F.A.O. Folk Buying a Bloke XL50

Lewis Chessman

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Joined
Mar 16, 2008
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2,459
Location
Isle of Lewis
Hi, all.
Earlier this month I ordered an 11 ft #6 Switch from Mick Bell/Bloke Rods via eBay.
This will be built as a birthday present and the recipient requested a matt black blank - just what the eBay advert shows.
Mick posted it off pretty pronto but when I opened the tube I found this:

1-P1030945.JPG


Not exactly the matt black I was expecting! So, I contacted Mick and he apologised immediately, saying he'd send me an unpainted blank and that I should keep the one I'd received! I've since had the replacement delivered and all is now well.

However, happy as I am with the service I've received, I'm aware that Mick's margins could be pretty tight and suspect he'd rather not be giving free blanks away! So I thought I'd post a headzup here and recommend that others ordering specify if they'd prefer one colour to another to avoid similar issues.

My sincere thanks to Mick for resolving the issue swiftly, painlessly and honourably.
James.
 

Rob Edmunds

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May 8, 2008
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3,671
Location
Midlands Reservoirs
Mick is indeed a very fair man.....and his blanks are very good.

A quick question......my friend has absolutely knackered his casting shoulder and struggles with a standard 10ft #7 weight rod.. ...he has an idea that a "Switch" rod will be a lot easier on his arm.

I personally don't have a clue as I've never used one......anyone care to offer done info that I can pass on

Cheers Rob
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
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2,459
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Isle of Lewis
Personally, Rob, I would say yes, perhaps a #5/6 trout Spey might help? It rather depends on how damaged the shoulder is. If raising the top hand to head height is painful then probably not and perhaps re-learning s-h with the 'wrong arm' would be a better option?

Also, it might be a bit cumbersome in a boat as the lower grip can catch clothing when one is sat on low the boards, but may help from the bank. Probably best if he can borrow one to try it out first.

Drop me a line come June if he's interested. I have a 10 1/2 ft s-h #6/7 TAC FireNeedle which I've built as a d-h. It weighs 5 1/4 oz.
Once I've given it a test cast and know what line it likes I could send it south on loan. Don't know why, but I'll trust you to return it. ;)
 

running bear

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Oct 23, 2009
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402
Location
North County Dublin
The Bloke XL50 switch I built is a powerful beast indeed, nice and crisp tip, and the power just keeps on going through to the butt. I don't think the 6wt XL50 is maybe the answer, but he does 4 and 5 weights, which would be easier on the shoulder.

I was messing with various lines on my 6wt at the end of last season. Theoretically it should spey cast best with a WF8. It does cast well with an 8. Then I started messing, put on a 9, still good, some more butt coming into play. Then a 40+ WF9 (21g I think), still chucked it out, less tip at play but the butt was still going, not a sign of it folding. I then stuck on a Barrio switch 6/7 (25g!) - lost feel from the tip, but the butt was more than man enough for it. I wouldn't for a minute suggest fishing this heavy, but this rod has loads of power in the bottom 6 foot. I wouldn't be comfortable messing with my other rods like this, but the XL50 felt safe.
I've settled on a short 16g head, for grilse and daytime spate sea trout. Suits the tight spots I'm fishing. A little bit of lower hand and it flies out.
 

Prolifichare

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Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
77
Location
Eden Valley, Cumbria
I had a similar experience last week. Ordered a 6' glass blank, seat, handle etc. The seat wasn't the one I ordered but a phone call and a nice chat with Mick had a replacement on route very quickly. He sent me a whole new butt section with handle, winding check, and reel seat already glued on!
Spot on service. I will be returning the first set up soon as I've no real need for a replacement butt section.
 

iainmortimer

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Joined
Apr 5, 2014
Messages
3,310
Location
West Sussex
Mick is indeed a very fair man.....and his blanks are very good.

A quick question......my friend has absolutely knackered his casting shoulder and struggles with a standard 10ft #7 weight rod.. ...he has an idea that a "Switch" rod will be a lot easier on his arm.

I personally don't have a clue as I've never used one......anyone care to offer done info that I can pass on

Cheers Rob

I would imagine it would be far easier especially if he uses a spey cast which means the shoulder is under way less stress than it would be with a single hander.
 

stevel

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Joined
May 18, 2006
Messages
2,444
Location
London
A short trout spey or switch to about 11'6, with running lines and short Scandi/Skagit heads (20'-30') with underhand casts may be the way to go. In these casts (a la Ed Ward), all of the casts are "inside the box" and the elbow is tucked in so the shoulder does almost nothing. The top hand holds the rod very lightly, pivoting here, and the bottom hand pulls quickly to the hip/gut to get the acceleration.
The only thing is these work better with running water, on stillwaters it may be a pain and cause a bit of water commotion. I knew a guy on Oz forums who went to a switch rod on boats loch style because of a similar injury.
 

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