It's a little more than your budget, and a little longer at 12' than you wanted, but, 'EJspey' has a very nice Scott Ls2 1206 for sale at a fair price. Looks to be in nice shape and they are great rods. I own 3 Scott 2 handers( none this model) and love all of them.
I'm tempted myself, to jump on it, but don't need 3 rods in this weight/grain window.
what type of line, how many grains do you want to throw? are you strictly swinging flies or bobber fishing some? why a "switch rod" will you be fishing single handed? almost all those in the know agree that a longer rod is much easier to learn with. rods that short can be very frustrating when learning to spey cast. just trying to save you some money and frustration.
ill be fishing a scandi line and not very big fly's. ill be using it for Atlantic salmon an big brown trout here in maritime nova scotia. i don't think ill be doing much single handed casting. im looking to get into it because when i go to newfoundland fishing atlantics the amount of casting per day is to much on the shoulder for 10 days of fishing.. i don't fish sink tips or sinking lines ever and no huge flies.
I'm going to mention rod length again so bear with me please. When thinking about starting out with longer rods especially 2 handed casting rods or switch which are capable of 2 hand Spey casts for me there are 2 reasons maybe 3 to go this route. One would be that you find limited space in some places for a long back cast needed with traditional over head / single hand casting. The Spey style casts eliminate the need for the wide open spaces behind the angler. Second would be that you may be experiencing difficulty in reaching the distances sometimes needed when salmon fishing larger rivers. A Spey rod once you become proficient at casting will make fishing at 70 - 90 feet much easier than most are capable of with single hand casting. The third point would refer to the second, when you find yourself wanting to cast to a greater distance there will be much less shoulder strain experienced because you will not be double hauling 60 to 70 feet of line while getting ready to shoot another 20 into a cast. That process alone can wear a fellow out in a day not to mention ten days.
In view of all that I just said I would be trying to sway you into considering a starting length of 13 feet which would be considered a Spey length and not a switch rod. You can still fish some fairly narrow stream channels with a 13 foot rod and when you are standing on a river or stream with a width of over 150 feet you may be happier with the additional rod and casting reach. I learned with a 13 foot 8 weight without instruction and using a 55' Mid Spey type line. It took focus and a couple years of fishing to sort out all the bugs in my casting but I am very happy that I took the long rod - long line approach. Now I use 14 and 15 foot rods more & more and find them even easier to fish with than my 13's.
This is not to say that there is no place for an 11' 6" rod, I use them for trout fishing on smaller streams and sometimes on larger waters. When you take the 11'6" to the bigger rivers you are limited in your casting range unless you put a lot of extra effort into the casting. If you are looking to be able to fish medium to wide rivers & streams with the minimum of effort the longer rods are going to be the ticket. When you have spent a lifetime casting with 8 - 9 foot fly rods a 13' rod is quite intimidating the first time you rig it up. I know because there was a first time for me. However, if you are a good roll caster you are probably already using Spey casts and just never realized it. The transition to using the long rods is easier if you keep in mind that you are essentially roll casting except that now you have a rod that was made for it.
I am biased because of my own experiences but I do know this; if you learn to cast and fish with long rods and long belly or mid belly lines you will be able to cast any rod or line. I am told that it is not as easy for those who learn with shorter rods and the ultra short shooting head lines. If you are fishing floating lines and un-weighted flies you will love a 13 foot rod. If cost becomes an issue my advice would be to hold back until you can afford a decent 13 foot rod in the 7/8 weight class rather than jump on a switch. If you are anything like the rest of us you'll end up owning half a dozen rods in as many years.
If nothing else I have provided something for you to read and maybe consider,
Do you have a line either Scandi Long or Mid belly for it? I'm thinking that since there may not be a full stocked Spey shop out there where he's at he needs the rod with correct line so he doesn't have to try to decipher the line for it.
maybe if your rod were to fit his needs you could stop by Steve G's place The Rod Works 'Meiser Rods' and Steve could fit the correct Skandoid 45' Scandi to the rod.
He isn't fishing 100 foot casts and a 45' Scandi with a 13' leader puts you out to 58 foot plus the reach of the rod....... say another 10 feet, so he's at 68' fishing distance and will be able to mend and control the head. And once able he can shoot another 20 feet into it and reach them all or close to it.
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