Spey rod vs switch rod question? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Spey rod vs switch rod question?

I am planning a trip up to Quebec in June for atlantic salmon. I have little experience casting these big rods. Is there a big advantage using a 13 foot spey rod vs a 11 foot switch rod? it would seem the shorter rod would be a little easier to handle. I am considering a 7 or 8 weight rod. Thanks
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 06:01 PM
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There are many pros and cons to both. I know absolutely nothing about fishing in Quebec, but I do know from what I've read/seen online that Atlantic Salmon anglers tend to use pretty long rods. If you are fishing big water, it would be advantageous to have a longer rod to get to fish in far away lies.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 06:57 PM
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There are many pros and cons to both. I know absolutely nothing about fishing in Quebec, but I do know from what I've read/seen online that Atlantic Salmon anglers tend to use pretty long rods. If you are fishing big water, it would be advantageous to have a longer rod to get to fish in far away lies.
^^^
Yes, this is correct - depends on the waters you plan on fishing at.

If you have large waters with no obstructions behind/side then a 13'-15' spey rod would be proper.

However if you have obstructed fishing conditions or medium / small sized rivers then a switch rod may find it's place.

8 wt is pretty hefty - I use my 8 wt 13'6" spey rod for winter steelhead, springer and coho salmon. It's also my surf rod which I fish the beaches as I need to get my fly out past 100'...

My go to rod is an all around 7 wt 11' 6" switch rod which is an all around rod for summer steelhead, pink salmon, and brown trout. I also use the switch rod for bay fishing casting 50-100'...

The biggest question is - have you spey cast before or are you planning taking some lessons ?
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 01-23-2018, 08:44 PM
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The 13 ft spey will be easier to learn to cast than a short switch rod. With the shorter switch rod everything has to be on the money to make a cast go well, with the 13 spey you will find you can be a be off in your set up and still get a lot of line out there.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 12:09 PM
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Are you fishing the gaspe rivers? The most popular set up for atlantic salmon is switch rods, typically 6 or 7 wt, 11-12ft. I only fish a 7113 switch rod and a 8wt single hand for atlantic salmon in all regions.(Miramichi, Gaspe , NS)
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 01:05 PM
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not sure in Quebec but I fished first time for Atlantics last year on Newfoundland and carried two single handers and a switch and the switch never came out of the case - it was fun to get back to my single handers again!! Water here was not particularly big

