What is a Switch Rod?

The cross between a single-handed fly rod and a two-handed Spey rod is called a “switch rod,” a unique rod style.

With this, you can cast both overhead and underhand using the handle to either side. A switch rod is another type of spey rod, which has been specifically designed for fishing Spey for trout. 

For trout anglers switching from spinning gear to fly-fishing gear, switch rods in the 2-5 weight range are typically used, and about the 6-8 weight range are used for targeting steelheads.

Benefits of using a Switch Fly Rod

The best length for a switch rod is 10 to 12 feet long.

Some fishermen use them for night fishing because they have a longer top handle, about 1-2 times the length of a normal single-handed. For a two-handed cast, the lower hand is favourable.

Switch rods in the range of 4, 5, and 6 weights are used and effective to catch the trouts, and a small variety of steelheads and a more weighted range after 7 to 10 are used for winter steelhead.

Most people have a hard time keeping their feet warm when winter steelhead fishing.

1. You can switch between different rods and techniques while on the water without switching rods. Cast with one hand, or two, as needed. When fishing, your choices of flies, lures, and equipment are varied and abundant.

2. The longer-length rod gives you better line control, allows you to make longer casts and cover more water, and provides better leverage for pulling in fish.

3. It is great for getting a fly into tough water, such as small bays or coves, and an excellent tool for roll casting. Small to medium streams is the best place to use a switch rod. I really enjoyed these rods when they first came out.

4. Whether you are fishing from a kayak or casting for trout from a pontoon boat, being able to cast larger flies than you normally would require some work. And therefore, the Spey rods used for fly fishing have been modified to help make the transition easier.

5. These short lines are a good way to set the hook. They are easier to cast and more effective than the longer Spey method. Once you have established the fly line, you can begin casting the flies. Most people new to casting learn this by casting a single fly line.

Switch Rod’s Reel and Line Setup 

To switch the rod’s reel and line setup, you first need to know the right terms. The rod should be a Switch rod, and it should be equipped with a swivel and a spool attached to the rod itself. Also, the rod should be fitted with a drag and a reel.

The reel should be super strong, double size than what the single rods are used for. The magnificent capacity reel will only help deal with the thick spey lines and Skagit heads.

As for the line, you should buy it from a trusted manufacturer. Also, make sure that the line is of the correct diameter for the rod.

In addition to adding a bit more weight to the leader, the extra spool allows you to get the fly on a short cast, downriver, and then again when swinging a nymph downstream. The extra weight also helps to reduce the line speed in the water.

The setup is simple. The spool is attached to the swivel. Then, the swivel is attached to the rod. Finally, the rod is attached to the reel. After that, you need to know how to attach the swivel to the rod. 

First, put the swivel at the top of the rod and then attach the rod to the swivel with a swivel ring. Then, tighten the swivel ring. The last thing to do is attach the line to the reel and tighten it.

Switch Rods As Single-Handers (Single Spey casting)

The single Spey cast is considered better than the double spey, especially when there is a current moving upstream, and is an integral part of the “Splash and Go” group of casts.

Longer-length rods make it easy to get long drifts, which is good for smooth, relaxed lines. Most anglers who fish switch rods as single-handers will usually overline the rod by a line weight or two.

Switch Rods As Two -Hand Overhead Rods

Streamer Fishing is another popular fishing application for switch rods. Striped streamers are used in this application.

Fishing for steelhead is very challenging because you have to cover the most area possible in your search for fish. It can also be exhausting, especially if you spend all day casting out 100’+ casts.

The switch rod works great for large, heavy fish and the two-hand overhead technique allows you to reel the rod in and out of the rod holder without lifting your hands off the rod.

Using an overhand shooting taper line, casting long-line patterns is best for a two-handed setup, and 100′ casts are possible with this setup.

Switch Rods As Two-Handed Spey Rods (Double Spey casting)

Cast your fly rod with this cast, and if it’s easier to perform than the Single Spey, you’ll find it’s more difficult to perform it as a fast cast.

The Double Spey is considered an easier version of the Single Spey since it is performed slowly & knowingly, and it’s easier to make changes/correct during parts of the cast.

To keep the fly lines moving through the water, they can be anchored by contacting the water throughout the forward cast.

This Double Spey fly casting rig is useful for casting in fast-flowing winds.

Recommended Favorite Switch Rods

Sage Pulse

Sage X Series

Echo 3 Switch

Echo OHS

Redington Dually

Switch Rods Spey Casting History & Origin

Before the term Spey cast was popularized in the late 1800s in Wales and Scotland, it was called casting.

Early fly fishing techniques used to be called Welsh throws, and they were discovered on large rivers like the Spey and the Wye. These days it’s called underhanded fishing, and many different types of casting can be used with this technique.

There are different ways to cast big-game fish, from light spinning tackle to fly rods. These rods were greenheart, a heavy wood imported from British Guyana. Nowadays, fishing rods are only 12 to 15 feet in length. 

There are two categories of Spey casts: “splash and go” and “waterborne anchor” Spey casts. “Splash and go” casts contain a backstroke in the air, and the “Waterborne anchor” casts contain a backcast that stays on the water.

This casting technique is often referred to as the “D-loop” because the line connecting the anchor and the tip of the rod looks like the shape of a “D. It’s also important to keep your body relaxed and your line straight while you make a looping cast with the “D” loop.

What is the Difference Between a Switch Rod and a Spey Rod?

  1. Switch rods are basically an evolution of Spey rods. They were originally designed to be used by anglers who wanted to use more traditional rods similar in style and function to their traditional fly rods.
  2. Switch rods are made with a single hand-rolled section, making them very easy to cast, and it is this feature that makes them ideal for beginning and intermediate anglers.
  3. They both work the same way, but their construction lies in the difference. A switch rod has a thinner, lighter rod with a shorter handle, while a Spey rod is made of heavier materials and features a longer handle.
  4. Switch rods are more versatile in terms of how they are used. I prefer to use a Spey rod for fishing, but if you are a beginner, a switch rod may be better.
  5. Longer rods can put more lines on the water, making them better at swinging flies.
  6. Switch rods are popular among nymph anglers who fish dry flies and small streamers.

Can you use the regular fly line on a switch rod?

You can use the regular fly line on a switch rod, which will work fine. It would help if you were careful about the diameter of the line, though, as it might not be able to pass through a thicker rod. Also, make sure that the rod is of high-quality material and made specifically for fishing.

How far can you cast a switch rod?

You can cast a switch rod up to 50 feet easily, and if you need to, you can use a stronger one to make it a bit easier to throw. It all depends on your arm strength and the type of rod you use. This feat can be achieved smoothly with the Spey rod length between 12’6″ to 14’+.

Are spey rods worth it?

This rig is perfect for fly fishing for Great Lakes steelhead in small, confined areas. It can be used for nymph fishing, indicator fishing, casting streamers, swinging flies, etc.

Several rods are good at nymphing and swinging, but a few rods are best at nymphing, and others are best at swinging.

Switch Rods For Fly Fishing Summary

In conclusion, a switch rod is a versatile rod that can be used for fishing both overhand and underhand. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking for something comfortable to use with either hand.

If you want to learn how to make the most out of your switch rod, you need to know how to choose the right one. 

I hope you enjoyed this guide on “what is switch rod” and “Spey Casting.” Let me know how do you feel in the comments section.

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