Originally Posted by brodie
Still being a newbie with a fly rod, i gotta few questions about casting...
My double haul is slowly improving and i'm able to fly more line in my false casts.
What is the typical ratio of feet of aerial line in the false cast to the length of the final (approach) cast? In other words, if your trying to cast 70', do you fly 50' and have 20' of slack to shoot on the final, or 60' false and 10' final, or...?
Does the answer differ with different rod weights and actions?
Speaking of actions, Ive got a slow action echo 4 wt 8'....cant get the distance out of it compared to when i cast my son's fast action 4 wt 8' (which is a much cheaper rod). Do slow action rods typically cast shorter or is it a timing thing?
(One more) Should higher value rod (reputable, $$$) give you more distance than $50 rod of the same class? (In golf, its 98% skill and only 2% equipment)
The amount of line you can shoot varies with the effectiveness of the haul, the length of line you have out of the guides, the length of the fly rod (longer rod = longer lever), and rod actions. So no single ratio is possible.
I've talked to Gary Borger about this and he has told me that Jason tries to "carry" 100 feet of line in the air and shoot 20 feet if he is to hit a 120 foot cast.
A faster rod action has more "reserve" power and it also flexes less for the same distance cast. Therefore the chord, or effective rod length (EFL), of the flexed rod is longer. That means that it is a longer lever and a longer lever means a longer cast.
See 5 and 6 in the illustration below. The dotted line is the chord/EFL
A more expensive fly rod generally is a better casting instrument. It has a thinner profile so less energy is spend fighting air resistance. It has better damping. It is lighter and therefore there is less rod inertia. But as in other sports, it is up to the caster to use the capability rod the fly rod.
Assigning percentages as to whether the rod is X% and the angler Y% is of a cast is problematic. If there is a useful rule of thumb, I would say that a good caster can overcome poor rod dynamics, whereas a poor rod makes it much more difficult for a newbie to learn casting. So my recommendation to beginning casters is to buy at least a rod that will not hinder their casting.
Many of your questions about fly rod dynamics are answered here:
Fly rod line rating, power, and action - an explanation.