Questions about Switch/Spey Rods and Reels

#1
Hello all,

I am looking at getting my first two hand setup, and I have no clue what Im looking at when shopping around. Is there a benefit to using a switch setup vs a spey setup? Will the reels for a single handed rod work the same on a two handed setup or is there some special reel that you need to have for this kind of setup?

Thank you!

Tight Lines
 

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
#4
Where do you plan on using a spey or switch? How do you like to fish? What are you fishing for?

The things I know are based more on research than on experience.

If you want a versatile rod for swinging steelhead, most people go with a 13' 7wt. You will want a 9-10wt reel to accommodate the 500 grain head.

If you want something that can nymph or swing for steelhead, making medium casts, I would go with a 7wt in the 10'6" to 11'4" range. Someone on wff was selling a Sage Pulse switch for $275, heck of a deal.

For trout, a 3, 4 or 5wt "trout spey" is all the rage these days. They seem to be for inland people who really want to two hand cast all year. Personally I don't see much use for these besides having fun doing something different. Probably great for sea run cutts, however. Again, get a bigger reel for these, like a 7/8.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#5
Andrew,

Like Kyle mentioned above, it depends. Why do you want a switch or Spey set up? What do you want to fish for? Where do you want to fish? And to a lesser extent, when will you fish for the whatever and wherever.

If you have no answers for the above questions and just want something new, or to burn some money, then buy whatever strikes your fancy. It won't matter unless and until you have a specific application in mind.

As to reels, reels sized for heavy line weight single hand rods can serve on switch rods. Spey rods generally require larger reels than would be used on any single hand rod.

Sg
 

Tim Ihle

Active Member
#6
There is a huge benefit to using either rod that depends largely on what waters you will be fishing and how you intend to present your offering to the massive chrome hogs.

Two questions: where are you fishing , and are you indicator fishing or swinging ?

Something to note: fishing the Switch and playing fish on the Switch is my preferred way to go now after decades of full length spey rods—the Switch is just so fun to fish! ( provided I’m on smallish rivers and streams). It’s good to have choices....
 
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#7
Andrew,

Like Kyle mentioned above, it depends. Why do you want a switch or Spey set up? What do you want to fish for? Where do you want to fish? And to a lesser extent, when will you fish for the whatever and wherever.

If you have no answers for the above questions and just want something new, or to burn some money, then buy whatever strikes your fancy. It won't matter unless and until you have a specific application in mind.

As to reels, reels sized for heavy line weight single hand rods can serve on switch rods. Spey rods generally require larger reels than would be used on any single hand rod.

Sg
Im wanting a switch/spey setup to have something a little different than what Im used too. I generally fish for trout and bass in lakes or rivers. Thank you for the info on the reels.
 
#8
There is a huge benefit to using either rod that depends largely on what waters you will be fishing and how you intend to present your offering to the massive chrome hogs.

Two questions: where are you fishing , and are you indicator fishing or swinging ?

Something to note: fishing the Switch and playing fish on the Switch is my preferred way to go now after decades of full length spey rods—the Switch is just so fun to fish! ( provided I’m on smallish rivers and streams). It’s good to have choices....
I fish both lakes and rivers for trout and bass and would like to swing with this one. I prefer to indicator fish with one of my single hand rods.
 
#9
Spey or switch depends on your application. No your single hand reel will be to small.
Seriously, with all due respect, I have to disagree to a point. It depends on the size of the switch rod. Personally, I have an 11' 3 wt. switch rod that I fish for trout and a larger "single hand reel" works very well because I use a mono running line and a short head. Granted, a larger reel will accommodate a coated running ling and heavier head or an integrated line but again, that depends on the size of the reel. I have a couple off Ross Gunnison #5 reels that I use on switch rods to 5 wt.

