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  #11  
Old 08-15-2012, 11:57 AM
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I use two rods that have double grips for nymph fishing quite a bit. One is a 5 weight and the other an 8 weight. Both trout with the 5 and steelhead as well as dry fly Atlantic Salmon with the 8 weight. The concept for me is that I can carry the one rod and use a line with a short heavy head that will have the inertia to throw an indicator with weight or remove them and add a poly leader for two hand swinging.

I can't think of any one rod that is more versatile. Most people buying switch rods are missing the nymphing element.
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  #12  
Old 08-15-2012, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by overmywaders View Post
Thanks, I understand now.
They seem like a nice style of rod. I like long rods and an 11' 4wt which I could two-hand sounds ideal.
Reed-An 11 foot 4 weight is a great rod up on the larger rivers. If you get the correct lines the number of options that open up is substantial. I built my 5 weight 5 years ago and the only time I am not using it for trout and LL salmon is when I am purely casting dry fly.

William
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2012, 06:34 AM
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Nate-That was a really good post. I'm off to Seawall Falls to give today's class and your perspective is appreciated.

William
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  #14  
Old 08-18-2012, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySpoke View Post
Most people buying switch rods are missing the nymphing element.
Hmm, it seems to me most people that buy these rods are missing the two-handed casting element. I believe most people by these rods (and spey rods sometimes) specifically to nymph fish. Thingamabobbers and egg patterns...
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:24 AM
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Most people think of a switch rod as one that will cast single or double handed, but that is not how they got their name. One day master rod builder Bob Meiser and West Coast casting Guru Mike Kenney were fishing together for Steelhead. Bob had a new short rod he wanted Mike to try out. Bob said "Let's Switch" and a new concept was born. Their collaboration with Temple Fork is proof of what two experts in their own right can achieve.
Apparently Bob Meiser would disagree: http://www.meiserflyrods.com/switch-rods-info.php
Also something to keep in mind- a 4wt switch rod will usually require a 4wt spey line, not a standard wf4f. Spey lines are usually nearly double the weight of their single handed counterparts. So, if you are thinking a 12" trout will double over the rod just like a standard 4wt, unfortunately this is not the case. It will be more like landing a 12" trout on a 7 or 8wt.
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:50 AM
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a 4wt switch rod will usually require a 4wt spey line, not a standard wf4f. Spey lines are usually nearly double the weight of their single handed counterparts.
But, I checked and the standard for spey lines starts at 6wt. See http://www.affta.com/wp-content/uplo...ne_weights.pdf

I guess I'll hold off on an 11' two handed rod. I don't need anything heavier than a 4wt these days.
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Old 08-18-2012, 11:07 AM
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Exactly, there's no 4wt on there, but a standard 6wt is 160 grains, for spey it starts at 250 (for shooting heads). That would make it a 9/10 for single handed rod.
I'm not sure what the grain rating is for 4wt spey/switch but I'm sure it's not 120 grains......

I don't think anyone is making the long, limber rods you like (in any material) right now. From what I've heard the closest thing might be the Dorber ultra weave, they make them as long as 9 feet.
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  #18  
Old 08-18-2012, 01:58 PM
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wfa,

I am okay at present for longish rods, I was hoping for really long and full-flexing.

I have a new (ca. 1910-1917) 9'6" 4wt Leonard Calcutta (before they shifted to Tonkin cane) cane rod that is a dream to cast. It is a Ladies' rod with a 5" delicate cork grip and a really tiny cap-and-ring NS reelseat. The snakes are so small that a whipped loop on a modern WF4F has to be passed through each guide very carefully; then crushed down to fit it through the tip-top. Despite that, it casts in close or stretches out effortlessly. I'm not rich, I paid less for this rod than most rods Cabela's sells.
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  #19  
Old 08-21-2012, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wet_fly_action View Post
Apparently Bob Meiser would disagree: http://www.meiserflyrods.com/switch-rods-info.php
Also something to keep in mind- a 4wt switch rod will usually require a 4wt spey line, not a standard wf4f. Spey lines are usually nearly double the weight of their single handed counterparts. So, if you are thinking a 12" trout will double over the rod just like a standard 4wt, unfortunately this is not the case. It will be more like landing a 12" trout on a 7 or 8wt.
I just hate when people lie to me. Really ticks me off. How dare they tell me personal stories and give me first hand knowledge. Of course the selling point of the rod is that you can cast with one or two hands, but the only time you will is when you are nymphing with indicator and weight or dry fly Atlantic Salmon. On the east coast we do this all the time. West coasters never do. They think using a bobber and weight is just plain wrong. I strongly learned this in a conversation with Jim Teeney when discussing nymph lines. The only part of the story I told that is wrong is that it was not Mike Kinney. But Letís Switch was said so many times that day between three good friends that the name stuck.

Also if you want as true as possible 4 weight switch then use a 4 weight blank and a 4 weight will feel like a 4 weight and so will the trout. There is no difference in the upper section of the blank when you take a true 4 weight blank and make it into a 10'6" or 11í Switch. I have two that are custom made in 5 and 8 weight and they are made from true weighted blanks. You can have switch rods made for dry fly down to 6X tippet flex and weight if you want. If you talk to the people at Batson and tell them exactly what you want they will help. On commercial rods the butt gets extended hence seems thicker. Commercial rod companies have no set guidelines for what they call their rods. This is also true of single hand 4 weights. Orvis claims to have the lightest till Sage says they have the lightest. Anything over 11 feet is not a switch rod and will feel great with two hands but a bit awkward with one. I would not buy a Switch longer than 10í6Ē myself for the purpose of casting one hand or two. For swinging weighted streamers and busters on Pemmi, Andro, Magaloway and the like an 11 to 12 foot two hand rod would be perfect. You will reach little fished pockets with control. Yesterday I cast an Orvis rod that was 11 feet rated as an 8 weight. The person will be using it in Pulaski for salmon and steel. It felt like a toothpick in my hands it was so light and thin.

