We use 6wt switch rods for large trout and steelhead. These are light enough in hand to stack mend all day without tearing your shoulder apart, but strong enough to swing smaller flies and poly-leaders and turn big fish in heavy current. You will find it a little under gunned for heavy sink-tip fishing applications, or if you try to throw a large nymph rig to the far side of the river.
- Beulah 10’4″ 6wt Platinum – extremely light, basically a 10’4″ single-hander. killer indicator stick and summer dry fly rod.
- Redington 11’3″ 7wt Dually
- Echo 10’10″ 7 wt SR
- Sage 11’6″ ONE – at 11’6″ we call these “mini-speys.” you can indicator fish them without too much issue, but we find ourselves wishing the rod was at least 6″ shorter to be a better indicator stick.
The 7wt switch seems to be the most useful of the switch rods, with the power to throw heavy indicator setups and sink-tips in the T-11 range. These rods are ideal for the angler fishing for summers on the swing and winters on the dead-drift. The Echo SR 7wt 10’10” is a great entry level switch rod, although it is a little on the heavy side, it makes up for it in fighting power and durability. This is a great rod for small to medium sized water – such as the North Fork Alsea. A lighter, longer 7wt option would be the Sage ONE 7wt 11’6” switch – this rod falls into the small spey rod category, light enough to single hand, but excels with the swung fly in situations where you need a compact D loop and casting stroke.
These are the brutes of the switch rod world, capable of fighting large steelhead, silvers, and even chinook. We use 8wt switch rods for tidewater salmon fishing, swinging big heavy tips for winter steelhead and nymph fishing the heaviest of rigs. Most 8wt switch rods are too heavy in hand for the average angler to fish all day as a single hand rod, but when you need the power it is there.
- 11′ Beulah Platinum – excellent winter swing rod and indicator rod, but lacks lifting power for Chinook
- 10’10″ Echo SR – heavy, durable, stout – what more needs to be said?
- 11′ 3″ Redington Dually – able to fish it all without breaking the bank (249.99).
- 10’6″ Beulah Classic 8/9 – short, stout, and discontinued. these make a killer estuary salmon rod and winter stick for all purposes – a little short for larger winter systems, but small creeks beware.
- Sage 11’6″ ONE 8/9 – the mini spey – this is an excellent winter stick for swinging and awesome estuary salmon rod