Switch Casting Instructions

Switch Casting
Other Useful Infomation about Switch Casting Instructions

Switch Style: Switch style incorporates rods and lines that can be used to cast over the top, under the tip, with one ore two hands.  The basic switch cast is what is refereed to as a “touch and go cast.”  The basic switch cast is important to learn before you can move any farther.

Steps of a Switch Cast
1. Raise the rod to shoulder level in order to lift line of the water.
2. Make a back cast with the top loop of the line traveling under the rod tip.
3. The goal is to place an anchor down smoothly (the anchor is the tip of the fly line and leader landing on the water) with the tip of the line pointed towards the direction you are casting.
4. Once the anchor is down, everything proceeds in the same way as your normal fly cast with a stop of the rod on the forward and back cast, rod tip traveling on the same plane throughout the cast.

Back to Comprehensive Switch and Spey Casting Information

2 Responses to Switch Casting Instructions

  1. tim says:

    I have a couple of questions I was hoping someone could help me with.

    I have recently begun fly fishing and am interested in Switch rods/casting. Can any of the equipment I currently own be also used for switch-cast fishing or do I need to purchase entirely new equipment?
    I have two setups:
    1. BVK I reel, TFO 4wt 10′ with floating and intermediate sinking line.
    2. BVK III reel, 7/8 9′ with sinking and sinking tip lines.

    If I were to puchase a Switch rod, could I use my current equipment? If so, what wt. of Switch rod would I need to purchase?


    • Theo says:

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for the message. To clarify, a switch rod is a rod that can be used in either a single or two handed capacity. There isn’t really such a defined thing as “switch casting,” but there is a particular cast called a switch cast which is the basic building block of all spey casting. Spey casting is essentially any cast performed where the loop travels under the rod tip on the back cast (D-loop). You can make spey casts with a single handed rod and these casts will make you very efficient at taking your fly at the end of a drift or swing and putting it where you want it.

      Whether or not you need a switch rod is really dependent on the type of water you are fishing, the technique you are using (nymphing, skating dries, swinging flies), how far you must cast and how heavy of a fly and sink tip you are fishing.

      For instance, if the fishing conditions require me to cast 60-70 feet with a sink tip, weighted fly, then a switch or full spey rod will make this a lot easier. I could certainly make these casts with a 9 ft rod, but I would be working a lot harder to do it.

      I think it’s worth owning at least one switch or spey rod if for nothing else, it will really teach you how to cast efficiently. Once you get it down, you will find that 90% of the casts you make from there forward on moving water will be spey casts. Be it with a single handed, switch or two handed rod.

      For spey casting with a single handed rod, we generally recommend a medium action rod, and a longer bellied fly line one line size heavier than the rod. So for your 10′ 4wt, I would recommend a 5wt Rio Trout LT.

      Buy this video called “Spey to Z,” it will really clarify things for you.

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