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Old 11-30-2012, 09:36 AM
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Default First switch rod - line assistance

So I just ordered a Cabelas LSi 11'6" 8wt switch/spey rod since they were on sale (40% off for $140). I'm going to order a Lamson Guru 3.5 reel (unless I can get an Abel Spey for a good deal).

My confusion is when it comes to fly line. I currently only fish steelhead in NE Ohio where I live (steelhead alley - Chagrin River, Grand River) and use an 8wt Scott fly rod.

From what I gather, I should be ordering a .30 or .35 line, then a 525grn rio short skagit head. I already have the T-8, T-11, T-14 tips to use for streamers.

Is this correct? Or are there any recommendations for me?
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

I own a Sage 11'9" 8wt switch. I put the Rio 550 grain switch line on it and I LOVE it. Cast like a dream
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

I've tried a few different heads on my orvis access switch rod. My verdict is that I don't like the short 20' skagit heads. I would recommend going with a skagit flight rather than a skagit short. This is just opinion... the rio switch line isn't bad, but it isn't my favorite. It has a pretty long head on it. The main thing that you could do is call poppy at redshed fly shop and ask if you could try some lines out. You can try rio and airflo lines side by side and see what feels the best to you.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:17 AM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

So I am correct in assuming that I need some sort of "switch line", then I get skagit tips to connect to the switch line, then you connect sink tips to the skagit head?

Seems like a lot of connections!!
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

Look at the Rio chart for your rod to see Rio's recommendations:

http://www.rioproducts.com/skin/summ..._Line_Recs.pdf

Here is the one from Airflo:

http://www.rajeffsports.com/spey_chart.pdf

If you are going to be adding T-lines to your rig you'll probably want to steer clear of switch lines and instead go with Skagit head with running line behind that.

I am fishing a 6110 Sage with Rio 6/7 switch line on it and it's good for the versitility I want. I can throw streamers (add shot or versileader) or I've been using long (15 ft) leaders for the traditional nymphing often done for GL fish.

The other thing you can do is go to one of the shops local to you and seek their input. Then there is another option, which is to get in contact with Steve Godshall and have him custom make lines for you.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

The first to put on the reel is a high quality backing like dacron. Put on as much as the reel will hold. The backing fills the reel and provides enough line when the fish makes a long run. Next attach a running line they are usually about 30 yards and this line allows the caster to shoot the head. The shooting head comes next. Most spey casters are using compact Skagit heads. The heads are looped at both ends. To fishing end loop in a tip. Most anglers use fast sinking tips from 6-15 ft. Lastly comes the leader. Usually mono about 3 ft. The Backing, running line, shooting head, tip, leader, can all be attached with loops. This is the system I use for swinging flies with a spey rod. I have no knowledge of nymphing set ups for spey or switch rods.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdogs444 View Post
Seems like a lot of connections!!
It really just goes backing -> running line -> shooting head -> sink tip -> leader -> fly for skagit. For a switch line/integrated spey line, it's backing -> switch line -> poly/versi leader -> leader -> fly or backing -> switch line -> leader -> fly...

I agree with this input:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybo41 View Post
The other thing you can do is go to one of the shops local to you and seek their input.
This is why I reccomended calling poppy at redshed because you can ask his input and he'll actually send you lines to try.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

Mdoggs, I have that rod and I use a RIO Switch 7/8 line on it. I works well for me using 10 foot Polyleaders to swing streamers. I fish up your way quite a bit. If you are not in a hurry you would be welcome to try my setup and see if you like it. I'm just not sure when I'm coming up next. Let me know if you are interested.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:22 PM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

Generic Double-hander info that could help.

Skagit Head- Short heavy shooting heads designed to cast tips and big heavy flies. Best when used with sustained anchor casts. (Skagit Casting). Thanks to the short size head Skagit heads are also popular when you are working in tight areas and don't have a lot of room to make D loop.

Scandi-Slightly longer shooting heads, more taper, meant to cast lighter flies with polyleaders or tapered leaders. Usually cast in the Touch and go style.

Mid/Long Belly:Traditional long line. (I know less about this but it's not really applicable on a switch rod)
~Edit:One advantage to the longer lines is avoiding stripping running line between casts. For me this is an advantage when it's the time of year you can't keep the guides on your rod from freezing.
For some anglers having to strip in line is a huge distraction from the step swing experience. For others it doesn't matter as much.

Switch Lines: Most seems to be designed for chucking indicator set ups.
It doesn't seem like any of these will spey cast as well as a scandi/skagit set up. Not to say it's impossible.
If that is what you are planning it's worth checking out, but since I don't prefer to fish that way with a double handed rod I don't know details. If I'm off about these lines someone should chime in and correct me.

Your rod has a "grain window". It's a better way of ID'ing a rod weight then it's weight designation usually. That range defines what weight head will load your rod.
Scandi heads will typically be found at the lower end of the grain window and Skagit heads at the top. As you spend more time with them you'll learn why, as scandi heads are usually cast "off the tip" of the rod and a skagit head will load it deeper to be able to launch that payload.


You only need one reel loaded with backing and a running line. That way you can carry a scandi and skagit head and easily switch as you see fit.
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Last edited by siskiyoublues; 11-30-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: First switch rod - line assistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by siskiyoublues View Post
Your rod has a "grain window". It's a better way of ID'ing a rod weight then it's weight designation usually. That range defines what weight head will load your rod.
Scandi heads will typically be found at the lower end of the grain window and Skagit heads at the top. As you spend more time with them you'll learn why, as scandi heads are usually cast "off the tip" of the rod and a skagit head will load it deeper to be able to launch that payload.
To expand on this more, I have an Orivs Access 11' 7wt switch. There is a grain window rated from 320 - 425. However, that is the scandi grain window. The skagit lines that the charts reccomend are the 480grain for airflo and 475 grain for rio. You can usually call and ask the rod manufacturer if the grain window on the rod is for scandi, or not.
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