Spey or Switch? and application to midwest

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Josiah, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. I'm from the midwest, so most of the Lake Superior tributary steelhead rivers I fish are fairly small. Never felt I could actually use anything other than a single handed rod, although I have noticed a slight increase in two handed use on a couple rivers. But I am moving to the west coast for a temporary job, and I want to get a serious about catching some steelhead and I view two handed fishing as part of that equation. Looking at all the options is slightly overwhelming to me. Especially the differences between spey and switch rods. So far all I have been able to figure is that spey is better for really big rivers? Is there type that offers a distinct advantage over the other in terms of versatility and general applicability? I guess some of my concern comes from talking from a guy who is selling his spey rod because he bought a switch, is there really that much of an advantage?
  2. Forget about the name. Focus on rod length and grain window.

    Most guys I know fish a 7wt or 8wt switch rod around 11ft length, throwing a (425-475gr) skagit head with T-8 or T-11 tips.
    JS likes this.
  3. Thanks, that's very helpful.
  4. It depends on the area that you plan on fishing most. If the area is pretty thick with low trees and brush and stuff, then the switch rod might be a better fit (since it's shorter and wont get quite caught up as much in the shit). If that's not the case, a longer spey rod will certainly throw a line farther.

    As far as versatility, with either a switch or spey you can use a line like an Airflo speydicador which can either nymph or swing (although it nymphs and mends ridiculously well but shoots only pretty well) or you can the shooting head route which casts great for swinging streamers (as in casting across the river and just letting it tighten the line and drift down below you) but doesn't nymph worth beans.

    If you're casting without a bunch of brush around you, I say get a spey rod. Don't dilly dally around with the short stuff unless your surroundings require it.
  5. Get a 7wt Spey. You would be surprised as to how tight quarters you can cast with 13' rod. Also, coming from someone who uses switch and spey rods (both with limited success), it's a little easier to feel the spey load. Plus, the 7wt is basically the 1/2 ton truck of spey rods, sink tips work, big flies work, and its still fun to throw the small flies on floating lines, something you can use summer and winter.
    fredaevans and Wadecalvin like this.
  6. Bingo. Except its a 3/4 ton. :)
  7. learn on a longer two hander. graduate to shorter. switch rods are the gay brothers of longer two handers, used mainly to lob gay pink bobbers and even gayer pink beads :oops: i have only very manly hetero short speys :rolleyes: 11'9 is my shortest, i can practically fish it indoors. with a short head, you can still fish the tight spots with a long rod..
  8. Have to agree here and the 'where will you befishing' on my side of the country. In all but the biggest rivers a switch is a very handy tool. The other side being where you'll at home. Or to put in in another perspective a 13 foot rod carves an ark in the air (half circle) of upwards of 40 feet (no kidding from straight up stream to straight down stream.

    As far as rod weight, nothing larger than a 7wt unless you've got very large fish to deal with.

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