Switch Rod, really worth it?

Fruin

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I know this has been discussed before but it probably needs a straight question.

Who regularly 'switches' casting styles with their switch rods?

I have done this in the past with some customised rods before 'switch' became the latest thing (granted it is now a few years into the commercial process). The results were always dissappointing, mainly because the different physics involved with spey and overhead casting meant that matching a line to the rod that worked well for both styles of casting was a nigh on impossibilty. After initial excitment with new set ups subsided, it often became all too apparent that one style of casting was hard work if the line style was well matched for the other.

If we do not use these rods for regular 'switching', are we then making unnecessary sacrifices in performance, when we would be far better with a decent, small double hander, and, a decent single hander?
 

gwelsher

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I will be interested to see other replies.
As I had some Norris vouchers I recently bought a Shaky 11' switch with a Norris line.
Sense tells me this was stupid as I have good double handers from 12' upwards and single handers up 11'
Not tried it yet so I would be interested in comments from experienced switchers.
 

les the flyfisher

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Shakespeare switch 7/8

I have just bought one of these.Have tried the shooting head that comes with it and not too impressed so tried it with a Royal Wulff Ambush #8 It definitely works better, but I think it needs a heavier line as suggested on their website (2 weights heavier than the rod )

Has anyone tried this with any other lines that they could recommend ?
I would appreciate any comments on this.


Les
 

Springer

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I know this has been discussed before but it probably needs a straight question.

Who regularly 'switches' casting styles with their switch rods?

I have done this in the past with some customised rods before 'switch' became the latest thing (granted it is now a few years into the commercial process). The results were always dissappointing, mainly because the different physics involved with spey and overhead casting meant that matching a line to the rod that worked well for both styles of casting was a nigh on impossibilty. After initial excitment with new set ups subsided, it often became all too apparent that one style of casting was hard work if the line style was well matched for the other.

If we do not use these rods for regular 'switching', are we then making unnecessary sacrifices in performance, when we would be far better with a decent, small double hander, and, a decent single hander?

I know you well enough Gary to know that left to your own devices you will come up with the right conclusion. :)

Im not sure who first used the term 'Switch' and what they exactly meant by it? However, the concept of a single rod that will allow anyone to cast efficiently from two-handed spey casts to single handed overhead casts with the same rod and line is flawed.

Yes it can be done but as you say, if you have a line best suited to spey casts it will be too heavy for single handed overhead casts, the other way around with the right line for over-heading and that line will be too light for spey casting.

There will of course be a middle ground in terms of the line choice, a compromise that will work but do neither job as good as it could be done so why bother?
 

minitube

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If we do not use these rods for regular 'switching', are we then making unnecessary sacrifices in performance, when we would be far better with a decent, small double hander, and, a decent single hander?

Yes I would say, however some of them are in effect a decent small double hander imho, nice to use in that context alone with the right line and just leave the single hand overhead side out of it generally. I would consider two handed overhead use is alright and in keeping with their use as a small double hander.
 
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dexterbuchanan1

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I went down the" switch route" solely for the lenght with no or very little intention of ever using it single handed and therefore only need lines with the weight and profile for spey casts using two hands,the lenght of the rod ensures i can fish under tree canopes with more confidence than if i had my 12ft rod,so its not so much a switch for me but a small DHer
I have a 10ft single hander with a 15.5g shooting head iv used for these parts but a heavier line weight at 23g will be easier to cast tips and larger/heavier flies,"2 hands are better than 1"i suppose for me
 

Wee-Eck

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I have a Daiwa 12' Whisker double handed rod that I use with an 8/9 Rio Windcutter line and have no trouble casting with it single handed when required. Altogether a great little grilse/seatrout rod and not expensive.
 

glenelg100

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I have just bought one of these.Have tried the shooting head that comes with it and not too impressed so tried it with a Royal Wulff Ambush #8 It definitely works better, but I think it needs a heavier line as suggested on their website (2 weights heavier than the rod )

Has anyone tried this with any other lines that they could recommend ?
I would appreciate any comments on this.


Les

I bought a Greys xf2 13' 8# recommended 33g, as I am a novice caster I went one size up Rio Scandinavia 9#, but found it very difficult , so I asked a competent caster to try, his verdict was he could put it out,but was way more difficult than it should be, as he had a boot full of lines I tried a few, ended up getting a Rio afs 9/10, 38g, so just goes to show the size/weight on the rod is not always best for everyone, I recon I went two sizes up.
 

keirstream

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Who regularly 'switches' casting styles with their switch rods?

