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Old 04-28-2010, 08:00 PM
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Default Newbie casting question.

I have my grandfathers old set up. And I have been trying to practice cast with it to get a feel for the sport before investing further. The rod is a 6 weight South Bend WHITE KNIGHT 2 pc fiberglass Fly Rod if it matters.

There are a number of problems with my casting of course, as I am just beginning. Primarily I am not pausing long enough on the back cast and also I am not always maintaining a good rod angle or stiff arm.
I am getting better and some of my casts eliminate these problems.

The real issue I need discussed is that when I have a "good" cast and the line settles out on the grass fairly well (straight) the leader and tipped more or less settle in a pile at the end of the line instead of going straight out for presentation.

I am assuming that this issue is less to do with my poor casting and perhaps more with poor set up.
Is it that the small piece of yarn representing the fly is not heavy enough to roll out the leader? I did try adding a small piece of wire, which helped a little, but not much.
I have, from a suggestion, a piece of 12 lb mono between the flyline and the leader, but that piece of mono is thinner than the butt end of the leader. So I suppose that could be the issue.
The line is what my grandfather had left on the reel. But I replaced the leader with a brand new one.

Does anyone have any suggestions, direction, or need for more information?
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Old 04-29-2010, 02:39 AM
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Default Re: Newbie casting question.

I'm guessing you nail knotted that 12lb mono to the fly line. Your going to want to change that out and use a heavier piece of mono, something like 20 or 25lb. Then your going to want to taper down the leader with lighter mono. For my 6wt I use 6ft of 20lb mason mono nail knotted to the fly line with a perfection loop at the end. Then I get 1.5ft of 12lb mono and make another perfection loop to make a loop to loop connection to the 20lb butt section. Then I get 1.5ft of 8lb mono and connect that to the 12lb mono using a double surgeons knot. Not sure if everyone will agree with me but this is what I use for my set up.
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Old 04-29-2010, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Newbie casting question.

... You can use that 12# and the yarn for practice. Just cut the leader back to about 6' and you'll be fine.

Those old "Wonder rods" are actually pretty nice. It might not be the best rod to learn on however. They have a very slow but smooth action and your timing needs to reflect that
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: Newbie casting question.

I think Rip Tide has this right. (as usual) As for the rod..........It must have worked for Grandpa and I can only guess that with a little work you will be able to get things straitened out. (pun)

Opinion time: I learned the basics of casting on a rod not as advanced as what you are using. I also learned to ice skate on a pair of used Hockey skates, when I got a pair of figure skates my skating was better than the other kids who had not master the hockey skate. This I believe held true with my fly rod work. When I got my hand wrapped around the grip of a better rod my casting (if charted on a graph) didn't even have a curve. It was like a quantum leap, really! Don't become convinced that your gear is what is holding you back. The only thing that holds us back is doubt.

The only bad fly rod I ever owned had been broken in half.

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Old 04-29-2010, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Newbie casting question.

Hi masnomas,

Welcome to the Forum. I hope we can get your problems solved and get you on your way to catching some fish.

I owned one of the Shaksphere White Wonder Rods and it was truly a wonder rod. I kept wondering why I ever bought it. My rod was so soft and slow I just hated it. I fished it one time and never used it again. I am not familiar with the White Knight rod so it may be different.

If you want to see if the 12lb connection is a problem, and it probably is, remove it and tie your leader directly to the fly line. That should eliminate your leader problem. I do think we are missing some information. How long is the leader and is it a tapered leader? The fly line is also in question. If it is your grandfathers it may be quite old and the newer lines may be easier to cast.

If I was you I would go to a fly shop and cast one of their rods. They will have a balanced outfit and you will get a good feeling of how good your equipment is. Learning to fly cast can be very difficult with poor equipment. You need to make sure the equipment you have is not making the task a lot harder than it needs to be.

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Old 04-29-2010, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Newbie casting question.

Thank you all for your suggestions.

To answer a few question:

I am still using the line that my grandfather had on the reel. Though, it actually seems to be in quite good shape. A newer line may cast better, but unless it itself is likely to resolve the specific issue of the leader not presenting then I won't worry about it at this time.

I am using a tapered leader (7.5 ft 6X Orvis "super strong" 3.5 lb test) which had a loop at the butt end, which was part of the reason for the 12lb mono. And vsyogi was correct about the nail knot set up. The 12lb is about 8 inches long, should that be shorter? Just long enough for the loop?

The butt of the leader is so thick I am afraid that even 25 lb test would not even be as thick. Should I reasonably be able to find the foot or two of 25 lb mono that I would need? Or an I going to end up with a whole spool?

Hardyreels - While I broadly agree with you (and I only use hockey skates) I have also learned that it can be important to worry about gear. In this particualr scenario I could teach myself bad casting habbits as I attempt to deal with the problem IF the problem is an issue with a poor set-up. I have no fears about the old rod and line, just about what I have done with the rest of it.

Again, thank you all. I will try (more or less in order)
A shorter piece of 12lb.
A 25lb (ish) connector instead of the 12lb.
A proper fly (with out a hookpoint).
and then?.... maybe I will try cutting the loop off the butt of the leader and nail knotting it to the line.

-peter
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Newbie casting question.

Peter,

Yes, just cut off the loop on the leader, and cut a foot or two off the tippet end. But before tying it back on, try casting just the line only.

However, I don't think that's the problem. The problem is most likely that your loops are not tight enough due to a casting fault.

If you haven't read the "5 essentials of the fly cast" 5 or 6 threads down, do that now and watch the animations linked to in descriptions of each of the essentials.

Then go outside and practice without a leader on the line.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Newbie casting question.

be sure your forward stop is positive at around the 10:00 position. Do not bring the rod down level with the water until the line straightens out. sounds like you are doing well
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