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Finally Making the Switch


Despite the rising popularity of switch rods over the last three to four years, it wasn’t until last summer that I finally saw the light.  I have known of the many advantages that were advertised with switch rods/outfits such as a great small river tool, less cumbersome, being able to cast in tight tree lined sections of river, delicate presentation and effective in low water conditions even on big rivers. It all sounded good.

It was low water situations that I was most interested in the switch for and it was also low water that I found the first big flaw in my plan for their use. The idea sounded great in theory, being able to cast under branches covering sheltered lies, drawing flies such as Sunrays/Snaeldas with something less cumbersome than a standard salmon rod was appealing. The trouble I found is a standard shooting head to match a #7 switch rod (let’s say 26gram 36ft long) struggles like hell to turn flies like these over. Put a fast sinking Versi leader of even 6ft on the end and things become even more of a challenge. I still required a fair bit of room to cast due to the head plus Versi tip length so the advantages didn’t seem that great to me.  Couple this lot with the fact that the few Switch rods I have tried up until last year were a little soft with a slowish recovery, great if you like that sort of action but I felt I had to adjust my stroke more than I wanted too.  I also had concerns regarding the time spent playing fish due to the above mentioned action, especially if I was fortunate to hook a big un.   So that was that, not for me I thought.

Both these problems where addressed with the Sage Method 11’ 9” #7 and Rio Scandi short multi tip. It may sound like I’m going over the top a little but this outfit has been nothing short of a revelation. Sections of rivers have now been opened up to me. Owing to the Multi tip nature of the line I can get depth, owing to the length of the line (33ft including tip) virtually no room behind is needed especially when used in conjunction with Perry Poke type cast.  The Scandi short will turn even a heavily dressed 11/4 inch copper tube over should you want it to, even my 12 year old daughter has achieved this, so lighter sunrays aren’t even noticeable on the end. Finally the Low stretch Connect core in the head and my shooting line are perfect for retrieving flies as bite detection is obviously felt much quicker, mending and steering the head seem to be enhanced also. Not surprisingly the Sage Method Switch is a fast rod, meaning short compact stokes (which suits me) send this line a fair way if that’s what is required.  Unbelievably light, responsive and highly manoeuvrable ideal for mends etc and as I have been fortunate to experience, deals with fish no real different to bigger salmon rods.  All in all an awesome outfit that I would hate to lose from my armoury.

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