Although I use 9ft 10wt rods for most of the fishing (surf zone and estuaries) I recently started using a 9/10wt 11ft Beulah switch rod, specifically when I’m fishing rolling surf from beaches. The Beulah website describes the rod as follows:
“Beulah’s Surf Fly Rods are fast action two handed rods designed to quickly cast long distances with half the effort of single hand fly rods. These rods are constructed using high modulus IM8 graphite in a bias-ply lay up. This process creates an extremely strong but light weight rod with increased hoop strength for the durability you need to chase anything from surf perch to massive rooster fish. With oversized titanium guides to enhance line shooting this rod is as close to an actual canon as you can get.”
Being a switch rod it means that that it can either be used as a double or single handed rod. I use mine casting single-handed, mainly because I get more distance than when used double-handed, and the reason for this is probably because I have not received proper tuition in switch casting.
The main advantages are the following.
When coupled with the correct shooting head line, it’s relatively easy to quickly cast a full line, even into a stiff breeze. This is crucial for getting big flies in the zone when fishing for kob, for instance.
Secondly, the extra rod length aids in line management, especially when fishing into heavy shore-breaks. After making a cast with a regular 9ft fly rod, the entire line can be swept inshore by heavy shore-breaks. By lifting the surf rod the line can be kept up and away from the shore break and allowing the line to sink before making the retrieve. It also makes line mends easy when there is a cross rip running.
Although I haven’t landed anything substantial on my Beulah yet, I’m sure that it will be very effective for landing big fish quickly. It’s quite a heavy stick, so I recommend a heavy reel to balance the outfit. I use a Shilton SL7 on mine. As far as lines go, the recommended lines are the Rio OutBound Short series.
It’s a beautiful piece of hardware and I can recommend it to anyone keen on spending time in the surf.