Tin Boat

Switch rod doubts

70 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, SSPey said:

Realistic expectations and fair comparisons are needed.

 

If a 9’ 9wt is the standard NE saltwater fly rod, throwing 9wt lines or 350-375 grain head, then a DH 11’ throwing 450 grains is very comparable.  Comparable because two-hand rods are effectively shorter than specs due to their long grips, and because DH rods develop intrinsically less line speed (& casting inertia) than what’s capable with a good single-hand rod when double hauled.  

 

For me, an 11’ DH rod throwing 450 grains is for effective all-day lower-fatigue casting, at performance comparable to what a 9’ 9wt can do.  And fun, too.  However, expecting more isn’t realistic.  

Agree

 

 Mike

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Posted (edited)

It’s been a very long ten years trying to explain what I know about TH surf fly fishing.

 

In that time I never found a Switch rod to be any better than a 10 wt single hand rod when there was a head wind. In fact it was worse.

In friendly side winds my 12 foot Switch rod yes 12 foot that’s how the blank maker referenced it could push out easily casts in excess of 90 feet. Easier than my 9 foot  10 wt. but a tail or head wind forget about it.

 

Short TH rods fare badly to.

 

The problems I have faced getting the message across is that not enough guys have ever managed to get their hands on a rod that cut it well out there in Out Front conditions.Their  points of reference are based on Spey, Switch or short so called Beach rods and of course single hand rods.

 

The revelation and the realisation of what’s possible was apparent to guys like RedGreen and Hill Top and Oakman who took the plunge. These are the guys who keep me sane. They actually know something.

If you have never taken the plunge how the hell are you ever going to know the temperature of the water.

 

There are only so many’s time you can call a Black Cat Black when others are calling it white before you just start  walking off muttering to yourself towards the sunset.

 

I am at the point of thinking why should I care and give a dam. Wasting my time and breath.

 

I feel that I come at this from an evidenced based position plus performance achieved in the real world on the beach. If guys don’t want to except it fine. Others  once choose not to except the world was round.

 

If those out there wish to remain unconvinced that’s fine but I am also quite happy to lay down the gauntlet and put myself on the line if you are.

We can meet up in a friendly spirit and have at it with our respective bits of kit.

Loser buys the cake and coffee.

 

Cheers

 

 

Mike

 

Edited by Mike Oliver

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11 hours ago, SSPey said:

Realistic expectations and fair comparisons are needed.

 

If a 9’ 9wt is the standard NE saltwater fly rod, throwing 9wt lines or 350-375 grain head, then a DH 11’ throwing 450 grains is very comparable.  Comparable because two-hand rods are effectively shorter than specs due to their long grips, and because DH rods develop intrinsically less line speed (& casting inertia) than what’s capable with a good single-hand rod when double hauled.  

 

For me, an 11’ DH rod throwing 450 grains is for effective all-day lower-fatigue casting, at performance comparable to what a 9’ 9wt can do.  And fun, too.  However, expecting more isn’t realistic.  

For the rods currently on the market, I agree, tho I would say from what I've seen that the average caster will in fact cast further with the TH since they won't be able to make the most of a good SH 9' 9wt rod.   It definitely is true for me.

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Hi magayanes,

I saw your beautiful video and I congrat you! :)

Just to say that S. Gawesworth in his book Spey Casting (2nd ed.) separates the Single Spey from the Switch Cast essentially because the first one provides a change of direction while the second does not. Apart from this unique detail we know that the two types of cast are practically the same thing, but just because there is no change of direction (angle) I think it is correct to say that the one in the video is a Switch Cast (or Dynamic Roll, Jump Roll, Forward Spey, Live Line Roll ... depending on where one lives) rather than a pure Single Spey cast.

Another thing, I read in the notes below the video that the Skagit Head you use is 33 feet long, by the way I would say that if that were the case it would be a Scandi Head, or was it just a text typing error? This confuses me...

Cheers david

 

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Posted (edited)

I've got a few switch rods, and a couple I've used as a crutch when my right shoulder with an AC separation acts up after using my 10wt SH rod on the beach.  One is an 11' Orvis Helios, which is listed as a 10wt.  It's light enough to use single handed.  The other, an 11'9" Sage Method 9wt, which feels a bit heavier.  I don't really use them as SH rods, but I can make a quick, short cast with either if warranted.  They also get used for some spey casting on tidal rivers.  I do enjoy the relaxing aspect of that, vs. blind casting on the beach.

