If you haven’t figured this out yet, I’m a total fly rod nerd. Switch rods are somewhere near the top of the list of stuff I geek out about. I only need the flimsiest of excuses to start Spey casting. That aside, there are plenty of reasons that switch rods make sense for trout. They aren’t just fun, they’re often better.
When I first started trout fishing with two handers it was really hard to find a rod that was light enough for the job. Six weights, which were the switch rods of the day are too heavy to high stick and even a nice trout feels like a snit on one. Recently though, rod manufacturers are paying a lot more attention to light weight switch rods and that’s been a game changer.
My current go-to switch rod for trout has been the Echo SR 10’6″ 4 weight.
This rod has everything I need for the job and has proven its self time and again. It’s powerful, versatile, light weight and fits in the drift boat, which is actually pretty huge.
The SR 4 weight weighs in at 5.9 ounces. That’s plenty light for the days when you want to high stick nymphs all day. It feels lighter in the hand. Most of the weight is cork and reel seat and at 10’6′ it balances beautifully.
For nymphing I will sometimes pair it with a standard weight forward 5 line, which it casts very well overhead or short distance Spey. Doing this gives you an easy dry fly option if a hatch comes off. Other times I’ll use a compact Scandi. This pairing gives you serious long distance two-handed casting when you need it and is perfect for swinging flies. I love it for that reason. Another good choice for fishing nymphs is the Airflo Speydicator line. This line turns over heavy rigs on two-handed casts with ease.
The SR taper is sweet for buttery two-handed casting but it also has enough fortitude in the butt section to apply a double haul and push a nice tight loop into the wind. It’s a pleasure to cast with one hand or two. No surprise there.
One pleasant surprise is the quality of the components. In the past I have been underwhelmed with the quality of Echo components but I have to say, they have stepped up their game. The components on the SR are top notch as are the ones found on other new Echo rods I’ve seen.
The rod is nice looking over all. A grey blank with grey wraps and no-nonsense black hardware. The grip has attractive composite cork accents which also add a little extra grip where your forefinger pinches the running line to the cork. The grip is 17 inches overall with the fore grip measuring 10 1/8th inches. It’s very comfortable in proportion to the rod’s length. The black reel seat has indexing marks indicating the reel keeper. A smart touch.
The Echo SR is a great tool for the angler looking to get serious about trout Spey. I’d be thrilled with this rod at twice the sticker price. For $329, if you’re looking for a switch rod to chase trout, it is a no-brainer.Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com email@example.com Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!