Swich Rod for Trout in Montana's big Rivers

#31
I got my Burkheimer 5115-4 ( 11'5", 4-5-6 ) last summer and I can categorically say that among a number of rods in that class I tested, this one is the best short spey trout rod/small stelhead on the market, period, with a magic Burkie feel. Sweet action with a crisp and fast recovery and nice feeling along entire blank.


Scandi heads like Airflo 330 gr ( 335 actual weight) is very sweet even with 10' polyleaders up to 50 gr or so when performing single spey cast for example.. The 360 gr Scandi Head out of the box will dig a bit deeper into the butt but works very well too. I am not a big fun of Skagit line but 350-375 head + 10' of T-8 is a good fit. Guideline 3D head like H-I-S3 ( 345 gr/34') is another great option.
Before I got the 5115-4 ( after "molesting" Kerry for such rod for near 2 years....) I have been fishing Meiser, 12'6" 4-5-6, 5 pc rod. since 2005 and it was the best rod for me until I start playing with the 5115-4.

They are few other nice recently designed rods on the market like Sage short spey in wt.5, but they are not up to Burkheiemr 5115-4.

Over the last 10 year I have been spending many weeks each year during summer in SW central Alaska in pursuing a wild Alaskan Bows in 3-10 lb and this rods is ideal for the job, either swinging an articulated leach ( a trout version) or fooling rainbows on a mouse pattern.
 
#32
Finally, it all came together. I got my reel Friday night and was off to the mountains on the Madison Saturday morning.
Here is the reel:
View attachment 42512

I couldn't get a picture of my first landed fish. Too much water and was all by myself. Here are a couple that were caught shortly after:
View attachment 42509
View attachment 42510
View attachment 42511

I still have much to learn dealing with my two handed casting. It was nice to have a cliff 5 feet behind me and cast 50 feet though. I am totally addicted. I caught fish dead drifting nymphs, skating dries, and swinging streamers.
I just want to thank everyone again for all of their help in my process of getting this set up. It is perfect. Thanks again everyone.
 

jwg

Active Member
#36
I I like the taper and integrated running lines of the Airflo 40+ lines for overhead, two handed and single handed casting. It does not do any of those perfectly but because it can do each of them pretty well I like those lines.
Ed:
How do your switch rod wt rating and Airflo 40+ compare?
Do you use an 6 on a 6 wt switch, or upline to a 7 or 8 ?

Jay
I'm buillding up a 6 wt Rainshadow switch now and will need to pick a line. Perhaps a line I already have will work. Hence the curiousity about details. I have some 40+ lines.
 
#38
Ed:
How do your switch rod wt rating and Airflo 40+ compare?
Do you use an 6 on a 6 wt switch, or upline to a 7 or 8 ?

Jay
I'm buillding up a 6 wt Rainshadow switch now and will need to pick a line. Perhaps a line I already have will work. Hence the curiousity about details. I have some 40+ lines.
Sorry for the late reply. I missed your post and question...a few long days lately.

The best recommendation I can give would be to try different lines on the rod. There's geeks our there that have a full line up of Skagit Compact, Skagit Switch, Rage, Ambush and Scandi Lines.

The Airflo 40+ is an awesome line and I run the 6 wt. on the old Decho 4 wt and it works well.

The biggest consideration, in my mind, is application, i.e.- target species, heavy flies, sink tips, skaters, wind, etc.

I would start out testing a Skagit Compact or Switch 390g on the 6 wt Rainshadow switch. The Skagit Switch line obviously has a shorter head and the anchor is more easily blown when starting out with these lines. Ultimately, I think the Switch lines usually perform better on Switch rods with a one or two exceptions.

The Ambush 8 wt with an intregrated running line would be a good line to try as well.

A very general rule when using single hand lines to line switch and spey rods is up 2 line weights for Switch and 3 line weights for Spey.

Good luck!
Ed
 

jwg

Active Member
#41
Best to forget line class numbers and go with grains instead. 40+ are nice integrated scandis.

http://www.redshedflyshop.com/AIRFLOCONT.html

AIRFLO 40 PLUS-$64.95 35' FLOATING INTEGRATED SHOOTING HEADS
HEAD WEIGHTS
5=243grns
6=261grns
7=284grns
8=323grns
9=365grns

Thanks, useful info.

These compare with standard ratings:

AFTM
5 140 grains
6 160
7 185
8 210
AFFTA Ratings for Spey Lines(added in edit)
Columns below are for shooting head, short head spey, midlength spey, and long belly spey Line
40’ 55’ 65’ 75’
5 380
6 250 420 460 600
7 300 470 510 650
8 360 530 570 710

So, let me recap and see if I am getting it.

6wt Batson/Rainshadow switch rod blanks are rated for single handed casting line.

So for single handed overhead casting, load with a 6 wt line.

For two handed casting, load with a line that is 2 or even 3 line weights more. Derek notes he casts a 300 grain line on a 6 wt switch rod.

So I could expect to be able to two handed cast (if I had the skills) my 5 or 6 wt Airflo 40 plus lines (fast intermediate)
The 40 plus and 40 plus expert have long tapers. 39/43 feet
Grainwise, I could perhaps with a poly leader in a faster sink, adding another 30 to 40 grains. Not sure how that would affect the two handed casting.
Would this be a good line for swinging flies, or nymphing?

