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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, Iong time lurker, but rare poster here. Love this site, best source of information for two handed fishing that I've stumbled across so far.

I'm looking for some help and guidance in selecting a switch rod. I'm pretty set on going with one of the Echo SR packages as I'm on a bit of a budget and I've been quite happy with the three Echos I've previously bought, but I'm open to hearing other suggestions too.

So.....as I no longer live near any large anadromous fish bearing rivers (and because I have a 12'4" 8wt for the few times I do get to fish in those situations) I've decided to go the switch rod route as I want to keep 2 handed casting and my current 2 hander is a bit much for most of my current fishing. The streams near me in N.E. B.C. are small to med. in size and full of grayling and bull trout with the very occasional rainbow and pike.

The bull trout are the ones I plan to target most, they average 2-4 lbs with at least a few each season that will be in the 8-10lb+ range and grayling are a very common catch even when swinging streamers for bulls.

So, that said, what would be an ideal weight for this switch rod? I was thinking a 5wt as I often hear the 2 line weights up rule compared to an equivalent rated SH rod. I have been fishing up here mostly with a 9'6" 6wt SH for bull trout.

Also, what line would be ideal for this rod? The two most common lines I see in these packages are the Airlo Skagit Switch and the Wulff Ambush. Where do each of these lines shine in comparison to each other? I assume the Skagit Switch will turn over larger streamers and heavier tips, where does the Ambush excel?

Assuming I'm on the right track with a 5wt switch for my situation, what would be the limits for each of those two lines as far as flies that could be efficiently cast? Can the Skagit Switch be used with a floating tip for shallower water applications with smaller, lighter flies? What would be the most versatile of the two? Ease of casting is something I should have brought up as well, still on the steep novice learning curve, so perhaps that might be what best dictates the line of choice?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and long winded post, obviously I still have a LOT to learn, but I don't know anyone near me that fishes 2 handers(or even fly fishes for that matter), so I'm reliant on the advice of people on forums like this to help steer me in the right direction.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice offered,

Jesse
 

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Welcome to the board.
4/5wt switch sounds about right. I would lean with the latter as you'd mention the occasional pike.
Forget about the Wulff Ambush. In my experience more geared towards a SH setup than a switch rod. Set yourself up with both a Skagit Switch and a Scandi line for both wet and dry fly work respectively and your ready to go.
 

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Living in BC, I would go for an Amundson 1106 switch. It is a 6wt, but I think it fits your bill perfectly. Amundson is based in Vancouver, BC area, so service would great. They are $300 new, with a great warranty. And they have a smooth cast, load easily, I would compare them to a Sage VXP feel. 330gr-400gr line. This is an awesome rod! Another is if you find a Beulah classic 5/6. I have one, and it a really great rod. You can find them around for $200.

I liked my old Echo DH7130, but I didn't like the Echo SR. I had the SR 71010, and it was not a smooth casting switch. It was a bit stiff, and not very forgiving.

As far as lines, I use Orvis Hydros 3D line, 300gr Beulah Elixir (Scandi), 350gr Beulah Tonic(Skagit).

For your type of ffishing, unless your throwing a heavy sinktip, stick with a good Scandi line with polyleaders. They cast nice, softer roll outs, and are longer lines with less stripping. Beulah Elixir, Rio or Airflo Scandi short would be my recommendations.

Avio:smokin:
 

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Welcome

I spend most of m fishing days pursuing bull trout, but down here in SW BC the northern monsters are quite rare.

A few things.

I would forget the 4 weight switch all together if you are going to be hooking 10# fish on any kind of regular basis. ESPECIALLY if you are going with the echo 4 weight. I have seen that thing bent to the cork on a 3# bull.

If your average fish is in the 3-4 lb range with the odd 10 I would go with a 5 weight switch. If nothing else, for ease of tossing big streamers.

I use a sage one 4116 and it's great for the typical fish down here on the coast, and has plenty if power for the ODD larger fish I encounter. When I'm lucky enough to chase sea-run bulls I take my 6110 z-axis, which is pretty close to today's "5 weight" as far as lines it throws. And I don't feel at all over gunned, even on the little 18" anadromous bully's.

