Beulah Fly Rods pioneered the first full line-up of “switch” rods in 2005 with its 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 8/9 and 9/10 (medium-fast action) switch rod designs. These hybrid fly rods are down-sized, double-handed rods that give the Lake Erie and Great Lakes steelheader the ability to do either standard single-handed casts or spey type casts (including single-hand double haul, two-handed overhead and two-handed anchor point/”splash-and-go” spey casts) for more distance, less casting fatigue and avoiding rear obstacles.
Switch rods are also very effective for both "high-stick" nymphing and swing presentations due to their longer lengths (versus shorter single-handed rods) which allows for easier line control and mending at distance.
Beulah’s Switch Rods are made of IM8 graphite and come in 10 ½ foot lengths (4 piece) making them ideal for the tight casting quarters characteristic of many Lake Erie and Great Lakes tributaries. The 7/8 Beulah Switch Rod is their number one seller and has been described as a 6/7 on steroids. Beulah Switch Rods are also relatively light, making them easier to single-hand cast than other switch rods and small spey rods.
Beulah’s innovation continues with the introduction of their Tonic Fly Line which comes in four sizes to match Beulah’s Switch Rod line-up. This takes the guess work/trial and error out of matching fly line grain weight with a specific fly rod design.
Beulah designed their switch fly lines for shorter spey and switch rods. These shorter rods perform much better with condensed spey lines by maximizing casting performance, line control and ease of casting.
The Tonic has a compact type “Skagit” head that can be described as having a short front taper with a large tip diameter. The Tonic easily turns over heavy/long sink tips and large flies such as streamers, leeches and tube flies.
Beulah’s Elixir Fly Line (comes in 5 sizes also to match Beulah’s Switch Rods) is ideal for throwing lighter flies and lighter leaders. The Elixir head taper is longer and lighter than the Tonic but is still a condensed design ideal for shorter spey and switch rods.
Both the Tonic and Elixir Fly Lines come as a full line (integrated with a thin diameter running line for direct connection) or are sold as a head only (for loop-to-loop connection to running line). These lines also make excellent performance matches for many other two-handed fly rod manufacturers.
For more information on Beulah Switch Rods and Fly Lines please visit the Beulah Fly Rod website at: www.beulahflyrods.com
Beulah Switch Rods and Fly lines can be purchased through Chagrin River Outfitters (www.chagrinriveroutfitters.com). Dan Pribanic is the owner of Chagrin River Outfitters in Chagrin Falls, OH and he can answer any questions you may have on Beulah Switch Rods and Fly Lines for Lake Erie and Great Lakes steelhead.