On a trip to Oregon's Rogue River last October, I fished two days with the Red Truck Diesel Switch Outfit. Although not known for large steelhead, the summer run of steelhead on the Rogue offers an opportunity to catch a solid number of fish in the four to eight pound range. The Rogue is also a medium-sized river and perfect for a switch rod.
Although switch rods make easy work of indicator nymphing for steelhead, my go-to technique is swinging a fly cross current. It allows me to get the most out of every cast and every take. Plus, the Rogue River's fish are notoriously aggressive and will happily grab a well-swung fly.
The Red Truck Diesel Swiich Outfit is the ideal tool for this kind of fishing. At eleven feet in length, it's just right. Not too long for a river the size of the Rogue, yet still long enough to provide efficient casts and mends. As a seven weight, it has the appropriate line mass to deliver the common sizes and weight of flies used on most steelhead rivers. The Red Truck Diesel Switch Rod's power is dialed in right, making a three pound fish fun, yet it can still cast a Skagit head with a heavy tip and big bug.
Of course this rod is well-finished with its classic “snake belly” blank and all the right components, including tight thread wraps and smooth epoxy work. The cork grade is very nice and the handle shape feels great in hand. There's even a bottle opener in the rod cap.
Included in the outfit is a complete line system. It comes professionally rigged and ready to fish, including backing, an Airflo Ridge Running Line (#20) and an Airflo Compact Skagit Head (450 grain), as well as Rio's MOW Tip Kit (Light). The line system makes casting a breeze and the Rio MOW Tip Kit allows the angler to dial in the perfect tip regardless of fishing conditions.
The fly reel is the equally solid Loop Tackle Evotec 7-9. This fully-machined and anodized large-arbor fly reel comes with a completely sealed disc drag system, which is butter smooth and very powerful. Essentially, this reel is bomb-proof, great looking, and a good fit with the Red Truck Diesel Switch Rod.
Casting this setup on Oregon's Rogue River was epic. Easy mends resulted in amazing line and fly control. I beached about six fish on the swing during my two days on the Rogue, which is about average...nothing to brag about, but each was the result of smooth casts and controlled swings. If you're looking for the same experience, the Red Truck Diesel Switch is as good as it gets.