Switch Rod- Fly Line
I have a new 11ft 8wt Loomis and am trying to decide what line to put on it. I've received different recommendations by the shops in town but was wondering what some of you switch rod guys have spooled up. I'll use it on the Kenai drift fishing for big rainbows, wade fishing for steelhead and a little silver fishing too.
So what are you throwing and why? Brand, taper, etc.
If you are indicator fishing and turning over heavy weights and large indicators, you might be best served by a magnum taper SA line or a nymph taper AirFlo line, in either 9 or 10 wt. If lighter weights and smaller indicators are your game, or longer (+50') casts are the norm, then a longer taper like the SA gpx or the AirFlo Striper taper offer better fishability, again in the 9 or 10wt bracket. If really long casts and long drifts with great mendability are how you roll, go with a looong taper line like SA Steelhead or AirFlo rangefinder, and again in 9 or 10wt, depending on ability, feel, and preference.
If you wish to swing heavy stuff, go with a skagit head in between 450-540gr. For lighter apps and dryline work, go with a Compact Scandi (AirFlo) in 420-480gr.
I was in the same boat a couple of months ago when I bought my 6/7 switch. I ended up purchasing the Airflo Speydicator. It is designed specifically for throwing indicators with big flies on switch rods. That being said, you really need two lines if you want to swing. I also picked up the Wulff Ambush as a line for swinging flies for steelhead down here in the lower 48 (Oregon).
I've got an 8wt Batson switch and love it. I put a 425 grain skagit head on mine. The reasons:
1. I've got a spey rod I skagit cast with so thus I am familar with the skagit (double spey) casting technique.
2. I'm a big believer in the skagit style of spey casting since it enables you to stay in closer to the bank 'cause of the smaller D-loop. (and)
3. Skagit heads allow you to cast big heavy sink tips or change over to a floating tip. (The rule of thumb is a skagit head will throw about 1/2 it's weight in tip/fly).
The 425 grains feels a bit light during the double spey and a bit heavy if I switch to an overhand double haul cast (but it sure shoots like crazy)... but hey, it's a switch rod.
My guess is that a lot of people buy switch rods cause they seem to be the latest thing.... and I suspect most never attempt to learn to spey cast with them. My suggestion: make sure you learn to spey cast with this new rod, it opens up a whole different world and you'll never see another wind knot. (or junk: indicator/split shot/nymph/bead all tangled up.) .... and besides, you'll quit losing flies in the bushes....