Mike Oliver

Whole Fly Line Challenge.

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350 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, richarde206 said:

Tapers, resins, tensile strength of the carbon used in the blank, placement of the guides on blank, size and types of guides used - all are hugely important to casting for distance...........  Again, a good rod doesn't make a person a good caster, it just makes casting good easier.

Hi Richard

On your last point we agree, although I would argue that what constitutes a "good rod" for any individual casting style is not material or cost dependent.

 

On your first point, however, I'm pretty sure you are wrong.  All the factors you cite have effects on rod performance, but not 'huge' ones by any means......no matter what rod marketers may want you to believe.

 

First, there are no new tapers under the sun.  It has all been tried and understood for longer than you or I have been alive....and I'm getting old.

 

As for resins and fibers, certainly advances have allowed manufacturers to make rods that are lighter, stronger, and more fun to cast, but they do not magically add energy to the cast.  The success of the cast is determined by the energy you can impart to the line.  Any rod starts straight and ends straight (put counter-flex aside a moment).  Any energy put into it is gone at the end of the cast.  All but tiny amounts have been transmitted to the line or back into your arm....regardless of what the rod is made.  Fancy resins and fibers do not add energy to the system, nor do they change the physics of how a rod transmits that energy to the line.  They may do it faster but at the end of the cast the same amount of energy is in the line. 

 

As for guides, after the collector guide, a fly line (because of its stiffness) passes straight out the rod.  It is not like a spinning rod where line coils and thin braid can cause guide looping and tension.  Nor is friction a big issue since the line is not passing over the guide either at an acute angle or under significant load.  Ceramic guides make a slight difference, but only a very slight one.

 

As for lightness and stiffness, the latter provides a modest mechanical advantage as a longer lever, but more air resistance and slower rotation are tradeoffs.  There is a small net benefit, but nothing 'huge'.  This has been very well tested by excellent casters using rods of widely different ERN's and the same line.  The benefit of a stiffer rod is only a few feet and comes at the expense of reduced consistency. 

 

 Likewise, lightness allows a faster rotation but most of what we are rotating against is the line carry not the upper portion of the rod.  Once again faster rotation leads to greater air resistance.  And, for most line and rod weights, the caster has plenty of reserve strength to move the heavier rod as fast as he/she needs. 

 

At the end of the day, I like light and stiff and prefer my newer rods to my older ones but they don't cast noticeably farther....regardless of what Sage may want us to believe.  

 

    

 

 

 

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These video's are all cool but is there a "real" life one? Like on with someone standing waist to chest deep in a bay or salt water river, tossing a 4/0 clouser, 2/0 deceiver or when they only want top water a popper? Plus wind and water chop- I am sure someone can toss a line 90 feet in those conditions and I would like to see how they manage it. I know I am only good for 60 feet and if there is something I can incorporate and practice I would like to. 

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Maybe a few times I nearly cast the whole line. While fishing. On the Delaware, not SW.

 

It's the Delaware that's been my biggest challenge. Most of my casting is in close to me. But there'd be risers on most every outing that was say 55-70' away. So there'd be bursts of longer casting, then a quick switch to a fish 5' out and 10' upstream of where I'm standing.

 

To me, context is everything. If I don't need to use something, it's pretty much irrelevant to me.

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5 hours ago, jerseystriper said:

Sort of like this. 

fly rod.JPG

Not the worst of conditions Jersey. Looks like a nice left to right wind and moderate chop.  Nice fishing conditions. But most and I include myself are not going to be throwing a whole line.

60 feet is a good way and you can move forward with a solid base like that.

Dare I say it a few pro lessons can and will make a huge difference. They are a very enjoyable experience to.

What fish is being caught in the pic.

Mike

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Mike,

no not the worse of conditions- a 20 or so knot wind blowing over left shoulder- the chop is from wind against a incoming tide but somewhat mitigate by a sand bar to the further left that is not captured in photo- it’s far from “open” water- it’s actually deceiving as the tide is coming from right to left at this point, so a floating line with a small lead eye clouser to just get under the chop was the ticket last night- fly was moving right to left. once I hook up I back up to stand on firmer sand, rather then the mud that is about 10 feet further out. As for the fish, it turned out to be a 36/37 inch striper. I crimp my barbs to make release easier, particularly as this one swallowed the hook as opposed to getting hook in the lips- I can reach in and back fly out easy enough- been a tremendous 3 weeks of fishing. 
I had been earlier been using 12.5 two handed rod- I do find the extra 3.5 feet helps keep back cast out of water but needed to switch to single 9 foot as spin fisherman were showing up and although they know me and know I need some extra room to cast and are willing to give it me, I also need to respect that they to have a right to fish and I need to better control my casts. I can do that better with 9 foot rod. I’m only in second year of the two handed rod and man do I need lessons on that. I’m first to admit that but the leavergae that extra 3.5 feet gives in control of a fish is amazing. 
 

take care  

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11 hours ago, jerseystriper said:

These video's are all cool but is there a "real" life one? Like on with someone standing waist to chest deep in a bay or salt water river, tossing a 4/0 clouser, 2/0 deceiver or when they only want top water a popper? Plus wind and water chop- 

Hello JS

Are you familiar with this Tim Rajeff video? 

