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Spey Rods and Switch Rods - Fly Fishing Tackle Talk! Discuss all the latest Spey and Switch fly rods and double handed fly fishing rods here.


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Old 01-10-2014, 02:54 PM
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Default Switch rod length factor

I am wondering if the extra length of 6 inches or 1 foot in the same switch rod weight can play a big factor in casting? Considering everything else is equal, like the same person (me) using the brand-model but different rod length.
And if a longer rod is better for a shorter person?
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Old 01-10-2014, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

If we are talking the difference between an 11'6" up to a 13' rod there are many benefits providing the water being fished will accommodate a 13' rod and cast. I would not stop in between at 12'6". A longer rod allows you to use longer bellied lines. Longer bellied lines means less stripping between casts = more fishing.

If your stream is of medium size and your casts are in the 50 - 60 foot maximum range, then a longer rod may not provide much in the way of enhancing the fishing. However, if you find yourself trying to reach out further than the shorter rod is comfortable for, then the additional length in both rod and belly / head, will be a benefit.

For a shorter angler using a 2 hand rod, longer is better. I can only relate to when I wade past my knees and then attempt to cast the same way I do when ankle deep. If I know I will have to wade out a considerable distance and to a depth, I will take a 15' rod to make my fishing easier.

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Old 01-10-2014, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
If we are talking the difference between an 11'6" up to a 13' rod there are many benefits providing the water being fished will accommodate a 13' rod and cast. I would not stop in between at 12'6". A longer rod allows you to use longer bellied lines. Longer bellied lines means less stripping between casts = more fishing.

If your stream is of medium size and your casts are in the 50 - 60 foot maximum range, then a longer rod may not provide much in the way of enhancing the fishing. However, if you find yourself trying to reach out further than the shorter rod is comfortable for, then the additional length in both rod and belly / head, will be a benefit.

For a shorter angler using a 2 hand rod, longer is better. I can only relate to when I wade past my knees and then attempt to cast the same way I do when ankle deep. If I know I will have to wade out a considerable distance and to a depth, I will take a 15' rod to make my fishing easier.

Ard
Ard,
"However, if you find yourself trying to reach out further than the shorter rod is comfortable for" You lost me with this sentence.

Let's say a shorter guy is using a 11ft rod, will 11'6" make a lot of different assuming he is casting the same distance?
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Old 01-10-2014, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

Somewhat of a 'Rule of the thumb,' up to a point. Every '6 inches' will give you upwards of another 10' of line off the reel. For obvious reasons take that with a large "grain of salt" as the rod, line, caster, etc., will all impact same.

Or, as one of my fav lines goes: "Your mileage may vary."
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:57 PM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

I'm a noob compared to Fred and some of the others on the board with respect to 2 handed rods but....not being the tallest guy in the world and owning two switch rods, I feel compelled and fully qualified to answer.

My two rods are an 6110 and an 8119, same brand but different models. The easier of the two for me to cast and get distance is the 11'9. I don't need to get that much distance with the 6wt usually. Both rods are very capable and the right tools for my intended use, but I find that the added length helps to get the line moving when casting two handed and certainly better control when mending.

If you have single hand rod experience I'd say it's similar in some aspects. I have found that some of the more technical waters I have been fishing are best fished with certain line weights and rod lengths. I believe the same to hold true with 2 hand rods as well. Of course you want to take the size of the river you're fishing along with the species into account as well. Maybe that's just in my head and another excuse for me to have bought more tackle? Dunno.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

I had an opportunity to test sample some rods today along side my own Beulah Classic 5/6 10'6" that I bought 2 months ago. The other rods were St. Croix Imperial 5wt 11', Redington Prospector 5wt 11' and Sage One 5wt 11'6. The line was the Rio Switch Chucker #6 420Grain 28FT Head, Leader Rio Spey Versileader 10FT 2.9ips, practice fly was a 3" home made wired and bushy fly. Casting on the grass at a park with a tree right about 15ft away at my 4 o'clock.
Caster: Me, Experience with switch rod: 2 months, skill: ROOKIE

The #6 Chucker grain weight is over the recommended grain weight for these rods.
So this will effect the sampling result.

