Hey there, I'm Clay Hash from Fly Fishing Traditions in Northern California. I'm a new member of this board.
I've tried quite a number of switch rods, primarily the Sage Z-Axis, a Redington CPX, a Sage VXP, and a Sage TCX, and Beulah. I do alot of fishing from a drift boat where we side drift with indicators, tight line with nymphs in runs and slots out of the drift boat. Then we'll stop and get out of the boat and fish a riffle, or a drop off and then the run below the riffle. We may swing soft hackles or streamers through a tailout before we jump back in the boat. We fish for steelhead behind the salmon on their redds, behind them not through them, or swing tailouts with streamers using spey techniques.
The switch rod can be used in all these situations. It can be fished single handed when high sticking or when using it for indicator or tight line nymphing from a drift boat. It can be two hand casted when swinging a run with soft hackles or with bigger treamers for aggresisve trout and steelhead.
I just love to spey cast with a switch rod. It is a very versatile rod to add to your rack.
The rod I ended up buying was the Sage Z-Axis, 11 ft. 6 weight. It is a great rod for trout and summer run steelhead. Its a great rod!
After much experimentation, here is the Switch Rod setup that works for me.
I've got my Sage Z-Axis ready to rigg with;
(A) A Beulah 6/7 Elixer integated line. It performs great with this setup when I want to fish lighter flies and have the ability to mend when swinging. This was after trying a Rio Atlantic Salmon/Steelhead Line and a Rio Switch Rod line.
(B) When in a drift boat I line it with a Rio Indicator Line sized two weights over, an 8 weight. You can use this with indicators or tight line with it. If works great when walk wading using the same methods.
(C) I have a Airflo running line that I use with an Airflo Scandi 330 grain head. This works great for shooting longer distances and getting deeper. I can use Rio Verileaders with this settup an even Rio MOW light tips. on the lighter side uo to a 5 ft floater with a 5 ft T-8 tip. This can turn over flies up to about 2 1/2 inches not problem. casting this is like driving a posche.
(D) When I need to get deep I put on an Airflo Skagit 360 or 390 grain head deep with a cheater or Rio MOW tips or tips of T-11. It also works great if your tight to a rock bank and have no back cast room. Set up a small "D Loop" and crank it and the Skagit will get the job done. This is like driving a big 4 wheel drive.
I also carry;
(A) A full wallet of Rio Versileaders
(B) A full wallet of Rio MOW Light tips
(c) Various lengths of T-11 tips that I've made up with loops an each end.
With this setup I can fish anywhere from Northern CA to Alaska. All you have to do is get out and practice you spey casting and before you know it you'll be pounding casts out with ease.