So to sum up weight recommendation is say 5. As for rods, that's definitely a personal preference, I personally am not a fan of the echo switch's, only because to me they are a tad short. Your mileage may very.

For lines I would have to say any of the short skagits, if your using tips, and if you plan to do dry line stuff, a Scandi is useful.

Jon
 

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Limitations...

You can cast 3-4" bunny flies fairly easily with a 350-400 gr skagit.

For light presentations a Scandi is much nicer to cast. But if I'm being honest, when I'm chasing bulls it's always the skagit, and typically always the same tip. I alter my cast angle to change depth/presentation. You don't need a wallet full of heads and tips to he successful.


Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Guys, thanks for the advice. Sounds like a short Skagit and short Scandi are my best line options, also sounds like the Echo SR isn't overly popular. What about the TFO Deer Creek and the Echo Classic Switch? I haven't heard anything about the Echo Classic Switch(though I loved my little 4wt Classic SH until my friend broke it), the Deer Creek seems to have a lot of people who like it.

I'll have to read up on the Amundson, don't know much about them, though I do have one of their reels on my SH 6wt. The Echo's and TFO's are just appealing in that I have seen a couple shops selling them in package deals for what seems to be a good price. Wondering if I could find the same deals here in B.C. or not?

I have thought about piecing the set up together as well, I have seen the Lamson Konic II reels online on clearance for cheap (I assume they would be superior to the Echo Ion in the packages I've been looking at?) What size Konic would be good on a 5wt switch?(assume I'm running either a compact Skagit or Scandi on it).

I'm hoping to have the entire set up in hand, delivered for under $600 CDN, $500 is even better if I can swing it. Thoughts?
 

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I'm gonna throw a fly in the ointment here and give a plus vote for the Echo SR 5.
And the Wulff Ambush line works awesome on it. Although the Rio Switch Chucker is a bit more versatile.
I've fished the 5 for bulls to 10# and never felt undergunned , either in delivering the flies or playing the fish.
I also use my switch routinely with floating line as a traditional fly rod with both nymph and dry flies.
To be fair , the Ambush is excellent for swinging and tips but virtually useless for any other application. The switch chucker is not as effective with heavy tips but gives you more versatility on the stream . I carry a spool with each whenever i go fishing. If you want one line , the chucker is the best choice.
I have also fished the skagit switch and found it performed great with tips but again too heavy for dry line applications.
Good luck in your search.
 

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Welcome to the board.
4/5wt switch sounds about right. I would lean with the latter as you'd mention the occasional pike.

Forget about the Wulff Ambush. In my experience more geared towards a SH setup than a switch rod
Wow, that's a pretty hard line stance. How do you draw this conclusion?

My thoughts as a Wulff Ambush fan:

"The streams near me in N.E. B.C. are small to med. in size and full of grayling and bull trout with the very occasional rainbow and pike."

This I can relate too.. and when fishing small water it is pretty common to be fishing short. An integrated line is much more pleasant to fish in this environment. Although you can get by fine with loops running repeatedly in and out of the guides.. it is mildly annoying.. at best. Even more problematic in icing conditions. Tip-top starts to close off and will not allow bulky junction to pass.

The Ambush is (by specification) a few feet longer but (my opinion) is still pretty much a Skagit type head with modest front taper. Guarantee a 350gr is going to turn over 8 - 10 feet of T-11 and good sized fly. Put a Poly up front (or not) for passable dryline performance.

Look into Beulah rods also.. solid performers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Can you give me a ballpark of where I might be at for both the Meiser rod (I have drooled over them before, nice looking rods) and the custom line? Of course if went that route I'd have to buy a decent reel to do justice to the rod : )

Suppose I should also keep an eye out for deals on the classifieds here as well.
 

