Mike Oliver

Whole Fly Line Challenge.

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350 posts in this topic

 

3 hours ago, slip n slide said:

I cast similar distances whether short or long head,just have less strokes w/ a short head.

 

 

This gets complicated.

Short headed overweighted lines certainly have their uses.  And casting them well certainly takes skill. 

 

On the other hand, most guys cannot make a straight energized back cast.

They throw a big sloppy backcast that is full of slack.  When they start forward they feel this lack of tension and blame the rod for not "loading".   They switch to a shorter headed overweighted line, often in an even higher weight class.  Now when they throw the same shtty backcast there is less slack b/o the amount of line behind them is less and the short amount of all that sag that they can feel weighs more as they start forward.  Presto!  They can toss that mess 70-80', lift the rod tip so the backing knot slides forward, ignore the tangled mess at the end of their line, feel proficient as casters, and advise others to do the same.   Of course if the wind is in their face they go home, since shooting line into big wind is a fool's game.  Whatever, it is all a lot easier than learning to cast well.  

 

If  generic you want to assess your skill as a caster get a cheap 80' DT line 1 line class below your rod rating and see how much of it you can carry (keep aloft while false casting through 10 cycles).  The DT line eliminates the issue of the carry failing because it includes too much running line. 

When you can control all of it in the air while holding the backing knot (and I can't) then you are good.      

  

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

8 hours ago, numbskull said:

Hi Mike

You're fooling yourself here. 

 

Casting against a tape measure is unforgiving.  To progress you have to improve and to improve you have to learn how to cast better.  And learning to cast better has benefits every time you pick up a fly rod.

 

Likewise, it is a mistake to denigrate competition distance techniques (i.e., 170 'stopless' style) as unsuited to saltwater fishing.  Distance and turnover into hard wind is all about carry, line speed, and trajectory (not loop size) and nothing generates line speed like learning to cast without a hard stop....forwards and backwards. 

 

Real world example.  For thirty years I could cast 75-80' poorly. It was adequate to catch plenty of fish. During the pandemic I set a goal to learn to cast farther. It took loads of work but I progressed.  This winter, on the bonefish flats (where I rarely made a cast over 60'), my success rate per chance more than doubled and I used rods, in all winds, 2 line weights lighter than I needed previously.  Fishing with a fly rod is now waaaaaaaay more fun than it used to be.  I was an idiot for not doing this decades ago......although finding time for the necessary practice back then would have been tough.

 

All the best

G

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G I really enjoy your post not for the least that I suspect we have both been on a similar journey casting wise this past couple of years.

Now I am not going to be defensive in my reply ( no smiling Peter) but better explain my rationale.

I am certainly not fooling myself about casting against an accurate measure and for years on this site have been an advocate of it. Many claims are made and without an accurate measure thats  all they can be plus in many cases dilusion.

Now I watched over three days the World Fly Casting Compitition held in the Uk about three years ago. These guys are simply amazing. Where the disconnect is for me is that it does factually differ from fishing scenarios. We just do not get to chose the wind direction. We don’t get to cast just yarn. Of course their skill is utterly transferable. I hear you on the hard stop verses the constant wrist rotation throughout. I just happened to see a Steve Ryjeck video last night when he spoke about this. Most of us are drilled to put power in late just before the stop and Steve was saying how this can/ will cause a counter flex in the rod and maybe a tail.

As I slowly improve I also get more enjoyment from fishing and from the cast. 


mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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4 hours ago, puppet said:

 

If we have the skill to put more line in the air to reach rod load...... 

 

Hi Puppet

One more thing

Forget about rod load.  That is not how a cast works. Focus on the line instead, particularly its tension and straightness relative to intended target.  

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1 hour ago, numbskull said:

Hi Puppet

One more thing

Forget about rod load.  That is not how a cast works. Focus on the line instead, particularly its tension and straightness relative to intended target.  

Thanks. understood.  That is something I am working on.  I definitely do better when I dont watch the line but feel the tension in my hands. It is always surpring how far and effortless it casts compared to watching my line.   

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I don't think that particular line helped.  I had a fast 7wt rod loaded with the Rio Grand (7wt).  The line wasn't bad for short- to mid-distance casting with bigger streamers but it was, IMO, a terrible long distance casting line.  I replaced it with the Rio Gold 7wt and felt that this was a much better smoother long casting line.  Also the Scientific Anglers GPX in 7wt (now the MPX) was much, much better at long distance casting than the Grand, all else (wind, etc...) being equal.  The Rio Gold 7wt and Sci Anglers MPX are not as heavily over-weight as the Grand.  I also blame the tape measure because it is too honest a device and is making your distance casts look shorter than your mind wants them to be.  Common problem. Ditch the tape measure and your distances will "improve."

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Puppet not ignoring you just now fatigued due to family holiday.

It is good that you are so motivated and of a enquiring mind. We never stop learning in this sport.

I agree 100% with numbskull line tension and might as well throw in line control  plus rod control making the correct pathway are key to making a nice cast.

We can flex a rod making a back cast, we might even feel it bend or as some people put it load, but if we lose line tension for whatever reason the resultant forwards cast is never going to be good.

I am doing a bit of teaching now and it is amazing just how few guys will turn their heads to watch their back cast to the end. This is massive and it will give such a lot of feedback as to what is right and what is wrong.  Easier to do with an open stance. But be wary of going off track . Turn just the head not the shoulders.

Short head lines are good to cast small and big flies and use minimum of false casts. They work well to intermediate range but do fall down in the ultimate distance stakes. But heh let’s be fair we use different line weight rods so where is the problem of using different designed fly lines.

Its a fact that in compitition  fly casting the guys will use the legal longest head they can for the conditions they face on the day. There is no way a 30 or 40 foot head would come close.

