Mike Oliver

Busting a few rod myths

90 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I often read on SOL of how hard it is to cast single hand fly rods for long periods in ten weights for  long periods and based on what I observe on the Cape that’s a max of a six hour tide.

It is often claimed that long Two Handers  are also hard work and will kick your butt.

 

Well it’s time to man up and except that this is not the case at all.

 

I have concluded that the reason for these statements must  be either due to Injury, bad technique or just plain lack of physical fitness.

 

After a week of full on TH fly rodding when I did pick up my  ten weight it felt like a cocktail stick. It did not kill my wrist or rotor cuffs. They are 66 years old.

 

What bothers me is that this info can put off news guys selecting the right gear. Some will no doubt go to lighter rods which will have their own issues on a beach and cause many to seek easier water or even abandon salt water fly altogether as being just too much like hard work.

 

Technique Is a huge issue when it comes efficient casting. Yet again on my trip to the Cape what I mostly observed was pretty appalling. It is no wonder guys get fatigued quickly when they make several false casts just to,work out sufficient line to make any kind of cast.

It is not the rod that’s the issue but the Fisher. Each to his own but why do so many seem to just accept where they are at.

It is highly likely that some of these guys are the ones who will tell us that ten weights are a beast to cast and fish with.

Unless you have a rod labled as a ten  when in fact it is really a twelve weight then for a healthy human male it should not cause you any grief at all. It will be your friend as a general purpose rod for the North East Coast.

 

So If you are just coming into this game please be assured that the modern rods we use today are not going to wear you out and that ten weight rods will allow much more efficient casting when any kind of wind kicks up. 

If old gits like me can happily wave around a ten weight then no reason why everyone can’t do the same.

 

Another wonderful old chestnut came to mind whilst fishing that Bass are often caught very close to the beach edge and yes at times they can be. I smiled at this cop out statement when we had days when we could only catch at the end of a hundred foot plus cast.

 

It is always easier to find an excuse than it is a solution.

 

Just my thoughts of the day.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Posted (edited)

42 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

I often read on SOL of how hard it is to cast single hand fly rods for long periods in ten weights for  long periods and based on what I observe on the Cape that’s a max of a six hour tide.

It is often claimed that long Two Handers  are also hard work and will kick your butt.

 

Well it’s time to man up and except that this is not the case at all.

 

I have concluded that the reason for these statements must  be either due to Injury, bad technique or just plain lack of physical fitness.

 

After a week of full on TH fly rodding when I did pick up my  ten weight it felt like a cocktail stick. It did not kill my wrist or rotor cuffs. They are 66 years old.

 

What bothers me is that this info can put off news guys selecting the right gear. Some will no doubt go to lighter rods which will have their own issues on a beach and cause many to seek easier water or even abandon salt water fly altogether as being just too much like hard work.

 

Technique Is a huge issue when it comes efficient casting. Yet again on my trip to the Cape what I mostly observed was pretty appalling. It is no wonder guys get fatigued quickly when they make several false casts just to,work out sufficient line to make any kind of cast.

It is not the rod that’s the issue but the Fisher. Each to his own but why do so many seem to just accept where they are at.

It is highly likely that some of these guys are the ones who will tell us that ten weights are a beast to cast and fish with.

Unless you have a rod labled as a ten  when in fact it is really a twelve weight then for a healthy human male it should not cause you any grief at all. It will be your friend as a general purpose rod for the North East Coast.

 

So If you are just coming into this game please be assured that the modern rods we use today are not going to wear you out and that ten weight rods will allow much more efficient casting when any kind of wind kicks up. 

If old gits like me can happily wave around a ten weight then no reason why everyone can’t do the same.

 

Another wonderful old chestnut came to mind whilst fishing that Bass are often caught very close to the beach edge and yes at times they can be. I smiled at this cop out statement when we had days when we could only catch at the end of a hundred foot plus cast.

 

It is always easier to find an excuse than it is a solution.

 

Just my thoughts of the day.

