Saturday, April 21, 2012

Some helpful tips in choosing a switch rod reel and spey rod reel

I have noticed some two handed fisherman are looking for information on switch rod reels.  I’m going to offer some advice.  I’m by no way a pro but I think I can ease the learning curve a little!  Let’s talk about rods first I have two TFO Deer Creek Switch rods.  The 5wt switch rod that’s rated for 250-450 grains I have put a Mid Arbor 5 on it.  The lines I have on the reel are the SA Steelhead Master Series steelhead taper 7wt, and the other line is a Skagit Short 350 grain by RIO.  For the 5wt I have about 100 yards of backing on the reel.   This rod is used for warm water fishing.   I do not worry about exact balance with my outfits.  I throw tips ranging from T-8 3’ to T-14 4’ on this setup.  I have never had a capacity issue with this reel for this set up.  The main things to consider for sizing a reel for your rod for me at least are as follows:

a.       Size of lines weight forward, and Skagit.

b.      The amount of backing you desire on your reel.

c.       The fish you will be chasing with this setup.

d.      The length of tips you will be throwing.

These are the main factors for me when choosing a reel for a rod. 

My second switch rod is a custom rod by feathercast rods by owner Brain Althouse.  He can be reached at   The rod is made from a Rainshadow blank IF1086-4.  The rod is a 6wt by design.   The lines I throw are the SA Steelhead Master Series steelhead taper 9 wt, and the other line is a Skagit Short 375 grain by RIO.   The lines are on a Galvan T-10.  The backing amount I have on these reels are in the neighborhood of 200 yards.  This is a light steelhead rod for Great Lakes Steelhead.  The tips I throw on this rod range in sizes T-11 10’ to T-14 6’. 

The third set up is on a T8wt FO Deer Creek switch rod. This rod is my work horse for fishing. The
lines I throw are the SA Steelhead Master Series steelhead taper 10 wt, and the other line is a SkagitShort 425 grain by RIO.  This rod is my go to rod for all around steelhead fishing in the Great Lakes for most rivers.  If your river depth is under 20 feet and the current is manageable with a 8-10 foot section of T-14 then this is your rod and reel set up.  The reel I use for this set up is a Orvis Large Arbor Battenkill V.   This reel once again has about 225 yards of backing on them. 

Finally my fourth setup is a Reddington CPx 9wt spey rod.  This is my deep stick.  This rod could throw a wet groundhog if need be.  This rod gets loaded with a Skagit Flight SHD 675 grain by RIO.  I throw tips ranging from T-14 15’ to T-17 14’.  The reel I used is a Galvan T-12.  This reel holds about 200 yards of backing.    

In this entry I hope you have found something helpful.

Be well,
Tom G

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Ohio River

Nice to get out and fish the single hander TFO 6wt.  No fish taken on the fly rod today but it was nice to see the new pattern swim!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Casting practise the other night.

Casting perch


Albert Einstein once said “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” from"

This day would prove him more right than I realized.  I finally got an ole friend to the river after three years of trying.  This man we will call him Steve has had some trying times, and I wanted to get him away from that for at least a day! 

He was late for our morning meeting at United Dairy Mart, but he had a late long night meeting!  lol We would finally meet up and drive to the Maddening River.  We would float about 7 miles of her today. 

I had two rods my TFO 5wt switch rod, and my custom Feathercast 6wt switch rod by Brian Althouse. 

We planted Steve’s car at the take-out, and proceeded up stream for the put-in.  We noticed a very bizarre ritual taking place in a tree “sorry no picture”.  People have been throwing their old wading boots into the tree.  Now I really don’t know why, but there are about a dozen sets of boots in the tree.  So after being memorized by this we met a very nice poacher at the put-in.  We did not see him poaching, but his stories were poacheresce.  Well Steve got ready at the starting point, but he really looked like he wanted to RALPH!  He was a huge trooper today. 

 I rigged up my TFO with 4 feet of T11 with an olive leech tube fly about 4 inches long.  I rigged my custom rod with a 4 feet section of T14 with a 5” olive sculpinzilla.  The river was on the low side.  I wish there was about 12 inches more water in her today.  Steve and I made the best of it. 

I saw Hendrickson’s hatching at 2ish, and caddis hatching at about noonish.  The rivers wildlife was nice to see.  We saw lots of traces of beavers, and more fat red squirrels than you can imagine.  The water was cool like in her 40’s.  She had mediocre color in the holes of 4 feet and deeper.  I saw in 7 miles only a handful of fish.  I saw lots of suckers and carp.  I did get to witness one juvenile Blue Heron fall off a log.  He was not happy at all!  No fish hooked by me, but Steve got one on a dry fly!  Still a great day to be out and the blue bird skies were not a welcomed thing!

O gosh it hurts too move!

A great tool that everyone who floats should have a handheld GPS unit!

The drainage ditch that hold some nice trout.

Dont be the bottle

Steve you made it!