By Mark Lance
T&T Creative Pro Mark Lance took the DNA TroutSpey and DNA Switch 5 weights for an extended test drive this summer, and found that both rods have a place in the quiver for an angler fishing big trout water.
While working on a recent photo assignment for T&T, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the DNA TroutSpey 1195-4 and the DNA Switch 1105-4 on the water here in Colorado. I immediately found the DNA TroutSpey 1195 two-hander to hit a sweet spot for chasing trout on medium to large Rocky Mountain rivers. At 11’9” this rod, rated a 5 weight, really encourages graceful spey-style casts. The magical taper allows the angler to feel what is going on mechanically throughout the cast (touch and go or sustained anchor) and gently coaxes tight flat loops out of the angler. For such a light rod, it delivers plenty of guts and fast recovery in the tip. The tip of the rod responds beautifully to both subtle and strong bottom-hand movements. It seems to be equally adept at picking up and re-directing Scandi lines and even light Skagit/tip setups. Confident casts, at nearly any distance, are not a wrestling match with this rod.
The DNA TroutSpey 1195 handled soft hackles, Pine Squirrel Leeches, and weighted wooly buggers on the Colorado River all with only minor tweaks to the leader system. 40 to 80 foot cast are effortless. I’ll bet this baby will easily chuck deer hair poppers and mouse patterns. An unfair advantage over trout in big rivers! The rod is light enough to feel the tussle from a 16 inch trout, however, I think this rod is probably better balanced for larger trout, small mouth bass, etc.
The DNA Switch 1105 really opened my eyes to the game of faster action switch style rods. This rod begs for you to pick it up and cast in an overhead style. There are plenty of reasons and situations to do just that. It does this brilliantly, and using the power of two hands makes fishing big stuff all day long no problem. Plenty of power to throw sink tips and big flies a long, long distance.
But the beauty of switch is the capability of spey style casting as well. Because this rod is faster than I am accustom to it took a while to become comfortable with a spey stye cast. However, after a couple of hours practicing with the right Scandi head I found myself grinning widely. Timing is everything. This rod will pitch super tight loops across the river. Darts! Great for wind, big flies, big trout, walleye, bass, etc. Plenty of rod for properly balanced sustained anchor Skagit gear, too.
Oh, and by the way, yes, I did catch fish on these rods. What fun.