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The Skagit Switch, by Tim Rajeff and Tom Larimer

With the increase in popularity of Switch-Rods, there was a need for a bespoke series of Lines. So Tim Rajeff (ECHO) and Tom Larimer (pro-guide from Hood River, Oregon) put their heads together and they came up with the Skagit Switch series of shooting heads. Tim Rajeff had this line manufactured by AirFlo, it is marketed under the AirFlo brand, and it’s called the Skagit Switch.

Tim and Tom (T&T no sorry bad joke) did more than just take the Skagit Compact taper (which as it so happened they also designed) and shrink it down:  The taper of a typical switch rod is significantly different from the taper of a typical spey rod – the nature of the action is different and this has as you can imagine major implications on the design of heads and lines for switch rods. As a well-seasoned rod-designer Tim Rajeff new all this and he has taken this into account in the design of the Skagit Switch.  If you would like to read a more detailed description of the why’s and wherefores, then please take a look at this article on Tom Larimer’s blog.

Tim Rajeff on the Skagit Switch

BFF on the Skagit Switch

Over the past few months we have spent a lot of time casting the 390 grain Skagit Switch on an ECHO SR61010 (that’s a #6 switch rod) and the 510 grain head on an ECHO SR 81010 (an #8 switcher) and this is what we came up with:

Pro

  • Grin Factor.  It’s unbelievably easy to load your rod and to load it deep with these heads, believe me you just won’t stop grinning. 🙂 Grinning is good for the soul.
  • Micro D-loops.  If you haven’t got any back-space for your D-loop, no problem with these heads. True you might not cast a sexy-loop but even with a micro D-loop you can still cast a reasonable distance – with ease (think of the grin factor).
  •  They work on “grown up” spey rods too.  Although we primarily used switch rods to test these heads we have cast them on an ECHO TR6126 and an ECHO TR7130, both “grown up” spey rods. Our test showed that if using a Skagit Switch on a “grown up” spey rod then you can use approx. 30 grains (~2g) lighter than you would normally fish in a Skagit Compact.  In other words if you fish a 540 Skagit head on your rod, go to a 510 grain in the Skagit Switch. So now you can cast your “grown up” spey rod with virtually zero back-room. We give this point a double “Grin Factor”. 🙂 🙂
  • Environmentally friendly. Like all of Airflo’s lines, the Skagit Switches are made of polyurethane and do not contain environmentally harmful softeners.  Plus they are pretty much indestructible…

Contra

  • These heads aren’t about long-casts, they are designed for short rods and extremely tight corners; casts seem to hit the wall at distances over 25m.

Summary

In a nutshell Awesome! The Skagit Switch heads have made casting with a switch become sooo easy. OK ok they don’t work to well at distance but who cares!  Just think of the “Grin Factor”. 🙂

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