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petee 01-22-2013 03:17 PM

Switch: Facts or Myths?
Complete Newbie on switch rods and have looked at the past posts on the subject, much help found thanks. Please help me out on some questions I have along with either dis-spelling or confirming facts or myths of switch rods.

Myth of Fact:
1) A switch rod can overhand cast and spey cast, but it doesn't do either well.

2) You will have trouble landing a fish with a switch unless you have freakish long arms.

3) You have to have at least three spools for your reel one for each line: Skagit, Scandi, plus your floating line.

4) Switch rods can't be used to cast any other way but overhand in the surf.

Here is where I am in regards to switch rods: Both shoulders are pretty worn out and my 7 weight gets to be too much if I spend more than a couple of hours casting in the Pacific. Hence my desire to look into switch rods. Our surf on the central coast of Ca. can be very busy and windy any day or time of the week.

I have the opportunity to trade one of my Bamboo blanks for a Sage "One" of my choice. Right now a 7 weight, 11'6" switch blank looks really good to me. I am thinking 7 wt. to push flies thru our wind and for the occasional trip up to the Trinity River to flog the water for Steelhead.

Now to my questions:
1) Too much work to battle both the surf and control the line with a switch?

2) 7 wt. Satisfactory for both the surf and Trinity type waters?

3) If I use a switch with a floating line do they roll cast well enough to put out some decent line?

4) Continued from question 3: Are there switch casts that can be used with a floating line?

Since I know nothing about casting or the difference between a Skagit and Scandi I won't even bother to ask about them right now. That might be best left until I can get with an instructor. Don't even want to pick up a switch until I get with a casting Guru. Watching the videos and knowing my shoulders switch just seems to be a good fit for me. Plus you can never have too many toys and I'll get to build another personal build for me.

Thanks, sorry for the long winded post

Guest1 01-22-2013 03:49 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?
1. That's not true, It takes more 'arm' to cast single hand and it won't cast as far as a big spey rod will, but a smaller lighter spey rod won't cast as far as a big spey rod either. They are a just a two hand rod that is not big. The term switch rod was invented by Bob Meiser when he developed a line of small two hand rods.

2. Is a complete load of hogwash. There was a guy on here who posted that a bunch of times, but he was wrong. I land fish by hand by myself all the time with 15' rods.

3. That's not right either. I don't like Scandi or Skagit so I never use those lines. Scandi is a style of casting and it uses faster rods and shorter heads. Skagit is a type of line and has a number of different tips and cheaters. A wallet is more like what you would need if you went that way. I top hand cast because I can get way more distance and use much longer heads.

4. is completely wrong also. In fact if you are going to use a two hander in the surf, the switch rod is the least capable rod in the bunch. I'd go as big as I could because the ocean is big and a far cast is never to far in that case.

now for the questions

1. No, just make a stripping basket and do just like you would with a single hand rod. That's how I do it and I'm casting in the 140' range all of the time.

2. As I said, a full on Spey rod would be better for the surf but it would work, the Trinity I'm pretty sure gets it's fair share of guys with switch rods.

3. The idea of a switch rod is to SPEY cast, not roll. It would be like using a Ferrari to take the kid to school. You can do it, but seriously, why? :confused:

4. You can use a floating line on any switch rod. The rod does not care if your line floats or sinks, just what it weighs.

One last thing. I am not a huge fan of the casting instructor. I taught myself with you tube videos. It is not rocket science. It's easier to learn than single hand casting. Also, if you want to get real distance, Scandi and Skagit are not the way to do it.

