Opinions/advice needed for Switch rod

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by woods, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. woods

    woods Member

    May 25, 2009
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    NW, WA
    Hey guys, long time single handed trout chaser here. I'm looking at getting into chasing the bigger species on some local rivers (steelhead, pinks, chums) and think its time to get out of my 4wt & 5wt single hand comfort zone.

    I was looking at these two combos that Reds has set up (links below). I went to school at CWU and frequented trips to the shop but now that I am back on the west side of the state it is hard to just swing by to test out their equipment. I have heard good things about both. After reading some reviews I am leaning towards the Echo combo but would love to hear opinions of others.

    Do you think I can go wrong with either of these? Which do you think would be the most forgiving for someone just getting into the switch rod game? What about line wt for the fish I noted above? I was thinking a 7 wt would be versatile for river fishing throughout our state.

    Thanks in advance!

    TFO Deer Creek switch rod combo

    Echo switch rod combo
  2. From what i have heard the tfo is softer

    I have the 4 wt echo switch and love it
  3. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

    Jun 23, 2009
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    Yakima, WA
    I would say the 7 wt is overkill for most scenarios. a 6 wt switch is PERFECT and is what I never leave home without whether I'm fishing for trout, steel, or salmon. You also might want to look into the Redington CPX switch, but out of your choices, I would go with the Echo. Call Reds and talk to Craig, he'll get you dialed in with the best setup for whatever you want to do.
  4. you might be able to get last years echo switch on that Detroit dime price
  5. Rick Sharp

    Rick Sharp Active Member

    Mar 19, 2008
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    West Richland, WA 99353
    Watch the classified here and over at speypages, might be able to save some coin that way as well to get started. You'll be spending much more once the addiction gets completely ahold of you

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk 2
    BASS_TURDS likes this.
  6. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    Jun 7, 2010
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    Klickitat, Washington
    Another opinion, don't bother with a switch rod. They don't do anything well. Too long and heavy for easy overhead casting and not long enough to be good spey casters. If you're looking for steelhead, pinks, or chums a 7wt is not too much rod, an 8wt would be better. Pinks are little, steelhead can be much stronger and chums will break your rod if you let them.
  7. I concur with this. I really only use my switch rod for nypmhing with the exception of my 4wt switch
  8. hookedonthefly

    hookedonthefly Active Member

    Jan 17, 2008
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    I used to feel this way. I have spent a ton of time with the Echo SR switch rods; and, quite a bit of time lining miss-lined Deer Creeks and Cabelas. Part of the challenge with the 7 and 8 wt. Echo SR was finding the appropriate lines. The 4wt, 5wt and 6wt were relatively straight forward as they flex throughout the rod. These rods seem to tolerate less than optimal selection of lines more than other rods I've cast.

    The 5wt is a go to rod for me. It will carry a sinking tip and a relatively large fly impressively. It's a ball on a Scandi/Rage dry line. It has enough flex that it is fun for bull trout and resident rainbows; but, has enough backbone to handle up to about a 5-6 pound, hot fish. The 6wt. Echo SR is an excellent rod and, in my opinion, also covers a broad range of species.

    The 7 and 8 wt were tough to line; and, in fact, we would not sell them because we couldn't find that line that made the rods feel intuitive. I spent some time with TrevorH understanding these rods; and, that is no longer the case. They are both now an absolute joy to cast. The 8 wt. absolutely rocks with a Steelhead Scandi, 480g, 31'.

    The 7 wt. has enough backbone to tackle most species. It is probably light as a dedicated chum rod which is one of the reason we brought in the 8 wt. The 8 wt. is a great chum rod and certainly covers winter run steelhead as well.

    One of the advantages with switch rods is that most do well with Royal Wulff's Ambush lines. We run these Ambush lines with an integrated running line in any scenario where the ability to strip line is desirable. They also all cast well with Scandi, Rage, and Skagit Switch lines if they're lined appropriately.

    There are always variables amongst casters and we really like to see the rod perform in the hands of the individual.

    Just my two cents.
  9. Tom Palmer

    Tom Palmer Active Member

    Jan 26, 2005
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    Seattle, WA
    A lot depends on the water you fish. A spey rod will cast farther and mend better than any switch. Spey is the obvious choice when swinging flies on big water (like say the skagit).

    However, if your home water is something much smaller like say the upper Calawah then casting distance is less important and you might enjoy the switch.

