Switch Rods on Lakes

First let me apologize. I do not live in Washington ....but close, Idaho.
On of the reasons I have ordered a switch rod is I think it will be useful on lakes from the shore or wading. However, every thing I read about lines and weights addresses swinging flys for steelhead or large trout. I want to be able to get a line well out into a lake and strip streamers, twitch nymths and fight the wind. I don't see a lot specifically addressed to my needs.
Naturally I am going to use the rod on the Snake River. Silver Creek, the Wood etc., as well as lake fishing.
Rod I bought is made of UMH 12 graphite which I understand makes it a fast, (maybe a very fast rod). My question is first about line weight. The rod is a 5/6 weight, 11 footer. What weight line would you recommend. I am thinking in terms of maybe 7. I will need a sink tip for lakes and a floating line for those applications.
Here is the kicker. I can't spend $150 for a Rio kit. I am going to pick up a reel for 7/8 or 8/9 weight line as well.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

As a new member...I am 65 retired, fixed income and used to fly fish a lot. Illness and the economy almost got me but "I'm....baaack". I live in South Central Idaho, Twin Falls area.
By the way, the Snake, while not having steel head this far up river, there are huge trout, bass & carp which I am hoping to reach with my switch rod. :-}


Active Member
Some switch rods are rated on the scale made for single handed rods, and some are rated on a different scale made for spey rods. There are typically two weight difference.

So its hard to know what 5/6 means.

Also depends how you plan to cast. If you are overhead casting with one or two hands, then you would line it one way. If you are spey casting you may need a heavier line.

Others can probably give more specific advice, but they would probably need to know exactly what rod you have.

for lakes, you may want a sinking line not a sink tip for stripping leeches buggers etc.


Rick Todd

Active Member
I have a 5 wt Echo switch rod (10'8") and for single handed casting, it likes a 7 or 8 wt line. I do use it on lakes, and find the extra length is helpful, especially fishing chironomids under an indicator.
Thanks guys. I ordered an 11' fast action switch rod. I am hoping to buy a Cortland 100' wt 6 skagit from a guy on this forum.
I have a 5 wt. fast sinking line which will probably work as it is fairly heavy. I also have a 5wt intermediate sinking line as well. While I used them on my Sage 5 wt. LL I think they will work ok on the switch rod although they may be a bit short.
I saw an Orvis 125' WF switch line on the Orvis site. Do any of you know anything about it good or bad?


Indi "Ira" Jones
I use a Redington 10 1/2' 5/6 with an 8wt line and a 6wt line both as a single hander and both lines work great. I love using it out of my boat for casting looooooong leaders (20 +).


Active Member
All I do nowadays is fish lakes...from a kayak, but it's JMHO that a sinking tip is quite useful much of the time. When they're dimpling the surface a floating line with a lightly weighted fly....or a very slow sink tip works well. I don't much bother with dry flies anymore unless a whopper of a hatch is going...generally the big fellows are cruising for larger meals, while the little guys are popping sparse hatches. Full sinks, for me anyway, work best when they're sitting deeper in warmer weather.