wt bash 01-22-2013 04:47 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?
I'd say Dan is right on except for two points, landing a fish on switch and spey rods can be difficult for newcomers, but its overcome quickly. The second is where a full length spey is better in the surf. I've learned that 100' casts in the surf are totally unnecessary unless you have blitzing fish out of reach. Get to know the bottom and the changes in currents and tides and you can catch fish all day with a normal 60' cast. Does that mean bomber casts aren't part of it, no but know the structure and the need for reaching out is lessened. Trying to cast 13 to 15 foot of rod with a good onshore wind doesn't sound efficient especially with worn out shoulders and unless you fish a sinking line every wave, and in the right conditions multiple waves will really jam up a retrieve with 100' of line out. A good 10 to 11 footer would be ideal for two hand overhead as it'll keep your line off the sand, out of the crow weeds, or off the jetty. Then again the right line on the right single handed rod is just as good if not better in the surf. What it all boils down to is personal preference and your comfort zones.

fredaevans 01-22-2013 08:24 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?
DD/W covered it all.

petee 01-27-2013 12:57 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?
So if I read Diver Dan correctly.... for surf I am probably looking at either a regular fly line or a shooting head with something like Amnesia running line? And then for Steelhead waters probably a Skagit or maybe a Scandi? Geez, what a learning curve. Still need to get the rod built and buy me reel.

But the up side of all this is I get more toys. Doing a barter deal: a Bamboo blank for a Sage "One" 11'6", 7 wt. blank. Have the Titaninum seat coming and am headed to the studio to turn the insert right now. Then if you're going to have a Sage, you have to buy an Abel Switch reel in matching colors. Too much money for fly fishing? Probably, but since I build my own Bamboo rods I don't have a ton of money invested in fly fishing. And it will be a once in a lifetime combo.

Thanks for fueling the addiction :D.


ramset 01-31-2013 08:54 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?
So ya know- spey casts require an anchor and D loop to "Load" the rod. This is how it differs from OH casting. Scandi and skagit both use these, just in different ways. Touch and go anchors (say-snake roll & single spey)for scandi, and sustained anchors (snap T/double spey) for skagit. You can cast a skagit head w/ a T&G cast and vice versa, but by their design, they really shine when you don't. Skagit heads are heavier towards the tip, hence require a deeper load (sustained anchor) to cast. They are used for heavier flies and fishing deeper (t tips). Scandi are heavier towards the back of the head, and taper more up front- lending themselves to lighter flies, lighter tips (poly leaders instead of T) and casting off the tip of the rod.

Guest1 01-31-2013 10:11 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?

Originally Posted by petee (Post 520566)
So if I read Diver Dan correctly.... for surf I am probably looking at either a regular fly line or a shooting head with something like Amnesia running line? And then for Steelhead waters probably a Skagit or maybe a Scandi? Geez, what a learning curve. Still need to get the rod built and buy me reel. :D.


You could use a spey line designed for that rod with an integrated running line if you want. In fact, integrated may be better if you two handed over head cast it as you should in surf. I would prefer an integrated line myself because it's one less thing to come apart and I don't really like stripping amnesia. It's less likely to have problems being only 11 feet long. I have done it with a 15 footer and blew a woven mono loop out and sent my leader and a fly into somewhere downtown. :eek: It's not hard to hit 150 with my 15'ers overhead casting like that.

Now I don't know what those rivers are like there, so Ican't tell you what the best way to fish them is. But if it were a Skagit, and it's probably more likely than not, you could go with a shorter head floater for the surf, and use the same amnesia running line. That would remove the need for a second spool. You need to find a shop around there and ask how they are fishing those with switch rods.

petee 02-01-2013 05:01 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?
Many thanks to everybody for helping me with the facts and myths. I have stepped right into the addiction. And with you all aiding and abetting me, I have probably made some rash life altering decisions. I'll post the details of where I am with the whole switch addiction and my fisrt setup. Just be ready for more questions as far as the build and tips.

Thanks again,

fredaevans 02-01-2013 06:56 PM

Re: Switch: Facts or Myths?
'Ah, Young Skywalker still explores the Dark Side.'

Trust me on this one. I've been tossing a flee off a two hander for close to 60 years and someone frequently shows me a "Well, I'll be darned!" :eek:

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