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Question about using a fly rod blank for a shorter switch rod build.
Posted by: Ricky Vaccarello (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: September 12, 2017 10:11PM


It has been over 5 years since I built a rod and had to stop for awhile due to needing back surgeries from someone hitting me while I was waiting at a set of lights on a highway service road. So I have been out of the loop for awhile. Right now I am waiting on my final back surgery to be done and then I will be up and running again, enjoying the outdoors and sending flies down rivers lol. So money is kinda tight these days. So right before the accident, I was planning on building a 6wt Spey or switch rod to add to my collection. I have two of the T&T DH 1208's and picked them up when they first came out while visiting T&T on the way back from spey casting for steelhead in Pulaski where my uncle is a known guide. He had my wife and I try one out that his friend had and we were instantly sold on them lol. So I have gotten in to spey casting when using my single hand fly rods since my uncle got us hooked on spey rods. I would really like to build a short 5wt switch rods that I could use on smaller rivers up north when I go up to visit family and that I could use in Arkansas and Colorado. But money is tight these days until I can get back to working full time so I was wondering if I could use one of the blanks I haven't built yet. The guys who taught me how to build rods, own a shop in MA and gave my wife and I a lot of G Loomis blanks for really cheap money so we bought a bunch of them lol. So I have one blank that I am willing to make in to a short switch rod that's laying around in my shop and am wondering if it is possible to make it in to a switch rod. I know this is probably a dumb question, but I have been out of the building scene for awhile now and I really don't want to screw up a G Loomis blank if it can not be done since they are getting harder and more expensive to buy these days.

I built a lot of spey rods and single handed fly rods so Switch rods were all new to me. My wife has a single hand spey rod and it's nice but I am looking for a short 2 handed rod that I could get away with using in medium size rivers. I Have a GL4 8.6ft 5wt 2pc rod blank and was planning on making the rear grip 5" long. I am wondering if moving the reel seat that far up the blank would ruin the rod or crack the foregrip while casting it. Does the GL4 have a good enough action that it won't bend that far down the blank? I am only 5' 5" so I don't have a wide spaced grip when spey casting. So the foregrip will not have to be so long and far up the blank. I have honestly never fished with a GL4 or even built one. All my G Loomis blanks are GLX's so I have no clue on how far the GL4 will flex. If anybody on here has built a shorter switch rod from a m/f or f action fly rod blank, how did it work out for you and is it just as good as building on a switch rod blank. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everybody!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2017 12:55AM by Ricky Vaccarello.

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Re: Question about using a fly rod blank for a shorter switch rod build.
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.hsd1.or.comcast.net)
Date: September 12, 2017 11:16PM

Never built one that short, not sure where the advantage would be, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. The rule of thumb I use for two handed rods is the foregrip is the rod's length plus 1 inch, rear grip is 40% of rod length in inches. So a 9 inch foregrip and a 3.5 inch rear grip would me my first choice.
Since you've done some spey casting, I find an underhand dominant casting stroke to work well, so a long lower grip is not necessary, just a thumb and fore-finger ring on the end of the butt works well for me. A switch rod is simply a short spey rod, nothing more IMO.
The GL4 blanks were the name given blanks in the IMX type graphite when the complete redesign of the G Loomis rods came out, they were redesigned around the design parameters that started with the GLX blanks.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/12/2017 11:21PM by Spencer Phipps.

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Re: Question about using a fly rod blank for a shorter switch rod build.
Posted by: Ricky Vaccarello (---.hsd1.tx.comcast.net)
Date: September 13, 2017 12:53AM

Thank you Spencer Phipps. Lots of great info and help. Yeah I like the underhand cast that my uncle taught me. My shoulder injury from my time in the Marine Corps would act up after a long day on the Salmon River and it's tributaries so he taught me a great underhand cast to help me out. My memory is basically gone these days from all the meds they have me on till my next surgery so I am going to have to watch all my videos of us fishing to remember a lot of casts lol. I also have a bunch of dvd's on spey casting after getting the Spey bug lol. The man who was like an uncle to us, passed away a little while ago. He was a very well known steelhead guide and an excellent Spey caster and teacher. He taught us a lot and was like family to us. My wife was his little prodigy and picked up Spey casting pretty easy. I had to have it pounded in to me because of all my years of doing fly fishing and saltwater fly fishing lol. He made it all look easy hahahahahaha. You could always find him on the river when I first started Spey casting because you could hear him correcting me all day on the river lol.

I haven't been able to get out and do some Spey casting since the accident which happened while we were visiting the wife's family here in West Houston Texas. So now we decided to stay down here and I am liking it. I do miss the rivers and ponds that I used to fish at all the time up north. Pulaski NY was only 5 hours away from us and my job was slow during the winter months so we would go up for 3 and 4 day weekends every other week to chase steelhead. If I go in a pond down here with my pontoon boat or wade in it, I will probably get attacked by an alligator. Only downfall living here lol. We do have some good saltwater areas like Rollover Pass where you could do some Spey casting and catch redfish and specks (sea trout) and we are not that far from the White River in Arkansas. So that is a major plus! They even stock rainbow trout down here in Texas lol. I plan on picking up a used Hyde drift boat next year and running around the back end of the bays here which should be fun. But I am always up for taking trips to Colorado and hitting some smaller rivers for trout so I would really like a 6wt switch rod that I could enjoy casting in smaller areas. I will probably be throwing buggers and streamers with it.

While blabbing along here, my wife gave me the go ahead to sell the GL4 blank so I could get a 6wt switch rod blank and some switch line. She is addicted to fly fishing just as much as me and the blank was going to be her rod. But she gave me the okay to use it for a switch rod if it was doable. I have one 9' GLX 6wt 4pc left out of all the G Loomis blanks we scored from my buddies rod building supply shop that I have to build. She is an awesome wife and when she goes shopping, she looks at clothes and gear for fishing and doing stuff outdoors. Thanks again for all your help. Very much appreciated! Have a great night.

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