This is my third consecutive year flats fishing in Maldives with Switch rod using Spey techniques. I must say I have really grown fond of Spey style fly fishing in the salt and probably would not be going back to using single hand rod any time soon ;-)
Switch rod is really a wonderful invention and development in fly fishing. Paired with modern short head Spey line, it is just an amazingly efficient fishing and fly delivery tool. Pre Switch rod and mini Spey era, I would be ripping my arm off, hauling and battling wind and crazy projectile like Clousers, trying to reach the distance. Doing that whole day for eight consecutive days can really put serious strain on arms and shoulders. With Switch rod, this problem melts away.
From the perspective of battling fish, Switch rod truly excel in my opinion. The 11+ feet length of the rod makes fighting smallish fish sensational as it amplifies every tug and struggle, giving the fish leverage advantage. On the other hand when hooked onto a monster, the butt strength of the Switch rod kicks in, complemented with high fore grip, provide superb efficiency for the battle.
During this trip, I used my trusty Sage ONE 4wt switch throughout. This rod never fail to amaze me with its versatility. Paired with Lamson Speedster 3.5 and the Wulff Ambush clear head 350 grain, It handled everything from spunky Spangled Emperor to Giant Trevally with aplomb.
There was a single day that I did switched over to my brand new Sage ONE Switch 6 wt but that rod broke while casting... big disappointment. Paired with 400 grain SA Skagit Extreme, it was performing really well earlier in the day but somehow folded near the butt in the afternoon while casting. Fortunately I could continue fishing with my buddy's Sage ONE Switch 5wt and that is another jewel of a rod. Paired with Wulff Ambush 400 grain, the setup zips through wind with ease and was a real pleasure to cast.
This year was a great year in Maldives for clocking up mileage for my Sage ONE 4116 and Lamson Speedster 3.5. Lots of good size Trevally were caught this year including a 22 lb GT. The 4wt setup performed flawlessly each time and this gave me great confidence and satisfaction.
I have not given my Lamson Speedster reel much of a review but this reel deserves more than a passing mention. It is extremely light for a super large arbor reel and balance nicely with the ONE 4wt. The sealed drag is easy to maintain and is consistently smooth with no start-up whatsoever. This year, the Speedster's drag was put to a real test when it was squeezed tight to stop the charge of a 22lb GT. I am really impressed that it managed to put the brakes on the GT without palming. I am sure the smoothness of the drag also plays a crucial role in preventing the break off of the 16lb leader. Kudos to Lamson!
Note: You can access all my blog post on saltwater spey by clicking on the "Saltwater Spey" link located on the right hand side under Labels.