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Old 01-17-2014, 08:36 PM
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Default The rebellious switch rod

Hey guys. I'm new here...well...sort of. I've been sifting through threads here for quite some time and all I can say is, wow. What a lot of great information and help. I'd like to ask a question about spey instruction. I just bought an 11ft. switch rod and have the opportunity to take a 3 day class on spey casting. However...I'm concerned that traditional spey casting techniques, with the long spey rods and longer belly lines they provide for the class, may only serve to to make my casting with a switch rod more difficult to master or slow my progress given the adjustments needed. What do you guys think? And are there instructors around who would teach me spey techniques with my switch rod? I get the feeling that with traditional spey casters, the switch rod is like the rebellious teenager of spey casting. I'm afraid to ask the gentleman teaching the class that I'd like to bring my switch rod instead of using the available spey rods.

Thank you for reading this and for your thoughts.
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Old 01-17-2014, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

Hello and welcome to the forum,

I believe it will be easier to take the class with the longer Spey type rod and then apply the lessons to the shorter rod. I would not hesitate to ask the fellow instructing the casting about bringing the switch along also.In 3 days you ought to be able to get around to it also.

Many casts are the same, they are just made using a shorter rod and line head. I bought an 11'6" last year and found that it was quite like my 13 - 15' rods except sort of a mini version. I wanted it to fit a few creeks that are too small for the longer rods but too much work for me with single hand rods.

Of course there are still places where I use 6'6" - 8' rods but since I found an 11'6" I now have every conceivable size stream or river covered.

Tell the instructor what rod you have and see if he'll help you. I assume this isn't free so he should roll with the punches.

Are
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:09 AM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Hello and welcome to the forum,

I believe it will be easier to take the class with the longer Spey type rod and then apply the lessons to the shorter rod. I would not hesitate to ask the fellow instructing the casting about bringing the switch along also.In 3 days you ought to be able to get around to it also.

Many casts are the same, they are just made using a shorter rod and line head. I bought an 11'6" last year and found that it was quite like my 13 - 15' rods except sort of a mini version. I wanted it to fit a few creeks that are too small for the longer rods but too much work for me with single hand rods.

Of course there are still places where I use 6'6" - 8' rods but since I found an 11'6" I now have every conceivable size stream or river covered.

Tell the instructor what rod you have and see if he'll help you. I assume this isn't free so he should roll with the punches.

Are
Hey Kozak
I mirror exactly what Ard said (hence the quote). I was in your position just last year. I was a long time single hander that needed an excuse to get more stuff....and wanted to get into spey. I 'thought' spey was not versatile and 'switch' seemed best suited for my waters. While I was right in one regard (switch suited for my type of fishing)...i was off in the way i went about it.

I had a hell of a time loading the switch...figuring out casting timing. At that time, I only was trying to do/learn from books and videos. SO I take a spey course with Rick Whorwood.

First 2 things he says at the start of the course....DON'T try learn from videos...and don't try learn on a Switch Rod. I was at 2 strikes before I even touched a spey rod. HAH.

SO...I took the course....and it was easy to get timinng and such. THEN...armed with that knowledge and feel...i went back to the switch. SOme casts, as Ard states, are not great suited for the switch...while some....work great but timing and loading is way different.

Take a true spey course....LEAVE the switch in the tube until you do. Then, with a good base...get on the switch and have fun.

King Joe Outa Here!
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:56 AM
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Default The rebellious switch rod

Hey Kozak,
For me the biggest thing when using Spey casts with a switch rod is to make sure you adjust your stroke and slow down. Once you figure out the mechanics of the Spey cast you can adjust it to suite the rod your using.


Troy
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

Thanks guys! I'll just take the class and go from there then. I'm sure your right Hardy...I'm probably being paranoid and maybe this class will even include some time talking about the switch rod. I'll bring it along in case I get a chance to dabble with it and maybe get some pointers.

They want us to watch Rio's Modern Spey Casting (about 10 times) before the class. I don't know if just watching Bill Lowe and Andrew Moy on youtube wouldn't be just as good. Maybe you have some thoughts about that. I was hoping to find the Rio DVD set used on eBay or Amazon, but no such luck.

Appreciate the help.
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Old 01-19-2014, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

I self learned how to spey cast on a switch rod using the Skagitmaster 1 dvd. It's a great resource and I picked it up quickly once I started watching the dvd. One thing that helped me immensely was to only practice on moving water at first...I can now cast on stillwater but it's still very difficult compared to moving water.

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Old 01-19-2014, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

+1 to what the fellows have said above .... learn on a 12.5 to a max of a 14 foot rod. Longer than that and the rod will beat you to death.

Once you've got the basic timing of casts 'down' you'll find that applying that to a 'switch' is a rather easy process. There are a few casts (Snake Roll as an example) that are 'fumbly' (is that a real word?) with a short stick. But given all the other choices you have that's not a deal killer.

As an aside, what line weight/switch rod are you considering?

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Old 01-19-2014, 02:08 PM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

Hi Tyler...yeah a gentleman in a fishing group to which I belong is self taught and told me to get that DVD... said it was great. I've been watching eBay for that one as well. Thanks

---------- Post added at 02:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:01 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
As an aside, what line weight/switch rod are you considering? fae
I already have an 11ft/ 7wt switch. I picked up the Airflo Skagit Compact and Rio Scandi Short head cuz they were on sale and they seem to be well regarded and about the right length if applying the 3 to 1 line to rod ratio.

Fumbly is a good word...I know exactly what you mean even if it really isn't a word.
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Old 01-19-2014, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

Most of the people here are probably more accomplished than me but I find the line - rod ratios pretty important. I actually cut my lines back so the line + tip length is 2.7 times my rod length although according to Ed Ward anywhere from 2.5 - 3.5 times should work. So for my 10.5' switch rod I use a 17.5' head and 10' sinktips. Since I do the 'skagitmaster style' all of my casts are sustained anchor casts (snap c, double spey, perry pokes). I still don't know how to switch cast or single spey and don't really have any desire to learn. Works well for me but I know that others have vastly different 'styles'. I suppose that's part of what makes Spey so interesting (& confusing) :-)
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: The rebellious switch rod

Just like Tyler, I didn't take a casting course for my 1 hand and switch. You CAN learn this by yourself. If you are talking to an instructor he/she will lead you into taking a course, that is OK and legit. But watching good videos from good instructors can help you to achieve all the good things in spey/switch casting too. You tube and vimeo (better videos) are my best friends, and I can watch a footage over and over again and take mental notes for then apply it when I practice.
I am also a beginner and still learning, I have a 10'6" 5/6 weight switch rod, it has a balance setup now and it makes casting easier. I am 100% fishing in clear stillwater lakes in the high mountains, I don't go to a river, the heck I don't even know if there is a river close by. Me and my setup like the sustain anchor casts, the single spey/switch cast isn't that bad either if I can just stick to the 180° and the single spey anchoring principle so I won't hit my running line or my rod with the fly.

It is easier to abandon what you already have and go with the other ones like a better rods or longer rods. I recently done some rods sampling and found out that the sample rods were much better in casting with and without the right line. But I'll stick with the one I have. It is a great switch rod and have good reviews from better and more experience casters.

My switch rod was a rebellious one also I until I gave it what it deserves (time, time and a sweet fly line) and now it is my lap dog.
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