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  1. #1

    Question Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    Hi everyone,
    I'm rather lost after reading so many reviews on different switch rods and I need some help from people who have more real-world experience in this area than I do. Here's my personal sitch: have been fly fishing for 29 years mainly on smallish Utah rivers for trout. Love indicator nymphing and throwing streamers (sometimes multiple weighted streamers). Want to buy a switch rod for my trips to the Green River.
    Here are the questions I've been struggling with:
    - "What's the ideal weight rod to buy?" In a 9'-er I prefer a 6wt, but with an additional 2 feet of rod I figure that has to change something.
    - "Since I'm on a budget (like most of us), which of these rods do you think would not only work best for OH & Spey casting, SH & DH casting, but also won't break the bank" Redington Dually, Redington Prospector switch, St. Croix Imperial switch or the G.Loomis PRO 4x switch? My max budget is about $500....still have to buy line and a reel too.
    - "With whatever rod you recommend, what RIO switch line weight would you recommend?"

    Thanks so much for any and all advice and tight lines to you all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.


    I moved your post here to the Spey & Switch forums hoping you'll get more hits here. I can't be of much help because I have only 1 and have very little use of it due to the fact I got it right at the end of the season 2013. What I bought is a Hardy Swift of maybe 5 years of age. With what little time I had to cast it the rod seems very good. I have 5 longer rods and this was my first experiment with the 11'6" rods.

    We have a good many Switch owners on the forum and I'm sure some will see your post and give you their take on rods such as you have listed.

    Welcome to the forum, you should include (Edit) your location into your posting information so that if there is a member in your own neighborhood they will spot you.


    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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    Thanks so much.

  4. Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    I'm far from an expert, but I've heard good things about the Prospector. If you're going to use the rod for swinging, nymphing, and OH casts then you want something that isn't too soft and that has a relatively progressive taper. For largish trout, id look for a rod class that accepted a ~300 grain head.

    There are currently lines that are advertised to be equally effective swinging and nymphing, but personally I would use different lines for these applications. Maybe something like a single hand steelhead/salmon line for nymphing (probably ~8wt line for a rod that likes a 300 grain head) and the shortest skagit line you can find for swinging. The reason I like short heads is because they can handle the heaviest streamers in a given rod weight class. The steelhead/salmon line can also be used for OH casting and for swinging wet flies.

    If your interested in smaller trout and/or have no need to toss heavy streamers then I would check out some of the newer switch rods that like a ~250 grain head.

    Of course these are just my opinions and they are worth about 2.

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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Adirondacks & Great Lakes Tribs

    Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    At $500 a Beulah short Spey or switch will out perform the other rods mentioned. I have used all the rods mentioned and out of all of them the Redington prospector was my favorite..however, for just under $500 the Beulah Classic will smoke those rods. If you can cough up about $530 or so a Beulah platinum series is one of the best price to performance ratios on the market today for double handers, you should take a look at their rods.

    In terms of line weights, a switch #5 vs. a SH #5 is a pretty big difference, the switch will offer more fish fighting power and throw bigger flies. I'd say get a #5, how ever that all depends on where and what your fishing for, how big are the fish, and more importantly what size flies are you throwing, and will you be using sink tips or polyleaders? Also, casting a switch rod with one hand is a nightmare, you'll find it's a compact Spey rod, so you should also look at shorter Spey models such as 11'6" or 12'6" Spey rods. I use a sage z-axis 12'6" 5 wieght spey rod for trout, landlocked salmon and small steelhead and I can get into some very tight casting situations.

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  8. #6

    Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    Just like Tyler, I am not an expert either but I've tried several 5wt switch rods.
    I think a 4wt or 5wt switch rod will be good for your application and you have plenty of choices for under <$500.

    From my personal experience and experiment I do not recommend the Beulah Classic as your first switch rod since that rod is very picky with the line. The Beulah Classic that I had was 5/6 10'6" a beautiful rod. I asked Steve Godshall for a custom cut line and it solved the problem. However, I sold the rod anyway. Some people will argue my opinion about it. By the way, you can get the Classic new from Ebay for $240 with Elixir line. Sage TCX 5wt 11'9" is $526 and it is a blast to cast but very fast.

    I would choose the Redington Prospector. Forget about the Dually, the Prospector is a much nicer, smoother and with better component. The St. Croix 5wt 11ft is kinda slower than the Prospector. It is a nice smooth casting rod; but cosmetically very plain. The King of the hill is the Sage One, but it is a $850 stick.
    I heard a lot of good reviews about the Mystic Switch rod too $479. Check it out.

