Disclaimer: I bought this rod the first time I picked it up and it’s permanent home is in my truck.
Finish and Initial Thoughts: The Mystic M Series 3113-4 switch rod has a sleek finished black blank with black wraps and silver wrap accents making for a handsome no nonsense appearance. According to Mystic’s website, “The componentry of the M Switch rod is first class from top to bottom. Featuring titanium quad leg stripping guides, super grade custom handles, light wire stainless snake guides, alignment dots, and the kind of craftsmanship Mystic is known for.” Mine came in a sectioned off that off black cordura case embroidered with an orange Mystic Logo and zippered padded top flap. The rod is 11 feet 3 inches long with a longer full well forward and lower handle than other switch rods I have seen.
Balancing the Rod: The Mystic M Series 3113-4 switch rod weighs in at a puny 4.75 ounces and I tried a few reels on the rod and it seems to balance nicely with about 3.7 ounces (My Lamson Litespeed 2) to about 5 ounces (an old Farlow Serpent I have lying around). Whether you’re a clicker or disc drag kind of fisher, that’s up to you and I use both depending on my quarry. I hardly ever notice this rod is in my hand.
Lines: Mystic recommends a grain window for the Mystic M Series 3113-4 switch rod from 205 to 230 and a quick session with the rod makes it clear that this is a standard 3 weight switch rod. I fish my standard 5 weight Wulff Ambush TT Taper, (18 foot head with at 215gr) a 10 foot RIO Floating Poly Leader and a 7.5 foot tapered leader to about 3x. This rig casts buggers to a weighted size 4 and all the wet flies you can throw at a trout. I have also casted the 6 weight Ambush (18 foot head at 235gr) that I found too heavy for my liking and a SGS custom Scandit head Steve Godshell made which is 22 feet (215gr) and is smooth for you scandi casters out there. Personal preference for my trout spey is an integrated line/head that I can strip in streamers past where the loop connection would be if necessary.
For Overhead casting, Any single hander 5 weight line (I have used both the Wulff Triangle Taper and Rio Gold) will work just fine. It’s a great rod to swing until you find rising fish.
The Goods: Casting this rod is what a 3 weight switch/spey is supposed to be. Just plain fun. Let’s be clear, this is a rod to through buggers, small streamers and wet flies. Mystic’s website explains about the entire series “Our Switch rods are designed to load deep into the mid-section, but provide plenty of reserve power in the butt of the rod for fighting big fish,” but let’s be realistic, it’s a 3 weight and this particular rod can only be asked to do so much. That being said, I have regularly hooked and landed brown and rainbow trout up to 24 inches while that’s a challenge this rod is up to the task for, it still bends delightfully for trout in the 8-15 inch range. Find a pod of 12 inch smallmouth bass and you just might put permanent smile wrinkles in your face.
Confidence: Some of the trout speys I have wiggled over the years seemed a bit thin walled and made me nervous either casting longer lines or fighting larger fish. You never want to have the threat of exploding graphite to damper your enjoyment streamside. That isn’t the case with this rod. I will caution that even though this rod can be leaned on during a cast without fear of exploding, it really excels and launches line with little effort. If you can’t be happy with a 3 weight throwing 70 feet then you shouldn’t be throwing one no matter what manufacturer makes it.
Summary: Trout Speying is supposed to be fun and I get a kick out of taking fish on the swing. When I bought my first trout spey rod, I bought it as a toy and to play around with. It quickly became one of my favorite ways to fish for trout. I have used switch and spey rods to fish trout on many of the larger trout streams and tailwaters in the Northeast and it just keeps getting better and the Mystic M-Series is the one I grab most.
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