Tin Boat

Switch rod doubts

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A couple of years ago I bought a high quality 7/8 switch rod and recommended 450 grain line because I had shoulder issues. The shoulder is no longer a problem, and I'm having doubts about the outfit. It is too heavy to be satisfactory as a one-hander and not powerful enough to justify itself as a two-hander. Anybody share these misgivings?

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Tin Boat.

 

It is a Switch rod. Switch rods do not make good fly rods for the beach as you have found out. They belong on rivers.

Neither chalk nor cheese. You are better of with a 9 foot 10 wt or a TH surf beach rod designed to cast at least 550 grains with authority OH.

 

Mike

 

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Posted (edited)

I feel the same way as mike. I have not casted these rods, but I have held and handled them. My TH is 12' and very powerful compared to the masses of spey and switch rods, and I'm finding a want and need for more length and power. 

 

More often than not these switch rods are soft and way too short as a TH. A very weird middle ground. Too long for SH (unless you know Sedotti's sayonara sling), and too short for TH. Not really good at either. 

 

Best bet for a TH would be an 11wt spey rod like the one JimDE used for nearly two decades or something similar that is very powerful. For a single hander a strong 10wt would serve you better than any switch rod cast with one hand for a full day of fishing. 

 

One thing I absolutely despise about a lot of these switch rods are the handles. Some are the thickness of a wine cork. Might have been a good fit for six year old hands but now it's just a bit more than the thickness of my thumb! Makes no sense to me unless you hold the rod like a cello or violin bow. 

Edited by RedGreen

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Definitely very bad to be single hand cast!!!

 

Rod has very small influence to casting performance but actual casting and fly line has huge influence! A 450gr line performs about the same a 9wt 300gr line which is single hand cast using hauling because haul can double the line energy. I can be even more spesific that in my hands I can deliver small fly in calm and to strong head wind better when I SH cast because hauled line loop comes narrow and hauled line velocity very fast and the lower drag of the small fly does not slow the line too much. Then the heavier line delivers big fly better because line momentum comes higher and its relative wind resistance is smaller. Also when casting to tail wind longer DH rod allows higher cast trajectory which has signifigant effect to tail wind cast length.

 

Esa

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If I am not mistaken, the rod mentioned is the Beulah Opal 7/8 surf/switch rod (11' 4 piece).

 

At Beulah's website the line recommendations for this rod are all over the place:

 

"Beulah Serum 500, Rio Outbound Short 10wt, SA Streamer express 350,  SA350-400 shooting head, Shooting heads head @30′ and 350- 400 grains work well overhand are a good target for this rod."

 

Even averaging them all out, I get ~400g, not 450g.    The Serum line in 500g would overload that rod, IMO.

 

It's larger cousin, the Beulah 9/10 surf, has a grain range somewhere around 450g to 550g.  My guess is that the 9/10 surf would have been a better choice for throwing 450g (or somewhat more) with considerably more authority.  

 

One idea would be to try that rod with a lighter grain weight line. Even as low as 350g for that rod. Another would be to try to trade it for the 9/10 version of that rod.  Whether that is worth it for the OP might depend on where and under what conditions they most commonly fish.

 

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It is difficult to say much of the rod without test casting or taking CCS measures so you should test it yourself! If it is fine with (only) 400gr line i think the difference is less than one hook size smaller fly make but it is possible to cast significantly heavier lines than manufacturers recommend especially short heads which have long front tapers. Lifting heavy line head from water comes more difficult but stripping line shorter makes it easy again and looping it to another finger and then releasing it to first back or forward false cast. I almost always begin my SH and TH overhead cast like that. When TH casting I hold the running line using both hand middle fingers and use top hand index finger to hold the line where it lifts easy to back cast but there can be other method which you like more.

 

Esa

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7 hours ago, crunch said:

Definitely very bad to be single hand cast!!!

 

Rod has very small influence to casting performance but actual casting and fly line has huge influence! A 450gr line performs about the same a 9wt 300gr line which is single hand cast using hauling because haul can double the line energy. I can be even more spesific that in my hands I can deliver small fly in calm and to strong head wind better when I SH cast because hauled line loop comes narrow and hauled line velocity very fast and the lower drag of the small fly does not slow the line too much. Then the heavier line delivers big fly better because line momentum comes higher and its relative wind resistance is smaller. Also when casting to tail wind longer DH rod allows higher cast trajectory which has signifigant effect to tail wind cast length.

 

Esa

Esa if  was totally true then OP would be able to fix things as it’s not his rod.

 

If rods were of such inconsequence I must have wasted 12 years of my life trying to build TH surf fly rods that actually work Out Front.

