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Old 05-03-2013, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

I always assume that if I'm going fishing, the wind is going to blow... it did today !

A couple of things that nobody touched on.
Skinny lines cut through the wind better than fat lines.
Heavy lines cut through the wind better than light lines.
Unfortunately those two thing don't usually go together... except in the case of full sinking lines

When I'm surf casting and the wind is really howling .... a 10wt full sink line is about only thing that works
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

There are several strategies for casting into the wind and some have been mentioned before. The solutions are easy to figure out if you know what the problem is. The way to approach this is to ask yourself why casting into the wind is so difficult.

The answer is obviously aerodynamic drag. The wind creates greater drag on the fly line which slows down the cast. Slowing down the cast means it cannot travel as far. Simple right?

So how can we cast further? Obviously we can try to:

1. Decrease the drag by:

a. Increasing the line weight. Fly line is a cylinder and for a cylinder, mass goes up faster that surface area. So mass goes up more than drag on the exposed surface. So the first strategy is to use a heavier line weight. If you are casting a 5 wt rod, use a 6 wt floating line rather than a 5 wt floating line. Or better yet, go up both in rod and line weight to a a 6 or 7 wt system.

b. Casting a tighter loop. Less frontal surface area means less drag so practice tight loops.

2. Increase the energy of the cast by:

a. Double hauling. Faster velocity = more energy and momentum to overcome the drag. The cast will go father.

b. Go to a longer fly rod. A longer fly rod gives you longer casting lever and increased tip speed. Most people can cast further with a longer fly rod and being able to a longer cast longer without the wind will result in a longer cast into the wind.

3. Preserve the energy of the cast by:

a. Using an shorter leader with a more rapid taper and a shorter tippet. This type of leader preserves the energy so the entire leader will extend. You need to balance the this the need to get a good drift of the fly.

4. Overcome the drag by using the physical properties of wind. Wind blows slower near the water.

Click the image to open in full size.

a. So use an up angled backcast and a low angled forward cast. Your backcast will be aided by the wind and you can use this enhanced backcast to drive your forward cast at a downward trajectory where there is less wind.

b. When casting into the wind, shoot line into the backcast rather than into the forward cast. Use the haul on the forward cast to increase line velocity to fully extend the fly line. Only when you can fully extend that forward cast into the wind without it collapsing should you even try to extend more line against the wind.

c. Use the Reverse Belgian Cast with an oval constant tension cast that is overhead and back and then a sidearm forward cast close to the water to cheat the wind.

d. Use a sidearm cast so both limbs of the cast stay "under the wind".

Your most powerful cast should be the one you use against the wind. So in my view, unless your backcast is stronger than your forward cast, I would not turn around to use my backcast to deliver the fly into the wind.
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Last edited by silver creek; 05-04-2013 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

"Swilcaster" and Rip Tide nailed it.

Silver Creek may have as well but I have a headache and wasn't about to read all that.
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

Silver has it nailed. His point 4B cannot be emphasized enough though he italicized it. You simply cannot shoot line into a strong headwind. (Edit: May be possible with some short shooting heads and very thin shooting line. I don't use them.)All line has to be shot into the backcast.

An overhead backcast with an off-vertical or sidearm backcast is an excellent cast, and does not have to be a constant-tension or Belgian cast.

Where it really shines (in addition to headwind casting) is in very strong winds coming in nearly perpendicular onto your line-hand shoulder. This perpendicular wind does not affect distance, and you can shoot line both forward and backward.

But, from the moment the fly leaves the water on the backcast, the wind is blowing the line off course, causing a belly to be formed and causing a change in its tracking by the time it straightens out behind you. In order to compensate for this tracking "error" caused by high winds (not you in this case ), you can drift the rod, starting immediately after the backcast stroke, to an off-vertical position.

This will put the "slack" blown into the rod leg of the fly line on the backcast (which will be a long gentle bow) more into the plane of the next forward cast (which will be executed off-vertical obvously. )

The advantage here is that the fly line legs will remain more parallel (but not vertical) on the forward cast, and result in better accuracy and complete fly turnover than with a straight overhead cast.

The above is the exception to the rule that overhead casting is more accurate than off-shoulder.
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Old 05-04-2013, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
There are several strategies for casting into the wind and some have been mentioned before. The solutions are easy to figure out if you know what the problem is. The way to approach this is to ask yourself why casting into the wind is so difficult.

The answer is obviously aerodynamic drag. The wind creates greater drag on the fly line which slows down the cast. Slowing down the cast means it cannot travel as far. Simple right?

