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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Metuchen, N.J.
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    1,015

    Default To Switch or not to Switch

    O.K , It's that time of year when I get the urge to build a new rod. While I was perusing the H&H catalog I came across a 10.5' 6wt. 4 pc.Switch rod blank. I was looking to make a 8.5' or 9', 6 wt. 4 pc single handed rod @ now I wonder if I should make a Switch rod instead. I mostly fish small to medium size rivers for trout but I do fish some larger rivers for Landlocks, & I'm going to Chile in Feb & I understand that there are some large fish down there. I also plan on getting back into Bass fishing. What I'm asking ,I guess is, what are the pros & cons of a switch rod. Will that extra 1.5' really make that much of a difference in the rod? Also will I have to really get a new setup, reel, line, etc. if I go for that extra 1.5'?
    I read some of the hype on the internet but There is a large group of fishermen /fisher-women on this site whose opinions are worth listing to

    Thanks
    Neil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Northern California
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    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    I will let the video explain the pros. Jeff Putnam is one of the better, if not the best, Spey casting instructors in Northern California.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csS2A2DF0-4]YouTube - HD - Switch Rod Casting Techniques[/ame]

    Cons
    • Long length can get in the way of landing a fish.
    • Even though these rods break down, they are not that packable.


    I have an 11 foot 6 weight switch. I use it as a short Spey rod and as a long nymph rod. It is an effective tool.

    MP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
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    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    Great film clip; hadn't seen that before. The screw out lower handle was a new on to me; what rod is that?

    fae
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Northern California
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    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    Hi Fred,
    That rod is part of his Jeff's own brand. He sources his blanks from the same source that a lot of the Oregon based rod builders use. I have not talked to Jeff in awhile. I've been wondering who builds his rods for him. That handle is pretty cool.

    Jeff usually does the west coast Spey clave tour.

    MP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    15,504
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    113

    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    Neil,

    I am not as knowledgeable about long rods as Fred and MP are but I do have an opinion on your question. I use a 13' rod on medium to large rivers here and have found it to be the best way to fish with streamer / salmon flies I ever have experienced. The ease with which I cast to wherever I want to place my fly is remarkable. I would never consider going down to a shorter rod. When the day comes that we return to the lower 48 I will get a 13' 5/6 weight for trout fishing. By now you know how I do things and generally live by the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" motto. Maybe I would feel the same way had I entered the long rod world with an 11' switch rod but having fished for many years using 9 & 9'6" rods I knew that an additional 1.5 feet was not going to answer all my needs. The additional 4 feet has been perfect for a streamer guy like myself.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  6. #6
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    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    Neil,
    I thought that I'd add this. I'm a firm believer that a switch rod is a useful too. But it isn't the right tool if you want to get into Spey. You would be better off learning with a full length rod. You would have a much longer lever to push more line around (as in casting).

    MP
    Last edited by MoscaPescador; 09-12-2010 at 04:11 AM. Reason: forgot a key word

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Missouri City (near Houston), Texas
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    1,262

    Question Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    I've got a question about switch rods (full disclosure: I own a Sage 7-wt. 11' Z-Axis "switch"rod): I bought mine because I only occasionally use two hands in casting (wouldn't want to dignify my two-handed cast as a true Spey cast), mostly using it for single-handed (overhand?) casting.

    Question: is a switch rod an "oxymoron"? By that I mean that switch rods seem to require totally different lines for two-handed versus single-handed casting, and I'm guessing that - being an inherent compromise - are not particularly suited for either two-handed Spey-type casting or one-handed "overhand" casting? On the other hand, I guess that if a switch rod is intended to do both, but not particularly well compared to specialist rods, perhaps it does serve a function for fly-fishers like myself who only have occasional use for two-handed casting.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  8. #8
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    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    Hi Fly2Fish,

    You may want to read this webpage from RB Meiser's website. Meiser introduced the switch rod over 30 years ago as a short Spey rod. The applications have evolved since then. The article might be able to answer your questions.

    I don't think switch rods are oxymorons. They fish singlehanded and twohanded well. In regards to fishing a switch as a singlehander, it casts nicely, but the traditional singlehander is lighter to use. In regards to fishing as a twohander, it casts beautifully although a full length Spey rod can move more mass. I know guys who can spey cast lines from their switches between 80 to 90 feet.

    The beauty is that the switch rod offers versatility. It fishes well both ways. I have had days that I took my 6 weight switch and carried two reels. In the earlier hours, I swung flies. In the latter hours, I nymphed. I have caught fish with both presentations.

    MP

    PS: If you are still using that Windcutter II Spey on your switch, you may want to change. I like using a 425 grain Skagit Short on that rod. The heavy 20 foot head makes casting the Z-Axis 7110-4 easy.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
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    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
    Hi Fred,
    That rod is part of his Jeff's own brand. He sources his blanks from the same source that a lot of the Oregon based rod builders use. I have not talked to Jeff in awhile. I've been wondering who builds his rods for him. That handle is pretty cool.

    Jeff usually does the west coast Spey clave tour.

    MP
    Thanks for the info; off to Google!
    Fred

    ---------- Post added at 10:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:54 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
    Hi Fred,
    That rod is part of his Jeff's own brand. He sources his blanks from the same source that a lot of the Oregon based rod builders use. I have not talked to Jeff in awhile. I've been wondering who builds his rods for him. That handle is pretty cool.

    Jeff usually does the west coast Spey clave tour.

    MP
    Google is a good thing. Per the following it would appear that Jeff may have his rods done for him by Gary Anderson (Anderson Custom Rods). The following clip has the same 'screw in/screw out' reel handle: http://www.jpflyfishing.com/equipmen...ting_ponds.htm
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  10. #10
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: To Switch or not to Switch

    Fred,
    I was thinking that Gary Anderson was building his rods. That man is a master craftsman.

    MP

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