Rigging a switch set up

fishyboy

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howdy new to switch /spey casting i have a beulah platinum 11' 8wt rod with a ross reel cla 5 with a 8t rio switch line, how long should my leader be? and what type of flies should i be swinging, hopeful to catch steelhead, anything really haha i got this set up already like this from CL wondering if its rigged properly. any advice or tips are welcome thank you
 

duker

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Whoo boy. Where to start.

There's no easy answer to a question like "how long should my leader be" or "what kind of flies should I be swinging"--in fact, there are numerous answers to those questions. Others will chime in with theirs; here are some suggestions.

First of all, you say you want to fish for steelhead--what rivers? What type of rivers? What type of water? Do you want to fish for them with wet flies, streamers, intruders, dry flies? Depending on the type of water you're fishing, and the type of fly you're using, your leader and tip set up will vary.

Basically: if you're swinging streamers or intruders or similar (probably for higher or dirtier water), you'll likely be using sink tips of varying densities, either pre-cut sink tips (e.g. Rio MOWs) or versileaders/polyleaders (Rio and Airflo, respectively). If I'm using sink tips I'll use a short tippet of about 3'-5' looped to the sink tip. If you're casting smaller/lighter flies or dries or skaters, you'll want a floating leader and longer tippet--say, 9' or so, and probably lighter weight than what you used for big streamers and intruders. Again, this will depend on water levels, rivers, and your own personal choice and approach.

I don't know what CL is, but hopefully whoever you bought the outfit from set it up properly. That said, you won't know if it's set up properly for you until you cast it (assuming you already know how to cast double-handed; if you don't, you're going to have to learn). Do a search of this and other forums on casting double-handed rods and you will find thousands of endless discussions about rod tapers, grain weights, tips, leaders, tippet, etc., but the important thing is that you find a rod and line set-up that works for you. If you are learning how to cast a double-handed rod for the first time it might be easier to start with something 13'-14'--switch rods can be trickier re: timing--but a lesson or two should get you started on the right foot whatever rod you use. Also: practice, practice, practice.

Given that you live in Corvallis, Oregon, there have got to be lots of good fly shops around, especially ones that specialize in double-handed rods. Find one or two or three, start frequenting those and becoming a customer, and ask and learn from them. They can help. At a minimum, they can tell you if your rod and reel are set up properly and correct it if it isn't.

Finally, welcome to the forum and the wonderful (and addictive) world of double-handed rods.

Scott
 

LOC

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howdy new to switch /spey casting i have a beulah platinum 11' 8wt rod with a ross reel cla 5 with a 8t rio switch line, how long should my leader be? and what type of flies should i be swinging, hopeful to catch steelhead, anything really haha i got this set up already like this from CL wondering if its rigged properly. any advice or tips are welcome thank you
I'm not exactly sure how much weight you need to balance out that rod but the Ross CLA 5 would most likely be in the ballpark. If you hold the rod at a standard point on the front grip and parallel to the ground it might teeter one way or the other but as long as it does not do a hard wheelie or nose dive you're probably good to go. Once you learn what you like and or don't like you can fine tune that balance if need be.

Fly selection is really based on local water so as Duker wisely suggested visit a local fly shop and they can fill you in easily on flys. As far as the line goes you may want to go with a dedicated skagit or even a short scandi line. They make a line called a switch chucker that may work well for you too. The switch line you have has a really long head and kind of a jack of all trades more for nymphing than spey casting and swinging.

The local will be able to fill you in on the right line for your waters and leader setup.

Now as far being new to spey I was in your exact same shoes just a few short months ago. I was able to successfully teach myself how to two hand cast but I was pretty dedicated to learn and I had the advantage that I have a really good understanding on the principles of single hand casting and single hand spey casting. My biggest hurdle was to unlearn the dominant push of the top hand and learn to put the power in the pull of the bottom hand. It's kind of a complex learning curve there are a lot of moving parts and timing involved for a good two handed cast.
One thing that really helped out in the beginning was to always start by making sure my lift an anchor were correct. If you don't do those two correctly the rest of the cast is always going to suffer.

That said, you don't have to make perfect spey casts to swing a river and catch a fish. So practice when you can and have fun.

Lots of good videos to watch but I'll throw this one up because I found his style of teaching easy going and the insturction concise.
 
