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Switch Rods Can Be a Fly Fishing Game Changer

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November 06, 2012

Switch Rods Can Be a Fly Fishing Game Changer

By Kirk Deeter

While many anglers are bummed out by the arrival of cold weather, I feel like my favorite fishing season has finally arrived. I'm talking about steelhead season. And for me, the steelhead scene is as much about how you fish, as it is about what you catch.

Many years ago, I took a trip to Alaska where my buddy Tyler Palmerton tuned me into casting two-handed rods. I've been hopelessly addicted ever since, even if I am a long, long way from mastering the Scandi or Skagit casting techniques. There's just something about making the snap-T, ripping the line across the water to load the rod (the white mouse), forming the perfect "D" shape behind you, and then letting fly. 

Throw a mend, and swing that streamer through the riffle. And when Mr. Steelhead answers the call with an unmistakable thunk and run, you know you've done something special. Even when you don't get a bite, the practice of casting a long rod is enough to keep you feeling focused and entertained, even if the wind is blowing sleet sideways, and your eyebrows are caked in frost.

But jumping right into the long two-handed casting game can be tricky, and admittedly, those rods are best used on big, wide rivers. A "switch," like an 11-foot, 7-weight rod might just be the perfect compromise.

Do yourself a favor. If you have the chance to try a switch rod at your local fly shop, or maybe on a casting pond at one of the upcoming sports expos this winter, do it. Be patient. It's a completely different game than what most of you are used to. But it can open new horizons that actually last all year long. I find myself swinging streamers at trout with switch rods in the dog days of summer.

I'm not going to give up the light tackle—like fiberglass 2-weights—any time soon. And sure, I'm already pining away for the mayflies of spring. But the two-handed and switch rod revolution is no fad. It's here to stay.

Comments (6)

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Cast my first switch rod in Michigan a few years back at the expo. It felt really good and natural. However, I usually do not fish big water. No reason for long cast. However number 2, I believe a heavily front end loaded line would be great to cast big muskie flies. Have been considering this for awhile.

Kirk, Cannot help but notice the snuff can in your pocket. Have you tried Mint Snuff from the Oregon Company? Tobacco and nicotine free. Help me quit my 20+ year addiction.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Also, any chance you could get a list of fly fishing/fishing shows together for this winters agenda. Would like to attend one this winter, if possible.

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from Koldkut wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I like the long'r rods for sure.....there just can't be a middle ground though, can't have one rod work like a 4wt and an 8wt......which means I need TWO :)

Buck, ISE in Denver is usually the first week of January.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Kold,

Dallas Safari Club meets the first week of January. Do you think ISE can move their date to the second week of January so I can make it?

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from subao88713 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Thank you all be able to focus my the Home www.lilydating.com my friend

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from William Romeis wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Question? does this technique have any application for salt water guys chasing redfish in Texas bays or marshes? We often face situations where we don't have room to make a normal backcast. Also, does this technique offer any relief to us who have surgically repaired shoulders and could use a technique that is a little easier on the rotator cuff?

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Cast my first switch rod in Michigan a few years back at the expo. It felt really good and natural. However, I usually do not fish big water. No reason for long cast. However number 2, I believe a heavily front end loaded line would be great to cast big muskie flies. Have been considering this for awhile.

Kirk, Cannot help but notice the snuff can in your pocket. Have you tried Mint Snuff from the Oregon Company? Tobacco and nicotine free. Help me quit my 20+ year addiction.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Also, any chance you could get a list of fly fishing/fishing shows together for this winters agenda. Would like to attend one this winter, if possible.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

I like the long'r rods for sure.....there just can't be a middle ground though, can't have one rod work like a 4wt and an 8wt......which means I need TWO :)

Buck, ISE in Denver is usually the first week of January.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Kold,

Dallas Safari Club meets the first week of January. Do you think ISE can move their date to the second week of January so I can make it?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from subao88713 wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Thank you all be able to focus my the Home www.lilydating.com my friend

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from William Romeis wrote 1 year 22 weeks ago

Question? does this technique have any application for salt water guys chasing redfish in Texas bays or marshes? We often face situations where we don't have room to make a normal backcast. Also, does this technique offer any relief to us who have surgically repaired shoulders and could use a technique that is a little easier on the rotator cuff?

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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