Switch rod blanks from Batson

Bob Jones

Still truckless now farther away
Has anyone built a switch rod on one of their blanks? How long? Are you happy with it? and how much does it weigh? Has anyone tried to make a switch rod from one of the shorter Spey rod blanks? Did it work out okay? Thanks Bob
I have the same question too I guess. I built the Forecast 6/7 spey and used it until I went on to bigger rods, just to see if I liked spey casting. I am planning on using that rod now for my snymph fishing steelhead rod and I think it will do a good job of that. I was thinking of getting the 5 weight switch to build this winter. I am thinking I could use it on bigger rivers such as the Deschutes for trout. They say that it is good for lake fishing as well because of the added length. However, most of the stuff I read about switch rods are that you can either put a spey line on it, or a regular line for overhead casting. If the line limits its use to some degree, than I am not sure of the advantage of a switch rod. However, I feel like building a rod and I certainly don't need any more in my arsenal at this point. But I could justify the switch as I don't have one of those.

By the way, I have built on a couple Batson blanks, Forecast and Rainshadow, and I have to tell you there is no better service in the business. I have called the company in the past and even talked to Kerry Batson, the main man. I think their rods are of very high quality and I love each of them. I built a 5 weight on a Rainshadow for my fishing buddy and it is his favorite rod.


Bob Jones

Still truckless now farther away
Wayne, thanks for the answer. I'm wanting to build a switch rod because I have to hold the cost down and I want it for the DeschutesSince that is our home river. The switch rod will work there best because there's so often no backcast room and no wading room. I've visited the shop at Batsons and things looked good but I didn't have plans then. Bob
I have two batson switches a 6 and a 7 wt. I use them on the skagit all the time. I also use them for large trout, summer steelhead, nymphing for steel and have had them out for stocker trout the past few days. I have both spey type and standard lines for both. The spey line (350gr./25ft) on my 7wt will throw the 15' tips that came with my 7/8 versatip spey line and a lead eyed articulated bunny as far as I want it to go. I usually use a steelhead taper wf 7 on my 6 wt which gives it a little more mass if I feel like spey casting but casts overhand well also and nymphs like none other. I also have the front taper (27ft) of a windcutter spey that I use for some of my dryline steelhead work if I don't use my cut back 50' 8wt shooting head on the rod.

These rods are incredibly versatile and you aren't being limmited by what you line it with. It really gives you the option to make the same rod preform different tasks depending on the line you use. I use these two rods 85% of the time. If you had a 4wt, 6wt and an 8wt you could cover 98% of the fishing most people do. Well worth the money, which wasn't much considering what you'd spend on a factory switch rod.

I built custom handles for both of these and if anyone has questions I could answer them. I could also post pics and specs if anyone is interested.

Bob Jones

Still truckless now farther away
Derek that is just what I was interested in. i want to make a 7 or 8wt. that would be enouogh for steelhead and a fun change from what I have. I have some parts on hand now but would need to buy the rest . Any posting of you rod and things you have done would be a help. Thanks Bob
Bob - just saw your post. We build on the Batson blanks, either the 7 or 8 Switch blank would be great on the Deschutes. Personally, I'd vote the 8wt, it might be a bit better for windy conditions or if you wanted to throw some bigger flies.

If you are new to rod building, I'd suggest that you drop by the shop. I see you're in Tacoma, so one of our rod building classes may not work for you, but stop by & get some questions answered & see some rod building in progress. Don't forget about our Sunday Spey casting clinic - we can help you match up a line for the rod when you're ready.
I havne't built any batson switch rods but I have used a lot of batson blanks. I have also been impressed by their service and quickness to respond to customer inquiries. very good warranty process, good sales, and email/phone service. I've tried calling a lot of other companies and you're almost always put into a queue and ignored.;...not there. Anyways, what i was going to let you know is that batson now has a forum where several employees, including Karry, responds to any question you might have. Let him know in a post what it is you're looking for and he can probably point you in the right direction. I don't know if i said it on this forum, but i asked something a while back and he even suggested a blank from another company. pretty cool guy, not the hard sale on the forum as you might expect.

Bob Jones

Still truckless now farther away
Jpooh thanks thats good info I was pleased talking to them when I visited their store, so maybe I will build another rod for fun.
I finished my 5 weight switch this week. Will build a 7 weight for a friend next. I ordered the Ambush line from Poppy and will try it out on the rod when I get it.

I like my rainshadow 7 Wt Switch rod. I am useing a 8Wt Hardy WF line seems to cast just great
I did not use the standard Guide spaceing I went with a mix of sages distance and other rod specs. No offence Batson it just didnt look right to me

Component Part Number Part Description
Rod Blank Model # IF1087-4M 10'8" 4pc 7wt Switch Rod Blank - Matte Clear
Butt cap: SWHDCCBC20F Switch Grip Hard Density Cork Composite Butt Cap with Flare
Reel Seat: RYSW-SG Y Fly Seat with Black Aluminum Insert with Butt Cap & Trim Ring - Shiney Gunsmoke
Reel Seat Shim: n/a
Rear Grip: SW325S-300 3.25" Rear Switch Grip Super Grade ID .300"
Fore Grip: SW1175S-300 11.75" Fore Switch Grip Super Grade ID .300"
Winding Check: LTCWC365 Lt TitCar Plated Winding Check .365" I.D.
Hookeeper: FHK-S Folding Hook Keeper-Polished
Tip Top XTCFTL5.0 ALPS SS316-Titanium Carbide Pltd Fly Top Large Loop 5.0 Tube
Guides (see below for size and quantity) XTCSNGP ALPS SS316-Snake Guide - TICH w/o Chrome
Guides (see below for size and quantity) XTCLXNZG ALPS SS316-LXN Guide w/'Z' Ring - TiCh w/o chrome
Guide order from the tip top Guide Guide Placement - In inches from the tip top
1st XTCSNGP3 4.5"
2nd XTCSNGP3 9.75"
3rd XTCSNGP3 15.5"
4th XTCSNGP3 22.75"
5th XTCSNGP4 30.75"
6th XTCSNGP4 39"
7th XTCSNGP4 48"
8th XTCSNGP4 57.5"
9th XTCLXNZG5 67"
10th XTCLXNZG12 78"
11th XTCLXNZG16 94.25