To Switch of Not?

After some deliberation, research, dawdling or whatever I have entered into the world of two handed casting. I have been intrigued by the technique for some time but initially thought it really wasn’t a technique I needed to learn give the style of fishing I most commonly participated in.

I will have to say that the process of researching two handed casting, the equipment, line setup, etc. has been an interesting process.  My experience – lots of disparate information but hard to put together coherently to make a decision about equipment configuration.  I will say that I have found Deneki Outdoors blog to be of considerable help.  They have compiled tons of posts about various aspects of two handed casting.  Andrew Bennett just posted his 1000th blog post so you have to do a bit of digging but they have lots of good stuff.  Andy Larkin’s FlyBlaster Blog also has some posts about two handed technique that I found useful.

The Switch Rod

Based on what I had read and my understanding of how it applied to the type of fishing I do, I started leading towards switch as opposed to full spey rods.  So earlier this summer I bit the bullet and purchased a TFO Deer Creek switch rod.  I purchased a 7wt 11′ model with larger trout, steelhead and larger bass.  While my searching pointed to a variety of rods with favourable reviews, I settled on the TFO partly because of reviews but also because my experience is TFO gives good value for money and customer support.  It didn’t hurt that I was able to pick it up on sale for an even better price.

Next Comes the Line

I am still trying to sort out this line business – Skandi, Skagit, spey, full belly spey…. there are probably more.  A bit mind boggling if you ask me.  Trying to figure out what was best for my circumstances was not easy.  In the end I settled on a RIO Switch line.  It is a floating line with a 55 foot shooting head and from what I read, seemed to provide the kind of versatility I thought I would need.  Read – thought!  I suspect there will be more lines in the future.


I am still trying to sort this out. I have purchased a small collection of RIO VersiLeaders (10 foot length) and Orvis PolyLeaders (7 foot) with varying sink rates.  I have these in mind for fishing both moving and still water.  We’ll see how this goes.

So that is the basic equipment – I think.  Next on to casting.

Two Handed Casting

My comment is that while there is lots of discussion on the internet about different casts, it is hard to find clear and through descriptions (or video examples) of the various casts.  They may be there but I haven’t found them in a single convenient spot.  I guess my experience probably points to the need for personal teaching.

Ever Fished a Switch Rod from a Float Tube?

Because of where I live, I do a lot of lot of still water fishing for both trout and bass.  I use a float tube for much of this fishing so as part of the two handed casing consideration.  My experience suggested that a longer rod would benefit casting when one is sitting so low to the water.  On the other hand bits and pieces I red suggested the length would make it difficult to land a fish.  I haven’t found much discussion about two handed casting from a float tube.

My Experience So Far

I have had my switch rod out about half a dozen times so far including a couple ventures with the float tube.  My experience to date:

  • I can see the benefits of two handed casting
  • My casting (what ever specific cast I am using) is pretty inconsistent but when I do what I think I am supposed to do, it works well
  • Casting from a float tube works – both using two hands and when quickly recasting with a single overhand cast
  • Landing fish (including bass to 5 pounds is not too difficult

I know there is much more to learn and I expect I will work my way through it on my own or with the help of others.  Hopefully I will have more updates in the future.

Switch Rod Initiation

I decided to enter the two handed world. Actually I have been thinking about it for some time but finally bit the bullet this past weekend purchasing a TFO Deer Creek 7wt switch rod. After trying a few different rods I settled on the TFO based on feel, a variety of reviews by others, price and the fact that I am partial to TFO these days based on their excellent support.

Monday night I headed down to Burritt’s Rapids not far from home to give the rod its first on the water test. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Two handed casting is new to me and if anyone was watching they could probably tell. I definitely need some practice – and some instruction would help too. However, I can see the advantages.

Despite that inept casting, there were a few sympathetic fish who found their way onto my line. That included my largest smallmouth of the year.

Looking forward to more.