Odds 'n' Sods of Information and Opinion

Single Hand Lines on Switch Rods

With all of the emphasis on loading up switch rods with ever heavier and heavier Skagit heads, we sometimes forget that these rods can excel with single hand lines. These lines give us the option of Spey or overhead casting, working both ways often with equal facility.

My 11’ 6” Pro 4X 9 wt. works very well when casting overhead with a single hand 9 wt. line. The bonus of course is that it is very easy to find a line to fit the rod. Just pick your favourite single hand 9 wt. line and go fishing.

If we want to Spey cast as well, then a bit more care has to go into the line choice to ensure that the taper is suitable for Spey casting. The Airflo 40+ Expert lines uses the Delta taper, similar to the Delta Spey so of course, the line Spey casts extremely well. The 9 wt. version fits my 9 wt.Loomis switch perfectly, being capable of both overhead and Spey casts.

Now it doesn’t load up the rod with a heavy feel, yet the rod is definitely not underlined. The casts are silky smooth, sailing out into the 80’ to 90’ range with a perfect, finesse turnover. This really will be my first choice for Atlantic Salmon in Gaspé. If I combine this with the 40+ Sniper line, I’ll be able to make finesses casts as well as pounding out big bombers into a wind.

The 9’ 9 wt. has been a standard rod in the Gaspé so if I take mine as well as the 11’ 6”, I’ll have all of those rivers covered. Both these lines work on either rod so that cuts down the amount of gear I’ll have to take. Add some polyleaders, some Blue Charms and I’ll be set.

I think that it really does pay to spend some time working with single hand lines on switch rods as it opens up more potential uses for them.

Switch rods are more than just short Spey rods, they’re big single handers as well.