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  1. #1

    Default Proper grain weight for switch rod (Echo/Airflo)

    Need some advice on best head length and weight for my 11' 6w Echo Classic switch rod. It's rated (on the rod) for 330-390 grain but I'm not sure if that applies to overhead casting or spey style. It has a moderate action and I use it to cast it overhead in the surf (California). I like Airflo sinking lines and I've been using their Sniper 8w with 30' head at 315gr. So far my 2 hand cast has been disappointing in distance when it looks good, and dismal when it falls apart, which happens often. Airflo does offer more compact heads on their other integrated lines (20-28') but they all seem to be floating, and I need to sink at about 3-6IPS. The Sniper is their only short-head line offered in 3IPS and 7IPS. It's expensive to keep trying new lines but I'm thinking of trying the 9w Sniper at 375 grains--any thoughts on this? Worth a try?

    or should I try adding a short sinking head or polyleader to the line I have? (In that case, might be nice to get a scale and weigh the head. More expense. But I do have some old sinking heads around here.)

    Regarding my technique-- I'm having a problem with tailing loops when I use my bottom hand for leverage. When I slow down my cast, the loop opens up too wide. My solution has been to give it a sideways twist (just outside the proper plane) to keep the line from smacking into itself. Not ideal, and I'm sure it has a negative effect on my distance.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Re: Proper grain weight for switch rod (Echo/Airflo)

    I'll give you a bump hoping someone familiar with this particular rod may see the post and help you out. My telling what I use on a different make and length may not be helpful at all so....

    With regard to your technique issue, I find it very hard to troubleshoot a casting problem by reading and then answering a post. Whit that said and out of the way.... I have always used long belly fly lines and only 5 years ago was introduced to Scandi lengths. My Scandi lines are mostly 45 foot custom cuts with integrated running line from the line master Steve Godshall.

    I provide that detail on lines hoping what I will say next might make sense. When I cast (I'm right handed) my left hand (bottom cork hand) isn't necessarily providing leverage. When I make forward casts it is my top hand which is at the fulcrum point and so I guess it is the leverage point as well.

    To be totally honest I may not be the best person to try explaining casting although I am able to get all my fishing done without problems so I sometimes try.

    In my own experience I can tell you that every time I have seen difficulties with a cast I can narrow the cause down to just a few possible causes. In no particular order: the anchor point, the current speed where I'm trying to place my line and anchor, the rotation speed as I form that D loop and the speed of my forward stroke and stop point.

    That's a lot huh?

    I think all those parts have to be working together or something isn't going to work out as well as you may like. When there is a problem the only thing you can do is to think as you move through a cast. I mean think of each stage at each stage and try to mentally spot the deficiency. I don't know how that will read for you but hope it makes sense. Unless you work with someone who is helping to spot your fault and then to correct it the only way you can improve results on your own is through deductions made based on real time instances while casting on moving water.

    Looking back you remember I said current speed right? That is perhaps the one factor that can affect your casting more than some may suspect. If you think back to yesterday or last week and it seems you were casting just fine but today everything is a mess...… Then ask yourself what may be different. Current speed, opposite side of the river, how deep are you wading, all those things can cause difficulties for you until you have been doing this style of casting for long enough that everything just comes without conscious thought.

    Don't know if any of that will help at all but I said it.

    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. Default Re: Proper grain weight for switch rod (Echo/Airflo)

    Funny, I was just watching this video from Tim Rajeff on two handed overhead casting -




    No idea about your rod. I did see an archived page on the Echo site which seemed to describe it as a fast action rod, could be wrong.

    I have an older Ross Reach 11'3" 6wt switch. I've been experimenting and put a Rio Outbound Short 8wt shooting head (older 330grain, not the newer 315), sink 6 with 40# OPST Lazar line on it, and it shoots pretty well, 70 or 80' easy in the casting pool anyway, using two-handed overhead. I would describe my casting skill as one or two notches below "incompetent"

    I also have the equivalent Rio Outbound Short 8wt/S6 line, which I've used on the same rod. I get the distinct impression that it doesn't cast as far, presumably because of the running line.

    Again, most likely my lack of skill. But at least that is a constant in my experiments...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Proper grain weight for switch rod (Echo/Airflo)

    Switch rods are rated weirdly. The grain window refers to spey casting scandi or skagit heads. A scandi should weigh in the bottom half of the window (330-360) and a skagit in the top half (360-390). The line weight listed on the rod (6 wt) refers to overhead casting, so maybe you should be casting a 6 weight sniper instead of an 8.

    I don't know if that will fix your casting problems, but it couldn't hurt to try a lighter line. If you have an old 6, 7 or 8 weight single hand line laying around give one or all of them a try and you'll have a good idea if that's what you need to do. I know my 11' 6 weight loves a 350 grain scandi, yet overheads a 180 grain head just great. Like I said, switch rods are rated weirdly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Proper grain weight for switch rod (Echo/Airflo)

    i dont have any experience with the echo switch rod but i can tell you my experience and maybe it will help. i have a 6wt 10'4" beulah platinum switch. used it recently with a wulff ambush 8wt and was able to do a bunch of different things. the line is a 290 grain 20ft head. with a 7ft s5 poly leader i was able to comfortably single hand over head cast with it. definitely clunky but doable...thats just the nature of the line (i have the 5wt wulff ambush as well and it feels the same way on a 9ft 5wt rod). no fatigue either as there is no false casting involved. using a 10ft 65 grain intermediate tip the setup could comfortably shoot a decent amount of line using a snake roll. and using the same setup it was able to do snap t casts. so with one line i was able to comfortably do all 3 types of casts...single hand over head, touch and go snake roll, and sustained anchor snap t. definitely felt like the snap t couldve used a lil more bend in the rod but it was still doable with somewhat satisfying results. snake roll was tons of fun and very satisfying...definitely my favorite cast of the 3. over head single hand had good distance with satisfying process and results. since your rod is 8" longer you will probably need some tweaking to what i did if you choose to experiment. one thing to keep in mind, mending this line like you would indicator fishing just isnt possible...the head is much too heavy for the running line...just cant effectively move the head/fly if you are fishing at any kind of distance. but for swinging and stripping streamer fishing, its pretty awesome. running line is a lil thin too so stripping/handling it isnt the easiest but with some practice it gets easier...definitely easier than handling mono running line like lazar or amnesia chameleon. and i completely hear you on the experimenting with lines...its gets pricey quick. thats why i wait for lines im interested in show up in forums like this...much easier on the wallet and if it doesnt work, you could probably sell it for close to what you paid. hope thats helpful. good luck.

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