Which switch

The flying Scotsman

Well-known member
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
2,238
Location
Dundee
Thanks, I have the #7 11ft ST switch, so must get one. Thanks for the reply
I've got a rage line for it and an opst commando skagit. The opst can launch 15ft of t tip and a big brass tube.
But the barrio is on that rod most of the time.
I love it.
20201001_085207.jpg
 

Kype King

Active member
Messages
332
Reaction score
184
Location
Bath
I agree that a light switch rod rated for a #6 double hand or #8 single hand is useful in addition to a 13 ft #8 double hander. Less point in getting a 11ft switch rated for a #8 double hand line. I believe that a 12 ft #7 would be too close to the 13ft #8.

I would suggest an integrated line rather than a shooting head as you are often stripping line in low water and it can be irritating to keep pulling the join into the top ring. The choices are either a switch line, which is better for larger flies or a trout WF line for more delicate presentation of smaller flies.

Best switch rods are Loop, Sage and Guideline, but Shakespeare and Airflo switches are very good and a fraction of the price.
Bloke XL50 #8/9 is also a brilliant switch rod. Coupled with a Barrio switch line it can put out a long line but is also good for delicate work. Love it!!
 

JirkaK

Member
Messages
60
Reaction score
35
Location
Brno, Czech Republic
For me true switch rod is very useful piece of kit. When 12,6ft. 7wt is too much I fish Sage One 5116 with Guideline ULS Multitip (248grain). For low water and fish up to 5kg it is perfect. Thanks to the light line I can cast single hand all day, so it is also my first choice for hitching and dry fly work. Casting using both hands is real pleasure and I don´t feel limited in distance.
DSC_0020.JPG
 

Andrew B

Well-known member
Messages
1,151
Reaction score
879
Can someone explain exactly what a switch rod is and what switch actually means?
I was under the impression it was a rod you could either use single handled or double handled?
Going back some years there were purpose built sea trout/ grilse rods of about 11ft with a longer handle or fighting butt, but they were never classed as switch rods?
This is a genuine question as someone who’s only ever used a full floating Spey line on a 15ft rod?
 

bankwheel

Well-known member
Messages
3,563
Reaction score
590
Location
Forres
Yes you are 100% correct it’s a rod that can be used single or double handed. Some manufacturers claim they have a range of switch rods but in fact they are just short double handlers. Look for casting weights of 16 to 19 grams, any heavier and it’s difficult to use for a prolonged time as a single handed. There are some fantastic lines around now for these rods. I use mine a lot over the year
 

NEbody

Well-known member
Messages
1,492
Reaction score
261
Location
Northumberland
I use my switch rod in places like this where a longer rod is a liability in the overhanging branches.

1606559099458.jpeg


The trees make overhead casts impossible so I’m invariably using some variant of a Spey cast, usually casting single-handed. For my purposes, a 27g switch line does the business and isn’t too heavy to use all day. If I was regularly casting overhead, a different, lighter line would be better. I think it’s important to choose the line that’s the best compromise for where and how you’re going to use the rod.
 

kingfisher

Stay Safe
Messages
8,440
Reaction score
500
Location
Scotland
I still have a 6 weight air tech switch rod in excellent condition in classifieds if anyone is interested
 

FaughanPurple

Well-known member
Messages
8,294
Reaction score
520
Location
Belfast/Derry
Can someone explain exactly what a switch rod is and what switch actually means?
I was under the impression it was a rod you could either use single handled or double handled?
Going back some years there were purpose built sea trout/ grilse rods of about 11ft with a longer handle or fighting butt, but they were never classed as switch rods?
This is a genuine question as someone who’s only ever used a full floating Spey line on a 15ft rod?

That's exactly what they are .. predominantly single handed rods rated for wf8 to wf10 trout lines with a fighting butt.

Where it gets confusing is when a 10ft 6" blank starts throwing a 10/11 spey line and calls it self a "switch" when it's really a small double hander..

It's a funny rod range where you really need to pay attention to the casting weight a lot more than any other..
 

Pompero

Member
Messages
93
Reaction score
91
Switch is defined as a rod that is shorter than 12 foot and can be used as both a single and double hander. The line rating can be a mess though. The Scandinavian brands use single handed ratings, but most of them work best slightly overlined. Personally I only fish them as small double handers, don't like overhead casting them with the extra length and long butt, but I always carry a #7 single hand with me for that purpose anyways.
 

