Switch Rods [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Switch Rods

07-14-2009, 02:30 PM
I'd be interested in anyone's advice and experience on switch rods. I've always been a one handed caster and have always found my casting more than adequate to present as I wanted. But I'm getting older and find it takes more effort to get the same result and it seems to me this fairly new concept might be just what I need. These rods are 11 ft ish and come for an 8 or 9 wt. I'd be using it for Atlantic Salmon, both wading and out of a canoe. Thanks

07-14-2009, 05:18 PM
I am confident that two-handed fly casting will offer a rejuvenation of your casting livelihood, but only if you go down the right track with it. Learning a few basic Spey techniques and a smooth and true overhead cast can make covering a river a pleasant and efficient task with a little study and practice.

For salmon I would focus on a lighter weight since these rods run stouter than a single hander in general, going heavier for fall or spring salmon and lighter for summer fishing. A 6 or 7wt two-hander casts a line that will over-load a 9wt.

Like any new physical maneuver you may find it a little odd at first because you are acclimated by years of single hand casting. Casting a two-handed fly rod is like switching to a bicycle built for two when you've been riding a unicycle all these years.

Where the single hander (unicycle) affords much freedom in the way you achieve propulsion, the bb42 is stubborn about tracking in a straight line. That takes a little getting used to, but with twice the pedal power it's efficient and powerful.

The two-hander offers a number of clever Spey techniques that bring a line up from the dangle and ready for the next cast in a single motion. Learning these cuts several false casts per casts, cast after cast, trip after trip, year after year - which amounts of many thousands of casts less than you would with a single hand rod.

If you can find a good video or take some lessons it should put you on the fast track to leveraging the advantages. Spey casting is addictive - as so many sea-run anglers have from Scotland to the pacific northwest and beyond will attest.

07-15-2009, 06:46 PM
Thanks, but want to make sure I understand the wt part. Are you saying a 6/7 two hander will provide the power of a single handed 9 wt, or that you'll need to use a 9wt line to load it properly. I want to be able to deal with a 20+ lb salmon in a heavy river better than my 8wt single does, even though I won one of those battles recently, but I'm not looking for something to overwhelme the poor thing. The choices in my 10ft 6 in. rod of choice are 6/7 7/8, and 8/9. Is the big one too much stick?

07-16-2009, 09:04 AM
Bob, I've been shifting a good bit of my fishing to two-hand lately. There are two rods I've used a fair amount: a Loomis GLX 11' 7wt and a Sage Euro 12'6" 6wt. Speaking strictly of fish handling, the Loomis fights at least like an 8 wt and the longer Sage fights like a 9 or 10 wt. The Switch nomenclature is just supposed to describe a rod that you might feel ok single hand casting as well as two hand.

07-16-2009, 02:16 PM
Bob -

If you are interested in a two-hand rod, absolutely talk to the rod maker's pro staff, the line maker's pro staff or better yet both to get as much information as possible on the match up of line to rod. This is critical to ease of use.

Simon Gawesworth publishes line matches for the most popular rods; and rod makers typically have pro staff on their homepages. Use these resources or you will likely end up buying more lines and being less happy about the combination.

As far as fishing, it's better for the fish to land them quickly. It's kind of a trade off because even if the 2hd rod has got more in the butt section it's a longer lever with which you apply pressure. In a river scenario with salmon you simply bring the fish to the shallows. You should not encounter any problems landing fish with the long rod, even less with a guide and net. Spey casting actions often exceed 15 or 16ft in length and offer huge advantage for Spey casting techniques in bigger rivers.

Not so simple when you are wading 3/4 miles from shore on a shallow flat hence I prefer rods no longer than 11ft for saltwater flats wading - but thats an entirely different story.