Line suggestions for a switch rod.

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Smuggler, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Smuggler New Member

    Posts: 2
    NC Pennsylvania
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hello everyone, I'm new here obviously and I'm sure this question gets asked frequently but, I'm a little overwhelmed with all the line choices there are so..

    Thursday I picked up a switch rod, it's an 11ft 8wt. The blank is labeled med-fast action. I'm trying to decide on a line for it and I'm just having a giant brain fart when it comes to choosing something lol. Mainly I bought this rod for river bassing in the summer, but after sitting here looking at it.. I know for a fact that I'll be making a trip to NY to try my hand at steelheading.

    So yea, should I over load this with a 9wt to get the rod to load? Can I use a spey line on a switch rod? Or a skagit line for that matter? What you you guys recommend for a twohander newbie like myself.. besides the obvious choice of a switch line.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.

    PS: If you're wondering why a guy from PA would be posting on a WA fly-fishing site.. all the steel-heading sites that are east coast based seem to be loaded with bait fisherman really, plus nobody ever seems to be active on the east coast sites so.... yea.
  2. flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    Its tough to recommend somethings based just on your description, you don't say what rod it is. In answer to your other questions, yes you can use a spey line (Skagit or Scandi head) on the rod. A lot depends on how you want to cast, overhead, spey or both. I really like Scandi lines, personal preference, and used a Buelah Elixir line on my 5wt Deer Creek 11' switch rod. On my Helios 5wt switch I use the Orvis Switch rod line and really like it!

    The Airflo Compact Scandis and Compact Skagits would be options for you to check out. There is also a Rio Switch rod line that has come out, but I haven't cast it myself.

    Also check out the rod makers site and see if they have any line recommendations. Good luck!
  3. Smuggler New Member

    Posts: 2
    NC Pennsylvania
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Oh sorry I guess I didn't mention the name.
    It's a Cabela's TLR rod, I guess their new this year? It was 130 bucks so I didn't think it was a bad investment to get started on.

    And I would like to learn how to cast double-handed with the rod.

    Thanks for the advice.
  4. Chedster New Member

    Posts: 29
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Check out Airflo's skagit switch heads, I'm a big fan of of them. Run whatever running line you prefer. 480-510gr on a 8wt. You could also check out their rage head for more surface work too. If you're gonna learn casting on a switch rod, remember to really really really chill on your strokes and make them compact or it's gonna be frustrating. ;)
  5. hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

    Posts: 547
    Ratings: +104 / 0
    you really need to find out the grain window for that rod. the rio site has reccomendations for alot of rods, but if not on there, your going to have to experiment, as i doubt cabelas is even going to know what a grain window is. dont trust that an 8wt line will work, just because you have an 8wt rod. the number is really arbitrary. i have one 7wt that likes a 430gr scandi and another that likes a 325gr scandi. thats about the difference between a 5 and 8 wt in singlehanded terms.
  6. rockthief Fly fishing = food for my soul

    Posts: 204
    Brownsville Oregon
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    using a 10wt Ambush on my 11' 8wt. I am not at all accomplished but his line has been ez for me regarding accuracy and distance
  7. vyee1 New Member

    Posts: 1
    North Bay, CA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Was trying to line my switch a while back... after three lines, I still couldn't find the sweet spot nor the love. Realized that with a shorter rod, it doesn't have the latitude like the longer spey that you can determine the bend (load) at various areas of the rod. I was for-warned that I would spend more money trying to line the switch rod than all my other long rod lines, combined. He was right! And heck yes...don't be limited by the grain window. Different makers of line, different tapers
    all comes into play. A longer head with grn weight spread out will feel totally different that a shorter head with the same grn weight. So many times I've given heads for others to try and they think it is way over the limit, too heavy -only to be surprised by how the rod respond to the load. You do want to feel the load don't you?
  8. Spencer Woods Member

    Posts: 199
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Bro- if ur new get the RIO Switch line and start nymphing. Land a few. RIO also makes a Scandi-Short Versi-Tip that would work dope on that rod!
  9. Alaskan New Member

    Posts: 18
    Nine mile falls Washington
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    I fell for one of those also, let me know what you decide on I also bought the six weight they were on sale for 110$, I am going to try a wulff ambush #8 on the six wt. will let you know
  10. Siskiyoublues Member

    Posts: 96
    United States
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    I'm thinking about buying one of these and I'm on the same boat. Not a lot of money to buy a lot of lines so I am trying not to buy anything twice.
  11. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,123
    White City, Oregon, USA.
    Ratings: +123 / 0
    Would agree with the Chedster here, but with an 11' rod your going to need a pretty darned short 'head system' for a short Skagit (22'ish foot/500'ish grains), for a Scandi (on my 11') 28-30 foot works very will with tips (poly) between 85 to 115 grains. Grain weight on the Scandi is 400-420.
  12. Gray Ghost Member

    Posts: 136
    Flowing Waters
    Ratings: +20 / 0
    I have both of the older Traditional II switch rods and both of the newer TLr switch rods, that has replaced the older Traditional II switch rods.

    The TLr switch rods are a great improvement over the Traditional II switch rods. They are a couple of oz.s lighter than the Traditional II switch rods and cast great. The cork handle dimensions are the same as the Traditional II switch rods and are very nice. Similar cork handle dimensions to the TFO Deer Creek switch rods.

