Swich Rod for Trout in Montana's big Rivers

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Switch MT, May 4, 2011.

  1. Philster,
    I appreciate your comment. I have seen many of your comments looking at other subjects through out the forum. I wish I could afford two but just cant do it right now. I am excited to get it. We have amazing small mouth fishing here in Billings and it is big water. I am really hoping for a Sauger as well, but I am sure it will catch a lot of 12 inch fish as well. We do have huge trout in MT, but there is a lot of small ones caught between the big ones.
  2. Switch,

    I too live in Billings and fish all of the nearby rivers on a regualar basis but try as I might, I still cannot convice myself to use a switch rod and/or mini spey rod for trout. I know a guide and local individual in a flyfishing club that swing for trout and enjoy it but even for heavily weighted streamer use, I feel a single hand rod is more pratical. I base this statement on the fact that many takes usually occur near the boat and/or within the last 10' of your rod tip. In most cases with a switch/spey setup, you will strip the line to the head or maybe just partially in which would limit you from convincing that following fish to engage at the last minute.

    I'm interested in your experiences and others that have tried this method.

  3. Obi,
    You make a good point, but you are talking about two different techniques. When you are swinging you do not strip the fly back to you. I agree with you and that is why single hand rods will always have a place in my arsenal for streamers. The switch rod is for a different technique that I want to use. Plus depending on how you line the rod you can still use a switch to strip streamers right back to you. Switch rods do have a purpose in MT, how many times have you seen fish just out of reach when using a single hand rod? Or when there is a great run but you can not reach it cuz you have no backcast room to speak of? I feel they have a place as a special tool. I would be willing to show you how the rod works once I get it. If you want to PM me maybe we can meet up sometime on the Horn and see what you think.
  4. I use my TFO 6-wt Deer Creek switch on the Madison with good results, but it took awhile to get the kinks out of my (alleged) spey cast!
  5. That's the reason why with active retrieves I only use integrated lines. Heck I don't even use windcutters with tips on single hands for active retrieves because of the loop at 15 feet. Heads are for swinging only for me. Remember we are talking switch rods here. You can single hand them if you only have the leader out. You do need to change your casting approach, but not the way the fly is presented.
  6. Well my wife and son surprised me with this on Father's Day. I hope to get a reel soon and give it a try. Waters here in Montana are high and muddy. Even the Big Horn, which is dam fed is so high it is un-wadable. Hope to show a pic soon of the first fish.
    View attachment 42243

    FYI. The fuzzy flip flops were also a gift and was the gift given to me in the morning. The rod came in the afternoon. She has a sense of humor.
  7. That rod will be perfect for that area, and you now have the most epic wading shoes in the entire Big Sky state.
  8. I told my wife thanks for the fly tying material. The green is really good marabou. I will be tying some flies with the "Fuzzy".
  9. Well I finally ordered my reel. I decided on the Lamson Velocity 4. It is suppose to be in on Friday. I have a Speydicator line for it. Hopefully the reel makes it in on time since we are leaving Saturday for camping on the Madison. The Madison is pretty much blown out but there are a few spots where it will be fishable along with Hebgen and Quake Lakes. I am hoping to have a pic of the first fish. Tune in next week. Thanks again everyone for your help and advice.
  10. Hooray for troots :D I just fished Shad on the Columbia with my switcher and it was a hoot. I could chuck a 1/8th ounce shad dart with the least bit of trouble. Yay for Skagit casting.
  11. I got my Burkheimer 5115-4 ( 11'5", 4-5-6 ) last summer and I can categorically say that among a number of rods in that class I tested, this one is the best short spey trout rod/small stelhead on the market, period, with a magic Burkie feel. Sweet action with a crisp and fast recovery and nice feeling along entire blank.

    Scandi heads like Airflo 330 gr ( 335 actual weight) is very sweet even with 10' polyleaders up to 50 gr or so when performing single spey cast for example.. The 360 gr Scandi Head out of the box will dig a bit deeper into the butt but works very well too. I am not a big fun of Skagit line but 350-375 head + 10' of T-8 is a good fit. Guideline 3D head like H-I-S3 ( 345 gr/34') is another great option.
    Before I got the 5115-4 ( after "molesting" Kerry for such rod for near 2 years....) I have been fishing Meiser, 12'6" 4-5-6, 5 pc rod. since 2005 and it was the best rod for me until I start playing with the 5115-4.

    They are few other nice recently designed rods on the market like Sage short spey in wt.5, but they are not up to Burkheiemr 5115-4.

    Over the last 10 year I have been spending many weeks each year during summer in SW central Alaska in pursuing a wild Alaskan Bows in 3-10 lb and this rods is ideal for the job, either swinging an articulated leach ( a trout version) or fooling rainbows on a mouse pattern.
  12. Finally, it all came together. I got my reel Friday night and was off to the mountains on the Madison Saturday morning.
    Here is the reel:
    View attachment 42512

    I couldn't get a picture of my first landed fish. Too much water and was all by myself. Here are a couple that were caught shortly after:
    View attachment 42509
    View attachment 42510
    View attachment 42511

    I still have much to learn dealing with my two handed casting. It was nice to have a cliff 5 feet behind me and cast 50 feet though. I am totally addicted. I caught fish dead drifting nymphs, skating dries, and swinging streamers.
    I just want to thank everyone again for all of their help in my process of getting this set up. It is perfect. Thanks again everyone.
  13. I've been thinking of joining the switch fray for big rivers in MT. What are folks thoughts these days on starter equipment?
  14. Frankly, for the money, you can't beat Echo's SR 6. If you can find one of the olive color models, you might get a close out deal on it at about $275.
    aplTyler likes this.
  15. Ed:
    How do your switch rod wt rating and Airflo 40+ compare?
    Do you use an 6 on a 6 wt switch, or upline to a 7 or 8 ?

    I'm buillding up a 6 wt Rainshadow switch now and will need to pick a line. Perhaps a line I already have will work. Hence the curiousity about details. I have some 40+ lines.
  16. Jay, never cast the rain shadow blanks. I'm usually up one or two line weights though.
  17. Sorry for the late reply. I missed your post and question...a few long days lately.

    The best recommendation I can give would be to try different lines on the rod. There's geeks our there that have a full line up of Skagit Compact, Skagit Switch, Rage, Ambush and Scandi Lines.

    The Airflo 40+ is an awesome line and I run the 6 wt. on the old Decho 4 wt and it works well.

    The biggest consideration, in my mind, is application, i.e.- target species, heavy flies, sink tips, skaters, wind, etc.

    I would start out testing a Skagit Compact or Switch 390g on the 6 wt Rainshadow switch. The Skagit Switch line obviously has a shorter head and the anchor is more easily blown when starting out with these lines. Ultimately, I think the Switch lines usually perform better on Switch rods with a one or two exceptions.

    The Ambush 8 wt with an intregrated running line would be a good line to try as well.

    A very general rule when using single hand lines to line switch and spey rods is up 2 line weights for Switch and 3 line weights for Spey.

    Good luck!
  18. Best to forget line class numbers and go with grains instead. 40+ are nice integrated scandis.



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