Rigging Up a Switch Rod

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    I just made an impulse purchase and got my first two handed rod. I got an 11′-6 wt switch rod that I am planning on using for some bigger trout tailwaters, but also for swinging streamers to bass.

    As a two handed novice, I am a bit overwhelmed with trying to figure out what line I should get. Like I said, mostly swinging streamers and large nymphs.

    Any thoughts, tips, or suggestions are much appreciated. Tight Lines.

    Zach Matthews
    The Itinerant Angler

    Switch rods aren’t exactly the same thing as Spey rods, but if you want to play with them a little bit, I recommend a Skagit line. I also recommend Simon Gawesworth’s book, “Spey Casting.”



    Thanks for the advice.

    I was definitely leaning towards a Skagit over a Scandi line, but I see that there are couple dedicated switch lines out there. They market them as not being excellent at single handed or two handed casting, but pretty good at both. Are any of them worth trying or should I just go with a Skagit? Been mostly looking at the Orvis Access Switch Line and the Rio Chucker…..


    When I moved to the West Coast a few years ago I bought an 11’3 7 weight switch for NorCal and OR steelhead. I’ve been using a switch chucker line with Medium MOW tips. It’s a versatile line that allows for swinging or indi fishing. It’s not the BEST line for either but If you’re looking for a single do-it-all line I would recommend it. If you’re solely swinging go with the skagit, it’ll be easier to learn on too. Good luck.

    Alan Corbin

    I have a couple switch rods and use at least 2 lines on them. I think there is no one do all line. I use them for chasing stripers in Mass and steelhead in upstat NY. If you ae going to ovehead cast I would recommend an iScandi head/line with a set of variuos leaders to suit the conditions. If you are going to be swinging flies use a skagit. When I built my first switch rod I spoke to Steve at Meiser rods and had him build the head for me suited to the rod. The second I picked up a Buelah Tonic head and also use a switch chucker line. Just get a line in the grain rating of the rod.Planning on bringing both to AK this summer to fish some big rivers.
    I use a 10’6″ 6 wt. for flats fishing on Cape Cod for stripers with the iScandi head and a poly leader. Mostly catching schoolies up to keeper size. Usually overhead casting streamers and weighted flies.
    Good Luck


    For any of you that were following/interested in this thread, I finished piecing together my outfit this last weekend.

    I was planning on picking up the Rio Chucker but on a trip to the local Cabela’s to pick up the reel I ordered, I happened across a box of the Rio Gripshooter and an AirFlo Scandi Compact head. Both were located in the bargain cave and miraculously happened to be the right size for my 6wt. I couldn’t pass up the deal and was able to get both for a whopping $27!

    Made my first trip out last night to try it all out and here were my impressions:
    -Decent for overhead casting, but obviously performs better when two handed casting.
    -Despite being meant for dry flies and nymphs, I had no problem turning over some lighter streamer patterns with the Scandi.
    -Definitely would struggle casting double nymph rigs or larger streamers.
    -I see this specific set-up being great for some of the bigger trout tailwaters in my area (N. Georgia, WNC, SE Tenn….). I don’t have access to a boat so I see this being a great tool for days with higher flows where wading gets sketchy.
    -I still plan on getting ahold of the Chucker or a Skagit head for bigger flies, but overall super impressed with my bargain purchase.

    Take all of this with a salt lick, since I am new to the two handed/switch world. Thanks for all the tips from those who posted!

    Alan Corbin

    Check grain weight window of the rod and play with tips to get the sweetspot. I use an iScandi on my 11’1″ 8 weight Meiser and throw decent streamers, intruders and some indicator rigs as well for the steelhead in NY. Welcome to the addiction.

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