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RIO Switch Chucker versatility

I added an 8wt TFO Deer Creek switch as a backup for an Orvis Helios 2 switch last season. I really like the more progressive loading of the TFO versus the tip loading of the Orvis. I find the TFO casts much better (I guess that means it better fits with my casting style). I use 3 lines at various times on the TFO: an AirFlo Skagit Switch; RIO Uni Spey; RIO Switch Chucker. I found the Switch Chucker to be a very versatile line and it sees 80% of my use. I can cast a 10 foot, T-14 MOW with #2 weighted streamers with no problem. Switch to a light or medium floating head or, a polyleader and I can easily fish dry flies, nymph, indi, and chuck & duck. With an integrated running line and a 25 foot head, it has a fairly long belly for a switch rod. It allows 60 foot casts with little or no stripping. With a heavy streamer, I need to strip to the color change but, with a lighter fly or nymphing set up I can leave up to 10 feet of running line out and use it like a long belly with no stripping - great when temps drop below freezing. No stripping with frozen eyes and cold hands and, no joints snagging in frozen eyes. I can lock my elbows to my rib cage and flick out 60 foot casts with just my forearms all day long. This is a great benefit in cold areas with smaller rivers. I change out to the Skagit Switch head when I need to reach out beyond 70 feet with regularity. More specialized lines are needed when pressing the edges of the envelope. The Switch Chucker is more of a jack-of-all-trades line when used within its envelope.

My wife gave me a Bob Meiser gift certificate for Christmas and I used it for an 11-7 Highlander Classic switch in 6-8 wt. While talking with Bob, I mentioned how much I liked the Deer Creek switch, which he designed for TFO. He stated I would love the Highlander Classic switch as the tapers and loading favor a similar casting style.

I thought about buying an SGS Scandit line with the new Meiser but, I'm not sure what gains would be realized over the Switch Chucker with floating tips, I need to learn more about them. The Switch Chucker provides the ability to rig up for most fly fishing techniques when used with appropriate heads. If you are throwing really heavy heads with large, heavy flies for great distance, you will need a spare spool in your pack with a skagit head (the integrated running line of the Chucker makes changing the head to a skagit a bit challenging).

As to the Lamson Konic II, sizes are:
Size 3.5 is 3.70" dia and 6.10 oz. It holds 200 yds of 20# behind a WF8
Size 4 is 3.90" dia and 6.80 oz. It holds 240 yds of 30# behind a WF10

Not a big difference in size and weight but, a big difference in backing capacity. I use 3.5 on 7wt SH and 4 on 9wt SH. Backing is like air speed and altitude to a pilot, you can never have too much.
 

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Wow, that's a pretty hard line stance. How do you draw this conclusion?

My thoughts as a Wulff Ambush fan:

"The streams near me in N.E. B.C. are small to med. in size and full of grayling and bull trout with the very occasional rainbow and pike."

This I can relate too.. and when fishing small water it is pretty common to be fishing short. An integrated line is much more pleasant to fish in this environment. Although you can get by fine with loops running repeatedly in and out of the guides.. it is mildly annoying.. at best. Even more problematic in icing conditions. Tip-top starts to close off and will not allow bulky junction to pass.

The Ambush is (by specification) a few feet longer but (my opinion) is still pretty much a Skagit type head with modest front taper. Guarantee a 350gr is going to turn over 8 - 10 feet of T-11 and good sized fly. Put a Poly up front (or not) for passable dryline performance.
Speaking from my personal experience with the Wulff Ambush... while trying to find one line for my switch rod. I was keen on getting something that would "do it all" (both SH/DH airborne and waterborne casts). Through trial and error, found that I needed different line weights (up to a 4wt variance between SH airborne vs DH Skagit style) to achieve the proper rod load/line flight. In the end I realized that in trying to do everything, it really didn't shine in doing anything outstanding. Now don't get me wrong... if I only had one choice, I'd probably go with the Ambush. Thankfully that is not the case and I ended up being happier with two dedicated lines with two dedicated tapers (ie. Skagit and Scandi).
 

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Can you give me a ballpark of where I might be at for both the Meiser rod (I have drooled over them before, nice looking rods) and the custom line? Of course if went that route I'd have to buy a decent reel to do justice to the rod : )

Suppose I should also keep an eye out for deals on the classifieds here as well.
A Meiser switch and SGS line is gonna run about $700-750 new. I just bought a Highlander Classic 13' 6/7/8 for Christmas, and they are awesome rods, that are definitely eye-candy, and cast as good as they look. With a decent reel, your gonna touch on the door of 900-1000.


