Probably been covered before, but . . . spey or switch?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Richard E, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. Richard E

    Richard E Active Member

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    First, I'm not a spey person. I've done it once before, but no skills yet in the spey casting department. I'm a very proficient single handed caster and although the casts are a different with spey, I hoping that many concepts carry over to help me get up the learning curve.

    Now, my objective would be acquire a long(er) rod than I typically use single-handed casting (mostly 9') and the related long-rod casting skills to more efficiently cover water like the Deschutes, Methow, etc. I would plan to employ whatever techniques are going to work at the time, whether it be swinging or nymphing (the latter is heresy, I understand, but I just like fishin'). I would probably be more inclined to be a 'shoot line' kind of guy, which sounds like it lends itself to more of a Skagit setup (again, limited knowledge here about spey and switch).

    So, I'm thinkin' a 12-6 or 13' 7/8 spey or a 10-5. to 11.5' 7 wt. switch might be the fit for me. But, again, that's a guy with lack of knowledge and experience in this arena just putting numbers together.

    Any input from you all would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. Jergens

    Jergens AKA Joe Willauer

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    I'd get a 13' 7wt Echo, TR's are faster, Decho's are slower, go try them and decide what you want. It's a little big for the Met, but perfect for most other 509 steelhead rivers, and if you're going to nymph, just use a 9-9 1/2' rod. I personally think nymphing on a rod over 10' long is over rated, and for swinging you'll like a real spey rod. My .02. If you want to jump up in the $ area, I have been fishing a 13.5 7wt Scott t2h and really like it with a 500 grain skagit head. That size range (13-13.5 7wt) will also work on the coast and s rivers, pretty much the 9' 5wt of spey rods.
     
  3. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Ditto the above. I am not a big fan of switch rods. Not that they don't have their place. But from what I see on the river. Guys that can't make them work with spey techniques, give up and over hand cast them. Or plain just expect too much from a "not quite a real spey" rod.
     
  4. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    Denny, I'm also a single hander who for now fishes 75% of my time for trout. I've been doing more salmon and steelhead fishing, but with a single handed set up. I'm trying to figure out whether to step up to a switch or a spey rod. I'm leaning toward a switch rod, but will be interested in reading the responses you get. (My preference is to fish medium to smaller rivers, which is pulling me toward a switch rod.)

    Steve
     
  5. docstash

    docstash Active Member

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    I am with Mr. Willauer on this subject, a two handed rod 12' 6" to 13' 6" in 6 or 7 weight will handle most anything in the NW. A 6 wt. spey is the same about as an 8wt single hander.Single handing a switch will wear you out if nymphing and nymphing takes a lot of line manipulation if fishing on the bank. Distance comes from practice with any rod and a two handed rod is just a longer lever so easier to get more distance. Any rod will spey cast, be it a 7' 3" 3 wt. or a two hander, really the only thing that changes with the short lever is the number of earrings you are going to be wearing. Listening to the dead chicken go whizzing by is a real rush.

    Craig
     
  6. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

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    Agreed. I would add that I think switch rods are less forgiving when making spey casts. I think a lot of folks buy switch rods thinking they will actually "switch" between spey casts and normal single-hand casts. I own a switch and it sucks for single hand casting. There may be some switches that are okay as single hand rods, but none that equal a good single-hand rod.
     
  7. Mark Speer

    Mark Speer It's all good.....

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    TR is a great do everything rod, scandi, skagit, delta... while I mainly fish with Spey rods I have found a switch rod to be a lot of fun on smaller rivers. I have TFO DC and ALLEN switch rods and use mainly Spey cast with them but love the fact I can single hand cast them when I need to. I think one would be suprised how much line you can shoot with a Scandi doing a single hand cast.

    To each thier own but switch rods have a place in my quiver that is mainly dominated by the SPEY rods!

    Good luck on your journey.....it's a fun one!
     
  8. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    im usint the 8wt raindshadow switch and it casts overhand wonderfull with the 8wt ambush line. i was practicing today and i was shooting all the running line with a good double haul. the only advantage a single hander has over it is weight. i think the switch is all around a better tool for northwest steelhead then a single hander.
     
  9. soundflycaster

    soundflycaster Member

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    12'6" or a 13' rods are going to be a better all around two handed tools because you can still fish small water but have some length for the bigger waters as well. Switches are great rods but I have found that I don't like to single hand anything larger than a 5 and spend most of my time with them two hand casting. As stated above "Spey" is a technique not just a rod and can be used with any fly rod made. if you are going with a skagit set up I would also get a scandi or short belly line to use without sink tips for summer fish. These line combinations will allow you to fish many different types if waters and flies.
     
  10. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    I note that you live in the Seattle area. There are two free spey casting clinics (per month if memory serves) in your area. Someone will have to chime in with the details on the when/where but Aaron Reimer had one just a week or so ago. The good thing about these is you get to try out several rod/line combos and see what works best for you.
    fae
     
  11. DocDoc

    DocDoc Member

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    Aaron at River Run Anglers puts one on Saturday morning at Fall River Bridge. All about the Fly does something similar on Sunday mornings at Ben Howard by Monroe. Check them out and see what works best for you
     
  12. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

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    I visited the Fall City session a couple of weeks ago and got to practice with an Orvis switch rod. I definitely plan to return and try a spey rod in January.

    I have a simple question. It looks like all switch rods are around 11' and that anything longer than 12' is called a spey rod. Am I right? Is there more to it than just the length of the rod?

    Steve
     
  13. Bob Jones

    Bob Jones Still truckless now farther away

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    We were at fall city today It was kind of nasty with wind and showers and a little snow. Steve, Aaron had me using the helios switch Orvis 11ft since I didn't have my spey rod with me. Was very nice but I do like my spey rod , mine is 14 ft 8-9wt. I rode out with Steve Saville and we left a little early this time and went to lunch. There is no gathering next week because of Christmas so we'll be back the following week. Maybe we'll meet first out there instead of the BBQ. Depending. I don't have an answer for you because of being too new at Spey casting my self. But there are plenty of guys that could answer out there somewhere. good luck See you then. Happy fishin!! Bob Jones
     
  14. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Today when the wind was blowing upriver at 20mph and the rain was blasting me in the face I watched four fly anglers below me casting their spey rods. Two were scary looking, chaps I don't know. Two were pretty good, one was OrangeRadish. His loops were getting wind blown, but the line was getting out there. Today, I was using my switch rod. When the wind died down I was not doing too badly with the spey casts. When the wind was at its worst I was confidently two handed overhead casting the rod, about 3/4 overhead actually. Today on the river, this was the best presentation of the fly in my highly unskilled opinion.

    As my buddy OrangeRadish suggested, go with the spey, longer lever makes for easier work. I had a pretty good day with the 12'9" spey rod the day before. I was not in disagreement with him, but I brough the switch and thought it might treat me well in the wind. I was not disappointed that I had it on the trip. I was not disappointed to have had a couple of years of two handed overhead casting of switch rods off the Puget Sound beaches to make this cast available to me today.
     
  15. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    Good question Steve, but from what I've seen a 'switch rod' could be as short as 10 feet (just an extra handle below the reel seat) to 12'ish foot. Once (personal opinion here only) get above 12' you're talking 'spey rod' even if its on the 'short side.'
    fae