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The Fly Cast Discuss fly casting with the expert, ask for help, learn to cast farther, increase your accuracy, troubleshoot your cast.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 04-30-2012, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

My pleasure!! Anytime!!
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Old 04-30-2012, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

I think I know what is happening and let me know if I am correct.

When you shoot the line, I suspect that you are letting go of the line and what ever line in on the water or ground is pulled through the guides. The problem is that you don't have enough power to shoot all the line so the cast collapses.

But when you shoot line with the line coiled in your hand, the cast goes fine because any excess line is kept in your hand. By keeping the line your hand, you control the amount of line you shoot.

Well, I have good news for you. The solution is simpler than keeping line in your hand. Holding the line in you hand restricts the shoot.

When beginners shoot line without control, they depend on the extra energy to shoot and lay out all the extra line at their feet. When they have too much extra line, the cast collapses because there is not enough energy in the cast to pull out all that extra line plus lay out the line they already have in the air. When they put too much energy into the cast, the fly will bounce back.

Plus now they must grab at the loose line after every shoot. To do that they must take their eyes off of the fly they have just cast, find the line, grab it and then they must search for the water for their fly.

One of the hardest transitions a new fly fisher must make is from casting on the lawn or pond to casting on moving water. If there is any delay in the ability of a new fly fisher to gain line control and strip loose line after the cast, he/she is in immediate trouble. Dropping the line delays line control! It is as simple as that.

Here is the solution:

First, make a series of casts without shooting line. Put extra energy into the cast so that this excess energy causes the line to bounce back toward you on your final forward cast. Now you know that you have enough energy to lay out the line you are casting plus some extra energy with which to shoot line. Unless you first have some idea of how much energy to place into the cast to shoot, you are lost.

Now to shoot line, you must not let the line drop. When you shoot line, place the tip of your thumb and index finger together to make a ring. This ring becomes an extra line guide for your line. But it is a line guide that you control. Close the ring and you have the line in your hand, open the ring and you can shoot the line. By opening and closing this ring, you can control the amount of line you shoot. It has the additional benefit, that when the fly lands, you immediately have line control and you are not grabbing for the loose line after the cast.

Now try casting again with the same amount of excess power and allow a few feet of line to shoot out before closing the ring. If the fly still bounces back, you needed to shoot more line to balance the excess energy. If the leader does not completey lay out, you shot too much line.

The only time you should drop the line when shooting is when you are going for maximum distance. The shooting ring you form with your fingers does add an extra bit of friction so it will limit distance a bit. However, to our benefit, it gives us the ability to feather our casts to lay down the cast with accuracy and delicacy. I usually overpower the cast a bit and then feather the amount of line I shoot so that I can shoot exactly the amount of line I want. It is the same thing a bass fisherman does when he throws a lure at a target and places his thumb against the the spool to adjust the amount of line to land his lure right on target.

The analogy I use when teaching fly casting is that you would not be able to park a car without both an accelerator and a brake. Placing a fly accurately is like parking a car. Use the rod as the accelerator and your line hand to "brake" the cast so that the fly lands gently on the water at the exact distance you want.

After the shoot, you can immediately place the line under the index finger of your rod hand and use your off hand to strip in the line from behind your rod hand. Now you have complete control of the rod and line.

One other tip. When you shoot line, you should keep some space between your line hand and your rod hand. You need to keep the two separated or else there is the chance that the line you shoot will wrap around the reel. This is a common cause of line fouling even for shooters that drop the line.

I was taught to cast by Gary Borger and the O-ring shoot was a mandatory lesson.It is explained by Jason Borger in his Blog. A hard "check" can help perform the "tuck" cast that beginners find so difficult.

http://fishfliesandwater.com/2011/06...shooting-line/
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Last edited by silver creek; 04-30-2012 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

I have been trying the o-ring method for a couple of days now but it still seems like something is off. Whether it is my technique (which it probably is) or my rod is another question. I have been trying to watch my technique and it seems like I am getting decent loops. You mentioned that if the fly bounces back the there is still some extra energy which can be used to shoot the line, however, when I let go of the line it only shoots maybe a foot and then the fly bounces back again. Usually I can catch it in time and keep false casting and shooting a foot at a time but it gets tiring and sometimes space is limited.

Also I tried hauling a couple of times and when I pull downwards with my line hand it just kills all momentum. Back to the drawing board I guess!

ALSO on a better note I am getting a lot better with my roll casts. I got 4 crappie yesterday using it!

Silver I appreciate the reply a ton!
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:54 AM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

What you are describing sounds like the fly line is catching on the guides. I see by the photo that you posted that you have an automatic reel. I also notice that the butt section of your fly rod is thick. This indicates to me that you have a very old outfit, probably a hand-me-down.

So I want you to:

1. Examine the line for cracks and abrasions. It should have no cracks or roughness. If it does, buy a new line.

I also want you to examine the line for suppleness. It should not be stiff. If it is stiff, the plastic coating has hardened and you need to buy a new line. Another sign of a stiff line is too much memory. If it stays in coils that you cannot stretch out, buy a new line.

