Recently I had a visitor to my blog site asking about the TFO Deer Creek #4 switch rod. That got me thinking...why have I not done a review on this rod. I had this rod for the longest time and was my favorite workhorse before my Sage ONE switch #4 came along. I bought this rod because I like how soft it is..thinking that it would be perfect for the 1-2 lb Peacock bass in our reservoir. Back in 2009, there were no switch rod quite as limber as the DC#4. I paired this rod with a 235 grain Ambush line and was very happy with it. It cast really sweet and easy, flexing low into the butt and I was catching lots of fish with it.
After a while, I realized that this rod has great potential. TFO made this rod with Kevlar in its matrix and it is an extremely strong and tough rod. Sure, it is not as light as the Sage ONE, neither does it have the fast high modulus graphite response, but it is a very very good rod for the money. I have since landed many big fish with this rod and I have no hesitation using this rod on 20+ lb fish. I also like how versatile this rod is in terms of grain window. It can handle a very wide grain window of 200 - 400 grain. When I know I am fishing for smaller fish with small flies, I will use my 235 grain Ambush. When I have to cast bigger flies to target bigger fish, I will pair it with my 350 grain Ambush. I have a fishing buddy who even tried 450 grain on this rod and he says it still cast good.
I like it that this rod never fails me. It is a tough workhorse. Fish big or small, it will handle. Nowadays, I often bring it along on my trip to back up my Sage ONE 4116. This rod is a lot more limber than the ONE 4116 and will give a healthy bend when into one to two pounders. In comparison ONE 4116 feels a bit over kill for fishes that size.
Although limber, this rod is no push-over. There are plenty of reserve deep down in the blank. When into big fish, you won't feel the need to baby the rod because it is very tough at the butt. I think that is where all the Kevlar fiber is.
So for those considering a 4wt switch, and if the budget is right, this is the rod I would recommend. I feel that it is a better rod than the more recent Echo and Redington offering of the same price range. It has a lighter swing weight, very sweet casting and tough.