 

For me, the switch rod's versatility outshines any lack of outright performance at OH casting.  It took quite an investment in time and various lines to find a match I was satisfied with though.  And still, either rod is slower than I'd like when the wind is slapping me in the face.  More lines need to be tested...

Edited by chr1s

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19 hours ago, chr1s said:

  More lines need to be tested...

I'm the same way, its takes a bit to find the right line, but cost stops me at times during the search.

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To find nice line weight you can use many cheap materials like clothes lines, electric cables and thin ropes. I have used clothes line and electric cable shooting heads for fishing. Perhaps rope can be used in lawn casting wetting it first and then begin casting and it begins to shed water and becomes easier to cast and when it feels good take its weight but perhaps its wind resistance is too high to give right feel. Of course a scale is needed but it is one of the best investments a fly angler can do because fly lines can have big tolerances.

 

Esa

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Posted (edited)

I think it interesting that the OP just needed to find the right line match.  In his case it was 400g and it suits his uses which do not include mainly "out front" conditions.  Two key points that are not always made are that:

 

1.  Online data on rod weight rating - especially for TH OH uses - are often wrong, or are too generous. The manufacturer data on the OP's rod were all over the place in terms of grains, suggesting that they may not know, or "it varies" (i.e., depending on one's abilities), or they were considering both THOH use and spey. 

 

2.  Not everyone fishes "out front conditions" mainly or exclusively.   Some  do a combination of salt/fresh, or OH/spey.

 

It seems to me that those of us who do not regularly fish "out front" or who already have a rod that matches their locations and uses might be just fine with what we have.  Provided that we don't get in a casting competition with others here.   Oh and try a different line (usually 15-20% lighter) and see if that helps.  That's what the OP did and it worked.   YMMV

 

The origin of the term "switch rod" was to denote a rod that can be used for spey/skagit casting or for TH overhead casting - generally they are TH overhead cast infrequently or "in a pinch"

 

My comment on also being able to use one (a lighter 7wt or 8w switch rod) for single hand overhead is simply based on the fact that that can also be done in a pinch (as I clearly stated).  Easily and effectively I might add, if the rod is around 10-11' long and light (e.g., the 11' Opal 7/8 at ~6 oz, Cabelas 11' TLR 8w weighs in at around 5.3 oz).  I did not mean to imply that one should do this.  Or that a rod designer focusing on TH rods would tell you to use one that way some or certainly not all of the time.  For one thing the handles are not designed for it;  they are designed to be used TH-ed.

 

 

Edited by Killiefish
clarity

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Killie Tinboat simply asked for opinions on his set up as he had misgivings.

 

His reason for going  with the Switch was to take strain off his body.

 

He was not getting the performance he had expected. He had hoped it would match his single hand set up at least or why go that way.

 

Agree  that sometimes going lighter with the line will improve things as some rods are given an overly generous grain rating.

 

Switch type rods are just that. Mostly designed for fresh water. Of course the rod does not know that and they  can be used wherever the owner wants to.

 

Any rod has its limits. Use it where it works ok and the Fisher will be happy.

 

Some of the claims I read on Sol are just utter BS. They are totally misleading.

 

Missinformation for this sector of the sport has prevailed for a very long time.

 

I dont just fish TH Out Front. I fish them anywhere where they will work and where I can enjoy them.

 

like Single hand rod users I have several in my quiver so I can  select the most appropriate.

 

 

It is no surprise to me why the pioneers like JimDE walked away a long time ago. Two reasons declining fishery and the BS he had to deal with constantly.

 

What I detest about BS  is the potential for new hopeful guys to be so miss formed that they never get to embed and enjoy this part of our sport. They walk away dissalusioned unlikely to ever return . How sad is that.

 

Please  be assured that these are general statements and not directed at yourself. 

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

 

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Mike

 

Well despite all the misinformation, BS, and naysaying, you've got me and danthebasscatcher big on these long rods and I don't see myself ever not having a serious out front TH in my arsenal. Hell I haven't fished a SH in months because I just love the TH so much lately. 

 

I can't thank you and JimDE enough for all your work and posts throughout the years as it's what introduced me to this and I would have never thought of it if not for you two. 

 

I owe you two a lot for that. 

