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I'm new to the whole switch rod thing but was wondering what would be the lightest weight steelhead rod a guy would want to use? I live in Michigan and will be fishing michigan waters only. 8-10 pound winter fish on big flies and sink tip. Could I get away with using a 6 weight switch? If I can, let me know!

Thanks!
Michael
 

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I personally would opt for a 7. Something like a TCX 7119. I have the TCX 6119 and its great for smaller fish when they don't have big water but I'm undergunned for larger fish or in higher water on bigger systems. Also, the 7 gives you a bit more versatility in terms of the size of fly and weight of tips you can throw. With that being said if you are only fishing smaller sytems than maybe you'd be ok. I'm sure a few of the Michigan guys will chime in here, but my guess is they might also advise a 7. You've got some huge fish and lots of big water so don't under class yourself IMO.

Mike
 

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MikeB beat me to the punch, I have a TCX-7119 and it feels amazing light in hand while still being pretty beefy when needed. They do come up on the classified page or you could go with the 7119 Method which has replaced the TCX.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I appreciate the input! I'll look for a 7wt. Maybe even an 8. I fish the the lower portion of the Ausable river. There is some deep holes so I will be throwing heavy sink tip and flys...I want to be able to throw all of that but since I will be mostly fishing out of a boat the length of a switch rod seems like it would be a lot nicer fishing out of the boat than my 13'6 and 14' Spey rods.
 

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I fished an Orvis Access 11' 7wt fro the last year and a half. Worked great! I have a Beulah Classic 5/6 that works great, and casts much smoother than than the Orvis. RB Meiser makes a great rod, and even has a Conversion Rod, that can change from a 11' switch to a 13'9" Spey. I have not tried one, but I'm thinking about one myself.
 

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I fish the PM and the Muskegon and have a 7110 and a 7119, either of which are just right for what I do with them. You could easily use a 6 wt if you prefer. I was considering getting one "just because":D , but if you are looking for the best all around size I would suggest that a 7 is a better choice.
 

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A 7 wt, throwing a skagit from 440-480 will do all you want and throw all the tip you need. More and more I gravitate toward my switch rods.
 

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6 weight Switch!

6 may be a little on the light side as a dedicated Steelhead rod.

A) Depends on the company that makes the 6. Not all are the same power...yet...have a 6 signed just on top of the cork.

B) Depends on the fish you are chasing?

I will routinely take our Platinum 10'4" 6 wt. Switch on the Rogue or other rivers that tend to have small-ish Summer Steelhead. It seems as if that was more than enough rod for the waters I was fishing.

This past summer I spent a little more time on the N. Umpqua and decided to take our 10'4" 6 down there for a particular three day trip. I found a lot of the currents were in the fish's favor and the fish themselves are "hotter" than most Summer fish of equal size.

I felt like the rod could handle all of the casting/distance. Muddlers and sink tip-larger spey flies...But it was really underpowered and not fair to the fish. To land the fish in a reasonable amount of time (what is good for the fish) I felt like I constantly had the rod dumped to the breaking point with the cork well bent, not to mention the rod being flexed out.

I would definitely opt for our 10'8" 7 weight Platinum Switch for future trips on that river, Deschutes, Klickitat etc. Most 7 Switch rods will still be super fun with the 4-8 pound fish and be able to handle the bigger fish you run into much better than a 6.

Somewhere else in the post I read somebody talking about 7 is a better choice and I believe that is sound advice.

Our 10'8" 7 Platinum handles

~Scandi 350...Elixir Switch Plus Poly Leaders and light to moderate sink tip
~Skagit 400...Tonic Switch Plus sink tips from 8-12' and 64-110/115 grains plus a larger fly.
~S.A. Mastery Steelhead taper in a 10 weight is an excellent nymphing/ streamer line if you like fishing that style.

So, if you find a 6 you like at whatever length and the suggested lines mirror the above...bamm! You could fish a 6 comfortably for Steelhead. Kind of the Tomato/Tomotto of what different manufactures think a 6 should be and so on through the rod weights.

Hope that helps!

Bruce Berry~
 

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The simple answer is 'yes.'

I'm new to the whole switch rod thing but was wondering what would be the lightest weight steelhead rod a guy would want to use? I live in Michigan and will be fishing michigan waters only. 8-10 pound winter fish on big flies and sink tip. Could I get away with using a 6 weight switch? If I can, let me know!

Thanks!
Michael
General rule of the thumb is a given spey rod number will equate to two sizes over that of a given one hander. Ergo a 6 spey would be an 8 single hander. But do agree with the other fellows comment that if a 10 pounder is quite common a 7wt would be more appropriate.

fae
 

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I've gotten into using switches this past year. I own a 11'6wt Cabela's TLR and cast a 350gr Ambush head on it for dryline presentations. I don't think you'd be able to huck a heavy enough skagit head and tips to cast/fish large flies with this rod.

Like Keith/Moethedog says, a 7wt switch is able to cast skagit heads in the 440-480gr range which can cast tips large flies more easily.

Todd
 

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I will routinely take our Platinum 10'4" 6 wt. Switch on the Rogue or other rivers that tend to have small-ish Summer Steelhead. It seems as if that was more than enough rod for the waters I was fishing.
This was precisely the rod I used this past October. Did the job just fine. :)
 

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I'm new to the whole switch rod thing but was wondering what would be the lightest weight steelhead rod a guy would want to use? I live in Michigan and will be fishing michigan waters only. 8-10 pound winter fish on big flies and sink tip. Could I get away with using a 6 weight switch? If I can, let me know!

Thanks!
Michael
I have your rod. Designed specifically for the Pere Marquette River. 10' 6", two piece, 9 weight (regular fly line ) bamboo switch rod. I have fished this rod since 2008. PM me for details.

Jerry
 

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Hey Michael, here in Ontario, our late fall/winter fish and bigger waters (Grand, Maitland, Saugeen) are similar in size to your big Michigan Rivers. I find a switch rod under 11' a bit too short to manage line when I have to reach out with long casts and prefer something slightly over 11'. My favourite is a Ross Reach 11'9" 7 wt. This is an extremely versatile rod that throws a 480 Skagit and tips with lots of T a mile. With it I've landed Ontario fish up to 34" and BC fish up to 37" with no problems. This rod has backbone when needed, but also has enough soul that you can still enjoy landing a more modest 4-5 lb fish.

Another favourite that I prefer in August and September transitioning from bass to aggressive early fall steelhead on dry line is a Scott ARC 11'9" 6 wt. This is such a sweet rod to cast on a 390 Airflo Rage or a Scandi in a similar grain weight ballpark. I have hooked a few very hot 30"+ early fall steelhead on this rod, and while the fish were landed, I felt very undergunned. This rod comes up used on the Spey Pages classifieds from time to time.

Larry
 
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