Marty and I went Smallmouth fishing yesterday on the upper Androscoggin (Andro) River. We were up early; but later than we planned since the alarm clock didn't go off; or at least we never heard it. While I was getting my gear together, I grabbed the reel that I usually fish on my 9'0" 7 wt. TCX, and noticed that all it had was backing on it. So, no biggie, grab the right line, quick nail knot and I'll be all set - right? Well almost...........
We started fishing poppers on the top from a drift boat about 7:00AM and I was having a devil of a time getting my casts out there with anything even approaching good distance; and most of the upper Andro Smallmouth fishing is along the banks; up under trees, shady spots, the backside of rocks, etc. So, I spent the first hour or so just getting my cast down to somewhere reasonable. Timing seemed to be much more important than it ever has been up to this point and the hauls needed to be tiny compared to what I'm used to. Keeping less line in the air and getting a better shoot turned out to be a helpful combination.
We got some nice fish; including a couple of 3 pounders that the guide pronounced as: "Righteous Andro Smallmouths". All in all, we had a blast and a great day on the water.
When we got back home I was still puzzling over why I had so much trouble casting poppers for the first part of the morning; no problem when we went underwater with 250 gr. sink tips (we caught most of our fish on streamers; love that old Doubly Bunny!). But the popper / topwater stuff had almost been like learning to cast all over again; awkward, frustrating, embarrassing, etc. As I cut the line from the backing and wound it back onto the plastic spool, I glanced at the face of the spool to read the line weight again. Yup, Sage Performance Taper II; WF7-F. Couldn't have been the line.
But, I happened to drop the spool while I was winding the line back on it and on the backside I found............another designation: DT4F!
Yikes, all of the time that I'd been topwater fishing, I was throwing poppers with a DT4-F line on a 7 wt. TCX!
It did work and it brought some decent fish to the net, but it wasn't easy. Next time, I'll set two alarm clocks and maybe lay off the vodka tonics the night before!