Switch rods: gems or gimmicks? Your opinions please.. - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Switch rods: gems or gimmicks? Your opinions please..

Coming from a neighbourhood were fly fishing is odd, spey casting is rather alien and where NOBODY ever heard of switch cast rods, it's sometimes hard to get new concepts truly clear. I never saw a switch cast rod...I'm still in the proces of understanding how to overhead cast with a normal 2 hander.. so now you guys now who you're talking to...
I've read the last two days about switch cast rods and it sounds really interesting and I have this, well, violent urge to buy two Meiser or Beulah rods this weekend but some questions I can't figure out. Please help!

1. Are these fast actions short two handers capable of longer 2 hand overhead casting compared to normal, longer two handers?
2. Or is the advantage primary the lighter weight and the possibility to use them also single handed?
3. Why would I use them single handed if I can cast longer two-handed? Precision I guess?
4. Are they capable of casting longer spey cast with shooting heads compared to normal, longer two handers? I'm sure they won't handle a long belly floating line at all compared to the normal long spey rods.

I mean...are they really making single hand and spey cast rods obsolete?? Or are they just a nice cross-over and have their own time and place, just as every type of rod has?
And if I'm right in this last quote:

5. What are typical fishing situations were these rods really shine?
6. Oh and...how 'bout Beulah and Meiser? Are the Beulah switch rods designed by Meiser? Or are the blanks the same?? Any other makes I should checq out? Any info on this also very welcome!

Bye, hope to learn from you guys...pretty sure I will in fact..

Last edited by mterhegg; 02-20-2008 at 04:27 PM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mterhegg View Post
..Or are they just I nice cross-over and have their own time and place, just as every type of rod has?
And if I'm right in this last quote:

5. What are typical fishing situations were these rods really shine?
6. Oh and...how 'bout Beulah and Meiser? Are the Beulah switch rods designed by Meiser? Or are the blanks the same?? ..
First, I'd recommend you do a search on the word "switch." There is much discussion out there that will answer your questions in detail.

Switch rods, like single and 2-handers, are just one more tool in your quiver. Think of hammers and screw drivers. Both install fasteners, both have their place.

5. Switch rods can be especially helpful in very tight quarters and on small streams.
6. The Beulah switch rods were designed with much help from Bob Meiser. Bob sells rods built on the same blanks, but he also sells switch rods on other blanks of his design which are not in the Beulah series. Some of those others have significantly different tapers. There are a growing number of manufacturers who are now building blanks that could be classed as switch rod blanks. Some of them would include, CND, Batson (Rainshadow), Sage, and Winston. I understand that TFO is about to release a switch rod lineup as well. I'm sure I missed many.

I don't feel switch rods are better than single or 2-handed rods. Nor are they the general purpose answer to all our fly angling needs. They are more about do you need to drive nails today?

Bert

Last edited by nextcast; 02-20-2008 at 11:13 PM. Reason: Can't spell!
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 04:53 PM
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I broke my switch rod on the 23rd of last month. My heart stopped when it snapped in half as I stopped my forward cast. I keep praying it gets back to me before the weekend! It is not like I don't have other rods but the Switch is perfect for small river fishing when there is no space for a back cast which is the norm for me.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-20-2008, 08:54 PM
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Make mine a switch

I bought a Beulah 5/6 switch on a whim. I came with a scandi head, and I've since also lined it with a 5/6 windcutter. I love this rod. Last month I fished the Quinny on Vancouver Island with it for Sea Run Cutts, then on the same trip I fished Lincoln park for Sea Runs, and I fish it regularly on the Flathead River here in Montana with big streamers for trout. I love it. That said, I think it also excels in two handed casts in tight quarters, it rocks out big one handed double hauls, and it is simply the best high stick, long line nymph tool I've ever used. I'll fish my 5 wt for dry flies, and I have a big two hander for Steelhead and Stuff. Right tools for the job etc etc.


My .02

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 01:07 AM
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Switch rods

With regards to the switch rod. I own two meiser's a system #2 and a system #6. The #2 is a trouter and the #6 for steelhead and silvers. Both are increadible and gorgeous. I would encourage anyone to give them a shot. On small stream tight quarter situations they beat the crap out of trying to spey cast a single handed rod.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 01:14 AM
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thats it

the ability to switch various casts as nec.,,,utilizing two-handed casts when you cannot back cast,from a rowboat they allow you to use more weight as in heavy sinking lines/tips and multiple leadwrapped stoneflys(as a for instance) that would put a tremendous strain on the wrist doing single-hand casts,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,much like my post here holding my grandaughter,i made the first part of it with one hand the second with two

Having a `fighting butt' on a rod can be helpful,now if the rod has been built/cast with that `Switch' concept of use in mind the blank will be `better' for that use than one with `just' a fighting butt built for single handing it,,,blanks come in a mindboggling aray of tapers some work better with 2 others better as singles,some can do both well because the tapers were chosen for that reason

(tapers arent all to the equasion obviously but i use that as a reference)

just fishin'
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 01:17 AM
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flatfootspey said it best!

