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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 07-07-2013, 01:24 PM
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Default Inexperienced caster seems troubleshooting

Finally got enough time away from work to hit some nice open water on the Shenandoah this morning. I caught a few fish, mostly by luck and eye balling good spots. I had a few issues with casting I am hoping the wealth of knowledge here can help me on.
1. My loop on both the back cast and forward cast is not super tight but generally not bad, but while casting forward to actually place the fly in the water, I get a wavy line out of the tip of the rod. I have a fairly cheap chain store 5 wt rod/reel combo, and the best way to describe the action on it is soft and loose. I think it comes partly from the rod tip having a fair amount of wiggle when it comes to an abrupt stop. How can I correct this?

2. While false casting, several times I managed to get my slack line (the part I hold in my left hand to shoot forward) wrapped around the bottom of the rod and reel. What did I do to make that happen?

Thanks to anyone whom offers advice, and sorry for the lack of proper terms, I don't know all the lingo quite yet!
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: Inexperienced caster seems troubleshooting

1) Inexpensive rods have "tip wobble". Not over-powering your cast will help, but it's partially the rod's fault.
However a little wave in the line is a good thing. The extra slack cuts back on "drag".
2) Line control is all about experience. On one hand you're concentrating on your fishing but unconsciously you need to be dealing with your slack line with the other.
I've tried to teach myself to strip in my line and collect my loops from larger to smaller to keep them from tangling, but I have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time and this is far more difficult.

Wait 'till a big fish grabs your fly and runs. Then there's line flying everywhere. The only thing that you can do is to form your thumb and finger into an "O" for the line to travel through, hold it away from the reel/reel seat and hope for the best.
Everyone loses a fish this way now and then, so you're not alone.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:15 PM
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Default Re: Inexperienced caster seems troubleshooting

i had the same problems when i first started out fly fishing last year, using a cheap fly outfit from walmart.

1. i found that you can kinda do a mini haul on the forward cast and it gets the light out better.
2. you may have let the slack line flail around. i learned that you can prevent this by lightly holding the line away from the reel on the forward cast and using ur line hand to guide the fly line towards the stripping guide as it shoots out. but like RipTide said, its an experience thing
-ryu
woops, sorry xD i also mis-read. i thought you were getting the tangles on the forward cast.

Last edited by ryu1er; 07-07-2013 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Inexperienced caster seems troubleshooting

Quote:
While false casting, several times I managed to get my slack line (the part I hold in my left hand to shoot forward) wrapped around the bottom of the rod and reel. What did I do to make that happen?
If, when you release the line for the forward shoot, you release it into a donut formed by your thumb and index finger, it will usually shoot through the donut without tangling as Rip said.

The good thing about getting the tangles that you are getting is that you are getting good line speed - more than you need for the cast even.

Whoops: I mis-read your post. Sound like you are getting them while just false casting. I don't know what would cause that without seeing a video.
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Last edited by wjc; 07-07-2013 at 05:43 PM. Reason: edit in blue
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:11 PM
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Default Re: Inexperienced caster seems troubleshooting

PV.you are probably 5 years ahead of most actually bringing this out...

I dont buy the cheap rod deal...only because i learned and fished on a eagle claw combo from the start...

this might sound really simplistic...but trying too hard can have similar results...my suggestion is this...

slow down every aspect and isolate what is actually doing what...

then once you see something you like...keep it up until its perfect(in your eyes anyway)

once you have some dough...move into a better rod...and a good line too...a TFO pro series or similar sounds like your next step.

you cant blame the rod...its a very subtle art form...actually after using some "beginner " stuff and getting OK with it...you might find yourself way ahead of the curve...once you get a decent unit in your grips...then it gets fun!

also disregard 90 % of what folks tell you until you see results yourself...

Lefty Kreh could double haul twenty yards with a broom stick...
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Old 07-07-2013, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Inexperienced caster seems troubleshooting

Well I'm definitely not blaming the rod. Only a fool blames his equipment for his failings. Its just something I noticed about that particular rod, granted i've only ever tried a friend of mine's 8 wt, and I didn't have the same issue with his rod. I'm just wondering if there is some small issue in my cast that may be amplified by the soft action on my rod. I did notice that it is worse when I was trying to get the line out a bit further, so slowing things down makes sense. Thanks for the tips fellas, I'll try to really be aware of what I'm doing next time out and analyze my cast, as well as he water. I just get so excited when I get a good fishing day, I tend to over do it a bit!
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: Inexperienced caster seems troubleshooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
1) Inexpensive rods have "tip wobble". Not over-powering your cast will help, but it's partially the rod's fault.
However a little wave in the line is a good thing. The extra slack cuts back on "drag".
2) Line control is all about experience. On one hand you're concentrating on your fishing but unconsciously you need to be dealing with your slack line with the other.
I've tried to teach myself to strip in my line and collect my loops from larger to smaller to keep them from tangling, but I have trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time and this is far more difficult.

Wait 'till a big fish grabs your fly and runs. Then there's line flying everywhere. The only thing that you can do is to form your thumb and finger into an "O" for the line to travel through, hold it away from the reel/reel seat and hope for the best.
Everyone loses a fish this way now and then, so you're not alone.
That, boys and girls, is hitting the nail on the head. Especially the part about chewing gum.

Seriously though, on the part about the line wrapping itself around the reel/end of the rod, a trick I learned from someone when I first started this crazy obsession: make that 'O' with your fingers and right after your stop, as your line is shooting up the guides, kind of 'toss' your hand away from the reel and up towards the rod tip. This is going to be kind of a lazy toss, like trying to toss a paper ball into the trash from a few feet away. In other words, don't toss the line hard. Just kind of flip it. Anyway, it works nicely once you get it.

Peace.
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