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jalthoff

Ken Abrams 10.5' rod as a switch rod

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Last winter I picked up a Ken Abrams 10.5' 6 weight blank and decided to make it into a switch rod. Still trying to zone in on the best line for it. The 6 weight Ambush at 235 grains was fine overhead, and decent spey casting with lighter flies, but could not turn over a big articulated bunny fly that well.

The looks I got from the 8x tippet size 28 nymph crowd as I cast and caught fish were priceless ....

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The rods are all generally very soft. I fished the heaviest one with my 10wt single handed lines and the rod just doesn't have a lot of authority over them. I fished it like a normal single handed rod. For me I see no reason to cast it two handed. Fishable but not nearly as good as my 9'6'' 10wt rod. The Abrames #3 or whichever is the stiffest one is about like a freshwater 8wt single handed rod. So not surprised it didn't want to turn over bigger flies. 

Edited by RedGreen

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1 hour ago, RedGreen said:

The rods are all generally very soft. I fished the heaviest one with my 10wt single handed lines and the rod just doesn't have a lot of authority over them. I fished it like a normal single handed rod. For me I see no reason to cast it two handed. Fishable but not nearly as good as my 9'6'' 10wt rod. The Abrames #3 or whichever is the stiffest one is about like a freshwater 8wt single handed rod. So not surprised it didn't want to turn over bigger flies. 

Yep, that makes sense.  The double handed cast is only for a couple of places on the stream where I cannot get a decent backcast because of trees, etc.  

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From the photos of fish you caught it looks like it's working just fine.

 

On the other hand, the Ambush lines are meant to be used with tips, for both single hand spey and two hand casting.  Have you tried adding a cheater (short section of floating line for skating dries) or a short intermediate tip or sink tip (for the kinds of flies shown)?

 

An 8' tip of T-8 would add enough weight up front both to get the line down to the fish and help anchor the cast.   A floating cheater or light mow (10' int/sink or sink tip) would increase the grain weight and length of the head and overall mass up front for moving larger flies.  The Abrams rods have a large grain window so I bet the rod you have would handle mid to larger bunny leaches, and make casting mid sized coneheads (like the one shown) a bit easier. 

 

Usually when used two handed, an Ambush one or even two line weights heavier can be used, especially for Skagit style applications (baitfish flies, bunny leeches, weighted streamers, weighted buggers).  For overhead, I've found that an Ambush line one line weight under works well with a cheater and a long leader, i.e., for skating big dry flies, fishing hopper/droppers or tandem rigs.

Edited by Killiefish

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1 hour ago, Killiefish said:

From the photos of fish you caught it looks like it's working just fine.

 

On the other hand, the Ambush lines are meant to be used with tips, for both single hand spey and two hand casting.  Have you tried adding a cheater (short section of floating line for skating dries) or a short intermediate tip or sink tip (for the kinds of flies shown)?

 

An 8' tip of T-8 would add enough weight up front both to get the line down to the fish and help anchor the cast.   A floating cheater or light mow (10' int/sink or sink tip) would increase the grain weight and length of the head and overall mass up front for moving larger flies.  The Abrams rods have a large grain window so I bet the rod you have would handle mid to larger bunny leaches, and make casting mid sized coneheads (like the one shown) a bit easier. 

 

Usually when used two handed, an Ambush one or even two line weights heavier can be used, especially for Skagit style applications (baitfish flies, bunny leeches, weighted streamers, weighted buggers).  For overhead, I've found that an Ambush line one line weight under works well with a cheater and a long leader, i.e., for skating big dry flies, fishing hopper/droppers or tandem rigs.

Thanks Killiefish - it was first day with the rod on the river and I did not have any tips with me.  I was thinking the same thing for bigger flies, going up 1 or 2 line weights in the Ambush.  Since I already have both those lines I'm going to do some more experimenting ....

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