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flav

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Do you have the Rio switch line or the switch chucker? They're totally different. I'm going to assume you have the chucker because it comes in an 8 weight, and the switch comes in a 7/8 or 8/9. What leader and flies you can use will totally depend on what line system you have.
Summer run fish are in the local rivers, the N & S Santiam, middle Willamette, and McKenzie, but they're not plentiful. Stop in the watershed fly shop there in Corvallis. They know Spey and will help you rig up your setup and give you some suggestions of where to fish.
 

huronfly

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I was going to ask the same question as flav, because it makes a huge difference.
-Switch chucker, I've never used but it is like an integrated skagit line meant to throw t-type tips (eg. t-8, t-11) and bigger flies
-Switch, was my first two handed fly line, not very good for spey casting anything but the lightest polyleaders and smaller flies. It is a VERY GOOD indicator/roll casting/mending line if that is what you are looking for.
 

fishyboy

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Whoo boy. Where to start.

There's no easy answer to a question like "how long should my leader be" or "what kind of flies should I be swinging"--in fact, there are numerous answers to those questions. Others will chime in with theirs; here are some suggestions.

First of all, you say you want to fish for steelhead--what rivers? What type of rivers? What type of water? Do you want to fish for them with wet flies, streamers, intruders, dry flies? Depending on the type of water you're fishing, and the type of fly you're using, your leader and tip set up will vary.

Basically: if you're swinging streamers or intruders or similar (probably for higher or dirtier water), you'll likely be using sink tips of varying densities, either pre-cut sink tips (e.g. Rio MOWs) or versileaders/polyleaders (Rio and Airflo, respectively). If I'm using sink tips I'll use a short tippet of about 3'-5' looped to the sink tip. If you're casting smaller/lighter flies or dries or skaters, you'll want a floating leader and longer tippet--say, 9' or so, and probably lighter weight than what you used for big streamers and intruders. Again, this will depend on water levels, rivers, and your own personal choice and approach.

I don't know what CL is, but hopefully whoever you bought the outfit from set it up properly. That said, you won't know if it's set up properly for you until you cast it (assuming you already know how to cast double-handed; if you don't, you're going to have to learn). Do a search of this and other forums on casting double-handed rods and you will find thousands of endless discussions about rod tapers, grain weights, tips, leaders, tippet, etc., but the important thing is that you find a rod and line set-up that works for you. If you are learning how to cast a double-handed rod for the first time it might be easier to start with something 13'-14'--switch rods can be trickier re: timing--but a lesson or two should get you started on the right foot whatever rod you use. Also: practice, practice, practice.

Given that you live in Corvallis, Oregon, there have got to be lots of good fly shops around, especially ones that specialize in double-handed rods. Find one or two or three, start frequenting those and becoming a customer, and ask and learn from them. They can help. At a minimum, they can tell you if your rod and reel are set up properly and correct it if it isn't.

Finally, welcome to the forum and the wonderful (and addictive) world of double-handed rods.

Scott
Thank you for your advice and input. CL= craigslist
I have been watching the RIO videos about the different types of lines as you mention the mows, loop 2 loop seems like you can customize your running line, belly and head, then skagit style or scandal, WOW so much but I am out there practicing almost everyday. I've seen more carp than steelhead down here in the willamette kinda want to target them, my buddy that fishies for them in LA river gave me some bread flies, anybody out here targeting carp they seem like fun to catch on the fly and the only fish I see out here

DUKER thanks again for the info and tips
 

fishyboy

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I'm not exactly sure how much weight you need to balance out that rod but the Ross CLA 5 would most likely be in the ballpark. If you hold the rod at a standard point on the front grip and parallel to the ground it might teeter one way or the other but as long as it does not do a hard wheelie or nose dive you're probably good to go. Once you learn what you like and or don't like you can fine tune that balance if need be.

Fly selection is really based on local water so as Duker wisely suggested visit a local fly shop and they can fill you in easily on flys. As far as the line goes you may want to go with a dedicated skagit or even a short scandi line. They make a line called a switch chucker that may work well for you too. The switch line you have has a really long head and kind of a jack of all trades more for nymphing than spey casting and swinging.

The local will be able to fill you in on the right line for your waters and leader setup.

Now as far being new to spey I was in your exact same shoes just a few short months ago. I was able to successfully teach myself how to two hand cast but I was pretty dedicated to learn and I had the advantage that I have a really good understanding on the principles of single hand casting and single hand spey casting. My biggest hurdle was to unlearn the dominant push of the top hand and learn to put the power in the pull of the bottom hand. It's kind of a complex learning curve there are a lot of moving parts and timing involved for a good two handed cast.
One thing that really helped out in the beginning was to always start by making sure my lift an anchor were correct. If you don't do those two correctly the rest of the cast is always going to suffer.

