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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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Old 09-27-2012, 08:25 PM
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Default Tight, strong loops that catch the fly back on the line?

Ever since I learned how to load a rod and use more of a two handed cast (rod in my right, working the line with my left) I have been casting this way. Recently I got some new line for my 6wt rod that is quite a bit more "powerful" than the trout line it replaced (SA Titan Taper with the rough bumpy texture). I can load the rod real well with it and it is very responsive line compared to what I had. I have noticed when I get the line going on the last shooting cast a lot of times the fly rides below the loop and just before it turns over at the end of the loop the fly catches back on the line.

What can I do to reduce the frequency of the line catches, or eliminate it all together?

Overall the line is a world of difference - I can feel the additional power (thicker shooting head, stiffer braided mono core) and I build that right in to each cast. I can get enough power in to the line that it tugs the rod when the loop unfolds carrying nymphs. I couldn't get anywhere near that before.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:07 AM
 
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Default Re: Tight, strong loops that catch the fly back on the line?

That is called a tailing loop. It is when the fly leg of the loop falls below the rod leg of the loop. The as the loop unfurls, the fly leg tangles on the rod leg. It causes "wind knots."

I suspect that as you try to shoot, you add a bit of extra "oomph" to your forward stroke too early in the casting stroke. That causes the rod to bend suddenly. Because the rod bends, the fly rod tip dips down causing the line to dip down. Then the rod elongates at the stop carrying the rod leg of the loop above the fly leg ====> tailing loop.

You need to smooth out your final forward casting motion. A tailing loop is the third cast in the illustration below.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here's a video of a tailing loop.

Click the image to open in full size.

Besides smoothing out the casting stroke, there are two other things you can do. You can tip the rod down with what is called a "micro wrist". This micro wrist controls loop size.

Click the image to open in full size.

A wind knot occurs because the following fly leg (upper leg) of the casting loop falls below the standing rod leg (lower leg) AND the legs are in the same casting plane. BOTH situations must occur, that is the following leg must cross the standing leg and the legs must be in the same plane. A wind knot cannot occur if the two legs of fly line are in different casting planes.

Example - By using an elliptical casting motion, the back cast and forward cast are made in different planes and this separates the two legs of the loop formation. Even if the fly and rod legs of the loop formation cross vertically, they cannot catch on each other because they are separated horizontally in space; they are in different planes.

To see how this works, make a side arm back cast and then an overhead forward cast and you will see than the two legs of the loop are in different planes. Even if the upper fly leg of the loop drops down on the forward stroke, there is no lower rod leg of the loop to get tangle with because there is a horizontal separation of the two legs of the loop.

This type of cast is known as the Belgian Cast. Because this cast separates the planes of the back cast and forward cast, it is an excellent cast to prevent tangles not only for tailing loops but also when casting multiple flies or heavily weighted flies. It is also an excellent wind cast when your back is to the wind and it often called the Belgian Wind Cast for this reason.

However, the elliptical motion also causes the fly line to twist counter clockwise for a right handed caster. By casting in an ellipse we are moving the rod tip in a circle for each cast and this twists the fly line. If you always use the elliptical cast, you'll need to allow the line to untwist every so often.


To remove the twist, make a long cast downstream, and then opposite clockwise loops with your fly line to remove the twists and then reel up the line onto the reel before leaving the stream.

Here's a video of the elliptical cast. You can see how he would introduce a twist with his casting motion.


"The disadvantage of this cast is that it throws a half twist in the line every cast. Half twists add up! So it's best to use this cast sparingly, otherwise you will have to get into the habit of removing the reel from the rod, every 30 casts, or so, in order to spin the twists out."

The Belgian Cast
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:13 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Tight, strong loops that catch the fly back on the line?

+1 to SC's comment above. Classic example of the Trailing Loop
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Tight, strong loops that catch the fly back on the line?

I was casting a couple rods yesterday and the guy I was with was saying I wasn't letting enough time on the back cast and my forward cast was getting "flicked" too much. The hardest part for me is the back cast. I don't want my fly/line dropping because this is when the fly catches whatever is behind me (grass, a bush, etc). Another bad habbit I have is to drift the rod tip forward while I am waiting on the back cast. Once I got everything tuned right I was able to get a nice loop and get the line out pretty well.

Something else I was told is I am working too hard on the cast. I load the rod by pulling on the running line with my left hand while making my forward or back casts to add energy to it. In a couple instances this got my line speed up tremendously, but most of the time I didn't get the sequence quite right and it was wasted horsepower.

The last improvement I see I need is to get my take off angle up. Some of the good sequences I did resulted in shooting the loop right in to the ground. I need to release that above the horizon to get the line to unfold all the way before it hits the water.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Tight, strong loops that catch the fly back on the line?

"The last improvement I see I need is to get my take off angle up. Some of the good sequences I did resulted in shooting the loop right in to the ground. I need to release that above the horizon to get the line to unfold all the way before it hits the water."

Same thing applies to casting with a 2hander. I tell folks to pick out the tallest tree across the river and stop the rod tip (forward cast) with it aimed 'over the top.' Leave your rod tip 'up there' until almost the end of the cast before you lower same.

The reason for this is the rear part of the line isn't moving so gravity grabs it first ........
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Old 12-21-2012, 06:54 PM
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Default Re: Tight, strong loops that catch the fly back on the line?

Thank you Silver Creek for the explanation. I've been having the same problem ever since I switched to SA Sharkskin as well. I think it might be because I was trying to force it too much thinking that I would get more distance.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Tight, strong loops that catch the fly back on the line?

With all the good input here already I have little to add but..................

A back cast seems to be the forgotten member of the success family. In order for a forward or presentation cast to be well made there must be a good back cast. What I know I learned from a book by Tom McNally long ago.

You need adequate power & line speed put into the back cast before the rod passes the 12: O' Clock position; then a slight drift of the rod to the 2: O' Clock point behind you. When the rod reaches one or two O clock (your choice) you need a firm stop of the rod.

When training yourself learn to look back and watch the line until it straitens out like a nail to your rear. When you see that you will feel it in the rod at the same time. When the line has straitened behind you it is time for the line haul with the free hand and a power stroke to forward. On forward cast the system is pretty much the same.

When you are casting long you must compensate with power and the points at which you stop the rod. It will be best to get the back cast down with a moderate length of line and then go to length incrementally. Many people are trying to push way too much line (distance) in their casting before they establish a good foundation to build on.

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