If we do not use these rods for regular 'switching', are we then making unnecessary sacrifices in performance, when we would be far better with a decent, small double hander, and, a decent single hander?

I chased the answer to that question for 2 seasons after getting caught up in the hype. I bought an LPXe initially and was disappointed. I followed that up with a Beaulah and was double so.
I sold the Beaulah and found the answer, an 11ft 6in GRXi for double handed work , I already had a single hander and used them separately.
Switches don't work , they don't do what is marked on the tin.





I.M.H.O.:)
 

firefly

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Double trouble is that some are rated for single hand and some for double hand lines.
I've got a Z-axis 11' #8 teamed with a SSVT #8 and it's a peach, but I wouldn't want to cast it overhead single handed for a day.
 

charlieH

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Im not sure who first used the term 'Switch' and what they exactly meant by it? However, the concept of a single rod that will allow anyone to cast efficiently from two-handed spey casts to single handed overhead casts with the same rod and line is flawed.

The term 'Switch Rod' is generally credited to Bob Meiser, though of course the concept is much older.

As I understand it, it just denotes a rod that can be switched from single- to double-handed use. I think you (and the OP) are wrong to suggest that it also implies switching from Spey casts to overhead casts.

It goes without saying that both styles of rod can be cast either way, and to bring in the option of switching from Spey to overhead as well as from single- to double-handed is an unnecessary additional complication.

Maybe the reduction in power generated when switching from double- to single-handed (either with a Spey or overhead cast) also means that a different line weight is needed to generate optimal load, but that's a different question.
 

Rennie

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I ended up with 2 rods last year of the Switch variety,the first was a swop rod the second a planned purchase.
Both mine are used as small double handers;the first a Sage One 8 weight,I use a Rio SSVT in 8 and a Rage in 540,this out fit is too heavy for anything more than the odd single handed flick overhead,its in all intent and purpose a small double hander,only a lunatic would overhead this for any length of time.However it works perfectly well with the lines its rated for,which gives me a clue Sage know its a smaller double handed Salmon rod,not a dual purpose tool.
Secondly I have a planned purchase in an Airflo Airtech 6 weight,again used double handed for low water tactics and Sea trout/Grilse,this is tooled up with an Airflo 40+ 7 weight and a Rage 450.Now using the 40+ this rod will overhead single handed and Spey cast as well, as Springer has hinted it does neither outstandingly well but copes adequately enough.However once the Rage is in place,the single handed casts become more awkward and harder to sustain for any period of time.
My guess is;if you want the Holy Grail of both casting styles then you need to be looking towards the lighter end of the switch rod line scales,the heavier the line and the more Salmon orientated the rod,the less likely you are to find the idea behind switch rodding!.
Mine get used on small tight for space rivers both double handed and where I believe a lighter line will give me results.
Now unless its rediculously tight/restricted for space I find I can fish my 13ft 8/9 outfit in the same places as my switch rods(I generally use compact style lines on this rod!) so detractors of switch could argue there's an overlap between 11ft 6 8 weight switch rods and 13ft 8/9 rods making a switch purchase redundant,your call that one!.However the lighter lined switch where an angler can use a genuine light line is a useful tool in the armoury!,not something to be ignored.
With more thought I should have settled on a 7 weight rod and sourced a 7 weight line/head to work the rod in double handed Spey fashion,however I'm happy enough as it is.
I too don't get the idea behind buying a rod then having to go TWO line sizes up to get it to work in an acceptable fashion,that in my opinion puts you firmly back in a pukka small Salmon rod territory where £ to a penny you'll be using a line weight that it says on the tin!.
As ever confusion reigns supreme within the trade and we the customer have to put up with what we're given.
Best of luck with it,Pedro.
 

Jockiescott

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It really depends on the river in my opinion. In my mind, Switching is exactly that, switching to whichever style is needed for that particular cast.

I fish a medium sized spate river and at times, especially low water, a true double hander is too much rod and at times a single hander just isn't enough rod, especially in an upstream breeze.

I read comments like 'I wouldn't want to fish it single handed all day', but I really don't think that this is how they were intended.

I know I am far from being a casting expert but you know a good cast from a bad one. If your fishing a single hander, left handed into an upstream breeze and the line is landing in a ball half way out then this is simply not fishing properly.

I fish with an 11ft Zpey real steel which is rated from 15g to 18g. I have an 18g shooting head which is only 9m long. Most of my fishing is from the right bank so pretty much all left handed.

