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Thread: Switch Rods

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    Default Switch Rods

    Are any of you guys using the 10-11 foot switch rods for bows on the Kenai? I have no experience with these rods, but the theory behind them seems like a good deal. Kinda combines Spey casting and overhead casting with a moderately long rod. Should make mending more efficient and easier. Any input is appreciated.

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    Not on the Kenai, but lots of experience with them, including fishing with the originators and their rods. In a nutshell, they're "neither fish nor fowl" while being a fair compromise. The best lines for overhead casting (Skagit style) are ROTTEN for mending, compared to true spey lines. If you want the most latitude for mending you just about have to go with spey lines and true spey rods will be better. For overhead casting, spey lines are ROTTEN, and the Skagits shine.

    I'm not saying the switch rods aren't good, but to get the most benefit you definitely will want both a true spey line and a Skagit with it's short head set up for distance casting. You can launch a Skagit a country mile, but it's not a mending line. And spey casting with a "short" switch rod isn't going to be quite as effective as a true spey rod, but you gain lots on convenience. I really don't like fighting fish on spey rods, so bonus points to the switch.

    Nutshell? I figure it would be an ideal setup on big water like the Kenai, provided you arrived with both a traditional spey line and a Skagit style line. And provided you're willing to switch back and forth between them as conditions warrant. That's where the "switch" in the name comes from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    Nutshell? I figure it would be an ideal setup on big water like the Kenai, provided you arrived with both a traditional spey line and a Skagit style line. And provided you're willing to switch back and forth between them as conditions warrant. That's where the "switch" in the name comes from.
    Interesting as I thought Meiser coined the term Switch to describe how the caster can change from two hand spey to traditional single overhead casting as conditons warrant.

    I have a couple Beulah Switchers and find myself using them more and more. They have the ability to mend line easier, but the real benefit is when backcast room is limited and in reducing arm and shoulder fatigue. I know I can't cast a 12 weight single all day!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    Interesting as I thought Meiser coined the term Switch to describe how the caster can change from two hand spey to traditional single overhead casting as conditons warrant.

    I have a couple Beulah Switchers and find myself using them more and more. They have the ability to mend line easier, but the real benefit is when backcast room is limited and in reducing arm and shoulder fatigue. I know I can't cast a 12 weight single all day!

    If you dont break them over your gods nose or he falls on them


    Ask Drifter016 about that
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    I was being tongue in cheek, and I said the same to Maiser when I fished with him. He didn't object. Fish with him and his buddy (the name escapes me) and you'll see some long casting with lines he makes himself, but they're more like Skagit lines than true spey lines. When serious mending is to be done, he switches to traditional spey lines, too.

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    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    I was being tongue in cheek, and I said the same to Maiser when I fished with him. He didn't object. Fish with him and his buddy (the name escapes me) and you'll see some long casting with lines he makes himself, but they're more like Skagit lines than true spey lines. When serious mending is to be done, he switches to traditional spey lines, too.
    What a treat to flog the water with Meiser. He not only is a great guy, but also an incredible rod designer. The differences are noticable once you've cast one of his rods even compared to the high end rodbuilders. Though I don't own one, I keep reminding Santa!

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    Yeah. He was staying with a buddy of mine, and laid two rods on him as a Thanks. Well, shoot. I had a spare bedroom, too! Two bad his idea has basically been ripped off by every Tom, Dick and Harry. Good guys finish last, I know, but too bad he hasn't made more off the idea and the fame.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    If you dont break them over your gods nose or he falls on them


    Ask Drifter016 about that
    I meant dogs nose sorry guys
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Serves him right for being a centerpinner

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    they are fun, scandi lines are nice
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member Cody77's Avatar
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    Default Switch rods are awesome

    I have fishe da 6/7 Beulah switch on the Kenai and it kicks ass. I enjoy them. I have also fished my 8 wt RL Winston on the Middle when making bigger casts. No issues here. I feel well enough to make pretty decent casts with the switch withotu a problem and rarely ever use it as a single hander. If you're looking at buying one I'd say do it. I'm about to purchase the beulah 4/5 switch for trout.

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    Default Which Reel?

    Do you need to use a larger reel with these longer rods? I would think yes especially if your running Skagit or Scandi lines. I was considering a 11 foot 6 wt rod. Any experiences with casting a rod this long overhead compared to 9 foot rod?

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    Rigby,

    I have a 10'8" 5 wt and love it for lakes in the valley on my single cat. I am in the market for a 11'6wt and so far Sage Z Axsis (sp) is the best in hand. Casts very nice overhand and is a dream to mend or re-position while beading from a boat or beach. It also can handle large Bristol Bay trout.

    George

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    George,

    Thanks for the input sir. The 11' 6wt Z-Axis is the rod I been looking at also. What line were you considering running with that rod?