If the line is OK, I want you to clean it by washing it with soap and water and then treating it with a fly line treatment. I don't care what you use as long as it is made for fly line, and is not an automotive spray like Armorall. If the line is already shot you can use Armorall temporarily before you get a new line.

If you have been lawn casting, that is bad for fly lines. Grass causes micro cuts in the fly line and the dirt on the grass abrades the line surface. Do not lawn cast a line that you use for fishing. When I teach, I use lines that are only for teaching and that I don't use for my fishing.

2. Examine the fly rod guides and clean them. Use a Qtip to check them more small burrs and nicks. Examine the guides for grooves.

3. The size of the guides is important. Too big is better than too small. Small guides cause line slap against the fly rod blank.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

Come to think about it I think I can hear the line catching when I try to shoot it. This a very old outfit that I got from my grandfather. It is very heavy and the rod guides are strange and very small. The first guide closest to the reel looks like a normal guide but the one after that look like bent metal loops. The line is pretty new and I clean it after every outing but have not put any type of dressing on it. I also did a thorough cleaning on the rod and reel before I started fishing. Think its time for a better setup? I wish I could use another rod to see if it is actually me or the rod. This is my the only setup I've been exposed to.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:51 AM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdeutman View Post
Come to think about it I think I can hear the line catching when I try to shoot it. This a very old outfit that I got from my grandfather. It is very heavy and the rod guides are strange and very small. The first guide closest to the reel looks like a normal guide but the one after that look like bent metal loops. The line is pretty new and I clean it after every outing but have not put any type of dressing on it. I also did a thorough cleaning on the rod and reel before I started fishing. Think its time for a better setup? I wish I could use another rod to see if it is actually me or the rod. This is my the only setup I've been exposed to.
You didn't say whether you can straighten the line. It should fall in wide loose loops with little stiffness. I am confused that you say the line is pretty new and yet it does not act like new line. I would clean the line and get some line dressing and try casting it. If you still have a problem and are sure that it is NOT the line, I would replace the reel and rod.

I would also see if someone with a knowledge of fly fishing could look at your outfit including evaluating the line.

If you want a new outfit I can recommend the rods and reels our TU chapter uses for teaching. They are the Albright Topwater outfits now on sale for $120 including 4 pc rod, rod bag, rod tube, reel, 100 yds. dacron backing, fly line, and leader. Just add the fly. We bought 15 of these in the 9 ft 5/6 wt. I have personally cast these rod, and they are very good for the price.

Topwater Outfits

There are less expensive outfits like the Cabela's Cahill but they have plastic reels and no rod tube.

Cabela's Cahill Fly Rod and Reel Outfit, Fly-Fishing Rod & Reel Combos, Fly-Fishing, Fishing : Cabela's

But read the reviews for these outfits and especially the reel.

Cabela's: Cabela's Cahill Fly Rod and Reel Outfit
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Last edited by silver creek; 05-02-2012 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

Sounds like a bass bug tapered fly line is ur best bet. Rio has a good one. Check the line wieght on ur rod. If it says 7/8, go with the 8. There's some good videos on utube. If you watch a good caster cast, he doesn't watch his line. It's muscle memory and feel when u cast. U need to develop what a good cast feels like. This will "help" u when ur in the wind or casting big bugs. Check out the mechanics of the cast. Tight loops, line speed, reduced drag (good line)and loading ur rod gets u distance. A properly sized leader helps turn the bug. You should always practice with a bit of yard on a leader. Bass bugs just catch a lot of wind. It's all part of the equation of turning the loop.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

Welcome to sport we like to calll an obsession. Actually I call it a passion, my wife say im obsessed!
let your slack line lay in the water, at least til you get you casting down. make sure you line size is a match to your rod/reel set up. Practice practice practice.
As far as limited room for the back cast....well.....welcome to the sport we like to call an obsession!
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:45 AM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

My first fly outfit had a reel just like that one you are using. It was VERY heavy and after about 2 outings I bought a Pflueger 1495 Medalist and what an improvment. I would suggest you get a lighter reel to begin with. I believe that your rod is an old and cheap fiberglass which is OK but most of them did not have enough guides and the guides may be rusty which will damage you new line and will not allow your line to shoot. Take a good look at your rod. The guides may be your problem. Millions of fish have been taken on glass rods and I still like to use glass now and then. They will take a lot more abuse than the new rods and I just started my grand-daughter out on one. It does require line speed to shoot line and hauling is the answer to that if all other things are good to go. It took me many years to learn to double haul. I finally learned it off of the net. A poster above says that grass will cut a fly line I sure can't argue the point but I have spent a lot of hours in the backyard with my fly lines and they will still shoot so I doubt your new line is the problem unless the rod guides have damaged it. Good luck
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Need help with shooting line

wow I haven't been on here in a while. I want to thank you for all of your suggestions. My problem at first was bad technique and the old equipment didn't help either. I have since improved my casting with practice (still working on hauling) and I have a new setup and wow what a difference it makes. I bought a lamson konic and a Daiwa Algonquin 6wt rod. I haven't taken it to the water yet but just practicing in the yard I can get a lot more distance.
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