Amundson Wind Warrior 1106 is around $300. Rio or Airflo Scandi - $55. Amundson TXS 9/10 Reel - $150. This would put you a little over $500 new. The Amundson 11' (3/4wt or 6wt) rods are more "baby speys", as they are better suited skagit or sustained anchor casting, rather than overhead.


The Meiser is definitely worth every penny. But if your budget is limited, an Amundson or a used Beulah, are great rods for the money.

I have a Beulah you might be interested in. Sent you a PM.
 

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Hi everyone, Iong time lurker, but rare poster here. Love this site, best source of information for two handed fishing that I've stumbled across so far.

I'm looking for some help and guidance in selecting a switch rod. I'm pretty set on going with one of the Echo SR packages as I'm on a bit of a budget and I've been quite happy with the three Echos I've previously bought, but I'm open to hearing other suggestions too.

So.....as I no longer live near any large anadromous fish bearing rivers (and because I have a 12'4" 8wt for the few times I do get to fish in those situations) I've decided to go the switch rod route as I want to keep 2 handed casting and my current 2 hander is a bit much for most of my current fishing. The streams near me in N.E. B.C. are small to med. in size and full of grayling and bull trout with the very occasional rainbow and pike.

The bull trout are the ones I plan to target most, they average 2-4 lbs with at least a few each season that will be in the 8-10lb+ range and grayling are a very common catch even when swinging streamers for bulls.

So, that said, what would be an ideal weight for this switch rod? I was thinking a 5wt as I often hear the 2 line weights up rule compared to an equivalent rated SH rod. I have been fishing up here mostly with a 9'6" 6wt SH for bull trout.

Also, what line would be ideal for this rod? The two most common lines I see in these packages are the Airlo Skagit Switch and the Wulff Ambush. Where do each of these lines shine in comparison to each other? I assume the Skagit Switch will turn over larger streamers and heavier tips, where does the Ambush excel?

Assuming I'm on the right track with a 5wt switch for my situation, what would be the limits for each of those two lines as far as flies that could be efficiently cast? Can the Skagit Switch be used with a floating tip for shallower water applications with smaller, lighter flies? What would be the most versatile of the two? Ease of casting is something I should have brought up as well, still on the steep novice learning curve, so perhaps that might be what best dictates the line of choice?

Sorry for the barrage of questions, and long winded post, obviously I still have a LOT to learn, but I don't know anyone near me that fishes 2 handers(or even fly fishes for that matter), so I'm reliant on the advice of people on forums like this to help steer me in the right direction.

Thanks in advance for any help/advice offered,

Jesse
Where the Skagit Switch shines as a driver for tips, the Ambush excels in versatility.

The Airflo Skagit Switch starts at 360 grains. It is a compacted head in only 3 lengths. So it is it is limited by design to short rods. The Ambush on the other hand is a SH line. The light-weights are short, tapered and grow in lengths with each increase in weight-class to perform as a short compacted spey line for short THers ("Switch rods") and continues on up to 30 feet for full-on spey rods. The taper remains throughout all of the weight classes.

It does as intended for single handers casting indicator rigs or swinging in tight spots. I'll admit that as a dry-line if one doen't/can't control the turn-over through line-speed and loop control it will splash down like a rock. It's clearly not a distances-shooting taper either.

An Ambush 7 WF works well on 2 single handers (7&8) that I have now and on 2 other switches (#6) that I owned in the past where it was casting MOW Light tips or 8 foot sections of t8. It is labeled 265 grains, actual weight is 290 grains, packs quite the punch so one can afford to back down one size if intended for one single rod. It does everything I can ask for from those rods when the Skagit Comp Switch 360 did not. I had to swap-out to a scandi head of that sort of thing and so when folks state the contrary it leaves me wondering what they are talking about...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just want to again thank everyone for their contributions, has given me a lot to think on and reinforced what I already knew......that I really don't know much, haha : )

Please keeps the advice/opinions coming, it's interesting hearing from all the different perspectives and fishing styles.
 

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I won't comment on everything above as I didn't read it all but don't be afraid to buy off our classified section, I picked up a burkheimer for 550 last summer. Put up a wtb ad and you will find some amazing deals, I say buy something nice or you will be posting another ad in under a year asking which higher end rod you should buy.

