Temple Fork Outfitters Canada, is a division of TFO, based in Calgary, Alberta, that manufactures quality fly rods that will not break the bank. Here we have the Deer Creek Series switch rod, which was designed & developed by Bob Meiser and Mike Kinney for Temple Fork Outfitters. The price point of this rod is $369.95 and is accompanied by an unlimited lifetime warranty. There are not a lot of options in this price range that come with this type of warranty, and you might expect to pay a lot more for what you get. For a mid-range price point rod, like the Deer Creek Series you get a great value.
This 11 foot, 8 weight, TFO switch rod has a grain window of 400-600 grains. The blank is a dark blue color with blue & copper wraps, which look great combined together. The cork handle is very similar to how Bob Meiser builds his own rods – well shaped, sanded thinner than most – and the cork is not too short like I have seen on other switch rods in the past. This cork handle design is comfortable to cast no matter how long you are on the flow. This rod can be used for almost any species of fish: Salmon, Steelhead, Trout, Bass, Musky and pike, whether you are fishing rivers, lakes, beaches or casting for Coho in saltwater.
Some of you may be wondering, “What is a switch rod?” Well, it’s a rod that can be used in single or double handed applications, combined with modern Spey and Skagit type casts. A hybrid rod that is very versatile in its ability, and light weight enough not to tire you out.
The reel that TFO paired with this rod is from their LA Series: model TFO 425 and retails for $319.95. This reel is manufactured from precision-forged 6061 aircraft-grade aluminium and is finished with Type II Anodization that gives you added protection from corrosion which is great for saltwater use. The large arbour design of this reel aides in faster retrievals and is easily converted from left to right hand. There is lots of room on this reel for tons of backing and it could be used on other setups.
We fished this TFO switch rod combo from November to February, in various rivers across BC. This combo is well suited for the smaller river systems but it can also cast a long line when needed. It is powerful enough to make an 80-foot cast and short enough to get your fly in under the overhanging alders. All in all, it’s a great little rod and reel for all Spey casters, very versatile and it won’t break the bank.