Switch Rods for Steelhead

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Fish It Like You Stole It photo by Louis Cahill

OK, I admit it. I’ve been all about steelhead lately.

Can you blame me? Steelhead are addictive and they ruin some guys but so far I’m resisting the urge to move into a shack on a river in the Pacific North West and instead I’m spending that energy on producing endless steelhead content. So here goes.

On my recent trip to the Clackamas with my buddy Jeff Hickman I tried something I haven’t done before. I fished switch rods for steelhead. I don’t own a switch rod, (yet) because I thought of it as too light a rod for steelhead. I preferred a twelve foot eight weight spey rod. I have friends who use switch rods for trout fishing and they work well but for wrestling a big west coast chromer, surely not? I was wrong.

Jeff likes the switch rod because it’s shorter and it helps him out in tight spots but for me the kick was fighting those tough fish on the lighter rod. It was a blast and those rods will take more pressure than I guessed. A switch rod is a little harder to cast than the longer Spey rod but I fished Jeff’s Ross Reach in a six weight and was kind of surprised. For an inexpensive rod it performed quite well. It casts very nicely and you can really feel it load.

If you’re headed out steelheading I’d recommend you think about taking a switch rod. It was a lot of fun and I’m glad I tried it.

Jeff talks about switch rods for steelhead.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “Switch Rods for Steelhead

  1. Great tip. Been considering some new gear and a switch rod might be a great option. What’s yourvtakebon TFO rods for beginners?

    • I have never cast the TFO. I hear good things about them. I did cast of the Ross and I like it. It Casts well and it’s very affordable. I have a Scott on the way right now that I’m very excited about. I have also fished the Winston and really enjoyed it. I have not cast the Thomas and Thomas switch Rods but their Spey rods are my favorites. I would be totally shocked if their switch rods were not fabulous too.

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