The fish themselves have not changed over the years, but the ways we can target them have. Technology has certainly made it easier to target fish in most circumstances. Indeed, you can now target them with the fly under conditions that decades ago would have been unthinkable. Switch rods for me have been a major positive change and opened up new doors.
Technology and progressive thought have also made it more pleasurable to fish and target your quarry. A sore shoulder nowadays is largely as a result of an epic battle or down to bad habits rather than heavy equipment.
One of the changes I have loved over the years has been the emergence of switch rods. They are designed to be able to switch between single hand and double hand use, hence the name switch. However, rarely (if ever) are they used in this manner, more often than not because the lines for both disciplines can differ greatly – an air borne cast vs. a water borne cast, with the water borne cast usually having a much heavier overall weight. As such, to me and most people that use them they are seen as short double handers.
There has been a definite trend over the years for long double handers to fall out of fashion, with anglers preferring a shorter, more manageable rod whenever possible. There are still places and occasions when a long rod may be needed, of course. However, overall this is a positive trend and the switch rods largely follow this trend and fashion.
There are a few reasons why I love switch rods in particular:
- Due to their shorter lengths they are easier to transport and are great for taking on trips abroad.
- They are great for tight situations, such as when a lot of overhead vegetation exists.
- They are usually very light and can be used all day with minimum fatigue.
- With the right line choice, they can handle even the heaviest of tips and flies. Conversely, the line can be switched and a light tip chosen to fish small flies stealthily – they are extremely versatile.
- They combine many of the benefits of a single and double hander – the best of both worlds.
Heading out to target salmon or sea trout this season? Then I highly recommend giving a switch rod a throw – you will hopefully find them as pleasant to use as I have.
Four to try:
- Loop Opti NXT 11ft #7
- Airflo Airtec Nano 11.3ft #7
- Loop 7X 11.6ft #7
- Shakespeare Oracle Switch 11ft #7/8