I'll try to respond to your questions below.
Originally Posted by dcross
New to the forum and have learned a lot already. I am interested in graduating to a switch rod, I have read through most of the other posts looking for my answer but unable to locate. My plan of attack is to utilize my reel I use on a single hand, 9' 8wt rod which is a Lamson guru, 3.5 reel and put it on the newly purchased switch rod.
Nothing wrong with the reel, but what you have to take into account is 'spey lines' are not only long, but usually far thicker that that of a single hander. So two things come to mind: 1) What type of line you choose (aka a 'head system like a Skagit or Scandi or a full on line) 2) Second is what kind of 'shooting line' you choose. Most head systems will require you to buy a shooting line which goes on behind 'the head.' (You can get them both ways.) A full on line will come equipped with one.
Personal opin here only, but I prefer to keep them separate if you go with a Scandi or a Skagit. That way all you have to do is swap out the head if you want to change 'heads.' Shooting lines come in two sizes (generalization here only) .024 and .030. Another choice is something like 'Amnesia' which looks like heavy monofilimant.
The reel will accommodate 8/9 lines so from what I have learned is to look for a 7wt switch rod and run a 8/9 switch line, is that accurate thinking?
Almost. All 2handers have a grain range, some pretty darned wide. And the term 'a #7' has ZERO relationship to that of a single hander (far heavier!!) Sooo, the first thing you do is pick the rod you want then go on RIO's and Airflo's web sites and see what line(s) and grain weights they recommend. There are hundreds of rods listed so the odds of finding yours is 99%.
From those lists you'll get a good idea what's available out there (there are a ton of other good line makers), but you have a good starting point. Another viable option is having Steve Godshall (he's here in Medford, OR) build you a custom cut. Won't cost you a cent more than something off the shelf, but you'll a line that's made for your type of fishing, your casting, etc.
I mostly fish for steelies/browns/salmon in the Erie/Ontario trips. As far as all the line heads, scandi/sagkit, I am totally confused. I have reviewed Rio's page on lines and still am confused. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
All that said, lets go back to line choice. Fellows above have touched on several very good points. To over simplify: If you want to toss big bushy flies or toss them off of a sink tip, a Skagit head is what you want. ('Mass in the Ass' sort of thing.) If you'll be tossing smaller (all be it lightly weighted flies) and want to use sinking poly leaders, a Scandi set up is what you want. Last, light flies slightly sub surface then a full on floating line of some sort.
To recap: Once you choose the way you want to fish (start with the fly and work backwards), then the choice of line(s) becomes pretty easy if you know the grain range of the rod.
Hows that for an over-kill answer?
PS: Welcome to the Asylum.