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
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.