Photo: Columbus Leth with a cracking 24.5Lb Umba Whopper from 2015 caught on a 12´# 6 Switch rod
What if you could have the best of both worlds? What if you were fishing light and fine but you had the length and power of a Spey rod? What if you could cast a big juicy Salmon or Steelhead fly eighty feet without any fuss, and still had a feeling that your where fishing a single handled rod
There’s been a lot of talk in the past couple of years about switch rods – lightweight double-handed rods in the 11 1/2 to 12 foot range that are designed for both two-handed and overhead casting. To be honest, the switch rod thing seemed some years back to be a little gimmicky, but today it has become an awesome and very serious weapon in many Spey Warriors “weapon arsenal”
- Switch rods are really fun. Most switch rods live in the 6 to 8 weight world, and small rods mean little physical effort. Add lightweight to a multitude of different Spey-oriented and overhead casts, and you get lots of variety and lots of fun – Here is some of the reasons
- Switch rods are effective for more than swinging. The classic sunken swung fly presentation works great with a switch rod. Switch rods are great tools for fishing Dry flies and hitch patterns on floating lines. The extra length of a switch rod means incredible line control, whether slowing down a swing, steering that flesh fly into and out of a snag, or skittering that hopper all over the surface of the bucket.
- You can fish small water with switch rods. You already know that we think spey casting is fun, but full-on spey outfits, even in light weights, are just too long for small rivers, side channels and small tributaries
- If you have back and shoulder problems when casting your big Stick try a Switch rod – It is far effortless fishing a Switch rod and you will discover that you will get more fishing hours without muscle and shoulder pain
- You can handle big Salmon and Steelies as easy as with any big Spey rod – by putting side pressure into the fish
- Switch rods will make you a better spey caster, because you can do it more. Great, you fish a spey rod for a week in June on Grand Varzuga and then for a week in September on the Umba. What about the rest of the year? If you live near decent-sized trout water, you can fish a switch rod for a lot of the year. Making those spey casts year-round will make you a lot better at it.
Switch rods will make you a better spey caster, because these little rods are unforgiving. There’s no two ways about this one – it’s a lot easier to spey cast a big long stick for a 9 weight than it is to cast an 11 foot for a 6 weight. You don’t want to learn spey casting on a switch rod. So why in heck is this a good thing? Mistakes can be overcome with those big, long traditional spey rods. If you’re fishing a lightweight switch rod and you pull your anchor, or leave too much line on the water, or try to over-power a cast, or commit any one of a number of other spey casting sins, the cast just won’t work. Yes, it’s hard at first, but fishing light, switch rods will definitely make you a far better spey caster, because you pay for your mistakes.
Switch rods add a lot of charm back into the Spey world dominated by big rods – Today I´m using Switch rods during the entire season. So why not “Switch” next season – I guarantee you will get a tons of fun out there