It is filmed in fresh water with short casts but the same techniques work well for me in saltwater when throwing clousers appropriate for 8wt tackle.

 

 I turn sideways, then make a sidearm inclined slightly upward backcast (with definite late upturn to send the heavy fly upwards rather than around......gravity kills the kick).  As long as it straightens with plenty of tension then coming forward in a somewhat more vertical plane with a stopless delivery aimed low sends it forward with a big loop (to miss me and the rod) and lots of line speed.  If into serious wind I hang on to the haul (don't try to shoot) and let the tension in the rod leg drive the turnover.  It works pretty well but it is very important to watch the backcast and leader (almost) straighten before starting forward.  If there is slack or too much line/fly kick then things go bad in a hurry.   Two years ago, in spite of 30 years of flyfishing, I couldn't make this cast.  Practicing distance casting taught me the principles needed, and the skills to utilize those principles.  And I've got a lot more still to learn.     

 

There is also this one although I didn't find it very useful

 

 

 

Edited by numbskull

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Out of necessity for the conditions I like to fish I learned a proper oval cast before any other....it's a must in the coastal saltwater flyrodders arsenal.

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14 hours ago, numbskull said:

Hi Richard

On your last point we agree, although I would argue that what constitutes a "good rod" for any individual casting style is not material or cost dependent.

 

On your first point, however, I'm pretty sure you are wrong.  All the factors you cite have effects on rod performance, but not 'huge' ones by any means......no matter what rod marketers may want you to believe.

 

First, there are no new tapers under the sun.  It has all been tried and understood for longer than you or I have been alive....and I'm getting old.

 

As for resins and fibers, certainly advances have allowed manufacturers to make rods that are lighter, stronger, and more fun to cast, but they do not magically add energy to the cast.  The success of the cast is determined by the energy you can impart to the line.  Any rod starts straight and ends straight (put counter-flex aside a moment).  Any energy put into it is gone at the end of the cast.  All but tiny amounts have been transmitted to the line or back into your arm....regardless of what the rod is made.  Fancy resins and fibers do not add energy to the system, nor do they change the physics of how a rod transmits that energy to the line.  They may do it faster but at the end of the cast the same amount of energy is in the line. 

 

As for guides, after the collector guide, a fly line (because of its stiffness) passes straight out the rod.  It is not like a spinning rod where line coils and thin braid can cause guide looping and tension.  Nor is friction a big issue since the line is not passing over the guide either at an acute angle or under significant load.  Ceramic guides make a slight difference, but only a very slight one.

 

As for lightness and stiffness, the latter provides a modest mechanical advantage as a longer lever, but more air resistance and slower rotation are tradeoffs.  There is a small net benefit, but nothing 'huge'.  This has been very well tested by excellent casters using rods of widely different ERN's and the same line.  The benefit of a stiffer rod is only a few feet and comes at the expense of reduced consistency. 

 

 Likewise, lightness allows a faster rotation but most of what we are rotating against is the line carry not the upper portion of the rod.  Once again faster rotation leads to greater air resistance.  And, for most line and rod weights, the caster has plenty of reserve strength to move the heavier rod as fast as he/she needs. 

 

At the end of the day, I like light and stiff and prefer my newer rods to my older ones but they don't cast noticeably farther....regardless of what Sage may want us to believe.  

 

    

 

 

 

Numbskull......

 

Where have you BEEN all of my life?  Virtually every point you make here I have been espousing here for decades.....more vigorously in past years than lately.  Ask Mike O.  I especially love your last sentence.

 

There was a point a decade back or so that I happened to peruse the rod specs for some of the newest, hottest, super-hyped rods promising me another quantum leap of casting length, and realized that, matched to line weight, the resin/carbon/celestially blessed offering, for about the price of gold (then) per ounce was only 1/4 ounce lighter than my most favorite and effective fishing rod from the Fenwick fiberglass days.....which I bought brand new.....for $20.  That was in the 60's.  This rod was so radical and revolutionary....back then.....that I once took a well versed fishing buddy bass bugging, handed him the setup with a "radical" line....the first ever "saltwater" taper by Sci Anglers.  After his third or fourth cast he turned around, held the rod out in front of himself, and said....."This rod is a f***ing WEAPON !!!."  I nicknamed the rod "Excalibur".  After realizing that 35 years of earth-shaking advancement in technology had gained (or lost)...exactly....1/4 ounce of weight.....I decided to bring Excalbur to the Cape for a long overdue workout.

 

Excalibur rests quietly in its dotage, having done its significant part in dragging rod design....with the then new synthetic material..... fiberglass.....away from the anchor-traditions of BAMBOO imitation.  It was the first rod Fenwick (which became Sage) made committed to the shoot potential inherent in a shooting head setup.  It is slow...by today's standards.  But it was revolutionary back then, and Fenwick/Sage took the "fast action" concept. matched with an aggressive head-dominated (30'), light running line,  elbow UP with a deep backcast, double haul and SHOOT concept and ran with it.  And modern flyfishing left the bamboo traditions behind.  The rest has all been modest, better, history-forgetting.....tinkering.

