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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
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    CALIFORNIA (working on an escape plan now)
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    Default New Rod Build Questions

    Hi all,
    New member here and itching to build a new rod. I've only one prior build under my belt but I'm looking to build a longer rod for my stillwater fishing from a tube. I was thinking about trying out a switch rod in the 10.5-11' range and was hoping to get some advice from you knowledgeable folks.

    So my main waters are Eastern Sierra lakes and streams but most of my time is in the tube on the lakes. Although I'm hoping to get more and varied opportunities in the coming months and years. I mostly fish 5 wt. rods in these lakes and 2-4 wt. for the creeks/streams. I can get into some pretty good fish in some of these lakes with the largest being in the 22-24" range.

    I just ordered a 10' 5wt. kit using a Pac Bay Quickline blank only to find out that they've been on backorder for a long time and I'd recently heard that Pac Bay was discontinuing that line. I told the guy on the phone at Angler's Workshop that I didn't think those blanks were being made anymore. He didn't really know what to say so I cancelled the order. So maybe that was a good thing and I can focus again on the switch rod.

    I basically have three questions:

    1: Would a 10.5 -11' rod be too long for landing some of the larger fish from the tube? I do have a couple of long handled nets, including one telescoping but I'm envisioning that rod flex with my right arm as far back as I can stretch it and then trying to position my left hand with the net and the rod tip wiggling back and forth and well, you get the picture. Or am I overthinking it?

    2: I'm somewhat confused as regards to the weight rating on many of the 2 handed rods. I've seen many say that to get a comparable single handed wt. rating you need to add 3. Therefore a 5 wt. 2 handed rod would be more like a 8 wt. single. A 3 wt. more like a 6 single and so forth. But then I found a few articles (I think even looking through some posts on this forum) that say not all manufacturers rate their blanks the same. For example the Batson line of blanks for 2 handed rods are more typical of a single handed rating. I have a rudimentary understanding (at best) of the Skagit and Scandi lines and ratings but not fully understanding how those ratings relate back to standard rod/line weight ratings. In other words what Skagit grain rating would equal a typical 5 wt. line?

    3: Not withstanding question 2, can a standard fly line be used on the switch rods?

    So as I continue my research I would appreciate any feedback from you folks and especially the practicality of fishing rods longer than 10' from a tube.

    Thank you very much in advance for any info you can provide.

    Dan

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    Some of the guys are far better at being tuned into the rod / line questions but......

    From a float tube a longer rod may not be the best choice. The longer rods are great for casting using a variety of basic Spey style casts on moving water provided the stream isn't too narrow to allow you to realize the potential of the rod line combo.

    You can use single hand lines on 2 hand rods up to a certain point but it is the actual weight of the fly lines belly that maters not the numerical rating of the line 6 - 7 - 8 etc that matters.

    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

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Minnesota - Northern Driftless
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    2,562

    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    Hey Flypops, Curious to what you are fishing for and how big? I think steelhead size rods will NOT be fun casting sitting down in a float tube, but ive never done it, I have spey cast out of drift boats just fine but I'm standing up.

    Maybe trout sized rods with two hands could be cast well, even with switch rods, I`m wading and casting 99% of the time, guys that run float rigs will many times use them to access the river float down and look for fish and then park and spey cast.


    I think having the bottom grip could be good for any rod, what ive learned is that bottom hand does most of the work in two handed casting, its a lever.
    Last edited by unknownflyman; 09-13-2019 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Missed the word NOT

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  7. #4

    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    I've built a couple trout weight 2 handers, and used them in stillwater out of a boat and a pontoon. Let me save you some aggravation by recommending you don't do it. An 11' switch is nice for casting out of a boat, and fine for landing strong fish. Out of a pontoon it was difficult, and out of a tube I would imagine it would be worse. I don't even bring a 2 hander with me in the boat with me anymore, a single hand rod loaded with a single hand spey line is now my line of choice for stillwater dry fly, indicator, and shallow nymph fishing situations.

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  9. #5
    Join Date
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    CALIFORNIA (working on an escape plan now)
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    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    Thanks for the replies fellas. I much appreciate the advice. I think I'll go back to my original plan of a single handed 10' 5 wt. and possibly load it with a single hand spey line as suggested by flav.

    That actually would give me a good basis for a future 2 handed switch or possibly a spey rod build. If all goes as currently planned, within a year or so I may have accessibility to new (to me) waters with the very real possibility of double digit Cuttys and a heavier 2 handed rod will be in order.

    To answer unknownflyman, my target species in the Eastern Sierra are brookies, browns, cutts and bows. Largest I've had to net has been 24". Obviously there is big mix of water. From very skinny high mountain streams and small glacial lakes to lower elevation larger reservoirs such as Bridgeport Reservoir and Crowley Lake, which is my very favorite playground.

    Keep 'em tight!