 

If Rods were not the issue then why would none of the Spey rods I used perform. Even the stiffest ones I could find like the Sage TCR. None of them cut  it on the beach. I see all sorts of TH rods out there and mostly it’s not pretty.

 

mike

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I have a switch rod I use on the beach 8wt 11.6 Scott L2h and it cast far enough on the beach. How far are you guys trying to cast? I mean real windy days I can’t cast as well but a majority of the time I can get to my backing or close to it and that’s far enough for me. My 12.6 7wt does well too. In Maine most of us two hand guys use around a 11-13ft 7-8 wt rod. Which is why I have had questions for you guys a few weeks ago. A lot of you seem to do it so much different especially in the rod department. I do like the idea off building one that will throw that huge amount of grains just to truly see the difference.

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Theflyguy,

 

Me personally I use the TH when I'm covering water and dealing with weather and big flies. I try to throw as far as I can without having running line issues. Usually I'm topping out at 110', but I sometimes nail 120 or so. That's with my 12'er throwing 525 grains. I'd be pushing for more if I could get it without losing focus on actually fishing. Right now I think I need more length and mass if I'm going to get further. There have definitely been times, especially in saltwater where I wanted and needed to get a little further than that. 

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Posted (edited)

Don't get me wrong, I like distance, but that's not the main reason I fish Mike's TH rods.  It's about power, we want to stay fishing when the weather deteriorates, we want to fish 20mph headwinds.  No, we can't cast 90' in those conditions, but we can usually reach fish if they are around.  It's also about the ability to handle line in the surf.  You need some backbone to get the line out of the water and in the air, precisely when you want too, especially when you are standing on a rock, with the waves washing about.  Or better yet getting slapped in the chest with breaking surf on the beach.

 

It's also about 3 strokes, as in "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll lollipop?" Roll cast to get the line out of the water, back cast, and deliver, fly back in the water.  First year I went to the cape I fished a 12wt single hander, while I was false casting, Mike was fishing. . .'nuff said.  It's almost too easy when the wind is with you, when it's in your face and you watch that line rocket into the wind like a bat outta hell, with three strokes. . .well that's just special.

 

Oh, and I can cast it right or left hand on top equally well, so I don't even worry about where the wind is coming from, unless I think it will effect the presence of fish at a particular location, I just go fish.  

Edited by Oakman

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Oakman,

 

I agree with everything you said. I feel the same way about these TH rods. I just mean to say that I try to get as much distance if I can if I'm not casting to a target, and these rods help immensely with that, and throwing any fly I want out there. Of course when it's windy distance drops but then we're still doing about the same if not still better than most guys in dead air with a single hander. 

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10 hours ago, Killiefish said:

If I am not mistaken, the rod mentioned is the Beulah Opal 7/8 surf/switch rod (11' 4 piece).

Why do you call it a "surf/switch" rod?

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I agree with Esa, after many years of use I’m fully convinced that the term “switch” rods (in the range of 10.5 - 12 feet) is not correct if referred in any way to single-hand casts, switch rods are simply “short” two-handed rods under all points of view.

This just my opinion.

 

 

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8 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

Esa if  was totally true then OP would be able to fix things as it’s not his rod.

 

If rods were of such inconsequence I must have wasted 12 years of my life trying to build TH surf fly rods that actually work Out Front.

 

If Rods were not the issue then why would none of the Spey rods I used perform. Even the stiffest ones I could find like the Sage TCR. None of them cut  it on the beach. I see all sorts of TH rods out there and mostly it’s not pretty.

 

mike

Mike, I think your casting stroke was too narrow and line you cast was too light so there did not come enough line momentum. I have used about ten different 15ft DH rods when practicing ICSF Salmon distance where max 55g (848gr) floating shooting head is cast and the rods have had practically no effect to casting distance. Also head length and taper profile does not have much effect when it has been 55ft to 65ft long. Shorter head begins to shorten the cast and also longer when it hits ground too bad because of my very poor DH casting. I know  that good DH casters can find positives and negatives between different rods and and find certain head profile better and can choose head length for current wind just before the heat.

 

If you still have your TCR and cast 700gr line soon you will cast significantly longer than you cast 550gr line using your Out Front rods. Take both to WC and let Sakke and few other Finns who are really good to test cast them and it reveals the potential there is! Seeing Salmon and Spey competition casting will be a truly eye opener for you :) I know that guys say the TCR has too fast action and they will hate it for distance casting. I bring few 40ft...45ft, 650gr...800gr shooting heads I use for fishing.

 

Esa

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