Re: Frustrating time casting my new rod
I have a 9'0" CPX 8 wt. (I also have a 9'0" CPS 8 wt.; the predecessor of the CPX). Both rods cast well for me with an 8 wt. line.
The CPX is fast; but not much faster than a lot of the fast action rods on the market. It's certainly not in a league by itself when it comes to fast 8 wts. By comparison, something like a GLoomis GLX Max or a Scott S4S is, in my opinion, definitely in a league by itself when it comes to fast action.
I'd say what several of the poster have already said; go back out there, relax and see if you can find the rhythm with that rod.
One way to help with that is to stand in a 45 degree angle. Assuming that you're a righty, that means with your right foot about 45 degrees back and behind your left foot. This position will allow you to pivot your body when you cast and to watch the line on both your forward and back casts.
While in this position, try some water hauls with the rod. Get your fly out there 30 or so feet in front of you, take up any slack, water haul the back cast (with our without a small haul), watch it and start your forward cast before the line completely turns over; don't wait to feel the tug that you describe; just watch the line and the fly. Let your forward cast go and see how you like it. Keep trying this one back cast / one forward cast sequence until you like the forward cast that you're getting and are getting as much feedback (feel) from the rod as you think you can. Once you've got this working for you, then you can add a few more false casts if you need them to get the distance that you want.
I agree with Jackster in that if you're using the feel of the weighted fly and split shot as an indication of the rod loading, then you're probably well behind the actual loading of the rod. Once you feel the tug that you're describing, the line has already reached its maximum distance in the backward direction and has started to snap back toward you; before you've started your forward cast. What that means is that you're going to have some slack line to take care of before you can actually start to get your forward cast to work for you. And that will often times cause your line to puddle on your forward cast. So, don't wait for the jerk feeling; start your forward cast ahead of if.
Also, if you're not using a sink tip or a full sink line, then try one; maybe 250-350 grains, it will help you a lot with the feel of the rod, plus it will get your fly down deeper and faster, which could mean more fish on the line for you.
I use an 8 wt. primarily in the salt for Stripers. I have used them with Steelhead, although I usually prefer a stiff 7 st. for that.
Have fun with it. Figuring out how to get the most out of your gear is definitely part of the challenge of fly fishing. And everyone's formula for success is a little different. You'll find it; and if your progress is still slower than you'd like, then, as others have said, you can always up-line the rod. And remember, frustration is only something that you experience when you've refused to look at it as a challenge.