Can someone tell me the differance between a spey rod and a switch rod.. Thank you

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Joz, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Joz Member

    Posts: 88
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    Can someone tell me the differance between a spey rod and a switch rod. thank you
  2. flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    Switch rods are 10'6" to 11', although Sage calls their 11'8" a switch.. spey rods are longer.. both have a two grips, top and bottom.. They're really all just two-handed rods..
  3. underachiever !

    Posts: 693
    suburban hell
    Ratings: +487 / 0
    The main difference is the marketing. They're all just fly rods, you can cast any rod with one hand if you feel like it and you can spey cast with any rod if you feel like it. I think the "Switch Rod" term just came about as a way to sell more rods. They're great tools for the right situation (and I love mine) but I'd never get one with the idea that you'd be single hand casting it much (if ever).
    fredaevans likes this.
  4. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,516
    Tacoma, WA
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    You can single hand them but there really isn't a constant need and you wouldn't single hand a spey rod. One other thing not mentioned is that the tapers are a little different and spey rods are sometimes a bit more sensitive but unless you are a real expert spey caster you wouldn't notice it. That does not apply to all spey/switch head to head comparisons however. Most of us would not buy a 6 wt. Sage One Switch and a Sage One 6 wt. Spey rod. You'd likely field test both and pick the one that suits you most.
  5. miyawaki Active Member

    Posts: 3,231
    Kent, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +880 / 1
    Yes on Steve's length description. Also, a switch rod can be a spey rod but a spey rod isn't necessarily a switch rod. Another distinction is in the lines. Many switch lines can be cast single handed with hauls while a typical Skagit spey line would be an all day chore. One other thing - an 11' switch rod on a coho beach with a shooting head cast with two-handed overhead casts is an awesome distance tool.

  6. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,516
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +343 / 1
    Z-axis, 5 wt. Pretty awesome. I can attest to that but I almost always fish the Xi's for some reason. I think I don't like the salt/dirt getting on my Z-axis. Wierd, Huh?
  7. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,956
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
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    The only difference is length. Almost everybody fishes switch rods like short two-handers, rather than long one-handers. There's no official demarcation, but I'd say that rods twelve feet and longer are spey rods.
    fredaevans likes this.
  8. Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

    Posts: 670
    Kirkland, Washington
    Ratings: +57 / 0
    A switch rod is a jack of all trades, they can make single hand casts, spey casts, overhead two hand cast, and one can nymph like a king with them if one desires to do so. My favorite use for my 5wt switch rod is to try to catch small anadromus fishies (pinks, cutties, resident silvers, shad) which I mostly use a light Skagit Short with a floating MOW tip and a 10' + leader with a weighted fly (or shad dart ;) ). I can cast farther and last longer making "skagit casts" in still water and then stripping the fly back in than I can doing the same task with a single handed rod and a shooting head. I've also whooped myself in the back of the head overhead casting a shad dart which would have been doable if I ever practiced a two handed overhead cast but all it did was quickly make me change back to the sustained anchor set up.
    flybill likes this.
  9. Beachmen Active Member

    Posts: 240
    Port Orchard
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    switch rods give you a chance to over hand cast if you want to. though its casting a broom stick you can still do it with it being shorter. i have the Echo switch in a 4wt and 6wt and love them both for the beaches. cna over hand or spey cast when ever i wish to. anything over 12ft and over hand is almost imposible.
  10. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,123
    White City, Oregon, USA.
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    As would I vis a vis length. One of the real things the shorter rods bring to the party is ... well, casting short. There are many situations where even a 50' cast is over kill for the water in front of you. With a short rod/head system you can damned near fish (effectively) almost at your feet. A good thing!
  11. speyfisher Active Member

    Posts: 1,064
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ratings: +139 / 3
    Rather than attempt to define what a switch rod is, I feel it prudent to say what a switch rod is not. They are not designed for hucking big, bulky, heavily weighted flies and heavy sink tips extreme distances. Sure, there are guys who can cast an intruder a respectable distance with one. But they have invested time & money developing lines and techniques enabling them to utilize these rods for special occasions where a longer rod would be cumbersome.They can be adapted to a wide variety of uses. Although not always with the same line and casting techniques.
    fredaevans likes this.
  12. speyghillie speyghillie

    Posts: 180
    River Spey Scotland
    Ratings: +20 / 0
    Hi All.
    Just wanted to add a couple of points regarding Switch Rods, which really have not taken off over here though I have a couple and DTX will have some new ones developed for this summer.

    Anyway I heard a Speyside Ghillie say to a guest who had a Short rod in his car, *o is the wife fishing* and another looking at the Switch rod say I see you've brought a ladies rod with you, cheeky buggers these Ghillies.
    Cheers Gordon.
    DTX Pro Staff.
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  13. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,123
    White City, Oregon, USA.
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    Loved both Jimmie's and Gordon's posts. Rods are a 'tool' to achieve a result. 6'3" or 18 foot ... what/why would you choose either, or between? The 'need' to achieve (hopefully) an expected result?
  14. RustE drifting about

    Posts: 94
    Great Lakes
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    A distinction often noted between switch and spey rods is how energy gets transferred through the blank: switch rods have more powerful tip sections and spey rods have more powerful butt sections. This is highly dependent upon design and varies by manufacturer.
  15. Klickrolf Active Member

    Posts: 596
    Klickitat, Washington
    Ratings: +165 / 0
    I thought spey rods "should" have more powerful tips...but maybe you're right. Switch rods have strong tips, spey rods don't...except for the good ones!!!