Long head lines do not need multiple false casts. Ok retrieve to the tip and you might need one more but you can use the water to pull more line outside the tip before starting the casting cycle.

Rods unless they are total piece of junk will not stop a good caster hitting 100 feet plus but they do need the right fly line. Rods from 30 years ago are more than capable. 
We are the weak link in the chain. We do not need to be exceptional athletes with incredible ability to be able to reach these kinda milestone distances of say 90 feet. We need good technique and a good understanding of the principles involved.

In places like the U.K. where Bass stocks are desperately low there is a much bigger driver to become the best Caster you can be. In my early years fishing The Cape On some of the marks anyone could catch Stripers with a 5 yard flop.

This hardly encourages many to improve and why would they not put out the tired old mantra that most fish are caught close and some become very defensive when the benefits of long range casting come up for discussion.

Its people it’s life. I love it that you do not belong in that group.

 

Mike

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Puppet,

 

But are you feeling tension in the line all the way to the end or are you just feeling rod flex. Softer the rod the easier it is for that to happen.

It won’t kill you to take a look and it will be huge. Trust me.

When you have it down you can go back to not looking.

Nearly everyone who I see that has a poor cast never turn and look.

Maybe it’s a badge of honour like receiving enemy fire without breaking ranks.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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57 mins ago, puppet said:

Thanks. understood.  That is something I am working on.  I definitely do better when I dont watch the line but feel the tension in my hands. It is always surpring how far and effortless it casts compared to watching my line.   

"Hands" plural is the key.  Indeed, tension in the line hand throughout the pause is crucial.  It tells you the line is pulling itself straight.  It helps keep the line from falling. If you lose it, as Mike points out, you've got slack and the cast is going to fail.  Don't start forward and try to save it, at least while practicing, that just leads to bad habits.  Let things drop, reset, and retry.  

 

As the cast is unrolling (front or back) check that the fly leg is straight, without a straight fly leg the cast will suffer.  It means that you've imparted momentum into the line when it was in a bad position and different parts of the line are going to try to go in different directions. 

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39 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Puppet,

 

But are you feeling tension in the line all the way to the end or are you just feeling rod flex. Softer the rod the easier it is for that to happen.

It won’t kill you to take a look and it will be huge. Trust me.

When you have it down you can go back to not looking.

Nearly everyone who I see that has a poor cast never turn and look.

Maybe it’s a badge of honour like receiving enemy fire without breaking ranks.

 

Mike

I feel that when the line out is shorter it is easier to look and watch.  The more line out I have the more the act breaks my concentration. 

 

I dont feel the tension in the rod, but rather in my hauling hand.

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12 mins ago, numbskull said:

"Hands" plural is the key.  Indeed, tension in the line hand throughout the pause is crucial.  It tells you the line is pulling itself straight.  It helps keep the line from falling. If you lose it, as Mike points out, you've got slack and the cast is going to fail.  Don't start forward and try to save it, at least while practicing, that just leads to bad habits.  Let things drop, reset, and retry.  

 

As the cast is unrolling (front or back) check that the fly leg is straight, without a straight fly leg the cast will suffer.  It means that you've imparted momentum into the line when it was in a bad position and different parts of the line are going to try to go in different directions. 

I suspect that I will need to video tape it to see what I am doing.  I feel like I am a decent cast but also suffer from being self taught.

 

You are right in stating it is in both hands, it is just that my recent focus has been more on my haul hand to inform what I do with my rod hand.

 

There is sonething about not seeing the line that allows me to relax and also not over anticipate or force distance....basically I feel like I am less likely to botch it up.

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Puppet

That might be your trouble. Intutitivness can at times be treacherous. Pilots who claim to fly by the seat of their pants have been know to exit cloud upside down. LOL

 

What is it going to cost you to watch say your next 100 back casts.

 

Once the rod has unflexed  Into the back cast not much to feel until we start the forward cast. That’s when we begin to feel the tension. The longer the line the greater the tension potential. If that back cast sags it’s bad news.

mike

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I have to admit- I love reading these discussions- I will never hit a 100 foot cast anymore then I will hit a 300 yard drive off the T box but I still watch youtube video's for both of my passions and hope to get closer to both marks. 

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Regarding distance, my practice area on the lawn has 4 targets. I thought the first was ~25’, next was 50’ then 60’. I measured them last week - the 25’ was almost 40’ the other two were 55’ & 65’.
 

Our perception of distance is certainly not the best but the tape doesn’t lie. 

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19 hours ago, numbskull said:

Hi Puppet.

The answer to your first question is mostly no.  

Equipment has a very minor role in how far one can cast.  Maybe 5% or so for a good caster.  For a bad caster, which is most of us, that changes some as equipment can sometimes act as a crutch.  Witness the popularity of overweighted short head lines.  But relying on a crutch ultimately holds you back. 

 

Regards

Whoa, this is in so many ways wrong.  This implies that casting with an Eagle Claw yellow $30 rod with a $12 generic fly line a person will do as well as with a premium rod and line.  As Lefty Krey once opined, a good rod doesn't make a person a better caster, it makes casting better easier.  I generally agree with the poster that many modern fly lines are designed to be band aids for most casters.  They don't make someone a good caster - they just make casting well easier.

 

Generally, in casting for distance with a factory WF line, a person needs to carry a long line.  The Rio Grand has a standard length head, so trying to aerialize much line, say 70', that line will be into the shooting line portion of the line, and the line will collapse.  This is just physics.

 

I've met many people who claim they can cast their entire fly line (say, 100').  Hand them a fly rod, from 6-8 weight, and ask them to show they can do it, not many can.  They may have done it on occasion, previously, but can't do it regularly.  Great casters can do it on demand.

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