Other options would be the Ambush line, in 8 or 9 wt for two handed casting on my 6 wt switch.
"Ambush 8 weight (290 grains) will load a 5 weight switch rod, Ambush 9 for a 6wt switch"
"short 20’-29’ heads are ideal for quick-loading" triangle taper
http://royalwulff.com/products/ambush-fly-line/
alleged to be good for swinging flies or nymphing

Or Airflo Skagit Switch

RANGE GRAINS HEAD LENGTH
4/5 360 18.5'
5/6 390 18.5'
5/6 420 19.5'
skagit switch taper

http://www.rajeffsports.com/skagit_switch.php
http://www.airflofishing.com/airflo-fly-lines-spey-switch-skagit-switch.cfm
have to buy a running line to go with the Skagit Switch heads
this would be mainly for swinging flies

For nymphing with an indicator, I could use the Airflo Speydicator.
http://www.airflofishing.com/airflo-fly-lines-spey-spey-speydicator.cfm
"They all have a short 21 to 23 foot head with a long 12 to 15 foot rear taper. Behind the rear taper is a 25 to 30 foot heavy level mending zone." about a 43 foot head.
These must be spey line rated:
4 280 grains
5 350
6 420

Rio Switch Line data added in edit:
4/5 300 grains (head weight on switch lines is measured at the color change)
5/6 350
6/7 410
Rio Spey Line Recommendations for rods:
http://www.rioproducts.com/skin/summit/pdf/2013_RIO_Spey_Line_Recs.pdf
file for older rods, includes the Rainshadow Spey blanks, but not the Rainshadow 10'8" Switch:
http://www.rioproducts.com/skin/summit/pdf/Old Spey Line Recommendations 2013.pdf

Finally, on another thread, there was a post stating that a 6 wt switch was strong enough for saltwater fishing pinks, cohos, etc. In this regard, I am thinking it is somewhat uprated as far as fish it can handle, perhaps because the extra length gives you a stouter butt section to the rod.

Jay
 

hydrological

beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto
#42
yes, forget the line class numbers !! entirely !!
when someone asks me "what weight rod is that?" i just tell them how many grains the head i'm throwing is. that other number means nothing!!

check out the line reccomendation chart for spey rods on the rio website (pdf files). several hundred rods are listed. both current, and discontinued rods, 2 different charts. you will see there really is no standard. 6wts run between 300 and 450 grains depending. that 6wt designation is completely arbitrary. a good example are winstons 7wts. the 7110 likes a 325 gr scandi, the 7133 likes 475 grains (also scandi) they are the same damn brand!! i have lots of expereience with both rods. my tcx 7119 is great with a 415 gr scandi, the 7126 equivalent is about 510. you can waste a ton of money trying to match lines based on that arbitrary number. this is gospel, not some arbitrary bs. just look at all the thousands of different threads on spey pages regarding this subject. every spey newby, is astounded at this phenomenon. its what happens when marketing "geniuses" run the show.

btw, i checked both current and old charts, and the batson brand is not listed. is it an ebay brand or something like it? i see them discussed on spey pages ocassionally, that might be the best place to get a grain window reccomendation.
 

hydrological

beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto
#43
Thanks, useful info.

These compare with standard ratings:

AFTM
5 140 grains
6 160
7 185
8 210

these numbers seem off, according to them i might need a 12 wt sh line to load my 5 wt 2 hander, again another reason that number only adds to the confusion.

So, let me recap and see if I am getting it.

6wt Batson/Rainshadow switch rod blanks are rated for single handed casting line.

So for single handed overhead casting, load with a 6 wt line.

For two handed casting, load with a line that is 2 or even 3 line weights more. Derek notes he casts a 300 grain line on a 6 wt switch rod.

on my "6" i use either a 380gr scandi or 425 skagit

So I could expect to be able to two handed cast (if I had the skills) my 5 or 6 wt Airflo 40 plus lines (fast intermediate)
The 40 plus and 40 plus expert have long tapers. 39/43 feet
Grainwise, I could perhaps with a poly leader in a faster sink, adding another 30 to 40 grains. Not sure how that would affect the two handed casting.
Would this be a good line for swinging flies, or nymphing?

a good line for both. basically a scandi.
you dont want to factor in the weight of a poly leader or sink tip as it is not part of your d-loop

Other options would be the Ambush line, in 8 or 9 wt for two handed casting on my 6 wt switch.
"Ambush 8 weight (290 grains) will load a 5 weight switch rod,

the ambush is closer to a skagit line.
i had the "9wt" ambush on my "5wt" switch, and it was a tad light


Ambush 9 for a 6wt switch"
"short 20’-29’ heads are ideal for quick-loading" triangle taper
http://royalwulff.com/products/ambush-fly-line/
alleged to be good for swinging flies or nymphing

probably on the short side for numphing, good for light sink tips

Or Airflo Skagit Switch

RANGE GRAINS HEAD LENGTH
4/5 360 18.5'
5/6 390 18.5'
5/6 420 19.5'
skagit switch taper

i have cast that "5/6" @ 420gr on my 7wt and its a perfect match tho a heavier one is great too.

http://www.rajeffsports.com/skagit_switch.php
http://www.airflofishing.com/airflo-fly-lines-spey-switch-skagit-switch.cfm
have to buy a running line to go with the Skagit Switch heads
this would be mainly for swinging flies

For nymphing with an indicator, I could use the Airflo Speydicator.

useless junk, imo. scandis work fine or get a rio switch line

http://www.airflofishing.com/airflo-fly-lines-spey-spey-speydicator.cfm
"They all have a short 21 to 23 foot head with a long 12 to 15 foot rear taper. Behind the rear taper is a 25 to 30 foot heavy level mending zone." about a 43 foot head.
These must be spey line rated:
4 280 grains
5 350
6 420

again, your 6 might need a lighter or heavier line than that.

Finally, on another thread, there was a post stating that a 6 wt switch was strong enough for saltwater fishing

depending on which 6wt and how many grains the line is !
 

RustE

drifting about
#44
Batson is pretty much the same as Rainshadow, just different management.

I don't see either brand noted on the 2012 recommendation charts. Don't have the 2013 charts handy.
 

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