The Beulah can't handle #6 Chucker although I bought it based on the Rio recommendation chart. I still can't find the right timing even after owning it for 2 months casting the same setup. The Beulah will cast line out and make you look like a champ but I can't find consistency with it. Probably the line.

The St. Croix was easier to use than the Beulah but the timing is too slow for me. It will cast the line out to 50FT easier than the Beulah. Very light in the hand, line speed yes, but a half marathon running pace.

The Redington was great, 60-70ft was easy and more distance with better timing and technique, easy to tune in for the right timing. Consistent tight loop in every cast, good line speed a 6 mile running pace, very light in the hand. Bonus: Able to Switch cast the Rio OBS 8wt.

The Sage One. as expected from a $850 rod. The One is the best and a cannon. If I didn't have the practice fly in 3" and pink, I wouldn't be able to see where it landed. The timing is almost the same as the Prospector, tight loop, great line speed, you just can't make a bad cast with the One.

The Prospector and One make casting easier and fun. A newbie like me can easily find the errors, fix them and see the improvement and make the learning process fun.

The actual winner is the Redington Prospector 5wt 11'6", I am not ready to shell out $850 for a Sage One. Prospector is at $369 and offers almost the same as the One.
Good things that I have tried several rods today, now I know for sure the type of action that really suits me.

Cosmetic wise,
#1 the Beulah is the winner. the best upper/lower grip design, nice accent. The smaller grip fit my hand.
#4 St. Croix, the handles are too big for me and too plain.
#2 Redington comes second, smaller grip nice subtle accent shorter than the rest.
#3 Sage slightly bigger grip but plain.

I must add something that the main point of this sampling is not for the distance but for the ease of casting, consistency and to find the right action for me.

Now, thinking about selling the Beulah, anyone is interested? Sales pitch!
Remember, I am a newbie. Your mileage may vary.
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Last edited by runningfish; 01-11-2014 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 01-11-2014, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

Was the Beulah too soft in your opinion?
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredaevans View Post
Somewhat of a 'Rule of the thumb,' up to a point. Every '6 inches' will give you upwards of another 10' of line off the reel. For obvious reasons take that with a large "grain of salt" as the rod, line, caster, etc., will all impact same.

Or, as one of my fav lines goes: "Your mileage may vary."
20ft of casting distance for one additional foot of rod? That really sounds optimistic. I better understand why you want to deal with the inconveniences of a 12+ rod.
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Old 01-11-2014, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigthor View Post
Was the Beulah too soft in your opinion?
Craig, I just don't know. A better more experience caster might be able to tell right on the spot but not a newbie like me. I've been whooping that stick silly looking for consistency for 2 months but I just can't crack it. The Beulah might have a certain sweet spot or a very narrow grain window for that 1 magical cast out of 20 bad casts.
This morning was my first time ever casting the sampler rods, and they were much easier to tune in even with the St. Croix. Using the same line and setup.

I am still waiting for a custom line that I ordered just for the Beulah, let's wait and see. It could be the me the caster. Now it makes me wonder how the sampling rods will perform on that custom cut line that made to the right grain weight. I can keep the samplers over the weekend. Hopefully the custom line arrives today so I can test it tomorrow morning.

I'll post an update.
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Switch rod length factor

Really interesting write up on your experiment. Thanks for sharing it here. I'm new to two handed rods and still learning so by no means am I an expert, though I do have 3 years of them under my belt now.

One thing I know about 2 hand rods and specifically the Beulah's is that they seem to be more picky about the right line than single hand rods. Maybe that's just in my head, but I know that lots of guys try lots of different lines before getting the right match. What I know about Beulah is that their recommendations are pretty spot on and I'd personally opt for their recommendations on line weight over any other line manufacturer. By all accounts I've read, that classic rod you have is a good one. I'm in agreement, it's got to be the line.

Did you order line from Steve for it? I've heard nothing but great things there. Like going to a tailor and getting a suit custom fit for you versus getting something off the shelf.
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