November 22, 2011
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.