If casting almost square, I can keep the rod in my right hand and find it very easy to 'flick' out a single spey cast single handed. If I'm casting 45 degrees, I would normally fish the rod double handed with the left hand up the rod. In places with low overhanging trees I can then switch almost to overhead casting but more side on to get under the cover. In low water conditions when I do not wade I can overhead cast very easily either right or left handed.

I bought a cheap 16g sinking head last year and this casts much easier single handed than it does double but, again, in an upstream breeze I can use it double handed to put a bit more grunt into the cast.

I simply do not use any other rod now. I use it on flat calms in low water where waterbased casts are perhaps not a good idea, so I can overhead cast single handedly, and I use it in big spates now that I have the sinking head. I would not be without the rod now. As I've said, the rod suits me and my river to a tee.

I simply cannot comment on rods rated for 25-30g. To me, that would sound quite heavy in comaprison to the 15-18g rating of my own rod.
 

andy345

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Switches are second best when it comes to single handed casting, ideally requiring a change of line from the type you pick for doubled handed use, in order to get the best out of them. My take on it is that if I'm going to have to change the line then I might as well change the rod too to something more suitable, I love using my 'switch' rod - but only in a double handed sense - for single handed use its wide of the mark imho.
 

bros

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I think a lot of people buy switch rods with no intention of using them single handed.
I bought the shakey exp 11' 6 piece a few weeks back. I wanted it for small spate rivers and casting easier in tight spaces, over hanging trees etc.
Being 6 piece it is nice and portable.
The weight of these rods are incredible and casting all day long is no issue.
I could cast this overhead but not single handed for very long.
Whether they are deemed "switch" or small double handlers they are a very flexible piece of kit IMHO.
Maybe the term switch rod is a bit misleading though.
 

tawrod

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I have used my Vision Switch to great effect for the last 3 seasons. Never as a 'Switch Rod' but as alight double hander. Perfect for the West Country rivers I fish and also on the Thurso and Findhorn for hitching.

Tried the JN special Oracle offer in the sea last week for bass. Used the John Norris line supplied and some T10, it was putting some big old flies a long way with minimal effort.

I guess it's all about fishing with minimal effort, so Switch can be the name, but it's a light double hander that suits my needs...and I'm not knackered at the end of the day.
 

RUSH

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Has anyone tried this with any other lines that they could recommend ?
I would appreciate any comments on this.


Les
.

I have the 8/9 paired with a barrio switch line as springer says to get a good line for Spey casts it will be to heavy for overhead casts I just use the rod as a small doublehander in low water and the barrio is a superb line for that great turnover with 10 foot polyleaders
 

Springer

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The term 'Switch Rod' is generally credited to Bob Meiser, though of course the concept is much older.

As I understand it, it just denotes a rod that can be switched from single- to double-handed use. I think you (and the OP) are wrong to suggest that it also implies switching from Spey casts to overhead casts.

It goes without saying that both styles of rod can be cast either way, and to bring in the option of switching from Spey to overhead as well as from single- to double-handed is an unnecessary additional complication.

Maybe the reduction in power generated when switching from double- to single-handed (either with a Spey or overhead cast) also means that a different line weight is needed to generate optimal load, but that's a different question.

That would make more sense but then it begs the question; why would you bother? - what advantage would there be in switching from single to double handed overhead use in real terms other than its possible to do so?

There is any amount of information out there now that very clearly suggests that the 'switch concept' is that of switching between spey and overhead while using the same line, hence my comments. I have seen video recently where an angling celebrity even demonstrates this, much to my bemusement.
 

compagnito

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That would make more sense but then it begs the question; why would you bother? - what advantage would there be in switching from single to double handed overhead use in real terms other than its possible to do so?

because single handed casting is far easier than double. you can haul - which you can't with a double hand. DH is boring and paradoxically has the feeling of impending disaster.

That said I wouldn't want to, though I can single handed cast a fifteen footer an 11' would be easy enough for maybe the occasional cast.

that said, I bought mine as a light Spey rod, solely, I have a couple of powerful SH'ers I could wheel out.
 

Wee-Eck

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I think it is all about the river you are fishing. On a river like the South Esk a switch rod could be very useful as you can cover the whole river even in high water with a 12 - 13' double handed rod but in some pools a single handed overhead or side cast would be handy so one switch rod would be perfect.
On a bigger river like the Dee or Spey I would normally set up a 15', and a 12' double handed and an 11'6 single handed rod all with suitable lines that I would have on the rod holders to use on different pools and at different heights of water.
It is like comparing apples with oranges.
 
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