That said, you don't have to make perfect spey casts to swing a river and catch a fish. So practice when you can and have fun.

Lots of good videos to watch but I'll throw this one up because I found his style of teaching easy going and the insturction concise.
I have been up all night after my practice days watching every spey, switch, and one handed spey video online, just being a newbie in fly fishing in general seems like I get a break through and then face another hurdle but I guess that's what makes it so fun, thank you for your advice and tip. I have visited the local fly shops and at first I was scared to be the newbie and ask dumb questions for the most part they have been helpful even gave me spots to try that are closer than the Mckenzie.
 

duker

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I should have also suggested in my reply to check out the speypages forum. This one is an excellent forum and you'll find great info and advice here; as the name suggests speypages is devoted to all things spey-related and is a gold mine of info. Warning: when you start getting into the discussions on various line types and lengths and grain heads and then the ones on sink tips/leaders/tippet/etc. you can crawl down a lot of rabbit holes and not come out for days. You'll eventually find a set-up that works for you, and then you can experiment.

Some like integrated lines--head and running line in one--but I personally prefer loop-to-loop for my running lines, heads, and tips/leaders. Easy to change, especially when you're learning and starting out and trying different heads and tips.

Everyone's been the newbie, and even those of us who have been doing this for a few years learn something new every time we do it. Hours to learn; a lifetime to master. That's one of the things that makes it so satisfying. There are no dumb questions--really.

Finally, if they're available and you can afford it consider taking a lesson. A day or two of instruction will get you on the right path right away, and you'll avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over and getting frustrated. Ask me how I know.

Scott
 

fishyboy

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Do you have the Rio switch line or the switch chucker? They're totally different. I'm going to assume you have the chucker because it comes in an 8 weight, and the switch comes in a 7/8 or 8/9. What leader and flies you can use will totally depend on what line system you have.
Summer run fish are in the local rivers, the N & S Santiam, middle Willamette, and McKenzie, but they're not plentiful. Stop in the watershed fly shop there in Corvallis. They know Spey and will help you rig up your setup and give you some suggestions of where to fish.
I wish it was the chucker, I have just the switch, I stopped at the shop already great guys
I was going to ask the same question as flav, because it makes a huge difference.
-Switch chucker, I've never used but it is like an integrated skagit line meant to throw t-type tips (eg. t-8, t-11) and bigger flies
-Switch, was my first two handed fly line, not very good for spey casting anything but the lightest polyleaders and smaller flies. It is a VERY GOOD indicator/roll casting/mending line if that is what you are looking for.
cool from what I gathered the chucker seems like a good line. thanks for the tips
 

flav

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All right, knowing what line you have solves a lot of issues. I'd use a mono leader about 9-11 feet long tapered down to 10 lb Maxima. You could use poly leaders, but they'll be more difficult to cast than a mono leader on that line. Black or purple steelhead patterns in about size 4 should be fine. The silver Hilton has always been a successful pattern on the Willamette tributaries, as have been green butt skunks, muddlers, and a host of other flies. Steelhead aren't picky, just choose a fly you like and keep covering water.
You're not going to see many steelhead around Corvallis, the water is too warm, but every fish bound for the middle fork and the McKenzie will pass by on their way upstream. There are fish being caught regularly right here in the Eugene area, but numbers are low and it's hard work. Things will get easier in fall when water temps drop. I only occasionally swing for steel in July and August, but once late September and October hit it's game on.
 

fishyboy

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All right, knowing what line you have solves a lot of issues. I'd use a mono leader about 9-11 feet long tapered down to 10 lb Maxima. You could use poly leaders, but they'll be more difficult to cast than a mono leader on that line. Black or purple steelhead patterns in about size 4 should be fine. The silver Hilton has always been a successful pattern on the Willamette tributaries, as have been green butt skunks, muddlers, and a host of other flies. Steelhead aren't picky, just choose a fly you like and keep covering water.
You're not going to see many steelhead around Corvallis, the water is too warm, but every fish bound for the middle fork and the McKenzie will pass by on their way upstream. There are fish being caught regularly right here in the Eugene area, but numbers are low and it's hard work. Things will get easier in fall when water temps drop. I only occasionally swing for steel in July and August, but once late September and October hit it's game on.
SWEET! yea I explored all Mckenzie River up to dexter damn and seen monsters swimming around, I swung some flies they were not interested at all, and my casting needs work :O thanks for your help.
 
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