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Posted (edited)

36 mins ago, RedGreen said:

Mike

 

Well despite all the misinformation, BS, and naysaying, you've got me and danthebasscatcher big on these long rods and I don't see myself ever not having a serious out front TH in my arsenal. Hell I haven't fished a SH in months because I just love the TH so much lately. 

 

I can't thank you and JimDE enough for all your work and posts throughout the years as it's what introduced me to this and I would have never thought of it if not for you two. 

 

I owe you two a lot for that. 

Redgreen 

 

Thank you.

 

I got into this because I was fed up being driven off the beach and lucky for me I spotted JimDE on a thread and away I went. He helped keep my sanity over the past few years dealing with the same old crap over and over.

 

Now what  is immensely illuminating is the fact that you and Dan get it. You both got it incredibly quickly. Reason you actually went out and did it so learned very quickly what is possible and what  is not.

Unlike so many  who can only offer opinions based purely on thought rather than real life action. Others that make outlandish claims of huge casts into 40 mph head winds using skagit casts.

People who do will always know the facts and the truth over others who just pontificate or make ridiculous claims. One ounce of doing is worth a ton of theory. There is a small band of us who are on the same page and it is thankfully growing.

 

Yourself  Dan and his friend are all young . You have helped re energise myself and you are the future. The debt goes both ways.

 

Mike

 

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Mike I'm afraid I am to blain if Jim has felt bad because I have found long rods unnecessary and poor for SW fishing. But to think what would it feel even hold a 20ft rod upright on windy beach yet cast a fly line with it is there anyone who can take it seriously? Jim is big guy and did fish 16ft rod and I have been big too and have fished 15ft rods and it is not hopelessly bad but I won't do it anymore. I really miss those conversations because I am enthusiast person too. 

 

Long rod is good when also long line head is cast in the first place. Yes there comes more distance when short head is cast too but significantly less than will come when a heavier line is cast especially when casting to head wind.

 

Rods intrests anglers and they are good business but when performance is considered caster comes first, line second and then after a cap comes the rod!

 

Esa

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Mike, no offense taken.  My only concern is that people who don't fish in the conditions you do often enough may not need to get a rod specifically made for those conditions and IMO can do pretty well using an 11- 12' TH rod that can handle the equivalent of an ~11w or higher single hand line.  My basic standard is an 11w tarpon line (overweight really for an 11w rating at 410g - 38' head, as measured); it is also the same line  the OP, TinBoat tried when his rod felt overloaded.  Most 7/8 or 8wt switch rods I have owned or tested can handle that line as an OH line unless they are not rated for spey but rated for single hand.

 

Like you, I also happen to have many rods.  In fact several TH rods,  from rods designated "switch" to "spey" to "surf" ranging in lengths from 11' or 11' 3" to 12' or even 12'6."  These rods cover all my current needs.  If I fished Montauk in 20 mph winds I might reconsider.

 

On a related question:  What actual difference does it make if a rod is called a "switch rod" vs a "surf rod"?  Does the name actually matter?  We now have people building TH "surf" rods from "carp rod" blanks - are we to call them Carp Surf TH rods? 

 

The capability of the rod will determine it's usefulness and the conditions where it will either perform or fail to perform its intended or unintended functions.   The name(s) are totally meaningless.  That's just my 2 cents.

 

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Esa,

 

While the longest rod I've thrown was a 14'er, I for one felt nothing but benefits from the added length and I had no such issues powering through wind when we had it. All it did was make me even more curious about a 16'+ TH rod for the beach. If I ever got the chance to cast one I would be chomping at the bit to do it. The wind resistance was unquestionably higher, but still not significant enough to limit performance over my DHi1 at 12'. It fact it's performance with the same 525 grain line was significantly higher.

 

Killie,

 

Your 11wt tarpon line is actually bang on grain wise. AFTM puts an 11wt at 330 grains for a 30 foot head. Yours being 38 feet means it will be heavier. 410/38 = ~10.79 grains per foot. Multiply by 30 and you have ~323.7 grains in 30 feet. Bang on.

 

The big difference for me, having handled Mike's Out Front rods, is the fortitude in the blank. That is what separates a real beach rod from all other TH rods. The name of course can be completely subjective but generally blanks marketed as switch rods are either short for TH (11-12') or designed as a compromise between overhead casting and spey casting, which often have different actions. Spey rods tend to be softer as they need to load from the line's tension on water vs. overhead rods which load from the line's mass. An overhead rod for 500 grains and a spey rod for 500 grains are almost as different as a 6wt and a 9 or 10wt. The overhead rod of course being much more powerful.

