Leslie Holmes International School of Fly Fishing
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Switch Rods on Sanibel!!!

  G. Loomis Roaring River GLX Switch 11ft # 7


Over the course of the past few years I have been lucky enough to fish in the Gulf of Mexico,from Texas as far south as Marco Island in Florida, targeting species such as Snook, Redfish, Speckled Sea Trout, Ladyfish and a host of other warm water species.
 Whilst fishing the beaches of Naples & Sanibel Island I became aware that shortly after first light, the shore line would get increasingly busy with joggers, walkers and especially shell hunters, who would stroll the shores with their heads directed towards the sand, very seldom looking up. With this foot traffic I had to be very aware of every cast I made, especially when shell hunters were in the vicinity to avoid hooking them. I found that I was actually spending more time looking at people rather than reading the water, this got even more frustrating when a shoal of fish would arrive hammering a ball of baitfish and I had shell hunters on both sides of oblivious to me.
 Using a standard 9ft 8# saltwater outfit loaded with a tropical full floating line with a short heavy head which is specifically designed for overhead casting, switch & spey casts are not overly gracious.
  On my last trip I took my normal set up accompanied by a G. Loomis Roaring River GLX Switch 11ft #7 rod, Crosscurrent 7/8 reel loaded with a Crosscurrent #7 full floating warm saltwater line. I also loaded a spare spool with a G. Loomis Shooting Head Set. This is my preferred rod for fishing my home waters for Mullet, Sea Trout and Grilse when I’m aware I will be moving from estuary to river and wish to travel light.
 On my first morning and accompanied by my Floridian angling buddy Catfish Joe, who is an experienced guide and coach, we headed to Sanibel Island to fish a mark known as Blind Pass. Whilst setting up in the car park Catfish Joe exclaimed “Gee only a god damn Irish man would use a big stick over here!” After a short walk to the shore line, you guessed it, shell hunters galore. Thankfully I had the Shooting head system rigged up which allowed me to go straight in as a shoal of Jacks came along the beach, no back cast required, jump roll, strip ,strip, strip, Bang, strip strike 2 kilo jack emptying my reel, at this point Catfish Joe was waiting as a shell hunter had just walked into him !!!
  For the rest of my trip I used the Switch rod with both Shooting Head and Crosscurrent lines extensively and found that the rods lightness and progressive action was the perfect tool for light saltwater applications. Using both Spey and standard over head casting techniques allowed me to produce tight wind cutting narrow loops on every delivery, whether being used as a double hander or as a single handed rod. It also allowed me to fish in very tight secluded places where a back cast would have been impossible due to mangrove vegetation. Even Catfish Joe was blown away with this and has elected to purchase the outfit.
 On a finishing note, on my last day I hooked up with another 2 guys to fish from their boat for Speckled Sea Trout in a beautiful lagoon. Early morning light was bad so from the back of the truck I pulled out the wrong rod tube, half way to the mark I realised I had lifted the Switch Rod, “Oops, wrong rod!!” I set it up anyway and fished the whole session. That rod came up tops and produced a multitude of fish, even a bonus Spanish mackerel!!
 I can safely say that I will always take the Roaring River Switch rod with me on any future trips to the tropics. Although specifically designed for fresh water environments it should be noted that all outfits when used in Saltwater should be thoroughly washed or rinsed in fresh water after use.

Over the course of the past few years I have been lucky enough to fish in the Gulf of Mexico,from Texas as far

south as Marco Island in Florida, targeting species such as Snook, Redfish, Speckled Sea Trout, Ladyfish and a host

of other warm water species.

 Whilst fishing the beaches of Naples & Sanibel Island I became aware that shortly after first light, the shore line

would get increasingly busy with joggers, walkers and especially shell hunters, who would stroll the shores with

their heads directed towards the sand, very seldom looking up. With this foot traffic I had to be very aware of

every cast I made, especially when shell hunters were in the vicinity to avoid hooking them. I found that I was

spending more time looking at people rather than reading the water, this got even more frustrating when a

shoal of fish would arrive hammering a ball of baitfish and I had shell hunters on both sides of oblivious to me.

 Using a standard 9ft 8# saltwater outfit loaded with a tropical full floating line with a short heavy head which is

specifically designed for overhead casting, switch & spey casts are not overly gracious.

  On my last trip I took my normal set up accompanied by a G. Loomis Roaring River GLX Switch 11ft #7 rod,

Crosscurrent 7/8 reel loaded with a Crosscurrent #7 full floating warm saltwater line. I also loaded a spare spool

with a G. Loomis Shooting Head Set. This is my preferred rod for fishing my home waters for Mullet, Sea Trout and

Grilse when I’m aware I will be moving from estuary to river and wish to travel light.

 On my first morning and accompanied by my Floridian angling buddy Catfish Joe, who is an experienced guide

and coach, we headed to Sanibel Island to fish a mark known as Blind Pass. Whilst setting up in the car park

Catfish Joe exclaimed “Gee only a god damn Irish man would use a big stick over here!” After a short walk to

the shore line, you guessed it, shell hunters galore. Thankfully I had the Shooting head system rigged up which

allowed me to go straight in as a shoal of Jacks came along the beach, no back cast required, jump roll, strip ,

strip, strip, Bang, strip strike 2 kilo jack emptying my reel, at this point Catfish Joe was waiting as a shell hunter

had just walked into him !!!

  For the rest of my trip I used the Switch rod with both Shooting Head and Crosscurrent lines extensively and

found that the rods lightness and progressive action was the perfect tool for light saltwater applications. Using

both Spey and standard overhead casting techniques allowed me to produce tight wind cutting narrow loops

on every delivery, whether being used as a double hander or as a single handed rod. It also allowed me to fish in

very tight secluded places where a back cast would have been impossible due

to mangrove vegetation. Even Catfish Joe was blown away with this and has elected to purchase the outfit.

 On a finishing note, on my last day I hooked up with another 2 guys to fish from their boat for Speckled Sea Trout

in a beautiful lagoon. Early morning light was bad so from the back of the truck I pulled out the wrong rod tube,

half way to the mark I realised I had lifted the Switch Rod, “Oops, wrong rod!!” I set it up anyway and fished the

whole session. That rod came up tops and produced a multitude of fish, even a bonus Spanish mackerel!!

 I can safely say that I will always take the Roaring River Switch rod with me on any future trips to the tropics.

Although specifically designed for fresh water environments it should be noted that all outfits when used in

Saltwater should be thoroughly washed or rinsed in fresh water after use.