 

Mike

I agree so much with that, and I just turned 65.

 

I fished only a 10 wt in SW for a very long time. Every one of my reels is heavy by today's standards. They're not just full-cage, there's no ventilation/weight-saving cutouts on the cage side. I happen to like those designs and looks. And it's rare for me to get tired.

 

Which leaves casting mechanics. I'm largely self-taught. What I do works for me. There's basics in casting I came to without any reading (or videos, I started way before there was a uTube). I came to a number of things in casting because...it just seemed like the sensible thing to do (I'll always encourage people to experiment a little, to see if something works...or doesn't!!!). When I had to start reaching out further in FW trout river fishing, it became pretty obvious to me that I needed to open up my stance, which freed up my arm and shoulder so much. I was just in the yard, sans rod, and made a few casting motions, squared up to target direction. That puts so much more pressure on upper arm/shoulder than an open stance. Now that'd make me sore. And ya can't really cast properly in SW like that IMO (close-range dry fly...fine).

 

Opening up naturally led to me using my body more, weight moving front to rear foot, etc. And with my arm freed up with open stance, I learned how to lay my arm back, without knowing what I was doing. And that,  almost automatically, led me to start advancing beyond single hauling. Ya really can't properly/efficiently double-haul with a square stance and without weight transfer, IMO. I find the principle no different than a golf or tennis swing, or slap shot in hockey.

 

It's the lack of the above that jumps out at me with too many casters.

 

Not a rant, but I think this is gonna be a TBC for me.

 

Edited by patchyfog

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Overall weight hardly matters to me. Balance matters a lot.

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I'm a relative baby at 62, with 2 bad shoulders and a bad elbow. First, a lighter rod may feel easier on the cast but if you're into good fish fighting them on the lighter rod will also wear you out, so it's a matter of balance. I can see how a healthy person can be worn out by a 10 weight rod if they are spending all that time blind casting. Often what I see is people hurling as much line as possible, then stripping back, then repeat, yada yada yada. Time between casts seems measured in seconds. This much casting can get you tired no matter what you're holding. I only usually go out for an hour or 2 at a shot, that's just what my schedule permits, but I try to spend as much time planning each cast as making it (looking for structure, cuts, rips, etc.) That eliminates me from the "hard core" I suppose, but keeps me from running out of gas (and elbow) before October. Hopefully I get to retire in a few years at which time I can find out what it feels like to fish all day!!!

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, stormy monday said:

I'm a relative baby at 62, with 2 bad shoulders and a bad elbow. First, a lighter rod may feel easier on the cast but if you're into good fish fighting them on the lighter rod will also wear you out, so it's a matter of balance. I can see how a healthy person can be worn out by a 10 weight rod if they are spending all that time blind casting. Often what I see is people hurling as much line as possible, then stripping back, then repeat, yada yada yada. Time between casts seems measured in seconds. This much casting can get you tired no matter what you're holding. I only usually go out for an hour or 2 at a shot, that's just what my schedule permits, but I try to spend as much time planning each cast as making it (looking for structure, cuts, rips, etc.) That eliminates me from the "hard core" I suppose, but keeps me from running out of gas (and elbow) before October. Hopefully I get to retire in a few years at which time I can find out what it feels like to fish all day!!!

Wow, we're so much on the same wavelength.

 

On the mechanics side, you played tennis alot. I play alot for a while too. I don't think there's anything that shocks your elbow or shoulder more than bad mechanics. Or poor muscle tone. Yet I saw people chasing new equipment so often as the cure, when that wasn't.

 

It's not like I've never spent all day casting. But...and I think this is an important difference in some cases...for most of my life, I've lived close to very good waters, be it FW or SW. So I could largely go when I wanted. After and before work, that was often available to me. Plus, the type of fishing I like most...dry fly, and sight-fishing in SW...doesn't require me to cast all day; not a lot of blind casting. I'm just standing there looking and listening alot. I cast more at night, but I still look and listen.