 

Here are two videos in which Excalibur , brought to Cape Cod almost a decade ago, plays a role.

 

https://flyfishingfotography.smugmug.com/Fishing/Cape-Cod-2011/i-wSrg2sS/A

 

In this video, note a much younger Mike O.  And Herb is in the background as well.

 

https://flyfishingfotography.smugmug.com/Fishing/Cape-Cod-2011/i-CHds2vf/A

Edited by Peter Patricelli

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Numbskull- (great handle by the way)

Thank you for the video's- I will enjoy watching and learning some new things- 8 weight is perfect it is what I use both in the back and on the front (beaches) 75 percent of the time. There are those days when when wind is just starting to blow N/E and 10 weight is needed to deal with the wind and dancing around the ocean waves before it becomes to snotty for using anything short of a spin rod and a 3oz lead head jig. Thanks. 

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This is a great thread. Even after working with a old friend casting I still run into issue when on the water. All of my issues can just be explained by losing my so so good technique when I’m on the lawn. Casting from the water seams to cause me to speed up my rod speed which just kills my loops.  Great info here, not that I’m looking to empty out all my line but it would be nice someday to do it.  

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Cool videos and cool discussions- reminds me of all the yearly hype around new golf driver clubs- Yea todays driver is better then one from 5 years ago, but not by a whole lot, and if you put a lousy swing on a new club, well you will be a lousy shot. Seems to be about the same for Fly Rods- Work on your cast/gold swing, and don't expect the "newest" club/rod to bail you out. 

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2 hours ago, Mark L said:

 Casting from the water seams to cause me to speed up my rod speed which just kills my loops. 

Hi Mark

Been there and done that.....and how.

Based on my similar experience my guess is that what is likely killing your loops is not rod speed but rather a weak backcast.  It is probably under powered and sags.  As you start forward the end of the line, because it is not straight, gets pulled downward even while the line closer to the rod tip is being pulled forward and upward.  The momentum added to the line in this position drives it into the ground or water behind you.  In a field with fluff you may not even notice but in the water, with less height to work with, it kills the cast obviously.  Being unconsciously aware of this we try to avoid it by starting forward too soon (before the line can fall as the thinking goes).  But this speeding up often starts the delivery too soon before the line has unrolled.  That doesn't work because the tension you add to the line with rod movement just accelerates the still unrolling loop behind you rather than serve to move the end of the line forward.  The result is that you use up casting arc doing nothing.  If you hit it hard to compensate you can tail.  If you prolong rotation to compensate you put a big downward force into your delivery and get a big arcing fly leg/open loop.  Hauling too soon in a desperate attempt to regain tension (i.e., 'load') makes either tendency worse. 

 

It is all a Catch-22.  The success of your backcast depends on the success of your forward cast and the success of your forward cast depends on the success of your back cast.  That said, most of us have developed some proficiency with the forward cast because we can see it.  Working to improve the back cast then is critical for breaking the cycle.  You want that thing to be zinging back behind you with a tight loop and lots of line speed.  It will straighten high and pull hard on your line hand.  This tension helps keep it from falling and keeps it stretched out straight.  Starting delivery from this position eliminates the unconscious need to rush your delivery stroke.    Learning to make a straight energized backcast provided a huge step forward in my casting.............and at all distances (although for short stuff it obviously needs less energy).    It is so important that I don't try to deliver a fly unless I can feel that tension in my line hand all through the pause and I start forward just as it begins to dissipate .

 

One last thing that often passes under the radar.  It deals with trajectory.  It is a mistake to only think of trajectory as where you are aiming 1/2 your cast. There is a 180 degree rule.  It means that if your front cast is low and you try to throw your backcast parallel with the ground it is going to arc and result in a weak open loop.  Likewise, if your back cast is low and you try to throw it parallel forward (or more often a bit down at a target in the water) it is going to result in another big open loop. Working to get your forward and backcast trajectories matched so the line positions at the end of each are 180 degrees apart (and passing through the rod tip at the moment of the stop) is important and solves a lot of casting problems. 

    

Edited by numbskull
Clarification

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Mark,

 

It is a journey. I just wished I had accelerated mine some forty years ago. Problem was I thought I had a decent cast. I was not afraid of wind or waves and very quickly left my spinning gear at home. But two years ago I met  guy called Jim Fearn who is truely world class single and double hander. Changed my life meeting Jim. He became my Mentor and helped me get qualified.

Thing is he although Qualified to Master level he practices practically every day. He is always looking to improve. Needles to say we are both obsessive but it is fun and we cast through the winter to so we do not lose too many fishing days.

Sorry back to your lost loops. The only way to lose them is a poor attempt at a straight line rod path and /or opening your wrists or making a very low stop which really is taking us back to SLP.

look up Bill Gammel and his five principles which will help.

 

Mike

 

Sorry my post landed just after numbskul’s.

180 rule is Straight line rod path. But we can tilt it. The old cheese wedge.

Edited by Mike Oliver

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