The use of lines that have thicker, hence higher grain ratings, for two hand is because when loading a single hand you use extended line. The inertia of the moving line after stop and pause then drift creates the load. When loading a two hand you use the belly. The only style regular line that will have any level of two hand performance will be a double taper that you leave alone for floating or cut off the front between 5 and 15 feet depending on what you want the line to do. That is what we did years ago to achieve a line that would cast two hand. Buying bargain bin lines and cutting them became a trial and error thing. Then lines like Rio Mid Spey became the popular choice. I have also cut many lines that were rated 3-5 weights higher to make Skagit type lines and then add poly leaders, tungsten tips and long leaders. This was achieved best by using mid belly Spey style lines and cutting off all be 15 to 20 feet in front of the running line. I found the poly leaders in Scotland around 1996. I had never seen them here in the states before that time. The only reason anyone would say that poly leaders cast poorly is because they donít know how to use them correctly or are using them in inappropriate situations. I would not use a poly leader on the end of a shooting head and fish overhand for striped bass. Poly leaders add distance and straighten out and turn over your cast when you slow down and shoot line with a slightly open loop. Tips and poly leaders are mandatory to use as weight compensation on all the new short switch, Skagit and Scandi lines. Poly leaders and tips come in floating, hover, intermediate slow , medium and fast sink. A balanced system like the Rio MOW tips have the same weight in various configurations so casting feels the same with each. Cutting lines and adding tips has been routine and continues to be the preferred way on the west coast. On Friday I am meeting with Al Bhur and we are going to be casting and making lines in the west coast tradition. He is one of the founders of creating steelhead cut lines and I am very excited about that. Why not look up Al Bhur. It might say that he lied to me, is not a Master two hand casting instructor and does not make custom lines.

Today there is no reason to purchase regular single hand fly lines for two hand application. Lines are being made in every head length and size that will match up to the rods. I highly recommend that if you want to learn two hand, then before you make a purchase you take a lesson. I am happy to help(shameless plug) for short money so you do not make the mistake to buy more equipment and lines than needed. Saturday in my class one of the casters used my rod. After class he went to SRO to look at the Beulah switch rods. He went there knowing how to switch cast with light hands, abrupt high stop in the switch cast style, and went there with a far greater understanding of what he wants the rod to do.

The problem with switch rods being used for nymphing, hence my comment that the nymphing part of switch rods is being over looked, is that they are being built on fast action blanks. This is especially a problem when nymphing for steelhead on light tippet. The rod action needs to be soft with a deep flex through the handle like a center pinning rod so the action of the fish can be absorbed by the rod and not shock the tippet. I use a soft action rod when nymphing steelhead and land a decent number of fish because of that fact.

To me a switch rod should be defined as a rod that will switch between swing and nymph. Because it is not and the standard definition is one or two hands I have created the Swimph rod.(Swing-Nymph) Built on a deep flex blank with two hand grip, reel seat and oversized guides. Just another tool in the quiver. Same line, different set up at the end of the line. I have successfully built these lines for many years and now today the closest thing is the Royal Wulff Ambush or Airflo Rage. It will swing with poly or nymph with indicator and weight.

I donít understand why there is any controversy between single hand rods and two hand. I love both and have worked hard to be a competent single hand caster and teacher. But reading some of the posts here, now and in the past, you would think that people have some strange obsession with needing to find the problems rather than solutions. What is right for each of us is right. If you donít like poly leaders thatís fine, but donít tell people what they do when you most likely donít own more than the one that you donít like. Today poly leaders from Airflo and Rio are light years ahead of where they were just a few years ago. Fly rods of any style are only tools that have purpose and just as I would not bring a long rod to a native brook, I wouldnít bring a single hand rod to a medium to larger river. I own them all and learn all I can to be a proficient an angle as possible. Thatís it.

I am not looking for controversy in regard to two hand casting. I am wanting us as a community to learn and grow together. There are people here who I have worked with over the last year that have added another bullet to the chamber because they have the open mind to try something new that is actually very old.
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  #20  
Old 08-21-2012, 03:14 PM
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OK, thanks for the name drop, regardless of where the name came from obviously switch rods fill a gap between what is considered a single handed rod and two handed. How foolish of me to have believed Meiser's website.
I wasn't anticipating anyone having a blank custom made to throw a standard affta 4wt line. However as a rod builder I can advise you that it's not as simple as adding length to the butt of a rod, this most definitely change the way the rod casts.
I was simply advising that people look into what weight line a switch rod actually throws. All of the ones I've seen have used the spey line standard and therefore a 5/6 switch rod is a much heavier rod than 5/6 single handed rod.
Some of them might not be happy with the feel of a fish on such a heavy rod. Of course some of them might be perfectly happy and yet abhor the idea of catching the same fish on a single handed rod in an identical grain window. The mind is a funny thing.
I'm not for or opposed to anyone fishing with a 2 handed, switch or single handed rod. Personally, I find many of the "2 handed" casts very useful in New England, however I have never found the need to make them any farther than is possible with a single handed rod. YMMV.
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