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Old 03-31-2011, 02:07 PM
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Default Tangled Tippets

Hey everyone. I'm very new to fly casting. When practicing at the casting pools, after about an hour or so I notice that my tippet has tangled further up on the line and leader. Sometimes this gets pretty bad - it winds around it and makes this huge mess of almost seated knots that takes forever to undo. Any tips on how to prevent this (besides the obvious of not casting like an idiot haha)? Are there some tips to help beginners avoid tangles easier (like attach something large yet weightless at the end of the line)?

Thanks!
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Old 03-31-2011, 02:30 PM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

You should be tying some yarn or a fly the size you plan to use most (after cutting the hook off at the bend. But this is to slow down the degradation of the end of your fly line.

The bad news is that you are throwning tailing loops, and that is the cause of the tangles and knots. Read the threads on tailing loops, there is one that is going on now.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

One quick tip I learned is that tailing loops are generally caused by not letting the line straighten out on the back cast. Pulling forward to soon or so hard of the start of your forward cast will cause the line to form a tailing loop. Make sure you watch your back cast and wait until the loop is unfolded. Then when you come forward make sure to not put much power into the forward cast until the line is all moving in that direction. Keep it smooth and slow and your tailing loop problems should subside.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

I recently learned (Should have been obvious) that if you do side casts to see if you are letting your line straiten out on your back casts before starting your forward casts. Seeing also allows you to get the timing down and what the rod feels like when the line is strait so that when you do over head casts you don't have to look behind you. Also since you mentioned casting ponds hopfully you are speaking casting ponds that belong to a Fly Fishing Club you belong to if so do not hesitate to ask long time fly fishers for assistance or if there is a member who is a certified casting instructor. The club I belong to has a couple certified instructors and couple guys that are just very good at casting instruction. By the way if you do not belong to a club I strongly recommend joining one if you don't know of any ask a local fly shop about clubs as they often are strong club supporters and will give you contact information..
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

The other members have described some of the physical things that will tie a knot in your leader. It is necessary to make a slight change in the plane of the two rod movements between forward and back strokes. This keeps the line from running over itself while in flight. This is hard to explain in writing and without at least a drawing / diagram to show you so you will have to think about it and visualize what I mean. There are many books that have clear illustrations of the cast and getting hold of a copy will be helpful.

Other than everything that has been written in these replies; keeping the number of false cast to a minimum is your best tool for avoiding knots and tangles. Get used to using the tension that the water will provide when you try to lift the line from it quickly. Use this tension to 'load' your rod and practice making a single backward cast and let it straiten out completely before pushing the forward cast. The line will make an actual tug on the rod tip when it reaches the terminus of the back loop provided you have stopped the rod firmly & completely on the back cast. It helps to turn your head and watch the back cast and to learn the feel in the grip of the rod when it (the back cast) reaches its terminus. There is no harm in allowing the cast to fall to the lawn at this point if that will assist you in learning this 'feel'. Once you are allowing the cast to reach its terminus and making a forward cast put the line back on the water. The urge that a person new to fly casting has to make 6 or more false cast prior to putting their line back on the water leads to 90% of the tangles and knots you are experiencing.

Cut down the false casts
Learn to use the water to load the rod for a single back cast
Stop your hand & rod firmly on the back cast, do not allow them to 'creep' backward
Allow the line to reach its terminus before making the forward stroke
Make the forward stroke smoothly but with power and stop the rod tip firmly at about 45* above the water
Allow the line to land back on the water, don't continue false casting

These steps will help you to begin to untangle the problems you are having if you make yourself do them. If you insist on false casting until everything 'feels just right' you may continue to have problems with tangling. Learning to control fly line is like everything you have ever done since birth, you must crawl before you stand. You must learn to stand and balance yourself prior to being able to walk, and then comes the running part. For some reason as we age people believe that we can somehow skip the standing and balance part that was so important to our being able to advance with almost all of our pursuits that involve physical dexterity. I learned how to cast fly lines and so can you, slowing down and using observation will serve you well, you have my word on that.

Ard
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:00 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Tangled Tippets

Ard, well said and as valuable as a fly casting course in itself.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

Ard,

I agree with all you said but for this sentence:

Quote:
Stop your hand & rod firmly on the back cast, do not allow them to 'creep' backward
That is a contradiction of terms. "Creep" is a movement of the rod in the direction of the next cast . Moving the rod in the same direction as the previous cast is "drift".

Drift is a technique used by every single saltwater fly fisherman who throws a decent fly that I have ever seen. It is also used by every competitive distance caster on the planet regardless of the style of casting they use.

In most cases drift goes totally unnoticed by the inexperienced eye. It just looks like the caster never stops the rod at all. On a backcast, the hard stop is followed immediately by a relaxed wrist to lessen tip "rebound" up toward the fly leg (the top leg of the newly formed loop on an overhead cast), then by a backwards drift during the "Pause" to allow the loop to unroll.

As I mentioned in the "Creep" thread, its purpose is to extend/expand the available casting arc/ stroke length for the next cast.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 05-31-2011, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

Sorry bout that Jim, but taken in context the reader might understand what I meant. I am not well schooled on the current litany or nomenclature that refers to the act of casting but was trying to point this fellow in the right direction. I believe we may be able to agree that one mans creep is another mans drift

I need to get my stuff strait,

Ard
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Old 05-31-2011, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

Hi acoustic,

Everyone has give you good advise. What Jim said about practicing with a safe fly is very important. Doing pick ups and lay downs can be very good practice getting your back cast right. If you can't pick up your fly, make a back cast and delivery the fly with a straight leader you are doing things wrong.

Another thing you might try is a furled leader. It won't eliminate winds knots but it makes it a lot easier to resolved and roll over your leader. More than likely you are doing most of the following.

1. Your stroke is too fast and you need to slow down.

2. You are not keeping the rod tip in a straight plain. That is, it is moving in an arc.

3. You are applying too much power, especially on the forward stroke.

Frank
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Tangled Tippets

Quote:
I need to get my stuff strait
You are not alone, Ard!! There is a huge debate that's been going on for a year or more over what constitutes a casting stroke between the FFF and the European FF organizations. Nor is there agreement among the Board of Governors over exactly what constitutes the cast. No one will agree to all the definitions either. It is very difficult to break down a cast into individual segments and then into words.

Believe it or not, the only difference between "Creep" and one form of "Slide Loading" according to the group of definitions {which actually make the most sense to me except for this one) is the caster's "intention". But by that definition, I had been creeping for the past 40 years and didn't start slide loading until less than a year ago when I learned what I had been doing for well over half my life. And I changed nothing in my cast.

I'm sure you are not "creeping" Ard, or you wouldn't cast as well as you do, nor know what you know. The words are confusing for everyone, but the casting organizations are slowly getting things together. Hopefully, everone will someday all be speaking the same casting language.

Cheers,
Jim
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