    My only complaint on the TLr switch rods is the smaller guides, tip top that are on them, when compared to the larger/over sized guides, tip top that were used for the Traditional II switch rods. The larger/over sized guides, tip top are a plus when casting the large diameter Skagit and Scandi. heads. I have already contacted Cabela's about this and they seemed pretty interested. We'll see if they change to larger/over sized guides, tip top for the TLr switch rods in the future.

    As for lines and heads:

    TLr 11' 6wt. - Royal Wulff Ambush 9wt. 350 (head or full),
    Beulah Elixir Switch 5/6wt. 325 (head or full),
    Airflo Ridge Running 20lb. - Airflo Skagit Switch 390 & Rage 390,
    Rio Scandi Short 6wt. 370,
    Rio Switch 6/7wt. 410,
    Meiser SGS SCANDIT 380,
    Orvis Switch 7wt. 380 & Easy Mend 7wt. 380,
    Snowbee Switch 6/7wt. 350
    Airflo Forty Plus 8wt. 323 & 9wt. 365
    Vision Vibe 85 9/10wt. 323
    Vision Big Daddy 10wt. 325 & 11wt. 355
    Rio Steelhead & Atlantic Salmon WF8F
    SA Steelhead WF8F

    TLr 11' 8wt. - Royal Wulff Ambush 11wt. 450 (head or full),
    Beulah Elixir Switch 8/9wt. 425 (head or full),
    Airflo Ridge Running 30lb. - Airflo Skagit Switch 480 & Rage 480,
    Rio Scandi Short 8wt. 485,
    Rio Switch 8/9wt. 520,
    Meiser SGS SCANDIT 480,
    Orvis Switch 9wt. 520 & Easy Mend 9wt. 520,
    Snowbee Switch 8/9wt. 450
    Rio Steelhead & Atlantic Salmon WF10F
    SA Steelhead WF10F

  13. isaacfab Member

    Posts: 182
    West Point, NY
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I recently move from WA to NY so I've got a unique position. First do NOT buy a Washington river line or shooting head! All you need is a quality 8 weight forward tapper. You will invest several hundred dollars for a line that is meant to cast on large coastal river only to find your rig serious overkill for the salmon river. I have a compact head from my Spey starting days and it will never see another NY river again.

    The best most productive guys ive fished with in NY do use two handed rods. However nobody needs or uses shooting heads, running line or mulittip systems. The best part about a two handed rod is that you are swinging twice as much as the single handed rigs on the river.

    Just my two cents.
  14. James Waggoner Active Member

    Posts: 776
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    I'm not sure your two cents add up. Most our coastal streams are quite small, every fly line generally has running line weather it's seperate or intergrated and 8wt forward taper what? that's pretty fague.

    Not to bust your chops, but this guy is trying to break into the sport, he needs the straight scoop.

    costman13 likes this.
  15. isaacfab Member

    Posts: 182
    West Point, NY
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    No worries, I know it sounds funny but this place is totally different than anything on the west coast. When I say costal rivers I'm talking the Hoh, Bogy, Sol Duc as well as the Skagit/Sauk etc. Of course spey casting is a wonderful tool and method on these rivers. However, trust me they (WA rivers) are not small relative to what is fished here in NY. For example the upper fly fishing only section of the Salmon River just outside of Pulaski NY is about fifty to sixty feet across on some of the more productive stretches and the flows are measured in the 100s not 1000s.

    There are just as many possibly more fish here as in WA but they are great lakes runs. There is nothing wrong with them and a steelhead is a steelhead but I'm simply stating that you do not need a rig that can cast 150' on a river system where 30-40' is ideal. Also the big silhouette flys from the costal rivers where a steelhead has spent its days eating squid and other ocean fair are not effective here. So necessarily fishing smaller flies leads to a less beefy rig.
    Here is the line I have on my 8wt switch

    You simply do not need anything else here. I have a compact twenty foot 370gr head for the rod as well but I have yet to find a situation here where I would ever use it.
  16. James Waggoner Active Member

    Posts: 776
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Isaac, perhaps not as different as you remember...Most Steelhead streams in the NW are not the Skagit or the (Lower) Hoh, the rivers of that caliber represent a small percentage of the steelhead streams available in the NW. Rivers like the Washougal, the East Fork Lewis, and Kalama, to name just a few in the SW Washington area, are a better representation to the waters one typically fishes...especially with a short spey/switch rod. In the summer time these rivers typically will run or hit sub 500cfs...the EFL and the Washoulgal get under 200 much of the summer.

    By the way, nice line I'll have to give it a try sometime,

  17. isaacfab Member

    Posts: 182
    West Point, NY
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    I wish I had your knowledge of steelhead streams when I lived there. Maybe It was just me getting into the sport but I thought that to chase fish those big rivers where the rivers to do it on!
  18. James Waggoner Active Member

    Posts: 776
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Isaac, those big rivers are awesome and a real treat to be on, but the smaller rivers have as much history and legend to keep any steelheader preoccupied between fish.

    By the way, what I've learned and know is always growing...the complete bank of knowledge this site offers is truly humbling, just when you think you know something there is always something more to learn.

    Thanks Isaac, perhaps well fish together one day!

  19. isaacfab Member

    Posts: 182
    West Point, NY
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Well said, and I am here for the same reason smuggler is. The online communities out here don't offer the same level of knowledge freely offered. This sport is so technical and at the same time deceptively simple as soon as I think I've got everything down I realize my premise is wrong! I do hope to fish together one day, I'll bring my 8wt switch ;)
  20. troutpounder Active Member

    Posts: 300
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    i have a Echo SR and use a RIo versitip compact scandi line and it seems to work