K28

Member
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Has anyone used the guideline ULS hybrid? This looks a very promising rod for low water and small rivers
 

Mickfish

Active member
Messages
654
Reaction score
189
Location
Warrington
When some one says which is the best switch rod you're always going to get a range of answers but none of them can be definitive because as someone said about a similar question on the FFF re-trout rods. "no one has tried all the rods." You can only talk about what you have/have used for some time and even then there will always be a subjective factor in any item of tackle.

Most of the time in fly fishing there will be a correlation between price and performance - notice I say most of the time, as some expensive salmon rods have disappointed - the Hardy brand rods of old for example (Gem II's being a classical case). But in this day and age the likes of Shakespeare turn out some very passable far eastern rods - though not the best at what they do, they offer excellent value for money.

I have two switch rods. The Mackenzie G2 11'3" 7/8 which has landed salmon up to 14lb and it's superb. And the Sage Method 11'9" and, when I'm fishing bigger rivers and which a friend has also and has landed King Salmon in Canada to well over 20lbs. This is also a superb rod. I use two main lines on them. The Rio Switch Chucker 7 weight - a sort of integrated Skagit that will cast heavy flies and fast sinking "T" tip leaders with ease. And the Snowbee Switch XS 8 which has more delicacy and is a longer head- both are excellent and I have compared them on the water with a friends Barrio (and I like Barrio lines and have some trout ones) and they better the Barrio Switch. The Airflo Skagit Switch heads which now have a new name are also excellent stand alone heads (seek out Tom Larimer's You Tube vids on these for good advice on casting them).

To counter what someone says above they are VERY different in feel to my 12 and 13' Thomas and Thomas and my 12' Snowbee Torridge which are beefier beasts with much thicker butt sections. My switch rods are lighter, more delicate and to use a strange term perhaps, easier to 'manipulate' and perform casts in tighter corners. Indeed I adore their lightness which is something to behold when you put down a conventional salmon rod and pick a switch rod up.

In a higher river the Mackenzie is also lovely for trout streamer fishing, an exciting pursuit, especially when salmon and sea trout are also about. Forget the notion of a switch rod being "switched" to overhead casting - it's a misnomer and an utter nonsense for three reasons:

a) why would you not want to use two hands for an OH cast when it performs it better anyway;
b) there's way too much leverage in these rods to perform single handed OH casts for any length of time;
c) Spey casting is more versatile, safer and provides an excellent get out of jail option in overgrown rivers.

Mick
 
Last edited:

Slaneysider

Active member
Messages
624
Reaction score
72
Location
South East of Ireland
My old man had a Bruce and Walker 12' #8/9single hander grilse rod, it was probably one of the first switch rods if it had the longer handle but was never called one because that term was never used back then,
 

Mickfish

Active member
Messages
654
Reaction score
189
Location
Warrington
My old man had a Bruce and Walker 12' #8/9single hander grilse rod, it was probably one of the first switch rods if it had the longer handle but was never called one because that term was never used back then,
Hi there,

Diawa also had some 11'3" rods like that as did Sage but there is an assumption that if you put a suitable double handed handle on it it will perform well as a double hander and that's not always the case.

Mick
 

JirkaK

Member
Messages
60
Reaction score
35
Location
Brno, Czech Republic
Forget the notion of a switch rod being "switched" to overhead casting - it's a misnomer and an utter nonsense for three reasons:

a) why would you not want to use two hands for an OH cast when it performs it better anyway;
b) there's way too much leverage in these rods to perform single handed OH casts for any length of time;
c) Spey casting is more versatile, safer and provides an excellent get out of jail option in overgrown rivers.
I believe that switch rod that cannot be casted one hand is not a switch, it´s double hander. I cast my switch rods one hand when I need accuracy or ultimate distance (nothing compares to overhead cast with proper double haul).

The problem is that manufacturers mislabel their products. I think that no rod with casting weight over +- 300grain/20 gram can called switch rod.

Jiri
 

Mickfish

Active member
Messages
654
Reaction score
189
Location
Warrington
I believe that switch rod that cannot be casted one hand is not a switch, it´s double hander. I cast my switch rods one hand when I need accuracy or ultimate distance (nothing compares to overhead cast with proper double haul).

The problem is that manufacturers mislabel their products. I think that no rod with casting weight over +- 300grain/20 gram can called switch rod.

Jiri
Hi Jiri,

We are going to have to agree to disagree on that one. In terms of distance I think that a double handed dynamic backcast in an overhead situation on a switch rod is both less effort than double hauling and will get me a longer cast (when needed and in ONE backcast). Double hauling is also not the most stealthy thing. A spey/scandi cast and their variants keep the line away from fish until the final cast and they are safer, especially with large or weighted flies on (if you double haul and tighten the loop in doing so it spells trouble imho with flies of any weight) .

