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  1. Default Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Hi All,

    I have never handled a spey or switch rod outside of the fly shop. They do intrigue me, but I've not found a need for one. Until now, maybe.

    I live in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The spring steelhead run is on (but slow so far). A lot of guys drift egg sacks in Lake Superior proper at the mouths of the rivers. I have occasionally drifted streamers with an egg dropper fly in the big lake with my 9'6" Scott SAS on calm days, allowing the current of the river spilling into the lake to carry the fly. But I never quite have the range to get the fly where it needs to be when the fish are patrolling off shore a bit.

    My question is this - would a switch (or spey) rod make sense to get me the extra distance I need when fishing the mouths of the rivers in Lake Superior? I should mention that I am wading from shore - not in a boat.

    Thanks and I look forward to your thoughts.

  2. Likes Ard, rockriver liked this post
  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Hello, and welcome to the forum.

    I've seen people who are good casters with a nine foot rod and back cast space put casts out to 70 - 80 feet one after another. I have also seen people who are not proficient with a Switch or Spey rod struggle to make the same distance.

    Once you become skilled at casting various size payloads to desired distances the 2 hand rods do make it easier. However, while folks get up to speed it may not be as easy as the single hand rod.

    I don't mean not to try, I mean to forewarn that things often are not instant in their arrival Unless your streams / rivers are of the medium variety I would just go to a 12'6" or 13' rod and be done with it. There is something to be said for learning a new skillset and this would qualify as one.

    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

  4. Likes eastfly66, ia_trouter, mcnerney, rockriver liked this post
  5. Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Hi Ard,

    Thanks for the Welcome to the forum. I am not new to flyfishing, and I guess I would call myself an average caster. I certainly don't put out 70 - 80 ft regularly with my current 8Wt single hand rod, more like 50 -60 ft, when I have the room behind me.

    I'm always up for learning new things and this sounds like a good one to learn.

    Since I won't have a moving river to load the rod, I'm thinking that I should learn how to do a 2 handed overhead cast with a switch rod. Does this make sense?

    I look forward to learning how to use these big rods. - Sean

  6. #4

    Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Quote Originally Posted by sjkirkpa View Post
    My question is this - would a switch (or spey) rod make sense to get me the extra distance I need
    What is this extra distance you are looking for ?

  7. #5
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    Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Lack of moving water complicates it. Switch has some application on still water but presentation is a completely different game. There are vids on the net. I don't think I would ever use a spey on still water. It's cumbersome and the advantages a really long rod offers don't apply so much.

    I have used my spey to fish bluegills from 70ft away, just to practice hitting a target. I'm sure I looked ridiculous.

  8. Likes fredaevans liked this post
  9. Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Hi eastfly,

    It's hard to say what the extra distance is I need - maybe 30 ft or so? I don't know exactly... All I know is that I'm looking for ideas to get to the fish in less than ideal conditions, usually...

    I have no idea if a switch or spey rod is a potential solution or not. I know so little about them. I'm just seeking opinions. Thanks.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Quote Originally Posted by sjkirkpa View Post
    Hi eastfly,

    It's hard to say what the extra distance is I need - maybe 30 ft or so? I don't know exactly... All I know is that I'm looking for ideas to get to the fish in less than ideal conditions, usually...

    I have no idea if a switch or spey rod is a potential solution or not. I know so little about them. I'm just seeking opinions. Thanks.
    I was just asking in case you had some thought of casting 80 yards or something with the 2 hander ....my guess is that rounds out about 70/80 feet , with a little practice you should have no problem reaching that with your 908 but do follow up with your interest in the 2 hander. I promise you will not regret it.

    Cheers
    Paul

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Are you drifting the streamers/eggs under an indicator or swinging? Do you know what type of line you would be using?

    Unless you are swinging on a tight line, I would think line control at that distance would be near impossible... With practice and proper technique an overhead DH cast should give you more distance, but like Ard said, don't expect instant success. You don't need moving water to spey cast either. They are definitely more cumbersome for stripping flies or fishing from a boat but if you are wading and drifting/swinging I say go for it.
    Danny

  13. Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Hi Danny,

    I have no idea what line I would be using.... I have no experience with 2 handed rods..

    Not really swinging a fly, either... Picture standing in Lake Superior at the outlet of a small/medium sized river (some more like creeks), casting blindly into the largest freshwater lake (depending on how you measure, of course) in the world, letting the current from the small river/creek take the fly and hoping to run into a steelhead. That's the plan. Maybe.

    Like I said, I'm an average - not great, not bad, either - caster with my single handed 9'6", 8wt Scott SAS, but I'm just exploring new options...

    Probably, from what I can tell on-line, I need to learn a 2 handed overhead cast and pick up the right rod and line.

    I am always willing to put in the time practicing...

    Sean

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  15. #10
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    Default Re: Switch rod IN the Great Lakes

    Quote Originally Posted by sjkirkpa View Post
    ..Since I won't have a moving river to load the rod, I'm thinking that I should learn how to do a 2 handed overhead cast with a switch rod. Does this make sense?

    I look forward to learning how to use these big rods. - Sean
    That does sound like it makes sense Sean but despite the name "switch", in reality they are not very good overhand casting tools. I'm not aware of anyone on this forum that does that often. A 10ft singlehand rod is probably better for that application, because the rod and line are lighter. Overhead casting a spey line will cease to be pleasant in a short time. It not pleasant to me anyway. You can load a switch rod in still water, but it is different. The biggest challenge I have when using a two hander in still water is that you are not swinging and mending, which is where a long rod shines. You have to strip line to impart action. You have a lot of line and leader out of the tip and it's very ackward to fish close in. Which may or may not be a problem in your situation. I don't mean to discourage you but you will have to choose gear carefully.

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