Looking for a switch rod sensitive enough to fish a Scandi head and small summer flies yet powerful enough to effortlessly deliver a sink-tip and weighted intruder? Look no farther than Beulah’s 11′ 8 wt Platinum Switch Rod, which is–hands down–the best casting switch rod I’ve fished.
What makes this rod to impressive, in my opinion, is its regressive action and instant recovery. A regressive action means the rod flexes deep in the blank–in this case near the cork. Many regressive-action rods wobble after the forward stroke, stealing energy from the cast. Thanks to a smart blend of high modulus graphite, this rod’s recovery is crisp and instantaneous. The caster will notice an easy-to-time casting motion, one that is very forgiving of mistakes, and a tight loop that goes and goes and goes. The rod fishes as well at 15 feet as it does at 60, for both “touch-and-go” and Skagit casting.
For touch-and-go casting with small dries and wets, I like to load this rod with a compact Scandi head that weighs 400 grains. For Skagit casting with tips and big flies, I like a compact Skagit head–like Airflo’s Skagit Switch–that weighs 420 grains. I match that Skagit head to a mid-weight sink-tip, like Rio’s T-11 MOWs. If the fly is heavily weighted and having trouble turning over, I loop in a heavier tip, like Rio’s T-14 MOW.
What this rod doesn’t do as well as others–including others within Beulah’s Platinum series–is fish indicators. The regressive action doesn’t allow the tight, precision mends that indie tactics often require. (If eggs are your game, you might try Beulah’s 10′ 8″ 6wt, which has a more progressive taper and the same instant recovery). But if you want a world-class swinging rod for tight casting conditions or smaller rivers, give Beulah’s 11′ 8wt a try. High recommendations.