 

All in all, the name doesn't matter. What does is it's power and action. My DHi1 is basically a Sage TCR 9129, but slightly shorter and significantly faster. Power between both of them is very comparable. For 500 grains overhead on the beach I wanted more power to really dominate and send that line screaming into very strong winds if I had to. This current TH build I'm working on right now is a Pac Bay Quickline Spey blank, 14' long and rated as a 9wt. I would never have looked at it twice if Pac Bay didn't publish CCS for it. They rate it with an ERN of 15.3 (IP ~407grams), and AA 82 degrees. That's about ten percent more powerful than my DHi1, and tremendously faster in action. I decided to chop a bit off the tip to slow the rod down and make it stiffer, figuring it would make a replacement for DHi1. It did, but exceeded my expectations tremendously.

 

As boxed, my blank was 13'10", and when I took CCS I found it to be exactly what Pac Bay claimed it would be. At 13', it's power increased massively and action slowed down significantly. At a measured 13' from the base, its new CCS was IP 557 grams, AA 71 degrees. I have test cast it with the same 525 grain lines and it basically doesn't care about them at all, it trivially tip casts them (after I cut the blank down to 13'). With 525 you couldn't overload this blank if your life depended on it, doesn't matter how hard you try and throw that line. I tried 650 grains which loaded the blank more, but it still has TONS of reserve power. It's a 4 piece blank, and the bottom most section is nearly perfectly rigid. I'm fit and strong for the average joe, and I can hardly make the butt section flex at all. The second to bottom most section isn't any slouch either. It will make a fine TH rod for the beach, in my opinion. I know very well how Mike doesn't like spey blanks but I'll be damned if this thing doesn't knock his socks off when he get to handle it in the fall.

 

So basically, I agree, it's all about the quantitative measurements of the blank, not it's name, that determines its usefulness.

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, crunch said:

Mike I'm afraid I am to blain if Jim has felt bad because I have found long rods unnecessary and poor for SW fishing. But to think what would it feel even hold a 20ft rod upright on windy beach yet cast a fly line with it is there anyone who can take it seriously? Jim is big guy and did fish 16ft rod and I have been big too and have fished 15ft rods and it is not hopelessly bad but I won't do it anymore. I really miss those conversations because I am enthusiast person too. 

 

Long rod is good when also long line head is cast in the first place. Yes there comes more distance when short head is cast too but significantly less than will come when a heavier line is cast especially when casting to head wind.

 

Rods intrests anglers and they are good business but when performance is considered caster comes first, line second and then after a cap comes the rod!

 

Esa

Esa you are 100% blame free. Not sure how far you go back on this TH stuff.

I treasure your knowledge and input you put into the TH debates even when we don’t always see eye to,eye on one or two points.

 

In the early days the reason for doing it was very simple and crystal clear.

 

It was to be able to fish in  very difficult conditions that were impossible to do with single hand rods period. There was no confusion with switch rods or short TH rods. It was quite simply Rods and lines which would enable some one who could cast ok to fish Out Front.

 

The early detractors Jim will tell you were from within the industry. People with some thing to lose as their names and fame  had come from being single hand casters. Two Handers were a threat to them.

 

Rods at the time Jim kicked off were mostly at best powerful Spey rods. Jim liked a 16 foot T and T and T and T also released their  12 x12 as an Out Front. Beach  rod. It was a single hand rated 12 line so really the rod for me would lack both and power and sufficient length. Sage TCR  9 wts were pressed into use by some of the guys and  I had one of these to.

Jim always dreamed of having a twenty footer. At this stage in my own development  I was highly influenced by Jim and my own thoughts on rod design would be towards longer not shorter versions. C and D rods were around 11 feet in line with some other makers.  I believe this was because the Angler so used to casting single hand 9 foot rods just was unable to make the necessary leap to longer rods and so the makers were afraid to build longer more effective rods.

A few years in I could not get the required performance from mainstream rod makers. It was extremely frustrating and it was that frustration that drove me to work on developing rods that did have the performance capabilities I was  seeking.

My first rod was a 14 foot model and it was very close to what I was looking for.

