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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all i am new to the forum.
over the past couple years i got bit by the fly fishing bug and wanted to expand my reach into to the switch/ spey world.

I live on the Delaware River near the easton/Pburg area and currently my goto rod is a 9' 8 wt st croix that I use for everything from shad to smallmouth to striper.

if anyone else fishes this area of the D you know that there is limited backcast nearly everywhere so i spend allot of time digging flies out of the trees behind me. after doing some research i think i can benifit from doing some kind of skagit style casting to avoid my hangups and expand my reach on the water.

I plan to target mostly smallmouth bass and shad in the spring and summer months but occasionally id like to swing for some big browns and still use it for steelhead when i travel to Pulaski.

my questions are what should be my ideal length and weight to accomplish what i an looking for? I have read that these rods run heavy but with the added length how light is too light?

also what are some good features to look for? i would imagine that physical weight is an important feature since they require allot more movement on the water. but is it worth it to spend big bucks on rods like sage that claim to be the lightest/ strongest blabla?

right now i am not really worried about budget. obviously i want the best deal possible but if i truly need to spend big bucks to get quality equipment that will last, that's what i will do.

what do you think??
 

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First off, I live on the west coast but I think I can help a bit. There are lots of very nice rods out there. Find one that feels good to you (not the sales clerk!). Best to buy a rod in person and "try before you buy". Sages are fine, but you don't need the latest and greatest. And there are lots of other quality rods available for 1/2 the price. Ones I tried and liked include, Beulahs, Echos, Mystics, Hardy's, TFO, etc. Etc. There are a lot of really nice rods out there.

I'd be tempted to look for a small spey rod (aka switch). These come in lengths from 10+ feet to around 12 feet. Depending on the rod, 6-7 weight switches cast skagit lines in the neighbourhood of 300 - 500 grains +\~ (very rough guideline). With the right skagit short, these produce a smaller "D" loop so are a bit more "bush friendly".... eg. Don't need much room behind you.

Skagit and other double-hand lines are thick and take up space on your reel, so be sure to get one that is sized properly for your outfit! (Hint: most 6-7 weight single hand reels won't cut it on 6-7 double hand rods! Too small. In single hand language, get at least and 8-9 wt. or shop around for an appropriately sized spey reel.


Now, the meat of it..... As you probably guessed from above, there are not many "bad" rods made today. Check the fit and finish - etc before buying. Anyway, there are lots of very poor rod-line matches! A line that casts well on one 11' rod will not necessarily work well on an 11' rod from a different manufacturer. And there will usually be a grain weight of line that works best for YOU on YOUR rod. (Others may prefer something else, but get what feels good to you.) Confused yet?


To get maximum enjoyment from this, I highly recommend that you hire an instructor (hopefully with a few appropriate outfits for you to try), and take a few casting lessons. Skagit casting isn't that hard, but it helps to go over what I just wrote in person. Honestly, the rods are really not that heavy, and once you get used to them I think you will enjoy fishing with a DH rod. Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks cutthroat.
i have been talking to a few fly shops around the area however they all seem to push the brand they represent or whatever. I did intend on buying a large arbor reel. I bought an 7-8 reel for my 8wt SH and it is maxed out and that sometimes causes problems.

with my limited knowledge i can say i lean towards the fast tip rods a little more than others. also i think i will have better leverage picking up big bugs and streamers.

one of the reasons why i look into rods like sage and st croix is the Made in USA sticker on the box. it is not by means a requirement but if i can help it i try to help out the home team!
 

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Thanks cutthroat.
i have been talking to a few fly shops around the area however they all seem to push the brand they represent or whatever. I did intend on buying a large arbor reel. I bought an 7-8 reel for my 8wt SH and it is maxed out and that sometimes causes problems.

with my limited knowledge i can say i lean towards the fast tip rods a little more than others. also i think i will have better leverage picking up big bugs and streamers.

one of the reasons why i look into rods like sage and st croix is the Made in USA sticker on the box. it is not by means a requirement but if i can help it i try to help out the home team!
St Croix makes the Imperial switch. They are around $300 new, see used ones on here for around $150. That is the only US made rod in that price range. Everything else is in this range, is made over seas. A good American made is going to start in the $700-800 range.
 

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The advice you've gotten is great, there has to be someone around there that teaches spey casting, it gives you a chance to learn and try out his rods at the same time. Then call Bob Meiser, explain what you want to do and he'll send you a rod or two to try out. From a guy who's fish both coasts this is a process not to be rushed into unless you're rich. The carpenter saying "measure twice cut once" fits trying to buy a spey/switch rod. Remember going from bass to steelhead is going to require tradeoffs, light for steelhead and heavy for bass.
 

