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Switch Rods.
Posted by: Earl Hamilton (---)
Date: July 19, 2021 12:14PM

Hi guys. Its been a while since I have been active here. However, I have now a need for some info and opinions on blanks for switch rods. What I am looking for is an 11ft blank in the #6-#8wt range to built into a switch rod, One for overhead casting, and another for primarily roll casting. The rivers are relatively small, being just about 30 to 60 meters wide, fishing for Atlantic salmon, and sea-run brown trout, wading or from the banks here in South Wales, UK. So far, I have narrowed down the contenders to NFC, CTS, or Bloke. I am not sure where the qualities and design really lie for their design attributes, IE which of these are primarily designed for wading, and casting from the banks, or which would be for still waters, or which would be for drift boats. Your thoughts on this would be really appreciated. Many thanks

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Re: Switch Rods.
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: July 19, 2021 12:58PM

I have never used a Bloke rod, but I can tell you neither of the others are designed for solely fishing from a drift boat. A switch rod is simply a shorter spey rod, nothing more.

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Re: Switch Rods.
Posted by: Earl Hamilton (---)
Date: July 19, 2021 07:07PM

Hi Spencer. I too have never used a Bloke Switch rod. Indeed, I have never used any switch rod, but I have built and used hundreds of single-handed rods, mostly for saltwater applications. With that being said, now that I am based in the UK, and salmon and seatrout fishing is what is right on my doorstep, I would like to explore the possibilities for using a switch rod. I could buy an off-the-shelf rod, but I build rods, tuned for me and optimized for how I want them to perform in their primary function, which in this case is mostly wading up to the waist and roll casting, and maybe some overhead. I would be looking for a rod that would really be optimized to throw a large, and high D loop while I am waist deep and low in the water fishing under the cover of bushes and trees on the banks. These rods need to throw 1.5-3 inch tubes for fish ranging in size from 4-20 lbs.
As I understand it, drift boats are fished from a high stance above the water, and being in generally open water, casting with overhead casts towards the bank. Thus, I imagine the rods being designed primarily for overhead and therefore having a faster action, as opposed to a roll cast requiring a more middle to tip action??? I may well be wrong on this point, which is why I am here so I can get some clarity on how switch rods perform in these different scenarios. Its new to me, and finding out this kinf of information seems beyond the local fly fishing population, and checking out rods here seems almost impossible as nearly everything is bought on line as tackle shops are rare as rocking horse S%@& here, and any comunity has thus been lost in the mists of times gone by. I don't think the UK has ever had a well established and educated network of rod builders or even many who have much of an understanding of rod dynamics in operation.
CTS rods are barely known here, and NFC almost unknown, so very few are qualified to give an opinion on these blanks here in the UK. However, you guys, our brothers on the bright side of the Atlantic, have many more who could, and a good few experienced and knowledgeable on these brands. So I reach out to you guys, who I have far more trust in. Cheers.

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Re: Switch Rods.
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 19, 2021 09:45PM

A switch rod is not appropriate for drift boat fishing, use a 9ft regular fly rod. Batson has some nice switch rod blanks that may fit the bill.

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Re: Switch Rods.
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---)
Date: July 19, 2021 10:46PM

The RB Meiser 909 CX shooting head two handed rod might be what you are looking for.

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Re: Switch Rods.
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date: July 20, 2021 10:49AM

Earl,
First, I'd like to congratulate you for the proper use of the term "Switch Rod" as one to be used over-head - or anchor point casting.
They are not - as some think - to be used as a single hand rod.

I have built many Switch rods for my personal use. From 10'6" #6 to a 13'6" #11 - and all in between.

The action designed into a proper Switch rod is such that it can be casted two ways. But I will say that it does not excel at either.
I had no interest in Spey casting when I built them - only over-head. So, they were not the ideal tool for what I wanted.
However, if I did want a rod to do double duty - the Switch rod is the way to go.

Not surprisingly, my choice would be the CTS. The "magic" of a CTS blank, IMO, is their exceptional recovery rate. Therefore higher line speed - therefore longer casts with less energy expended.

IMO - the issue with longer rods in a boat occurs when landing a fish. That can be remedied by "slipping line" and grabbing the leader. Or, the other person in the boat will assist.

On the plus side - the longer rod will facilitate pick-up and lay down casts, mending line, change-of-position casts.

But be careful when choosing a blank. If you truly want a blank designed as a Switch blank - you do not want a short Spey blank or a long overhead rod.

Contact me for more info - and pricing - if interested in CTS
U.S. CTS Rep



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2021 04:04PM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: Switch Rods.
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date: July 20, 2021 10:49AM

Double post



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2021 10:50AM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: Switch Rods.
Posted by: Earl Hamilton (---)
Date: July 21, 2021 07:07PM

Guys. Thank you for your insights and effort to help me. Herb, I should contact you for more information regarding the CTS option. I already have 2 CTS 9 footers, which I bought directly from Stephen Pratt some time back for saltwter work. It is apparent that the length of the switch rods i what enables better line management for mending over the riffles and current lanes, something that a 9 footer is not so capable of.

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