Too short for JimDE but too long for the vast majority of guys.

So I started to look at shorter lengths to see if it was possible to get the required  power and line speeds needed to get the job done Out Front.

I found that fit for purpose rods nominally around 13 feet could produce enough line speed and carry sufficient grains  to get the job done but at the same time were 

 light and pleasant to cast and fish with.

I did offer to develop a twenty footer for Jim DE but he declined as he had taken the decision to stop Striper fishing due to poor fish stocks and poor returns.

Personally I had no interest in fishing a twenty footer or a sixteen footer once I had established that a 13 foot rod would give all the necessary performance.

 

Where we differ very strongly Esa is with regard to the relative importance of the rod. My position is this no matter how good the caster and the line if the rod does not have sufficient intrinsic power the fly is going nowhere quickly. If we take your argument to the extreme you could use any rod as it does not matter but it does. If it did not I would have been happy and successful with the huge range of Spey rods already available. Rods that were never designed for OH casting in an ocean envoirament.

Yes key that the person casting the rod is good that should be a given. The line must have sufficient mass to help deliver the fly through the wind. For me I found that 550 grains would allow me to,fish in pretty bad conditions.

But I developed rods that can throw considerably more. Two reasons heavier lines get through the wind better and some guys have a slower cast so can’t get enough line speed with a 550 line to get the job done.

I never forgot the 14 footer and one of them is capable of throwing more than 850.

 

To me there is a whole,world of difference casting a rod in the ocean and fishing it and handling the surf than one which is just casting a line over grass or in a tournament on flat water.  So the rods are very likely to be different to.

 

Now in the conditions that are are on the limits of tolerance for the majority I found that there was no real issue with wind resistance making it hard work to,push a 13 foot rod through the wind.

 

Sure an shorter 11 footer designed to cast say 700 or 800 would be less work but how many people are going to want to,fish in the sort of conditions that a rod like that can cope with. It would be great at coping with tough conditions but when in better conditions the short length would seriously compromise casting distance and line mending capability. It becomes a very nice rod then. Sure I would love one personally  and I hope to start work on one soon.

 

 

No what has driven me to near insanity have been the naysayers  and the spey guys of all people telling me that you only need short rods for the surf whilst they are preaching 15 footers to cast across rivers . Have these guys ever been out front. From what they were saying I very much doubted it. One in particular was very unpleasant so I suggested we meet and sort it out on the beach. This was a well,known  Spey teacher. Me an unknown but prepared to put whatever reputation I may have had on the line head to head  against the Spey rod and Spey casts against my designs cast by myself and OH. The challange was not excepted. Then there were the guys who had no clue on matching a line to a Beach rod claiming rediculous grain ratings for rods which I knew from personal experience could not handle it OH Out Front But because some famous name had said it could I must be wrong. That because others who disagreed worked in the industry that automatically they must be right as they were professionals and I was not.

This kind of BS was common. You expect it. 

 

 

Then I often get accused of only being interested in Out Front  TH fishing and Out Front rod  designs and that not everyone wants to do that. As if that was some kind of crime.

 

Well darned right I am mostly only interested in Out Front designs  because there are no problems finding rods to,fish on the inside or in clement conditions. You can use single,hand rods for these if you want. But before you leap onto the Switch rod band wagon remember they were designed for fresh water  and that their performance may not be any better than a salt water single,hand rod when the wind moves around into your face.

I got involved because I am a Fly Fisher who,wants to fly fish whenever I can.

I wanted to find a way to stay fly fishing when my normal single hand rods could not cope. Just like JimDE with his small,band of like thinking Anglers all ,those years ago their interest and mine is not with the doable but  making the undoable possible and enjoyable and available to everyone who has a desire to accept the challenge. 

 

 

I wanted to accept and enjoy the challenge that conditions Out Front  bring. It can be very tough even if the wind is not howling when the surf is big driven by a ground sea. You are not going to make the challange by fishing rods quite clearly designed for other disciplines in our sport or by waving around noodle sticks that some  call switch rods.

 

The reason I fish Out Front is because I love doing it and it’s a lot easier than  fielding all,the BS that has been thrown my way over many years.

The losers are the naysayers and those who just refuse to get it.

Luckily for me there are enough of us known to each other who do get it.

We even get to drink tea made from a Kelly Kettle too.

 

Mike

 

 

 

Edited by Mike Oliver

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