(we were both typing,me with one hand),,`they beat the crap out of trying to two-hand a single-hander)=AMEN!

my `switch rod' is bareley a single hander at 11.3 so i am FORCED to two-hand it,it's horrible!

just fishin'
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Tnx everybody, it's becoming more clear now. I won't throw away my single handers and spey rods for a while... Just one simple question: Is a double hand overhead cast on a switch rod capable of casting further compared to a normal single hand rod using double hauling? In other words: when optimum distance is the goal, should the left hand haul line or pull rod...
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mterhegg View Post
Tnx everybody, it's becoming more clear now. I won't throw away my single handers and spey rods for a while... Just one simple question: Is a double hand overhead cast on a switch rod capable of casting further compared to a normal single hand rod using double hauling? In other words: when optimum distance is the goal, should the left hand haul line or pull rod...
i cast maybe 20ft farther with my switch rod then my single hand. i love it for single hand casting. though it does hurt my wrist a little more then my single hand rod does (i have a small hairline fracture i havent gotten fixed for the last year)...
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 07:33 PM
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From my perspective, switch rods exhibit all the disadvantages of spey rods and all the disadvantages of single hand rods wrapped up into one. I love two handed rods for the casting and "zen like solitude" but frankly they are not as fun to fight fish with as a single hander. I love single handers for both casting and fighting fish, especially dry fly hunting, and spey techniques are easily (takes practice) and effectively applied with single handers. Switch rods at least in MHO, are good at neither. I'm sure they can be fun as a variation on two themes, but frankly, I just don't get it.

Kurt
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-24-2008, 10:51 PM
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i really like mine for single hand casting. and its a 6wt so i will still get a great fight out of any steelhead i hook.

as far as double hand casting i have yet to get enough experience with that to know how i like it. but it has performed quite well the one time i used it with the extremely limited double hand casting i have under my belt. and the better i get at that the more i should like this rod.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-25-2008, 12:57 AM
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wellll(spoken like Ronald Regan)

my beliefe is the longer rod length offers more line control(with the fly down) and the length also keeps the bugs out of peoples hair on a driftboat,the Anglish have used rods of up to 12 ft for boat angling and that's my main reason for buying 11ft'rs,,to keep the `casts'(leaders) above the boat,,now others have chosen them because they angle for small fish or small water(and may prefer two-handed casting or have brush behind them),,as for distance casting=i would pick a rod of 9-9.6 in length probably an 8-10wt and practice searing double hauls ,,,angling for steel many times they move along the bottom and heavy tips,leaders,bugs are what's called for,,are we talking lifting ability/line control or distance (with a dry line),,,,,,,,,,,,i've heard the T-T 1212 or the CND Atlantis(help me here with the new version) are overhead animals with two-hands,,,,,,,,,,,,it's up to you to figure out if you want to utilise two hands or one i think the `switch rods' are great MOJO

just fishin'
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 12:52 AM
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I would agree...

...that Spey casting a Switch with two hands "beats the crap out of" Spey casting a singlehander. Let me repeat that - Speycasting a Switch with two hands BEATS THE CRAP OUT OF Spey casting a singlehander. I have found Switches to excel at closer distances where using a "standard" Spey feels awkward, and believe me, rods over 12' in length are awkward at fishing distances less than about 50'. In general, when the angling circumstances call for casting to be from 30' to 75', this is where the Switches shine. Under those parameters, the Switch can provide several of the same advantages of Spey, such as minimal backcast room, the casting of heavy tips/flies combos (Skagit mode), less physical stress from casting repeatedly at distances over 30', more versatility under circumstances of wind. Switches used in a Spey aspect will cast in tighter quarters than standard Spey gear. Also, if used in an overhead capacity, the "less physical stress" factor still applies, plus most anglers find in a crosswind that it is much easier to cross body cast with a two-handed overhead cast on a Switch, as opposed to using a singlehander under the same circumstance.
I love Switches in rivers and streams, large, medium, and small, where the banks behind and above you are canopied with trees - not enough overhead room to orchestrate standard Spey rods, not enough room behind for overhead casting singlehanders. Bring on the Switch!

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-18-2008, 02:47 AM
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Right On, Ed!

In May, 2007, I picked up my S2H126456 and S2H106 System 6 Switch rods from Bob Meiser...graciously, he took me to the "Holy Water" on the Rogue to demo these babies. I originally wanted to experience the "lighter side" of spey with these rods but overpowered them due to my experience with heavier 8-10 wt spey rods. Since backing off and treating them as "mini" speys, I cannot express the joy I have known fishing these rods. The 126456 requires delicacy but makes landing an 18" halfpounder on the American River FUN!, not a nuisance. I landed 15-20 pound fresh chums on the Harrison River in southern B.C. in October with the 10' 6" switch rod- what a blast!

These lighter spey and switch rods enlarge the window of opportunity to enjoy more of your angling. God knows, I can't stay away from rivers...I now have the tools to enjoy more of my required time on them.

As others have said, adapt to your fishing circumstances...river size, size of species present and use the appropriate tool.

Don
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-19-2008, 11:25 AM
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7 years ago I thought I would never want to spey cast or get a 2 hander! OOOPPPS - now I can't imagine steelhead fishing with anything else.

I thought switches were not for me - saw no advantages in most of the water I fish. Then a month ago fishing with Scott O he put a switch in my hands - what a blast. So now I have pulled out my old Fisher rods that range in length from 10 to 10.5 feet and am looking to convert them to switches by adding a short bottom grip!
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