So how can we cast further? Obviously we can try to:

1. Decrease the drag by:

a. Increasing the line weight. Fly line is a cylinder and for a cylinder, mass goes up faster that surface area. So mass goes up more than drag on the exposed surface. So the first strategy is to use a heavier line weight. If you are casting a 5 wt rod, use a 6 wt floating line rather than a 5 wt floating line. Or better yet, go up both in rod and line weight to a a 6 or 7 wt system.

b. Casting a tighter loop. Less frontal surface area means less drag so practice tight loops.

2. Increase the energy of the cast by:

a. Double hauling. Faster velocity = more energy and momentum to overcome the drag. The cast will go father.

b. Go to a longer fly rod. A longer fly rod gives you longer casting lever and increased tip speed. Most people can cast further with a longer fly rod and being able to a longer cast longer without the wind will result in a longer cast into the wind.

3. Preserve the energy of the cast by:

a. Using an shorter leader with a more rapid taper and a shorter tippet. This type of leader preserves the energy so the entire leader will extend. You need to balance the this the need to get a good drift of the fly.

4. Overcome the drag by using the physical properties of wind. Wind blows slower near the water.

Click the image to open in full size.

a. So use an up angled backcast and a low angled forward cast. Your backcast will be aided by the wind and you can use this enhanced backcast to drive your forward cast at a downward trajectory where there is less wind.

b. When casting into the wind, shoot line into the backcast rather than into the forward cast. Use the haul on the forward cast to increase line velocity to fully extend the fly line. Only when you can fully extend that forward cast into the wind without it collapsing should you even try to extend more line against the wind.

c. Use the Reverse Belgian Cast with an oval constant tension cast that is overhead and back and then a sidearm forward cast close to the water to cheat the wind.

d. Use a sidearm cast so both limbs of the cast stay "under the wind".

Your most powerful cast should be the one you use against the wind. So in my view, unless your backcast is stronger than your forward cast, I would not turn around to use my backcast to deliver the fly into the wind.
This is very accurate but I'll explain my problem with it. I've read the "mechanics" of a fly cast forwards and backwards more times than I care to admit, I never understood them lol. For me they didn't make sense until after I had the cast figured out. Reading this now it makes perfect sense but it's after the fact
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

Wait for the wind to stop. I'm not being a wise guy wind doesn't blow constantly wait for gaps . High backcasts with downward forward also are good . Plus what Rip , Swirl and Silver said is right on! The wind in your face can be a good thing as in many instances it pushes the bait therefore the fish closer to you. On small lakes I look for the windward side.
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Old 05-04-2013, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirlchaser
For me they didn't make sense until after I had the cast figured out. Reading this now it makes perfect sense but it's after the fact
Don't feel bad Swirl. It took me two years just to learn the mechanics of what I had been doing for 50 years previously and why. Even then, I needed a video camera and a special switch that lit up some led's before I knew what I was really doing!

But at least much of what people have said can be understood at least, even if it can't be done by the caster yet. A high backcast with narrow loop and good line speed comes foremost to mind.

Boz, you could be waiting for weeks down here between December and May.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

Some excellent info here.... I've had the importance of handling wind hammered home many times. Some very challenging ,bordering on frustrating , like watching stripers bust bait 80 feet out with an on shore wind howling in your face. Since the water is usually disturbed by the wind, I'll up the tippet size, along with the shortened leader. I'll also pick a fly that has some weight and little wind resistance like a sparse Clouser or a beadhead nymph. Or a hard bodied popper, rather than a foam one. If the wind is quartering at all, I'll try to use it to my advantage to loft the backcast. Although I have practiced, practiced, practiced and utilized presenting on the backcast to defeat an " into the casting shoulder" wind, I've never used it for a headwind. I tend to use sidearm casts quite a bit, so both legs of the cast are down below the wind as much as possible for me, with as much speed as I can generate with my double haul. Fast rods are an advantage in this scenario. The faster the rod loads fully the better. I let some line slip through my fingers on the backcast to add even more weight to load the rod. It's a great way to eliminate a false cast. I'll also use waterloading- letting the tension of the water on the line- load the rod , rather than working some out with another false cast. Pare down the number of false casts. Wind will do bad, bad things, if given the chance.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

Fichy took the words right out of my mouth. Wind is a huge factor where I fish, and the best solution I've found is a shortened leader and a weighted fly with as little wind resistance as possible. Unfortunately, using weighted flies on windy days can be a risky business. All it takes is a sudden change in wind direction and you've got a pierced ear, (or worse) whether you want one or not. It can be tough to take when you're on a trip or on vacation with limited time, but there are days when fly fishing is flat-out impossible.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Casting into the wind

When faced with wind in the face I keep my rod on the back cast high... this allows the wind to add to the load of my rod... giving me an even more powerful forward cast which i point my rod tip low to the water on...
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