I know that technique is the main thing to improve your distance, but what are some equipment tips to get me an extra foot here, a foot there. heavier weight rod? overlining? glass rod? I just need a little more distance to reach some prime fishing structure.
What weight rod, fly and depth are you fishing? If you're using streamers the easy equipment fix is a sink tip. Or we could look at the rod, or line taper on a floating line, or maybe you need to work on your double haul. How far are trying to throw>
With the equipment you already have build a shooting head system for it consisting of a head up to 30 feet and rated a minimum of 2 line weights heavier than your rod. Use a running line of mono about 20# or so, something limp like Berkley XL or Amnesia. 100 feet of running line should be enough. Attach to the backing you have on your reel. You have the option of floating or sinking heads, which is your call. Use a tungsten line for sinking or cut a floating line if you want things on top. A cheap $10 pocket digital scale is handy for calibrations.
You can build a shooting head system for any rod weight rating and it will bomb a cast out but the presentation will be a little rough compared to want you are used to with a regulation fly line.
I am using a 5wt 8&1/2ft graphite, floating line, I am trying to throw about 75 ft. I have asked some of the Orvis models on the Little Red river and they said there are no big flaws/mistakes in my casting.
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That's a long way for that rod, I don't care how good you are. And in trout water? Once you've got 75 feet out there you have to control it which is a heck of a lot mending with a short rod. Maybe wade closer? In all seriousness I rarely throw that far with a ten weight in the salt unless its real skinny water, I just move the boat closer.
I guess step one is to go to the park. Practice cast as far as you can reasonably control the line (and I'm talking consistently, not one cast out of ten).
Then thrown in a mid air mend or two. That is your maximum range.
Now, do you really need more? Someone suggested shooting heads, I hate them, but they work for distance, but on a 5wt?
One option is to overline it a bit and get a six weight line in a bonefish taper or the like.
Or get a longer and faster rod, a 9'-10' Sage or Orvis or Loomis in one of their superfast models. Or even move up to a six weight geared for bass or the salt like a Sage RPL, but it will less fun to fight average size trout.
That's about all the suggestions I have, but I'm sticking with getting closer as option one and getting a longer and faster rod as option two if your casting isn't the problem, 75 feet is a long way for a 5wt 8'6" rod.
^^ lots of good advice already, but I'd second the long/fast rod suggestion. I'm not a brilliant caster, but within my mediocre skill set my range grew considerably the minute I started messing around with a 10' rod. I understand in the long run technique is the real issue, as you obviously do also, but a longer rod will give you a longer cast using the skills you've got.
I second the fast 10 ft rod for distance, if you can get to a fly shop that deals in Sage rods, cast a Sage One 10 ft and you will see what I'm talking about it is truly impressive. I consider myself an average caster, but with that rod it will flat out throw some line, but on the other hand, I rarely fish that far out, as fq13 stated, do you really think you can control the line in a fishing situation that far out, let alone trying to set the hook properly.......better to figure a way to get closer to your trou, if at all possible.
This is an insistence where throwing money at a problem will not lead to a solution
There's a number of reasons why you're not casting as far as you'd like.
It's possible that your gear doesn't cut it, but it's far, far more likely that you need to work on your cast.
People have been distance fly casting for better than 150 years. It doesn't take fancy gear. It's all about effort effort.
Don't expect to throw money at new gear and have your troubles go away.
That's not how it works.
To my mind the question is do you want/need to throw that far because what's going to happen when you get your fly there? Can you control the line, feel the take, and set the hook? With an eight and a half foot rod on a swift stream I know I can't, even if I might be able to ape arm a fly that far like I was throwing a deceiver to tarpon on the flats, (it wouldn't be a pretty cast).