Hi guys, I am very interested in getting into switch/spey for slamon and steelhead. I am very interested in getting a switch rod kit as I would still like to be able to single hand cast. I would like to build a kit as I am on a budget and I really do enjoy a project. My questions are what size and weight would be best for fishing for salmon and steelhead? What kits have people built with good success? I like the look of the Rainshadow kits from Hook and Hackle, are there similar kits out there? And finally can you use a normal large arbor fly reel, or do I need a specific reel and line set up? Any help would be awesome as I am very new to this, and this is my first post. Glad to be part of an online fly fishing community! Thanks guys!
Location: White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Re: Looking for Switch Rod Advice
As this is going to be a 'duel fish' rod I'll start with a suggestion on rod weight - a 7 at no more than 11'6"
And don't worry about one handed casting with these rods, not likely to happen with a rod much over 10 foot. Many good kits out there and you might want to Google R B Meiser rods. All his rod designs have passed the test of time. And he will sell his rods as a kit if you want to do the assembling. Only 'hard part' is the handle if you don't have a lathe to turn the cork.
I also think that Gary Anderson (ACR rods) will sell his as a 'kit.'
As far as a reel goes, that's type of line dependent. A long (or medium) belly line will eat up a lot of reel space. Even a head (Scandi or Skagit with running line) will occupy quite a bit of space. Size wise I'd recommend a reel that's rated to hold a 9 or 10wt double taper. Sounds 'big' but you'll need the space (remember single hander lines are normally 90 feet, the typical 2-hander line will be 120 (or more with the Carron lines). The other thing a larger reel brings into play is rod balance. And no, you don't need a $500.00 reel, but a good drag system is handy thing.
Edit: Almost forgot to add a warm welcome to the Forum.
Thanks very much for the advice and the warm welcome! I can start my research now. I will look into those rod companies for sure. I'm in no hurry as long as I have a decent set up for spring. So I can look around, and build my rod this winter!
Recently finished a 'Rainshadow' RX7 13' 7wt Spey Rod, took it to Alaska and loved fishing it, had no problem with 10-20# fish, and with Batson's warranty you can hardly go wrong. You'd be surprised at the top name rod companies that Batson manufactures blanks for, they are great blanks.
Don't let not having a lathe detour you from building, an assortment of rattail files or a set of Dream Reamers makes easy work of prepping a handle, just take your time and keep the hole round not oval. Here's a link for the Dream reamers.Batson Enterprises - Tools/Supplies
I put off buying a set of Dream reamers for a long time, silly me!
I can not speak for the kits as I am not even close to that tallented. As for the reel you will want something that will hold the line and a decent amount of backing. do you know what type of line your going to use? I have an 11' 8wt and 11'6" 6wt that I do all of my steelhead fishing with. I also have a 13' 7 that is reserved for strictly spey casting. I run a Rio switch line on the 11' 8 with a Hardy Uniqua large arbor 9/10 reel. it balances properly and is deadly at 60 -80 feet swinging or drifting. the 11'6" has a skagit head and running line (actually a 4wt. fly line adds an extra bit of heavier line for mending but still shoot like a rocket) this is on a Hardy Uniqua #5 regular arbor reel. The larger reel was needed as the skagit head takes up a lot of space on the reel. these are my main setups for most of the season. But your mileage may vary
Probably a 7/8. For the best bang for the buck I'd look at a Cabela's rod, or a TFO or an Echo.
Whatever switch line you get, make sure you get a switch line - shorter belly - whether you go with a Scandi or Skagit. For bass fishing I'd god with a Skagit as you'll be able to throw heavier flies. You'll probably also need a MOW tip.
I'm stoked on the new switch rod I got. The company is called Rugged Creek and they're out of Idaho. I had used the cabelas cheap switch rods for a couple of years to introduce myself to switch rod fishing, and they were pretty fun, but felt cheap. I really love the for steelheading, salmon, and nymphing. About a month ago I bought a 7/8 weight combo from rugged creek and it feels great. Best part about it was that it was cheaper than my cabelas outfit! $300 for a complete combo with rod, reel, backing, line, leader, rod case and reel case, and definitely worth every penny. I think their site is ruggedcreek.com, they only offer a couple of different size options, and focus specifically on switch rods. I thought I'd give one a try since they were out of idaho. I'm always down with supporting local business! I'm more than satisfied, so I thought I would give them a shout out.