sounds a bit awkward. I will have to try one out and see how it goes.
I use a similar technique, shooting head with a series of tips for swinging different depths/currents. Its not ideal(I don't do it often enough to explore other ideas) but If I switch to a dead drift or high stick nymph, I take the tip off completely and run a looped stiff mono section between the head and the rest of the leader. It casts/turns over quite well. The less then ideal part is taking up the drifted "fed" running line to get the shooting head back near the rod tip for each cast...
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 03-30-2014, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like they have their uses, but don't really replace a good single hander for a lot of things. The benefit I see is less length in your head/tip/leader for smaller rivers when your full spey is just too much. I guess the question would be what size rod would compliment an 8 weight spey? I would think a 6/7 switch would be the ticket.

Seems to me for what I like to do, I will still end up bringing a single hander along. I'm not a huge fan of changing out tips and whatnot for every corner of the river. Not too much hassle to strap one to the pack.
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