Re: Looking for a beginner switch rod
I own a numer of double handers both spey and switch and have tried out most of the popular switch rods out there. At the $250 price point your options are very limited and you wont get a very good rod for that money. However, at the $350 price point there are some good options. the TFO deer creek is okay, its a bit stiff, heavy and clunky, for the same price you could get the redington prospector 11' 6 weight, this rod is a gem for the price, in fact I believe at this price point it is unbeatable in lightweight, livelyness and smoothness. Btw, given that you will be fishing with large flies you should definetely go with a 6 weight not a 5. I have a 5126 z-axis, and It's my go-to trout spey rod, but it doesn't handle large streamers very well, a 6 would make more sense for that.
At $410 you could get yourself the beulah classic 11'6 6/7 weight, or 10'6" 6 weight classic switch at $395. Beulah is a top notch company for double handers, everyone in the spey community knows these affordable rods are ranked with rods costing twice as much. Research beulah rods and you'll find out what I am talking about. A friend of mine fishes the beulah 6126 platinum which cost him $400 on closeout price, and it fishes almost as nicely as my $750 5126 z-axis, so again buelah is worth a hard look if your willing to pay $400.
As for the VXP, it doesn't come in a switch, only a spey, the 5120 which is more like a 6 weight. the vxp 6129 can handle a 450 grain skagit, so its not a true 6 at all and would be overgunned for your application. Again, given the amount of money your looking to spend, the reddington prospector 11' 6 weight switch at $365 or the beulah classic switch 10'6" 6 weight at $395 or classic spey 11'6" 6/7 weight at $410 are your best options in my opinion. I think price to performance ratio, the beulah 10'6" 6 weight switch is one of the best two handers on the market, that is hard to dispute. Let me know if you have any more specific questions about these rods, I have fished all of them.