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 01:36 PM
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What river will you be on and early June or late June?
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 03:55 PM
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There are no real advantages or disadvantages in choosing either rod design. Obstruction behind you, depth of wadding, desired casting distance and size of fly makes no difference, both rods are equal. The only difference is the type of fly line need to get max performance out of the rod. A person that knows how to cast a fly line can pick up a 9' to 15' rod and with the right fly line achieve the same distance using the same fly. There are advantages in casting with both hands and I also believe there are advantages to fishing a longer rod, but only after the presentation has been made. The longer the rod, the longer the belly of the fly line can be. The longer belly equates to less stripping to retrieve the head for the next cast. I fish an 80' fly line. Most of the time I do not have to strip in any running line, 90+ feet at the most 4 to 5 strips. With a shorter belly line needed for max performance on the shorter rods 10' to 11.5' you end up stripping in 40 to 50 feet of running line for the same distance. A commando head on a 9' rod even more stripping. I also like the longer rod to control the line on the water. I am not sure why the fly fishing community has tried so disparately to segregate fly rods by length. Maybe it is to get you to buy more gear. A fly rod is a fly rod. If you want the advantages that come with fishing two handed, buy a fly rod with two handles and learn how to cast two handed. I prefer fishing 13+ two handers, but there are many who prefer fishing the shorter rods. Some will contend their way is best, but there is no way to prove it. I would recommend a 13+ foot 7 weight only because of the joy I feel when fishing said rod. That is not to say you might find joy in fishing a shorter rod. Because of the modern-day terminology it is easy to get confused. The fly fishing industry depends on this confusing to sell more product. You maybe lead to believe you need multiple rods, reels, and fly lines to swing flies for salmon and steelhead. I fish a 13'3" #7 most of the time, from BC and Ireland to the Columbia Tributaries. It gets the job done. I do however own 20+ two handed rods and enjoy fishing my own cane creations. Only because I find joy in casting the fly. Good luck with your quest, just make sure the rod you choose is matched with the proper fly line.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 04:07 PM
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There are no real advantages or disadvantages in choosing either rod design. Obstruction behind you, depth of wadding, desired casting distance and size of fly makes no difference, both rods are equal. The only difference is the type of fly line need to get max performance out of the rod. A person that knows how to cast a fly line can pick up a 9' to 15' rod and with the right fly line achieve the same distance using the same fly. There are advantages in casting with both hands and I also believe there are advantages to fishing a longer rod, but only after the presentation has been made. The longer the rod, the longer the belly of the fly line can be. The longer belly equates to less stripping to retrieve the head for the next cast. I fish an 80' fly line. Most of the time I do not have to strip in any running line, 90+ feet at the most 4 to 5 strips. With a shorter belly line needed for max performance on the shorter rods 10' to 11.5' you end up stripping in 40 to 50 feet of running line for the same distance. A commando head on a 9' rod even more stripping. I also like the longer rod to control the line on the water. I am not sure why the fly fishing community has tried so disparately to segregate fly rods by length. Maybe it is to get you to buy more gear. A fly rod is a fly rod. If you want the advantages that come with fishing two handed, buy a fly rod with two handles and learn how to cast two handed. I prefer fishing 13+ two handers, but there are many who prefer fishing the shorter rods. Some will contend their way is best, but there is no way to prove it. I would recommend a 13+ foot 7 weight only because of the joy I feel when fishing said rod. That is not to say you might find joy in fishing a shorter rod. Because of the modern-day terminology it is easy to get confused. The fly fishing industry depends on this confusing to sell more product. You maybe lead to believe you need multiple rods, reels, and fly lines to swing flies for salmon and steelhead. I fish a 13'3" #7 most of the time, from BC and Ireland to the Columbia Tributaries. It gets the job done. I do however own 20+ two handed rods and enjoy fishing my own cane creations. Only because I find joy in casting the fly. Good luck with your quest, just make sure the rod you choose is matched with the proper fly line.
In the rivers I fish, there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both rods.

For starters...

Switch rod advantage: casting a 5" leech on Commando and T17 in a run that's 40' wide and 8-10' deep.

Spey rod advantage: casting a 5" leech on Commando and T17 in a run that's 150' wide and 2-6' deep.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BJay View Post
The 13 ft spey will be easier to learn to cast than a short switch rod. With the shorter switch rod everything has to be on the money to make a cast go well, with the 13 spey you will find you can be a be off in your set up and still get a lot of line out there.
Bjay
I’ve been wondering about this - is this still the case given the new generation of ultra short heads?

I thought the ‘shorter rods are harder to learn on’ thing was more a matter of the ratio of rod length to head length than it was about the rod length itself.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 04:29 PM
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I'll ask you a question here, do you know the difference between say an 11ft 6 ins Sage switch rod and perhaps a Guideline 13ft LPXe?,go on have a right good think about it!.



Answer: 1ft 6ins.
That relates roughly to sod all difference in real fishing terms.It'd have to be very very close quarters indeed before I could cast effectively with my 11ft 6 Sage over my 13ft Guideline and the amount of line I could lift over and above my 11ft 6 Sage with my 13ft Guideline is negligible.
In the case of my two rods, they're both 8 weights and there isn't a great deal of difference between them at all(they'll both cast the same lines flaming miles!) bearing in mind what all the marketing blurb would have you believe.
Why buy a switch rod in the 1st place then?,well just maybe you want to use lighter lines for your intended quarry, you may well wish to effectively Spey cast as opposed to overheading.Again,speaking through experience you may well not believe the ad. blurb in switching casting techniques as you fish, from Spey and Double handed overhead casting from the same rod to single handed casting overhead, sorry but thats just bollocks,once you get over 7 weights single handed casting with switch rods gets increasingly hard to do!.
I've a veritable shop full of rods for migratory fish, loads of double handers from 12ft 6 7 weight up to 18ft 12 weight,I've two Switch rods of 11ft 3 6 weight and 11ft 6 8 weight.I use the switch rods purely for light line applications in Salmon fishing where I still need to Spey cast and cover the water effectively, where perhaps its low water and I need delicate presentation with tiny tiny flee's and fine leader material to match,I get far greater water coverage than with my favourite 10ft 7 weight Sage! and its a lot lot easier Spey casting!.
Don't get drawn in by it all, a switch rod is just a shorter Double hander thats all, nothing else, ignore the label on the bag.
Yorkie.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 04:43 PM
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In the rivers I fish, there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to both rods.

