fly fishing lodges - fish head expeditions

Sage TCX 11’9” switch - the spey tool for fishing




After fishing the Sage 5, 6 and 7 weight Sage 11’ 9” spey/switch rods for the last 14 months I will say that every angler should consider owning at least one of them. An exception is if you only fish spring creeks. They may be called switch rods, but I use them as spey rods only. These are not crazy fast rods like some of the single and two-handed TCX. The size of the water, size of the fish, the type of flies being cast and the obstacles to casting are always guides to the length and line weight of rods to be fished.

Guide to line sizes:

5 wt            350-400 grains

6 wt            420 to 450 grains

7 wt            475 to 525 grains


This is figuring the Skagit Short or comparable 20’ heads with a sink tip. They cast and fish like a dream with shorter floating head like the Rio Steelhead-Scandi or Airflo Rage. Grain size for these lines for most anglers is less than the sink-tip heads.

If you have not fished them, I offer the following observations from my time on the water. Starting in October and November for summer runs, followed by the five-month winter steelhead season, and then the early summer fishing in May and June, I fished these rods a lot. Then it was onto fishing this summer and fall.

Last fall I was lucky enough to land two fish in a day that were over 10 pounds on the 6 wt. They were about as much as that rod could handle, “bent to the cork”. Of course it depends on the kind of water you are fishing in and how strong the fish are. There is nothing “sporting” about playing a fish until it is dead. The 5 is more of a summer rod, fishing both a floating head and lighter sink tips well. I really liked it on the Deschutes.

- These rods are very light in the hand, so they do not take a big heavy reel to balance them.

- The action is a stiffer tip that pushes the action and load down into the rod. 

- The whole rod is working, you can feel it load and unload.

- They all fish bigger than they are.

- If you can imagine a cast, you can probably do it

- They cast the Rio Skagit Short heads like they were invented on the same day.

- Because they are shorter and cast a short head, minimal set up area is needed

- If you get tired casting them, you are working too hard, sooo easy

- As with other lighter line rods, mono shooting line is preferred most of the time

- T8, T11, T14  and T 17 tips on the 7 wt is a breeze

- The MOW tip system is a perfect match

- Floating heads match up well for wet flies and skaters

- These rods are for anglers with any amount of spey experience


The next review will be of the big daddy TCX 8119-4.