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Old 07-15-2013, 02:31 PM
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Default Switch Rod

Hi all!! This past steelhead season was pretty good to me up here in MN. However, a friend of mine who guides up in this area let me use his switch rod a bit and now, well, I want one! He has one of the Redingtons in a 7 wt, and that seemed to be pretty dang perfect for the steelhead and kamloops we have around here. I am just curious as to what your opinions on good switch rods are (preferably $400 and under). Thank you!

Isaak
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Switch Rod

I own a sage tcx 11'9" 8 weight. Thing is an awesome stick. Great for single hand casting and nymphing but can cast an intruder a country block when swinging. Look on ebay and you might get lucky and find one in your price range.
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Old 07-15-2013, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: Switch Rod

I'm really enjoying my Z-axis 11' 6wt for fish up to 10-12lbs; got it on ebay new for $450.00. One thing I found to be true though is it's easier to learn on a longer medium action rod. Your timing has to be quick and almost perfect for these fast switch rods to shine.
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Switch Rod

I have an Echo SR 10'10" 7 wt and fish the Speydicator line by Airflo. I primarily use it when nymphing for steelhead but will also fish it in the fall for trout here in Montana. It roll casts like a champ. Actually there are all kinds of cool casts you can do with it. I will also sometimes add a polyleader and swing some smaller streamers for trout.

I want to say I paid $300 new but I might be off on that. Anyway, they are a lot of fun.
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Switch Rod

If you have a fly shop near you that has 2 handed rods in stock, it would be worth your time to pay them a visit. Remember, you'll need a bigger reel to line up plus you'll need to figure out the line that works best on your rod given the type of casting and size of flies you'll be using. Not trying to discourage you from getting a switch, just keep in mind there are costs beyond the rod itself. Perhaps that's why you've set a budget for $400 or perhaps you've already got a reel to use?

Beyond those costs, it is a good game plan to figure out how you want to fish it because lines for rods and your particular use of it can be hit and miss. Learn the grain window of your rod and figure out whether you'll be scandi casting or skagit casting. If you're not sure, maybe a switch line or a line like Ambush will work to get you started. Just know that the more work you do on the front end to dial your self in will pay dividends later. This includes reading up on all things spey/switch. Hence my suggestion to go to a shop!

I've heard Redington has a 2 hander under $300 coming out soon though not sure of the details. Lots of folks seem to like TFO and Redington. Don't overlook Beulah either. I've heard the classic series was based on input/design by Bob Meiser. Google him to learn more about him.

Something else to think about, will you be overhand casting with it? If so, a smaller rod might be more ideal because it will be easier to cast both ways. The trade off is it may be harder to learn 2 handed casting--so some more experienced than me say. One and TCX are almost considered baby spey rods since they're over 11'. My rod is the same as Wanna's--a 6110 Z Axis. Fun to cast 2 handed but less fun doing overhand with.

Having said all this, if you liked your buddy's setup, why not ask him which model and try and get something similar? Perhaps he can show you a thing or two and or may have mentioned the things I've mentioned in my lengthy response.

Hopefully fredaevans sees your post and will chime in, he's been 2 handed casting for a while and is loaded with solid info that I'm sure he'd be willing to share. Good luck on your hunt, have fun and please let us know what you end up doing.
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Old 07-15-2013, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Switch Rod

Isaak -

Check out Great Lakes Fly Co in Duluth - John is quite entheusiastic about spey and switch casting and helped me set up my new St. Croix Imperial 11' 7wt switch rod with a reel, line, etc. All the line and tip options are a bit confusing to start... at least they have been for me.

I like my St. Croix so far, but I'm still working on figuring out the casting... if you see someone flailing away trying to figure out switch/spey casting on the St. Louis or Brule this year, it's probably me. The Imperials are around $260 and it's nice to know they are made right over in Park Falls.

ryan
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:20 AM
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Default Re: Switch Rod

I'm going to second the sage z-axis as being my favorite switch rod, I have the 8110 and its a dream for swinging flies, if you can get your hands on one do it!. however, at $400 there are some good options; The reddington prospector 7117 and 8119 are both incredible sticks at $350, hard to beat at that price point. Next I would suggest the buelah platinum 8110, this rod is amaaaaaazing but will cost around $500. Another good rod that I like a lot is the TFO deer creek switch 7110 or 8110, at $350 these are solid sticks. There are other switch rods out there that are better but will cost you much more such as R.B. Meiser switch rods at around $650, or C.F. Burkheimer 7117 at $900 these are prime double handers and you certainly get what you pay for in caftsmanship and raw performance. Anyway, your best bet is to get some of these rods in your hands before you buy them because every angler has different preferences regarding the action and flex of various rods. Definetely try before you buy! good luck
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