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Smallmouth on a Switch Rod?

SwitchOK, I know we’ve all been inundated with the latest craze in fly rods – spey and switch rods. While these rods are primarily targeting trout and salmon in larger rivers, I figured what the hell!

I purchased an 11 foot 8 wt four piece Switch Rod from the folks at Wild Water Fly Fishing in New York. I sell Starter Packages and Deluxe Packages from them on, as well as other items such as reels geared for bass and trout. 

My first impressions using a switch rod on a local river was mixed. The general rule of thumb is to overline 3X with a switch rod, so I’m throwing 11wt floating Wulff Ambush on the 8wt rod. 

This is totally foreign to most one-handed fly fishers and I am currently in the beginner’s throes of struggling with “the D-Loop” and “the Anchor Point” and all the other jargon relating to Switch and Spey casting. 

Since I wade fish the Mississippi a lot, I thought this rod might be fun to try, especially when there’s little backcasting room. I may be quite mistaken.

Last night (after watching several “how-to” videos on YouTube) I went down to the river and was flinging the line all over the place – it wasn’t pretty. 

I did manage one pint-sized smallie on a Clouser.

I will keep practicing until I either: 

  1. Get the hang of it and embrace it; or
  2. Get proficient, forget smallmouth and book a trip to BC; or
  3. Realize the folly and sell the rod on eBay.

I’ll keep you posted!

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