Monday, March 31, 2014

Allen Olympic Switch Rod - Trial Run

I wasted a bunch of time on Sunday (March 30, 2014)...but when 4pm rolled around, I finally decided to visit a local pond and try to figure out how to cast with the new 12' 5wt Allen Olympic switch rod I got.

For those that don't know, a typical Single-hand fly rod is usually less than 10' long.  A Spey rod is a long fly rod, generally over 12' long, and is designed to be cast with two hands on the rod.  Spey rods make use of specialized lines to make longer casts possible with heavier flies.  They are especially popular for fishing saltwater and for fishing larger rivers for salmon and steelhead.  A Switch rod is sort of between these two types of rods.  Switch rods are usually between 10' and 12' in length, and can be cast using single-hand or two-hand techniques.  I got one with the idea of making longer casts in lakes for white bass, wipers, and trout.

So anyway, it was very windy.  And I had visited another local pond the previous day and found it to be muddied by waterfowl and with globs of decomposing organic material floating up from the bottom.  So, I didn't expect to catch much, if anything.

I arrived, rigged up the rod, and started casting.  I tried a Snake Roll cast, a Snap-T cast, a Switch Cast, and maybe one or two other 2-handed casts, as well as a single-hand Roll cast and Overhead cast.  I'm totally new to this, but I thought I was doing reasonably well.  Next, I figured I may as well try to catch something, to see how the rod feels when hooking, fighting and landing a fish.  I knew I might not catch anything at all.  But then I proceeded to have one of the best days I have EVER had at this pond!

I ended up landing at least 13 Bluegills up to 9", and 33 nice Crappies up to 13"!  What a blast!  I was very happy to discover that these fish put a very nice bend in my Switch rod!

Below is the 13" Crappie.  BEAST!  Fought like a bass!

Below is a 9" Bluegill.
What a GREAT evening!!!
I should mention that I used a 1/80th oz chartreuse microjig set about 18" below an indicator.  I tried slowly swimming some flies through the area, but didn't have any takers.  The indicator allowed a slow presentation, while the wind and waves pushed the indicator slowly along and gave a nice vertically jigging motion to the fly.


  1. Hey, Dave, never fished with a rod that long. I have topped out at a 10' 6wt. Anyway, beautiful bunch of Crappie and Bluegill. Thanks for sharing your technique with us readers.