    I asked Steve Godshall to make me a custom 6wt rod with wide grain window that can cast as low as 265 to 425 grain and a custom cut line as well. More costly but worth the $.

    Rio switch chucker will be a good line for the right rod and vice versa. Royal Wulff Ambush as well, I used the #6 265 grain for my custom rod. Or cut the chase short and give Steve a call. Rio line recommendation is super helpful but it isn't the gospel.

    I have a brand new prospector 7wt for sale in the classified, but I don't think it will fit your need. Good luck sir.
    The link below is my sampling essay about some 5wt switch rods in bad grammar.
    I am highly qualified to comment in this forum after receiving a Specialized High Intensive Training (S.H.I.T) at the Olde Schitt Institute of Technology (O.S.H.I.T).

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  10. #7

    Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    Hi guys,

    Thanks so much for such great opinions. Just to more specific about my intended use for my rod, I'll mainly use it for fishing the Green River (med. large) here in Utah from the banks. I also will be taking it to AK this summer to fight some silvers and big (hopefully) alaskan bows.
    Most of what I'll be doing is high-stick and indicator nymphing for trout. The closest steelhead river is the Salmon River in ID and it's about a 7 hour drive for me, so swinging flies for chromers isn't something I'll be doing a lot of. Unfortunately.
    On the Green River there's always something behind you, and roll casting my St. Croix Imperial 9' 6wt can get pretty tiring with an indicator, 3 weighted flies and probably some split shot to get deep fast. I'm looking for a rod that will help me reach father, really feel the fight and lessen my fatigue. It's that fine line I'm looking to hit between "too much rod, can't feel the fight" and "not-powerful-enough-to-lift-the-flies, floppy feeling". The fish I typically encounter are thick-shouldered brown trout between 14" and 24" in some pretty deep and fast currents. When the caddis come off, that's where swinging caddis emergers will be dy-no-mite and it's a "10 casts, 8 fish landed" scenario. If you're ever below flaming gorge reservoir around the beginning of July, bring your emerger patterns and hold on.
    It sounds like a 5wt is really where I want to go, and I'm getting lots of praise for the Beulah rods. Reach is important, which is why I'd like to lean toward a 11' rod, rather than a 10' 6" one. Will it make that much of a difference?
    Thanks again for all the great feedback!

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  12. Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    I don't think many people use two hand casts while nymphing...its difficult to cast upstream this way. Therefore I'm not sure a switch rod will be less fatiguing than a single hander. Maybe you can get by with mending less with a switch rod which may be less fatiguing.

    Something you might want to try is learning the single hand spey casts with the rods you already own. I use a single hand double spey a lot while nymphing and it doesn't feel very fatiguing. It's definitely more powerful than a roll cast. It helps to upline by 2-3wts for the single hand spey casts.

  13. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Truckee, CA.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    Fishing my sage 11' 6wt switch on the Truckee 75% of the time. (About the same as Green.) Both single and two handed casting.
    Keeping it simple, I have two spools for my T-8 Galvan.
    1- Skagit taper and a wallet full of leaders. Lined two lines up from rod rating.
    2- Salmon/steelhead taper. Three lines up.
    With this set-up, I can swing, dredge with a bobber, and fish a dry.
    Good for fish from 16-28"......
    I concurred with Runningfish on the prospector, if I went for a Beulah, it would be the platinum. The thing is a gun.
    Wouldn't go cheap on the rod, you'll only have to upgrade later.....A large arbor reel that's not too pricey will do.
    Love being able to stick a big Bow, or a recalcitrant Brown and still feel in control.
    So much easier than 9fters to get the job done.
    Hope you have fun with the new rod......

  14. Default Re: Best switch rod for river trout??? Please help.

    I know the waters you likely fish. For me it is an Echo 4wt SR! At 10'6" it has length to make it very versatile. It is light enough that I can throw size 20 midge dries on the Middle. Albeit not as delicate as a with one hander. I learned that last fall going after sipping browns on the B section. It is a very good nymph rod. It high sticks like a mad man. So it has use on the Weber being used as a Euro rod. Or it can be used to dab tiny water in the upper Uintah's. Oh, and I regularly use it for a streamer rod.

    So, if I read correctly you will be walking the trail from Little Hole to the Dam. Most of the fish in that section key on nymphs and streamers. The streamers would probably be smaller articulated things. Be careful not to go to big. I throw streamers using a 7-wt two handers in a few areas of A and a lot of B &C. But, that is when I have three rods.

    If you want shoot me an email and I can bring mine to Wasatch Expo. You could cast it on the demo pond. Plus several rod companies will have demos you can throw.


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