 

It's different for those who can only fish occasionally I think, where you want to take maximum advantage of time.

Edited by patchyfog

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14 mins ago, patchyfog said:

Wow, we're so much on the same wavelength.

 

On the mechanics side, you played tennis alot. I play alot for a while too. I don't think there's anything that shocks your elbow or shoulder more than bad mechanics. Or poor muscle tone. Yet I saw people chasing new equipment so often as the cure, when that wasn't.

 

It's not like I've never spent all day casting. But...and I think this is an important difference in some cases...for most of my life, I've lived close to very good waters, be it FW or SW. So I could largely go when I wanted. After and before work, that was often available to me. Plus, the type of fishing I like most...dry fly, and sight-fishing in SW...doesn't require me to cast all day; not a lot of blind casting. I'm just standing there looking and listening alot. I cast more at night, but I still look and listen.

 

It's different for those who can only fish occasionally I think, where you want to take maximum advantage of time.

Twin brothers from different mothers lol! Same here though, I don't fish trout but my house in Maine is 20' from rising LMBs, so I'll cast for 15 minutes while the steaks cook and 20 minutes when they rise inthe evening and I'm good. Saltwater I mostly fish on my lunch hour, but like you I'm into sight fishing if possible or at the very least some very high percentage shots on a flat near my office. I don't really fish much at night due to other obligations, but I'm good with that, I fish pretty much every day so I can't be greedy...

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I wrote this the other day in the TFO Axiom thread.  

( It's the same old thing to me ?  Ones stiffer, one lighter, one bend more, one has more guide or less or better?  I think its bull s--t   learn your rod and enjoy it.  And save a ton of money. I have a some old plugging rod that I have had for years (50)  and I still fish them all the time and my friends have the latest and the best?  But they always ask it I have any old blanks laying around?  

I have the older Axiom 9wt and its not that heavy?  Start lifting some weights. And I'm 75 years old.  ) 

Mike O  said.

( It is not the rod that’s the issue but the Fisher.)

(Each to his own but why do so many seem to just accept where they are at.

It is highly likely that some of these guys are the ones who will tell us that ten weights are a beast to cast and fish with.

Unless you have a rod labled as a ten  when in fact it is really a twelve weight then for a healthy human male it should not cause you any grief at all. It will be your friend as a general purpose rod for the North East Coast.

 

So If you are just coming into this game please be assured that the modern rods we use today are not going to wear you out and that ten weight rods will allow much more efficient casting when any kind of wind kicks up. 

If old gits like me can happily wave around a ten weight then no reason why everyone can’t do the same.)

 

 

 


 

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I know I'm not the oldest at 71 but I have to agree with with Mike. Technique is the key to not hurting yourself and good technique will allow you to fish a 10 weight all day, I know because I have done it.

 

I do not use a two handed rod, all my fishing is done with  8, 9 or 10 weight.

 

I think as we do advance in years it is a bit easier to get tired and we also learn to use small little tricks to assist when on the water all day.  I find one simple solution to reduce fatigue is to simply after making a cast is to rather than hold the rod in your hand and strip the line in is to tuck the rod under you arm for a few minutes strip with a two hand retrieve and after you do this for 10 minutes or so you will be surprised how much your casting will improve. I think if you're a good caster you will recognize when your casting is getting sloppy and that is because of fatigue.

 

The rod in my hand is my preferred way to fish when I strip the fly, I see many who tuck the rod under their arm and that is fine as well. Casting is the reason we all get tired and good techniques is why some can go all day. I think I do very well at my age but then again I also think my technique is very good. There are very few times that I can not throw line at my maximum distance  with more than one or two false casts 90 % of the time.

 

I sometimes think a person with bad technique using an 8 weight rod will get much more tired fighting wind and in many cases would be better served to use a 10 weight at times simply because he would cut down on the number of false casts.

 

Like patchyfog says a well balanced outfit makes a big difference when the rod matches the conditions.

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I"m 52 years old with a bad back for over 30 of those years. After a few long nights of fishing a surf rod I can't wait to get back to my 10wt. 