Andrew, to answer your question from my point of view and experience, the two type rods are a bit different. The switch rods are almost always shorter than 11'6'' though some range to 12'. They can be cast with either one or two hands because of the length and overall weight of the set-up, and they have a slightly different action than a longer spey rod. On the other hand, spey rods are heavier because of the length of the handles and overall length of the rod itself. It makes sense that something bigger usually is heavier, in most cases. They are more difficult to cast with one hand though a shorter spey can be cast with a single hand a few times before fatigue sets in. Accuracy also suffers. And a third point, a longer spey rod, in most cases, is easier to learn on than the "tweener" switch rods basically because of the length of head, anchor point, and stroke.

Best advice, would be to seek a shop with some demo rods and try them out. You can get a better idea of what you want and then decide if one suits your activity or not. I have never cast a spey rod from a boat but have used the switch rods. It also depends on your targeted activity, again. I just got a 10'6" 8-9 wt. switch rod a few months back and am planning on its use on a float trip for salmon/steelhead on the near future. I'll take a single hand rod in case it isn't practical but I like to experiment a bit. Experimenting is one way I've settled on equipment, along with lots of lessons, videos, and conversation. Good Luck on your search. Once you go to a two-hander, you may not want to go back.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#10
Seriously, with all due respect, I have to disagree to a point. It depends on the size of the switch rod. Personally, I have an 11' 3 wt. switch rod that I fish for trout and a larger "single hand reel" works very well because I use a mono running line and a short head. Granted, a larger reel will accommodate a coated running ling and heavier head or an integrated line but again, that depends on the size of the reel. I have a couple off Ross Gunnison #5 reels that I use on switch rods to 5 wt.

Andrew, to answer your question from my point of view and experience, the two type rods are a bit different. The switch rods are almost always shorter than 11'6'' though some range to 12'. They can be cast with either one or two hands because of the length and overall weight of the set-up, and they have a slightly different action than a longer spey rod. On the other hand, spey rods are heavier because of the length of the handles and overall length of the rod itself. It makes sense that something bigger usually is heavier, in most cases. They are more difficult to cast with one hand though a shorter spey can be cast with a single hand a few times before fatigue sets in. Accuracy also suffers. And a third point, a longer spey rod, in most cases, is easier to learn on than the "tweener" switch rods basically because of the length of head, anchor point, and stroke.

Best advice, would be to seek a shop with some demo rods and try them out. You can get a better idea of what you want and then decide if one suits your activity or not. I have never cast a spey rod from a boat but have used the switch rods. It also depends on your targeted activity, again. I just got a 10'6" 8-9 wt. switch rod a few months back and am planning on its use on a float trip for salmon/steelhead on the near future. I'll take a single hand rod in case it isn't practical but I like to experiment a bit. Experimenting is one way I've settled on equipment, along with lots of lessons, videos, and conversation. Good Luck on your search. Once you go to a two-hander, you may not want to go back.

Sorry I hear anything two handed related I assume salmon/steelhead.
 
#11
I fish both lakes and rivers for trout and bass and would like to swing with this one. I prefer to indicator fish with one of my single hand rods.
I build Bearclaw Custom Rods and have been fishing my 10'3" 4wt "micro-spey" with a lot of success. I'd be happy to build something custom for you if you're interested.
 

cmann886

Active Member
#15
I would get either an Angler Roost 3/4 in an 11 or 12 foot rod or the Cabellas LSI 5 wt. when it goes on sale for 40-50% off if I were swinging for trout and bass like I do on the Yakima.

You will not be out much money and will have a very functional rod for what you want to do. You can then upgrade if you feel the need and enjoy the two handed game. It is important to get a well matched line for your rod and personal style. It will be a key determiner on whether or not you enjoy these rods.

The ARE 3/4 will handle fish to 6-8 lbs and the LSI will go a couple pounds heavier than that. Both are still fun with smaller fish.

You can build the ARE for around $150 with good components. The Cabellas LSI and is frequently on sale this time of year. They also now has a lifetime versus 15-year guarantee which I used a couple of years ago when I overplayed a large fish in fast water—-totally operator error and not a fault of the rod. A bit inconvenient that day but I had a new rod in a couple of weeks.
 

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