Oh and my first rod was an echo classic and it was terrible for me to learn on, I then bought a Scott and doubled my distance... This sport is not cheap and good gear is worth it's weight in gold!
 

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Where the Skagit Switch shines as a driver for tips, the Ambush excels in versatility.

The Airflo Skagit Switch starts at 360 grains. It is a compacted head in only 3 lengths. So it is it is limited by design to short rods. The Ambush on the other hand is a SH line. The light-weights are short, tapered and grow in lengths with each increase in weight-class to perform as a short compacted spey line for short THers ("Switch rods") and continues on up to 30 feet for full-on spey rods. The taper remains throughout all of the weight classes.

It does as intended for single handers casting indicator rigs or swinging in tight spots. I'll admit that as a dry-line if one doen't/can't control the turn-over through line-speed and loop control it will splash down like a rock. It's clearly not a distances-shooting taper either.

An Ambush 7 WF works well on 2 single handers (7&8) that I have now and on 2 other switches (#6) that I owned in the past where it was casting MOW Light tips or 8 foot sections of t8. It is labeled 265 grains, actual weight is 290 grains, packs quite the punch so one can afford to back down one size if intended for one single rod. It does everything I can ask for from those rods when the Skagit Comp Switch 360 did not. I had to swap-out to a scandi head of that sort of thing and so when folks state the contrary it leaves me wondering what they are talking about...
My introduction to the Ambush was as a "do it all" kind of line. That you have the Skagit Switch in addition to it, is the same as my experience. Only difference is that I choose to go with a dedicated Scandi line vs staying with the Ambush since casting indicators isn't really what I enjoy doing. :)
 

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Got it, Rustybee. I've only attempted to watch an indicator once, and may have gotten a handful of casts in before it was over for me. I was only going by what the line was originally intended for. That's from Mr. Sandstorm himself on the Cowlitz where he introduced me to the line swinging the side channels and sloughs where the SRC's stack in deep pools. I saw what the line can do in tight spots and it has been my go-to for streams like the Kalama for example. It's not only a swingers delight, but also for stripped retrieves to warm water fish. ;)
 

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Got it, Rustybee. I've only attempted to watch an indicator once, and may have gotten a handful of casts in before it was over for me. I was only going by what the line was originally intended for. That's from Mr. Sandstorm himself on the Cowlitz where he introduced me to the line swinging the side channels and sloughs where the SRC's stack in deep pools. I saw what the line can do in tight rivers and it has been my go-to for streams like the Kalama for example. It's not only a swingers delight, but also for stripped retrieves to warm water fish. ;)
Haha. If I wanted to watch indicators I'd still be fishing my Milner centrepins. :chuckle: In all seriousness, I'm not bashing the line so much as trying to make sure people need to understand that it's not the "magic bullet". I was recommended by a LFS with the idea that it could serve duty as an all purpose SH/Scandi/Skagit line. I agree that stripping an integrated line is a lot nicer than the alternative but not sure how well the line will work for tropical climates. Others with relevant experience could chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I won't comment on everything above as I didn't read it all but don't be afraid to buy off our classified section, I picked up a burkheimer for 550 last summer. Put up a wtb ad and you will find some amazing deals, I say buy something nice or you will be posting another ad in under a year asking which higher end rod you should buy.

Oh and my first rod was an echo classic and it was terrible for me to learn on, I then bought a Scott and doubled my distance... This sport is not cheap and good gear is worth it's weight in gold!
Well, I took that advice. No Burkheimer, but I did grab a Beulah Classic 10'6" 5/6 off Aviomech with a 300gr Tonic head and a SGS 351gr 21'4"(think that was the length) Skagit head off a different member.

Anyone have any ideas on specific reels that would balance this rod/line combo out nicely for a reasonable price, new or used?
 

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Generally - a 5/7 reel will balance well in terms of capacity holding a shooting head/running line system like you mention plus 150 yards of ordinary 20# backing with room to spare. In other words you will not have to fill it with micro-thin backing in order to fit it. Weight shouldn't be too much of a factor with 10'5" rod.

More specifically - A Hardy Zenith for example.
 
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