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I am planning a trip up to Quebec in June for atlantic salmon. I have little experience casting these big rods. Is there a big advantage using a 13 foot spey rod vs a 11 foot switch rod? it would seem the shorter rod would be a little easier to handle. I am considering a 7 or 8 weight rod. Thanks
 

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If you don't already know how to Spey cast, Spey casting is easier to do and to learn with a 13' rod than an 11' one.

I think you'll find that most of the fishermen in Quebec are using a single hand fly rod anyway. So don't feel like you "need" to get either a Spey or switch rod.
 

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My first attempt at two handed casting was an 11' 6" 7 weight switch which I stuck with, and wasted my time. The second rod is a 13 foot 7 weight spey rod this fishes like a dream and does everything I want it to. With a couple of lessons you can get the line choice dialed in and be on the water casting further than you ever dreamed.
 

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My first attempt at two handed casting was an 11' 6" 7 weight switch which I stuck with, and wasted my time. The second rod is a 13 foot 7 weight spey rod this fishes like a dream and does everything I want it to. With a couple of lessons you can get the line choice dialed in and be on the water casting further than you ever dreamed.
@Salmo_g and Bjorn, can you guys explain why this is? Seems counter intuitive, but would like to hear more on this
 

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First, I think the pros and fishing demo guys/gals can cast just about anything and make it look fabulous. In my case I did not know the switch was difficult-I just thought I sucked. My friend who is a very experienced spey caster tried it, and told me the 11'6" switch was extremely difficult to cast well, so at his suggestion I went with a 13' rod, which I now love. That all said I have no explanation for the switch rod being difficult to cast; maybe the switch concept is too much of a compromise for us mere mortals?
 

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Shorter rods require more precise timing, and a more compact casting stroke. Both are hard when you are just starting out, so a longer rod often is a better place to start.

Once you know what you are doing, a shorter rod has its advantages, particularity in tight casting scenarios (high bank, overhanging trees, etc). Longer rods allow you to cast further in wide open runs, cast longer lines if that's your thing, lift heavier sink tips, and you have more line control.
 
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