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  1. Default Switch Rod Setup

    I've been looking into getting a switch rod, and need some advice on setup. It will be used for steel heading, Salmon fishing, lake fishing(pike, smallies, etc.) I am an well experienced fly fisherman, but new to switch/ 2 handed setups. I have read multiple threads on switch rods but im still fuzzy on a good setup.

    I wanna go with a 6wt, most likely the Sage Z-Axis Switch rod. Orvis Mirage Reel.

    My big questions come in line options. Is there a good line for switch rods like Rio's Coldwater Versi tip, with the different leader options, floating through sinking? I wanna go with a Rio line so could someone point me in the direction of a good setup.

    Any help and explanations of whats best would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Switch Rod Setup

    Hi btlguide!
    Welcome to the forum. I use the Z-Axis 6 weight switch as my tight quarters Spey rod.

    Here are some pieces of reading:
    Speycast: The world of Spey Casting - Skagit Fly Lines by EF

    As for line setup, you need to figure out which styles that you wish to throw. The choice of casting will depend on the flies that you will throw. Will you throw heavier flies or sparse classical styles?

    If you choose to go cast mostly heavier flies, cast a Skagit style shooting head like the Rio Skagit Short. The recommended weight is the 325 and the 375 grain sizes. If you want to have your rod bend more towards the mid section, get the 325 grain size. If you want it to load further down, go with the 375 grain. For multi-tip setup, purchase the Rio Skagit MOW Tips (light size). This tip selection will allow you to play the depth game. Add short leaders to the tips, and you are in business.

    If you choose to cast sparse classical style flies, I would choose the Rio AFS floating shooting head. This is a Scandinavian style shooting head. Choose the 4/5 (300 grain) if you like to cast off the tip, or chose the 5/6 (340 grain) if you want to cast more towards the midsection. To play the multi-tip game, get a selection of 10 foot Rio Spey Versileaders. Just tie some tippet to the end of the Versileader.

    Both are shooting heads, so you would need a shooting line. Since you want to purchase Rio products, get either a .024" or .030" floating Powerflex Shooting Line. The thinner diameter will pass through your guides easier. The thicker one is easier to handle.

    My line setup for my 6 weight Z-Axis Switch is the 325 grain Skagit Short head. I have not tried the MOW Tips yet even though I have the kit in my gear bag. I do not throw large Intruder style flies on the switch. I throw mostly buggers and leeches.

    If you are going to throw some heavier flies like the large Intruder styles, I would err towards the 375 grain head. You will be able to get more load to deliver those flies.


  3. Default Re: Switch Rod Setup


    Thanks a ton for the help!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Switch Rod Setup

    I knew MP would land that one so please excuse me for not posting to say hello. MP works in the fishing business and is on speed with the info you want, while I am quite a dinosaur on some topics.

    Welcome to the group, hope you stick around.


    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

  5. #5

    Default Re: Switch Rod Setup

    I would call Rio and talk to a tech.
    I bought an Orvis Helios 11 ft. 8 weight and called Rio about line suggesions. They reccommended AFS OutBound and the exact line weight for my rod, it casts like a dream.
    They are extremely helpful.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Switch Rod Setup

    Someone else you may want to speak with is Bob Meiser who has been making switch rods and spey rods for a very long time. He's a great guy, very knowledgeable, and acts as a consultant at times to some of the other major rod manufacturers. He's located in Medford, OR.

    Too many hobbies, not enough time!
    Fly Fishing
    Home Winemaking

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