For starters...

Switch rod advantage: casting a 5" leech on Commando and T17 in a run that's 40' wide and 8-10' deep.

Spey rod advantage: casting a 5" leech on Commando and T17 in a run that's 150' wide and 2-6' deep.
Not sure what you are saying, fishing T17 in 2 feet of water makes no scene to me. Nor does casting 150 feet. I fish a number of runs that only require a 40 to 60 foot casts. I change the line to match the conditions. If I am fishing smaller water, I switch to shorter fly line. Three feet of rod makes little different in presentation. The advantages come after the fly has hit the water. The Switch rod came about for the advantage of being able to switch from single handed to double handed. I see no advantage in that. Nor do I see an advantage to fishing a switch rod over a single handed rod on small streams, not with the advancements in fly lines. You have singled out a single form of fishing, I would never chose to fish a 5 inch leach and T17. I do have a line system to do so if needed, but it is only used as a last resort. Nor would I recommend your system to someone looking into buying a rod to swing flies. To teach, I start in the middle. The extremes at either end come later. I do see the advantage you are promoting, stripping 120 feet of running line would be a pain. I fish a 12'#5 on a small stream near my home. I do not see any advantage over fishing it compared to a 9'#5. There is however a joy attached to fishing the long rod in comparison.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 05:55 PM
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Not sure what you are saying, fishing T17 in 2 feet of water makes no scene to me. Nor does casting 150 feet. I fish a number of runs that only require a 40 to 60 foot casts. I change the line to match the conditions. If I am fishing smaller water, I switch to shorter fly line. Three feet of rod makes little different in presentation. The advantages come after the fly has hit the water. The Switch rod came about for the advantage of being able to switch from single handed to double handed. I see no advantage in that. Nor do I see an advantage to fishing a switch rod over a single handed rod on small streams, not with the advancements in fly lines. You have singled out a single form of fishing, I would never chose to fish a 5 inch leach and T17. I do have a line system to do so if needed, but it is only used as a last resort. Nor would I recommend your system to someone looking into buying a rod to swing flies. To teach, I start in the middle. The extremes at either end come later. I do see the advantage you are promoting, stripping 120 feet of running line would be a pain. I fish a 12'#5 on a small stream near my home. I do not see any advantage over fishing it compared to a 9'#5. There is however a joy attached to fishing the long rod in comparison.
I am saying that I believe there is more to choosing a rod than simply what line one will be using. If that were the case, we'd all buy a line first then a rod. I get that you are anti-switch rod, and I happen to be pro-switch rod. Maybe that's just my opinion. Tight lines.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 10:04 AM
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I always get weird looks from the SH anglers who see me with a switch rod on trout waters...
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 10:35 AM
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A view from across the Pond! IF, from what I have picked up from seasoned Laurentien fishermen, you want a rod for all purposes go for an 8 weight 13'-14' set up. Here in Scotland we tend to fish those rods for every type of fly except in the coldest weather when using big heavy tube flies; then we switch to 10/11 weight outfits, usually with a 15' or longer rod.

Further, as already stated in this thread, the longer rods are easier to learn your casting and line control. Switch rods I would only use in the lowest water conditions in the high summer...they are - in my opinion - not much use for Atlantics except on very small rivers.

The main thing is to enjoy your trip and to catch a few salmon. You will find the whole experience more rewarding by going first to a good instructor who has a variety of set-ups for you to try and to learn the basics of casting. Do this before spending out on your own first rod etc.

Best luck.
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