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  11. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Isle of Lewis, UK.
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    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    Hi, Flypops. I float tube a fair bit on lochs in Scotland for browns, sea trout and salmon and I'm a bit confused by your going for a switch rod. Are the waters you fish often tree-lined?

    Bear in mind how low you are in the water and how much having height (your own or rod length) assists in Speycasting where distance is important. It won't be impossible but overheading will be easier.
    Have you considered whether the extra length of the lower butt grip will get in the way of you tube's tanks and pockets? Will it catch somewhere, like a life jacket harness, each time you tuck it under the arm?
    With your being sat so low in the water already, won't you need a line with a very short head in order to get a decently sited anchor without having 'half the head' half way down the rod rings?


    I've always felt that one great advantage of the tube is stealth - you don't need to cast a super-long distance because a) you'll have the wind on your back as you drift and ) you can drop down quietly on fish, drawing them out one by one by encroaching on them, not casting over their heads and putting some down.

    I tend to use 9 1/2 ft and 10 ft rods for my tubing. As you say, bringing a fish to a net gets trickier with an 11 ft rod and a long-handled net sounds like more net to get caught up when not in use. It's easy enough with the shorter handle scoop and a 10 ft without having to take up yoga. Roll casting with a s-h and a WF is quite effective if you need to, too.
    The 11 ft has a traditional role in Scottish loch fishing from a drifting boat where a team of three is cast or rolled out from broadside drift. The extra length is used to 'dibble' the bob fly on the surface before lifting off, the fussy fly often encouraging a late take from a following fish - or they grab the tail fly on their return. But with the float tube the fish will follow the fly much closer than to a boat - and a 10 footer is quite adequate to dance that fly across the waves as near as you'd want.
    As for rod weight, well, I'm now going down to a 10 ft #3 for loch trout to about 2 lbs as it makes half-pounders real fun. You'll not be trying to cast into the wind so you don't need a heavy line for that, nor for distance and the #3 gives greater delicacy in delivery.

    For small salmon and sea trout to 10 lbs I think a #6 is as low as I'd go, though I know others chose a #5 these days. Really, I think that as much depends on the quality of your disc drag and the amount of backing you have. Essentially, a well hooked fish can't escape you in a tube. You'll always be able to follow him (if slowly!), the main thing is to be able to subdue him while you catch up or until he comes back to you. I've been towed around the loch several times by salmon, effectively, I was an added drag!

    So, I'd ask you, why the Switch for tubing? What do you feel you'll be able to achieve with it that you couldn't with, say, a 10 ft s-h #6? Maybe with a wee 3'' fighting butt in case you want a little bottom hand on the cast.

    Cheers, James.

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  13. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    Minnesota - Northern Driftless
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    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    I edited my post above, Sitting down and casting two hand will not be fun. The guys have good advice, single hand skagit heads are nice.

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  15. #8
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    Sep 2019
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    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    Hi James,
    Initially I was considering the 2 handed rod to help extend the cast and cover more water - having the fly in the water longer. Plus I am often fighting moderate (15-20 MPH) winds in the lakes I frequent. Sometimes I can't control the way the wind is blowing () relative to my position on the lake and do in fact need to cast into it to navigate to my exfil.

    However considering some of the advice above, including yours, I've decided to move ahead and build a 10' single handed rod and research spey type lines available for that and as I stated above, save the 2 handed build for another time.

    Thank you for your reply.

  16. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Isle of Lewis, UK.
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    678

    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    Sorry, Flypops, I was a bit narrow-minded about the wind direction, wasn't I? 15-20's common for me, too, but my knees ain't so good anymore so I always fish wind-down if I can. I'll walk/carry rather than kick back up the drift these days!
    Luckily for me, that's how the salmon sit in the lochs .... nose into the wind - so I'm always getting blown back onto land with the wind at my back. Silly of me to think it so for all.

    Joey Bagels started some good float tube threads here last year you might like to dig up? Stuff like using an old orange bag, a chord and some stones for an anchor and tube history.

    Good luck with your build, I hope you continue this thread as you progress. Cheers! J.

  17. #10

    Default Re: New Rod Build Questions

    I built two Quickline 5 wt. 10 footers with short rear handles as single/switch rods for moving water skagit and have used them in my tube on numerous still waters throwing sinking lines overhead casting. They work great with matched skagit heads for rivers and make a very nice long single hander for stillwaters. The Qlines are pretty fast and like being uplined one weight. They zing out a 250 grain Commando or Rio Trout Max skagit with any 10 ft. light MOW or T8 tip I've tried. Don't be afraid of a fast single hander for skagit casting. A matched line, slowed down stroke and good constant load on the turnover and it will fly. And you have a fast powerful rod for wind, long casts and big flies. If the Quicklines are discontinued that's too bad but there are other similar good blanks available.
    Last edited by Outside bend; 09-17-2019 at 08:08 PM.

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