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    Rigby,
    I haven't given much thought to that as I have not seen the switch rod to do much distance spey casting but that may have been the line.

    Have a little time with them mostly beading from a boat. I am looking for the 11' 6wt for a larger rod in the valley should I decide do some Anchor River Steel. My schedule keeps me south of hear all summer.

    I have been hearing good stuff on the Beluhla (sp) in the switch rod confirguration.

    On Sat nights there is a group of guys casting at the indoor arena in Anchorage and Mark Huber (casting instructor) is a Scott rep and might have something for you to cast. He is on the board of Alaska Fed. Flyfishers. They meet the first Monday of the month and I will be doing a presentation on fishing big rivers of Bristol Bay in Feb. so stop buy and say Hi.


    George

  16. #16

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    Hey Rigby,

    Take George up on the invite. The very best way to be introduced into a new rod or style of casting is by someone who knows what they're doing (and how to teach)------ far, far, far from the water and those distracting fish. If things go well there will be a range of rod sizes there for you to try, and that too is the best way to decide what's best for you and familiar fishing conditions.

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    Member Skookumchuck's Avatar
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    My favorite rod is a home-made 10 ft. Dan Craft FT built switch. I love it. 10" fore and 4" rear grips with fuji silicon carbide single foot guides. The 10 ft length is great for double hauling, and the blank has some serious backbone, which is perfect for a switch rod.

    Lining is a bit tricky with switch rods. a good overhead line usually isn't great for spey casting and vice-versa. The best comprimise I've found is to use a regular single-hand steelhead taper matched with a long poly-tip or a length of T-14. I cut most of the front taper off the mainline, up the line a couple of line weights or more depending on the blank (e.g. 8 up to 10wt). This should give you enough belly for a good spey cast. If I mostly overhead casting, I'll drop the poly-tip and just go with some T-14, or tie on a long mono leader.
    Nice Marmot.

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    I've got a Beulah 5/6 that I built, preliminary tests on the Kenai this winter have all been great. I need a bit heavier line than I have, I have an AFS 4/5 I could use a 360 grain skagit I think.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    I've got a Beulah 5/6 that I built, preliminary tests on the Kenai this winter have all been great. I need a bit heavier line than I have, I have an AFS 4/5 I could use a 360 grain skagit I think.
    I have another 4wt DC FT switch rod (cc's out to more like a 6wt) that I've never been able to find the right line for. Either too whippy/overloaded for overhead casts, or not enough weight and belly for spey. It might just be the blank's progessive taper, but was a great stick for Kodiak steelhead. Wish I had more $$ and ambition to find the right combo, b/c switch rods are so efficient on the water...and fun. My 8 wt (more like a 10) is perfect though

    Let us know how that skagit head works out for ya.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Copy of DSCN1139.JPG  
    Nice Marmot.

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    Member G_Smolt's Avatar
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    To answer the original question...

    Yes, I use a switch rod on the Kenai. I use it when indicator fishing, with a traditional singlehand flyline.

    I use a winston bii-x 7wt 11' lined with an 8wt SA Sharkskin steelhead taper.

    The long head of the steelhead taper lends itself well to mending control, and the 67' head clocks in at about 375-400gr, making it pretty easy to cast in the 25'-45' range when using the amount of splitshot required to fish the center channels. Casting is best accomplished by overhead single-hand, or by roll or turbo-roll casting (roll with a single haul). I also use an AirFlo Nymph ridgeline in 8wt for shorter head applications, and a 290gr 50' head Indiator taper when throwing smaller amounts of lead.

    To be clear, it IS possible to use a skagit, scandit, or even a hybrid line to indicator fish - the setup just takes a little tweaking, and you will find that with skagit and scandit (hybrid skagit / scandi line) you have a significant loss of mending control out past 40' or so.

    AirFlo is now making a "speydicator" line especially for the two-handed indicator crowd. I got two prototypes last summer and was impressed with the way they retain mending control, yet still allow for semi-sustained anchor casts. I say semi-sustained, because you will find that the length of time needed to anchor is an inverse function of the weight of the splitshot used. Too long an anchor and you will kill the loop before you can get the rig out of the water.

    If you wish to swing, there are a lot better rods out there to do it with than switchrods. My personal favorite Kenai spey twig is the Beulah 6126 platinum, followed closely by the Echo 5120TR. Swinging flesh and sculpins means getting deep, so leave the Mid-belly and Scandi lines home. A Skagit line with an array of tips (7.5' t-8 all the way to 13' t-17) is all you need to cast and swing everything from the smallest mini-flesh to the bleached squirrels some of us prefer.

    Having said all this, go get a few lines and figure out what works, but there is no need to "force it". Switchrods fill a very particular niche, and a lot of the time you can do the work better with a singlehand 10' or an actual spey rod.

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