In this country and The US/Canada where the notion of the switch rods was developed I've never seen anyone single handed cast with an overhead - though my experience has always been on salmon and steelhead on the other side of the pond. The whole notion of trout fishing with double handed rods nowadays (trout spey/trout switch rods - initially an US think but with some doing it over here now) is the ease of effort to get a good line out and the safety factor when casting big streamer flies, all achieved with spey casting.

But each to his own.

Mick
 
Last edited:

Lgraydonflyfishing

Well-known member
Messages
738
Reaction score
809
For me true switch rod is very useful piece of kit. When 12,6ft. 7wt is too much I fish Sage One 5116 with Guideline ULS Multitip (248grain). For low water and fish up to 5kg it is perfect. Thanks to the light line I can cast single hand all day, so it is also my first choice for hitching and dry fly work. Casting using both hands is real pleasure and I don´t feel limited in distance.View attachment 53141
Beautiful fish
 

ibm59

Well-known member
Messages
13,070
Reaction score
1,271
A rod with anything more substantial than a wee fighting butt below the reel seat is a double hander , no matter how much that view may upset some on here.

Get over it.























😉💋
 

Mickfish

Active member
Messages
654
Reaction score
189
Location
Warrington
A rod with anything more substantial than a wee fighting butt below the reel seat is a double hander , no matter how much that view may upset some on here.

Get over it.

Agreed Brian - and having put a double handed handle on the lightest/thinnest rods available - misleadingly (imho) called "switch rods", I cannot see the benefit (for reasons explained above) in using a single handed cast on them. But if some anglers believe they gain something from that - then it's a free world. Mick


Mick
 

Richardgw

Active member
Messages
910
Reaction score
192
Location
Ross on Wye
A rod with anything more substantial than a wee fighting butt below the reel seat is a double hander , no matter how much that view may upset some on here.

Get over it.


😉💋
Yes and er no.

I question what was originally meant by ‘switch rod’. I believe it had nothing to do with single v double hand but more to do with overhead v switch (i.e spey) casting.

I have two so called ‘single handed’ rods to which I have fitted 4 inch extension handles. The first is a 9ft 7 weight and for that I always overhead cast single handed but for spey casting I prefer two hands even with this small rod.

The other rod is a Bruce and Walker 10.5ft rated 7-9 on which it is just possible to overhead single handed with a 7 weight line, but anything beyond that is far too much for me. So this rod is always used double handed for both overhead and spey casting.
 

Mickfish

Active member
Messages
654
Reaction score
189
Location
Warrington
Yes and er no.

I question what was originally meant by ‘switch rod’. I believe it had nothing to do with single v double hand but more to do with overhead v switch (i.e spey) casting.

I have two so called ‘single handed’ rods to which I have fitted 4 inch extension handles. The first is a 9ft 7 weight and for that I always overhead cast single handed but for spey casting I prefer two hands even with this small rod.

The other rod is a Bruce and Walker 10.5ft rated 7-9 on which it is just possible to overhead single handed with a 7 weight line, but anything beyond that is far too much for me. So this rod is always used double handed for both overhead and spey casting.
Hi Richard,

Switch Rods were developed in the USA so anglers could try for steelhead and salmon species with much lighter rods and the name for them WAS based on the notion that an angler could "switch" between double-handed and single handed casting. (US anglers would call double handed casting "Spey casting with Spey rods before the advent of Skagit and Switch Rods joined the lineup - UK anglers would say Salmon Rods in the main).

If you look at videos of people like George Cook, Tom Larimer, Tim Rajeff, Simon Gawesworth et al casting with a switch rod they are always using double handed spey casts and their variants - my method all of the time. Others clearly like to vary it.

But getting away from nomenclature debate one thing is obvious in this thread - that many anglers are putting the fun back into their fishing by using these lighter rods from time to time (when they feel like it or when circumstances seem to dictate) and that is the most important thing, not our disagreements about which cast or which name.

Mick
 

ibm59

Well-known member
Messages
13,070
Reaction score
1,271
But getting away from nomenclature debate one thing is obvious in this thread - that many anglers are putting the fun back into their fishing by using these lighter rods from time to time (when they feel like it or when circumstances seem to dictate) and that is the most important thing, not our disagreements about which cast or which name.

Mick
👍
 

ozzyian

Well-known member
Messages
5,160
Reaction score
858
Location
East Lothian
Surely it's only the smallest of waters with no obstruction behind where anyone would prefer to overhead? Little steams in the far north with no trees and the like? Or tiny tiny waters where a single hander is enough to spey/roll the required distance and fly when required.
 
Top