Spey versus Switch - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Spey versus Switch

Despite the fact that I own 3 Spey rods, I am an absolute beginner to using them. And firstly, I have these questions:
1. What is the difference between a Spey rod and a Switch rod?
2. How is the casting different?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 11:28 PM
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1. Try casting the spey rods with one-hand and over-head and you'll know the diff.

2. The idea behind the switch-rod is the ability to switch between anchored cats, switch casts and over-head casts, single or double-handed with the same line taper.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-30-2013, 11:49 PM
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The reality is that there is really not much difference between a switch and a spey rod, especially for switch rods above a 6wt. You'd have to have popeye arms to cast an 11ft 8wt switch all day long overhead. I mean it's possible, and while I could cast my 12'6" 7/8 spey single handed with a light scandi head, I'm not crazy or strong enough to do that for a day of fishing.

So while the intention of the switch rod is being able to go between single handed over head casting and two handed water anchored casts, perhaps one quality often overlooked, but much more practical, is that almost any switch rod can perform fly casts of various kinds, and then be "switched" to perform admirably with a center pin reel and a float should one desire.

I've not made that "switch", but it's intriguing, especially when fishing very small water where a 30ft cast would put you 10ft into the bushes on the other side.

Nowadays, perhaps the best etymological link for the word "switch" when referring to what is essentially a short spey rod is to the word switch, meaning a short stick Other than that, in rod weights appropriate for PNW and BC steelheading, they really are simply short spey rods (which shine with scandi and skagit heads). Cast it however you like.

A buddy of mine refuses to learn spey casts and uses his 12'6" TFO single handed all day long with a 340 AFS. I keep trying to get him to learn, but he's not into it... to each their own.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 09:32 AM
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a lot of mess with these marketing terms.

Some rod makers do shortened "scandi" rods, more suitable for short heads.
I think scandi rod and switch rod are very close, almost interchangeable terms
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 09:54 AM
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The "switch" rod is essentially just a shorter two handed rod, as the majority of folks really use them primarily two handed casting. The shorter lengths just fit some situations better, and is a preference to some casters. On the flip side...some prefer longer rods. All comes down to what fits the waters you fish, and how you like to fish.

I wish the sport would just dump the "switch" designation...as it causes more confusion than anything...
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by kweetech View Post
just dump the "switch" designation...as it causes more confusion than anything...
damn marketing "experts?"

and while they're at it dump the line weight designation, and give rods a grain window. have you ever compared the grain window on a 7126 deathstar with a 7110 winston, or zaxis?

i refuse to use a switch cast, just on principle. i use a jump roll instead.

"i am brand new to the sport of switch casting" wtf?

insta-release not Insta-gram !!

Dog is my co-pilot !
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 12:59 PM
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I've always thought of my "switch" rod as a compact spey rod. A full size spey would end up a foot or two shorter after hitting all the trees in the main river I fish. Never had much desire to overhead cast it. For me it's easier to stick to spey casting with a longer rod & leave SH casting to 10" or less.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 02:46 PM
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Switch rod is called 1,5 hand rod here in Finland.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 03:04 PM
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There is no Spey rod. It is just a double hand rod.

IMO we have (classic) Spey casting and long belly line, Scandi/Underhand casting and usually shooting head system, Skagit casting with Skagit line system and overhead casting with a fly line. Everything can be done with a single hand rod as well and most of the above can be mixed.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 09:13 PM
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MUST of us who been fishing two handed rod may agree that a spey rod will be a 15 ,16 ,17 ,18 ft and up 14 ,13ft are relativetly new scandi rods .switch rods I understand will give you the option to be used as a single handed rod .many fisherman made the transition from nimph fishing to wet fly swing , but still wanted a rod that will allow them to fall back to their nimph fishing when the swing was'tn going to well .Enter the switch rod any conf fron 12/6 to 10ft and above .The cast is the same .I used a spey rod to spey cast ,meaning no shooting line ,15 ft rod 75,85 ft belly + 15ft leader=90 ,100ft swing cover a lot water at steeper angle and faster ratio
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-31-2013, 10:23 PM
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I always thought difference between Spey and switch rods is a stiffer
mid-section in the switch rods. The stiffer mid-section makes it great for float fishing if you do that so I heard. Switches are better for two hand overhead casting as well. Length is not so much important but few switches are over 12 feet.


Last edited by krumpkoolidge; 01-31-2013 at 10:26 PM. Reason: Length
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 05:55 AM
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For a DH rod I have four types of lines; Spey-, Scandi-, Skagit- and overhead casting lines which I use different casting styles but the rod stays the same.

Then short DH rods which are called Switch rods in NA and when I bought them from England in 1980s they were Trout DH rods. Switch rods can be used for all styles of casting but it is not very efficient if you use just only one line. When you cast single handed you can increase line speed using haul (haul easily doubles the line energy) so the line doesn't have to be too heavy and actually it can't unless you have wrists of a blacksmith.

So for a Switch rod you could have eight different types of lines if you want to improve its efficiency but the rod stays the same.

If you believe you need different rod for different conditions you are very good customer to rod business but it you want to improve your fishing you should be better customer to fly line manufacturers. It is cheaper as well.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Speystic View Post
Despite the fact that I own 3 Spey rods, I am an absolute beginner to using them. And firstly, I have these questions:
1. What is the difference between a Spey rod and a Switch rod?
2. How is the casting different?
And back to line
1. Length.
2. With shorter rod casting is and also feels lighter. You also loose some performance because most likely you (have to) use shorter line and also the line speed decrease because of shorter lever and it decrease the performance.

For example when it is windy a shorter rod with heavier line is easier to fish because its performance does not drop as fast as with longer rod and lighter line. In light wind a longer rod with lighter line it is easier to cast long distance wiuth same "work load".

Rods have different actions (tip, fast, middle, full, slow, progressive etc.) but they are not clearly defined and they have much less effect than the used line type or rod stiffness which has significant effect because it determines line weight.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 09:27 AM
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I assumed a switch rod, is a rod strong enough to run spey lines, and yet versitile enough to run a standard shooting line for streamers. I dont own one, but that was my impression of what they are for....a few years back I seen a guy who had what looked like a taditional spey rod...double hander, I notice the butt section of the handle was very long...i was talking to him...i said never seen a spey rod with such a long handle at the butt...he said it was his switch rod, he unscrewed the handle, and put a smaller one, a more traditional sized handle....never seen that before....i guess they make them all kinds of ways

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-01-2013, 09:56 AM
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A long time ago, before DH rods were introduced into North America, Scandinavian anglers were using the same shooting head for anchor and overhead type casts, and many of the rods were in 13-14' length......

We all are using these days a term called "grain window", but way before this term was popularized, a few rod makers were already making rods which can handle very well more then one wt. line, another word a wider grain window.
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