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Old 11-16-2009, 10:00 AM
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Default New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

I have been using a 9' 8 weight Orvis ZG Helios for salmon and steelhead in Lake Ontario tribs. My home waters are Irondequoit Creek and Sandy Creek with limited ocassional trips to Salmon River the Cat (maybe one of each per year).

The Irondequpit and Sandy are fairly small width bodies of water. The Salmon and Cat are much larger. However, all of them have some what limited back casting room. Most casts are roll casts. Although in certain areas even roll casts can be difficult do to the overhanging branches behind.

I have been reading about Switch rods but cannot decide if I should make the move. As it is, my right arm can become quite sore after a three or four hours of fishing. I think this is mostly caused from high lining.

Would I find a benifit with Switch rods relative to arm fatigue and back casting room? If I was to go with a switch rod would a 7 or 8 weight be best and what line I should use.

Thanks in advance,

Trout Bum
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

I say go for it. Switch rods are ideal for your conditions. You can use Spey style casts in the limited space that you have. I found Spey style casting to be less wear and tear on my casting arm. Also you can use a switch as a long nymph rod.

Here in Northern California, I use either a full length Spey or switch for my Steelhead fishing. It's such an effective tool. There have been days that I "switched" from single handed nymphing to full on Spey fishing.

As for weights, I am not sure since I don't fish that region. I'd err towards a seven weight since I know that they could handle up to 18 pound Steelhead. Great Lakes Steelhead are Eel River (California) strain Steelhead. We use six and seven weights for them. An eight weight to me is a BC or Alaska stick.

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Old 11-16-2009, 02:59 PM
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Default Re: New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

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Originally Posted by grgerman View Post
I have been using a 9' 8 weight Orvis ZG Helios for salmon and steelhead in Lake Ontario tribs. My home waters are Irondequoit Creek and Sandy Creek with limited ocassional trips to Salmon River the Cat (maybe one of each per year).

The Irondequpit and Sandy are fairly small width bodies of water. The Salmon and Cat are much larger. However, all of them have some what limited back casting room. Most casts are roll casts. Although in certain areas even roll casts can be difficult do to the overhanging branches behind.

I have been reading about Switch rods but cannot decide if I should make the move. As it is, my right arm can become quite sore after a three or four hours of fishing. I think this is mostly caused from high lining.

Would I find a benifit with Switch rods relative to arm fatigue and back casting room? If I was to go with a switch rod would a 7 or 8 weight be best and what line I should use.

Thanks in advance,

Trout Bum
Well a switch rod would indeed help with roll/spey casting, but if you think the source of your pain is holding the rod up while high sticking, then a switch rod is going to make it worse. They're heavier due to their length and therefore are going to be harder to hold up high all day.

Although, I guess, if you're able to have your rod hand down lower and still achieve the same height with the rod tip due to its longer length, then it could reduce your pain.
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

This may sound like odd advice at first, but if you are high sticking and killing your arm with it, the best idea may be to bypass the switch rod and go full blown spey. You can hold the rod tight to your side with your arm down and the rod tip up. You would end up with the rod tip at least as high as your killing your arm with, but without the killing your arm part. It might not be the original intent of the spey rod but you may find it works better for you than what you are doing now. There is no law that says you have to take your 15' rod and bomb 120' casts out there and swing a fly. You can put as much as you need and 'flip' it, and do the low arm high stick. I'm not exactly using mine in a traditional manner either.
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Old 12-13-2009, 01:46 AM
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Default Re: New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

Two handed casting lets me keep my elbows down at my sides, that allows me many more casts without straining. Managed to rehab an old rotator injury that way and still keep fishing!
My rod is light enough to high stick, but it does tire my shoulder some. Iv'e found a water load very effective and easiest overall.
Using a lighter reel now with less backing to help out on weight, on smaller waters.
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

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Originally Posted by Bigfly View Post
Two handed casting lets me keep my elbows down at my sides, that allows me many more casts without straining. Managed to rehab an old rotator injury that way and still keep fishing!
My rod is light enough to high stick, but it does tire my shoulder some. Iv'e found a water load very effective and easiest overall.
Using a lighter reel now with less backing to help out on weight, on smaller waters.
Yep, I use to get tendoneitus steelhead and salmon fishing. High sticking with a single handed rod is work. Switch rods do it naturally. I've been using a Hardy 11 1/2 7 weight Swift and love it for almost all my Great Lakes Steelheading. The only rivers around the Great Lakes where the full blown spey comes in handy are the bigger boat rivers like the Manistee and Muskegon in MI, and perhaps the Salmon in NY state. Even on those rivers the Switch rod still gives you a leg up on the single handed rods, wether your swinging flies, high sticking or indicator fishing.

I fish a lot from Elk creek to the Betsy in MI and everything in between. And I have fished the Sandy and Oak Orchard in NY (I've seen the Salmon but never fished it). I would suggest an 11-12 foot fast seven weight, like the Winston BIIMX . Hardy Swift, Demon or Sage Z-Axis.
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

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Originally Posted by burk48237 View Post
Yep, I use to get tendoneitus steelhead and salmon fishing.
This is the first year in I can't remember when, that I didn't end the season with tennis elbow. This is also the first year I spey cast. You would think a 15' rod would be tougher on you, but it isn't. I had my back go to.....well, it's a mess, and the spey rod did not hurt my back any either. Lot's of single hand casting bothered my back. Not sure why that is, but the spey rod is just what the doctor ordered....or would have ordered if he fly fished.
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: New Switch Rod or stay w/ 9' 8 weight?

Physical therapists for Pro-pitchers recommended fly fishing off season, because it builds up muscles around the joint. Light weight, many reps. I fish a lot and year-round, the wear builds up, so I'm happy I found the switch thing. It isn't for everyone on all waters or every style, but hot damn it's fun!
I fish "far away" quite a bit. My stats suffer because of all the slack in the system, but I do enjoy shocking a big fish to jump "over there", the switch set up has added to the range that I can do this. On our water I can easily cast 60+ft. upstream, then maintain that line downstream the same or much further. Kind of scary power. 120+ feet of water covered in a drift. You can surgically cover a a river side to side without wading deeper than one's ankles or make an overhead cast. How cool is that? But maybe we shouldn't talk about this in public, wouldn't want to see this catch on! Did I answer the question?
Maybe take both the nine and a switch.
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