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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, im pretty new here, but I was hoping to get some answers about switch rods that my local guys havent given me straight answers on.

I fish steelhead with conventional gear most often, and have a 9ft 8wt, but I like the concept of a switch rod. I tend to alternate between a bigger and smaller river. Most of the time i dont feel i need a full spey to reach the areas ive caught them consistently in the past.

That being said, is it possible to use a switch rod to overhand cast or spey cast without changing lines? Or is it more typical for someone to have a spool for overhand casting and a spool for spey casting?

I like the option of a switch rod for being able to conveniently overhand cast on smaller waters and make spey casts on the wider sections of the river.

Or would I be better off all together to invest in a shorter spey and just make roll casts on the smaller stretches?
 

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Yes, you can do both with the same line. Expect a less efficient compromise than using dedicated lines. I use predominantly Scandi and Rage systems and have no issues rotating through spey casts (air or water anchor), roll casts, overhead cast, and single hand cast. I don't use overhead too much because of back cast constraints - that is one of the main benefits of spey casting after all.

What are you looking to do on the smaller river? If you want to nymph 15 feet out then your better served with a single hander. If you want to swing flies out 40 feet on the smaller river and farther on larger rivers, you can with the same line. It is easier and more comfortable to cast the full head then say half the head because this fully loads the rod. This would suggest selecting a system that works on the smaller river because you can shoot line on the larger rivers.
 

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Hey guys, im pretty new here, but I was hoping to get some answers about switch rods that my local guys havent given me straight answers on.

I fish steelhead with conventional gear most often, and have a 9ft 8wt, but I like the concept of a switch rod. I tend to alternate between a bigger and smaller river. Most of the time i dont feel i need a full spey to reach the areas ive caught them consistently in the past.

That being said, is it possible to use a switch rod to overhand cast or spey cast without changing lines? Or is it more typical for someone to have a spool for overhand casting and a spool for spey casting?

I like the option of a switch rod for being able to conveniently overhand cast on smaller waters and make spey casts on the wider sections of the river.

Or would I be better off all together to invest in a shorter spey and just make roll casts on the smaller stretches?
Spey casting does not require a "speyline." Also, a caster does not necessarily need a heavier line for spey casting. IOW: The same Weight Forward (or Double Taper) line that works well for overhead on a particular rod can be used to spey cast. No problem. The majority of WF fly lines available today are heavier than standard anyhow.
In terms of having an extra spool/reel for the same rod - it would make switching between a full-floating line and a full-sinking line that much easier.
 

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I bought a Sage 7wt switch rod last year to fish tighter rivers during the winter. My experience is that the butt section on switch rods are significant shorter than those of my longer speys. In otherwords, I had to adapt my stroke and grip if I intended to use it as a spey rod, regardless of the line I was intending to use. this is especially true If you have larger hands. try a few models to ensure stroke comfort before worrying about, playing with or investing in different line types. It may save you from a wasted investment.
 

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Hauling with the line hand when using a single-hand rod to do spey casts simulates the use of lower-hand emphasis the same as when using a two-handed rod. But it's not required if you're not used to hauling: Switch rod also not required.
 

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R.B. Meiser, Pieroway, Loop
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I have a Meiser 11’7” Switch and was looking for a line to do both TH Overhead as well as the usual “spey” casts. I ended up with a custom cut BC Scandi from Mr Godshall. I’ve used the same line with a straight mono leader, Polyleaders and tips to T-11 and I couldn’t ask for a better line match for this particular rod.
Definitely worth the phone call!
 

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I have a Meiser 11’7” Switch and was looking for a line to do both TH Overhead as well as the usual “spey” casts. I ended up with a custom cut BC Scandi from Mr Godshall. I’ve used the same line with a straight mono leader, Polyleaders and tips to T-11 and I couldn’t ask for a better line match for this particular rod.
Definitely worth the phone call!
I have the same rod with Godshall lines in both Scandi and Skagit styles.
It's a very versatile rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, you can do both with the same line. Expect a less efficient compromise than using dedicated lines. I use predominantly Scandi and Rage systems and have no issues rotating through spey casts (air or water anchor), roll casts, overhead cast, and single hand cast. I don't use overhead too much because of back cast constraints - that is one of the main benefits of spey casting after all.

What are you looking to do on the smaller river? If you want to nymph 15 feet out then your better served with a single hander. If you want to swing flies out 40 feet on the smaller river and farther on larger rivers, you can with the same line. It is easier and more comfortable to cast the full head then say half the head because this fully loads the rod. This would suggest selecting a system that works on the smaller river because you can shoot line on the larger rivers.
I planned on nymphing with my 9ft 8wt, but would like something versatile for swinging as well. By and large i would be swimging 30-40 feet mostly on the smaller river, but often a lot further on the larger river. Which lines do you typically prefer and what advantages do you find with them?
 

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Your 30-40 foot swing really crimps most lines considering you want to cast the full head for efficiency. Your distance is normally measured from your feet so starting with 30 feet, subtract your rod (assume an 11' switchrod). You are left with 19 feet from rod tip to splash. 2nd assumption is you want to use sinking tips, so subtract your leader of about 4 feet and you are left with 15 feet for shooting head and tip. I think you are looking at short Skagit systems - the shortest may be OPST Commando system. Even then, you'll need to pull in some head for those 30 foot flicks.

If you are considering that 30' to be from your rod tip then an OPST system would work as would several other shorter Skagits. Look for trade names like Compact, Short, or Switch Skagits. These will allow you to range out a good distance on larger water.
 
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