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lunkerripnlip,
i am just upriver from you(bushkill,pike co). i have several switch and spey rods you are welcome to try.our local 2 hander guru is andrew moy at tightlines in parsippany nj a great guy to deal with and he won't push anything on you.
my personal shad/smallmouth stick is a sage tcx 5119 switch
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Pointer2s,

I am familiar with tightlines. I actually just started working in pine brook a couple weeks ago. iv been in once so far but I want to get back hopefully this week ...weather permitting.

I stopped in last week but they were away.

what kind of flies are you tossing for smallmouth on your 5 wt? does it have enough pick up to toss bigger weighted streamers?

I saw on Tightlines website they have a few two handers that are discontinued or used. I had in mind to stay under 1500 bucks for a trout 4 wt and a spey/ switch 7 wt. but if i bought something off the bargin rack I may be able to get my 4 wt for trout and both a 5 and either 7 or 8 switch.... Hmmmm
 

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closeout deals or gently used is the way to go!
i have thrown a fair amount of 3-3.5 inch tubefllies,muddlers buggers etc with my 5 weight. its also a trout killer on the upper delaware have taken bows and browns on dries with this rod.
for steelhead up north sage zaxis 7136
tfo deer creek 11ft wt switch
 

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Discussion Starter #10
sounds good. yea I dont need to buy until spring when the shad start to run. right now i just want to get my hands on a few to play with in the meantime.

I have heard the upper D is great for browns and this year I plan to make a few trips.

are rods like sage still warranted if you are the second owner??
 

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sounds good. yea I dont need to buy until spring when the shad start to run. right now i just want to get my hands on a few to play with in the meantime.

I have heard the upper D is great for browns and this year I plan to make a few trips.

are rods like sage still warranted if you are the second owner??
The warranty covers manufacturers defects only - loose epoxy, reel seats, stuff that rarely happens, that most likely would have gone wrong on a used rod and would/should have been taken care of. Most companies will charge a repair fee for any replacement for broken sections. With Sage its 75 for butt-section and 50 for rest.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
as long as there is some kind of warranty thats all i would like. i would hate to have spent a few hundred bucks on a rod just to break a section and have to buy a whole new rod. the TFO rods have a great warranty but I have heard allot of stories saying they are prone to damage.


Pointers2,
where is the ice on the Delaware?!?!? Iv been looking for some new places to go ice fishing. just because the water is frozen over don't mean the fun stops! lol
 

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milford to shawnee iced over my neighbor was ice fishing on the river this a.m. took a couple perch home

never heard that tfo rods were prone to breakage? echo tfo good bang for your buck
some closeout buelahs on the big auction site
 

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Welcome to the insanity!

Echo has a great warranty, and they don't seem to care if you're the first, second, or tenth owner! Great rods, too!!

I'm a bit farther up the river- Sullivan County, NY- still some open water up here! However, even a Skagit with T-14 would have a tough time breaking through the ice!!!! :hihi:

-Bill
 

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main channel is open in some spots.past 2 years guys have been ice fishing the river here. fished a fair amount up near you swung up some nice bows just beneath that single lane bridge and just upstream where the creek comes in.never crowded there!
 

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I've never tried that run, pointers2! Always looked good though!

Another nice spot is where the Mongaup meets the Delaware, as well as the Mongaup itself- no stockies, all wild. Some mean fish on that river, but tough to trick into biting. And you're better off bringing climbing gear than waders!! The absolute worst for wading, if you've fished it, you know what I'm talking about!! Huge boulder pocket water, ready to snap your ankle at any chance it can get!!!!

-Bill
 

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lots of good water on the big d! had to sit out this past year to get some ne bionic parts installed.chomping at the bit to get out a salmon river run coming soon weather permitting of course. if you have to be half mountain goat to get into the mongaup its all yours! just spent a year getting repaired don't want to break anything else.come spring look for me around calicoon.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
looks like i may need to make a trip up river and do some ice investigation.

what sites are popular for rod auction. I use gunbroker occasionally... I'm guessing it is about the same concept??

it looks like Echos switch rods are 11' how short can i go before it becomes difficult to work with? from what i see most guys use between 11'6'' and 12'6''

and feel free to keep tossing in them hot spots on the D :hihi: ill be making my way up there hopefully quite often when the ice thaws out for some of them bows ad browns i hear about. :hihi:
 

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Hey pointers and Lunker, come on up!

As far as how short can you go, you can do all the same casts with a single hander. It's all about the technique and dynamics of the cast, not the length of the rod. All stem from a somewhat modified roll-cast.

And pointers, you're probably better off staying away from that river- you need to be more than half mountain goat to survive!!

Cheers,

-Bill
 
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