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Posted (edited)

34 mins ago, ccb said:

I wrote this the other day in the TFO Axiom thread.  

( It's the same old thing to me ?  Ones stiffer, one lighter, one bend more, one has more guide or less or better?  I think its bull s--t   learn your rod and enjoy it.  

If old gits like me can happily wave around a ten weight then no reason why everyone can’t do the same.)

I wouldn't quite go that far. Everybody's gonna end up with a preferred action. But, I totally agree that everybody should get to the point where they can pick up any rod and effectively fish it. Plus, I think it was very instructive for me to own and fish rods from telephone pole to super slow. You're basically trying to make the line do the same thing with very different rods, you've just gotta learn the tempo and force applied.

 

Sure seems to me that as one turns towards greybeard, casters tend to converge on more moderate action rods, because they're less effort. And overall more pleasantI might add. Greybeards tend to converge on lot of ideas and preferences.

31 mins ago, bonefishdick said:

 


The rod in my hand is my preferred way to fish when I strip the fly, I see many who tuck the rod under their arm and that is fine as well. Casting is the reason we all get tired and good techniques is why some can go all day. 

It's pretty rare for me to 2-hand strip for stripers, I just don't think it's necessary. Not even necessary for the faster blues, much of the time.

Edited by patchyfog

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Posted (edited)

Anyone have experience with a 10’ 10 wt? I think Kenney Abrames recommended that in his book Striper Moon for mending on an ocean beach. But I’ve been told that it’s too long for one-handed and will tire you out fast.

Edited by RH37

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I have picked up a Kenney Abrames rod. I have seen it cast. Is it a rod for me. Not in a million years. Ten feet is harder work on the wrist. Does it mend much better than a 9 footer. It might if it can be cast same distance or further. You need to understand the philosophy of the designer and how he prefers to fish. Double haul is a no go.

If mending is your game and floating line fishing with flatwings is then a Two Hand rod will make a much better job of it in my view.

 

I have made my own ten foot single hand fly rods and they are hard work.

Mending on ocean beaches. I see very little of that in reality. I may have this wrong but KA fishes rivers and inlets not open ocean beaches. The Fisherman. could confirm or otherwise.

When fishing open ocean beaches unless fish are close In  we are best served with modern ten weights in a single hander format or a decent Two Hander.

 

Mike

 

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I have found light rods in the wind fatigue me a bit but if using a heavier wt rod in the wind it’s not as bad. I tend to stick to my two hander most of the time now as it’s just so addictive. Also I agree that unbalanced set ups also can be tiring but a well balanced appropriate wt rod for the situation generally I can cast all day with out a issue

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I may win the age game. Turned 85 last week. I learned to cast from Lefty Kreh, Flip Pallot and Al McLane back in the 1970's when they ran salt water fly fishing clinics in Florida. I can cast equally well with either arm. I set several IGFA tippet records including a 43 pound striped bass on 12# and an 8 wt. rod. So much for my creds.

 

I started with 10 wt rods and now use 7's. Why? The heavier rods (and lines) mess up my shoulders, and it's not because of poor technique. Its because 40-plus years of blind casting has taken a toll. I can cast all day with a 7 wt (or a 6) and not suffer any ill effects. A 10 wt hurts. And even an 8 wt. damages my shoulders after a couple of hours of blind casting.

 

I am an advocate for the light stuff.  I've gone as small as 5 wt, which is a blast under the right conditions. 

 

 

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Tin Boat.

 

Returning to my initial post a key point was “ healthy human male”

 

If the power of a ten weight causes issues for you due to injuries then dropping to a lighter rod maybe the only solution available for your situation.

 

It also depends on the conditions. It is not the weight of a ten weight as ten weights do not weigh much more these days over an 8 wt.

 

The message I am trying to get across is that a ten weight is not the problem or beast that so many would have us believe.

With good technique it’s no more difficult to cast than an 8 wt rod.

 

Mike

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