    Since this is your initial foray to the the spey game, I recommend a 12'6" to 14' seven weight spey rod. A seven will handle steelhead summer or winter, scandi or skagit, touch and go or anchor, pinks, coho, small kings, chum... you name it.

    But before you buy anything I would suggest attending one of the many free spey casting clinics offered all around puget sound. Cast a few rods and get a feel for what you like.

    I about guarantee your first lesson will take place on a spey rod. That should tell you something.
  10. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Bigfoot is blurry

    Feb 26, 2003
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    western WA
    I got the Echo about a month ago and put an Ambush line on it. So far I'm really happy with it. It's my first two hander of any kind.
    If it's a factor for you, Echo is based in Washington. TFO is a Texas company. Both rods are made overseas.
  11. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

    Jan 29, 2010
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    Richland Wa
    I would second talking with Craig---he turned a 5 wt dog into my favorite rod. I test drove a 4 wt prospector at Reds that I really likes when I took a switch rod class from Craig (well worth the time and money).

    Ed (Hooked on the fly) also has great advice that matches my experience with a Redington CPX switch in a 7 wt. It is not nearly as enjoyable as the 5 wt. that I have. I believe I need a different set of lines for my casting style as well as more practice (I spent a couple of hours a week when I first got the rod, but still couldn't get dialed in well).

    The 7 wt. handles larger flies but does not cover any more water for me. The lines that I use on the CPX are a 450 gr. skagit switch by airflow and a custom 410 gr. scandi by Godshall, which I am very disappointed in. I should have went with my instincts and asked to have it built in a 450 gr head and gone with a 480-510 gr airflow skagit switch because I don't have as good of technique as the experienced casters.---I still may try to work out a swap for a different set of heads.
  12. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

    Nov 2, 2004
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    Bellingham, Wa.
    Gotta agree with Klickrolf...He's giving you some pearls here! Get a spey rod and learn to cast it. Then look into the more specialized switch rod. They are tricky to match with a line and are not a good tool to start with.
  13. Wayne Kohan

    Wayne Kohan fish-ician

    Oct 25, 2004
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    TriCities, WA
    I have a 5 wt switch with an Ambush line on it. It is OK with two hand casting, not fun for one hand casting, just heavy and awkward. So you are likely to mostly cast 2 handed with it, so you might as well get a rod that casts well two handed and that would be a spey rod. By the way, the wt designation on the switch rods is usually the spey wt, the single hand wt is about 2 higher, so my 5 wt casts a 7 wt Ambush. But I would echo the above sentiment that whatever rod you decide to buy, make sure you find a line that matches it well, which is one of the hardest things about two handed casting in my opinion. It is a bear with the wrong line.

    BASS_TURDS likes this.
  14. soundflycaster

    soundflycaster Member

    Nov 22, 2009
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    Mossyrock, WA
    For getting started I would go with a 12'6" to 13' spey rod to learn on. 7 is a good all around weight and will handle a wide variety of fish. I love switch rod fishing on smaller streams and have 4,5,6 & 8 weight rods for various types of fish I would run into. Ambush lines work pretty good for the switch rods. I do like my 5 weight with a 300 grain compact scandi for light flies fished in the top 2' feet of the water.
  15. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Aug 30, 2007
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    Walla Walla, WA
    I like Echo's build quality a lot. I have a couple of 10'6 Ion's that I use with Scandi Short heads and fish (basically) as midget Speys or switch rods (though I almost never overhand cast with them). The fighting butt is enough for me to grip and Skagit-like casts with. I also use them as nymphing sticks (I fish some fairly small water most of the time). I like the Ion reels as well. I have a couple of 8/10 and I think they are pretty sweet.

    I have one TFO rod, but to be honest I have not fished it much, because for about 3 years I forgot it was hiding in a tube in "the pile."

    If you think small waters or nymphing will be how you'll fish the most, the switch might be the way to go. And given a choice, I'll vote for Echo. If Chum are involved, I'd start at something equivalent to a 8 wt single hander (I'm not sure if Switch rods use the Single hander ratings, 2 hander ratings, or something else). If it's 2 hander ratings, 7wt should be fine.

    If you have a notion of longer casts, and exploring the Spey side of things, then maybe look at a combo that starts with a 2 hander (Echo TR) in a 7 wt. And get someone who knows how to cast one to give you a few minutes on the river. It will do wonders :)

    FWIW, I fish my 2 hander now (13' 7wt) every place I can. If I lived nearer to big water, my single handed rods would gather dust. And you can nymph with them as well.