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Old 09-02-2007, 12:26 AM
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Default some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

I've been doing a bit of casting an 8wt slow sink line on my 8wt rod. The rod and reel is just an inexpensive dragonfly setup, I didn't know how much I would use the gear so I got hooked up for little $$ and see how it goes.

I notice that unless I cast really slow, the tip of the rod really flops. Generally I would say that the rod is too flexible for this type of line. Is this possibly correct? Secondly, is a flexible rod considered to be fast action or slow action? I've read how rods are being described in terms of action speed but I don't yet know how that corresponds to flexibility. Finallly, is there a particular action or rod that is recommended for SA Master Series Stillwater line?

thanks
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

Hi shmish,

You are sure having some problems with your gear. As I recall you have not been fly fishing for a long time. I consider the SA Master Series Still water line a specialty line and not one I would suggest for a beginner. I think some of your problems are due to your inexpensive equipment. Learning to fly cast takes some skill and good equipment to be successful. That is why I always try to steer beginners away from really cheap rods. Beginners have a hard enough time getting their timing right with out struggling with a poor quality rod. A cheap rod just adds another unknown entity into the fly casting equation.

OK, now for your questions. A slow action rod bends deep into the rod sometimes all most to the grip. A fast action rod beds primarily in the top 1/4th to 1/3rd of the rod. A medium slow or medium action rod is usually easier for a beginner to learn with. It is possible that even though your rod is rated for a 8wt line it may be better with a lighter line. Have you cast this rod with a floating line? You talked before about a fly shop making you a sink tip type floating line. Can you get this guy to cast your 8wt setup to see how he does with it?
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

that's a good idea about asking another guy to cast with this line, I'll look into that.

Some of my gear isn't too bad, I make things sound worse than they are. Generally speaking I can cast with my 6wt and 4wt rods pretty good using floating lines. I can double haul a bit and shoot line maybe 60' with the 6wt. I start having problems with the 6wt when casting heavier lines and tips. Roll casting is okay too, and I've actually improved my technique quite a bit by getting a fly casting dvd.

I spent a bit of time practicing with the 8wt today. I put a lighter fly on it and had much better success. I also noticed that I was casting on the grass a lot better than I did on the water. Why? I think when on the water I was influenced by the rising tide. I was lifting my arm up quite high, whereas on the grass I was keeping my elbow at or slightly below shoulder level. This seems to make significant difference in terms of my casting abilities.

The 8wt line isn't too bad, but it really loads up the rod when coupled with a heavy fly imo. This is probably where a med-fast action rod would do better.

Right now the cheap dragonfly 8wt rod will do the job, but I know that rod quality makes a huge difference. After using my 6wt TFO for a year I tried casting my wife's (old) dragonfly rod. I couldn't cast more than 30' with it, it was like a wet noodle. I went out and bought her a TFO after that...

Anyways, thanks for clarifying what "action" is. I'm sure that if I get the chance to upgrade the rod, I will be seeking a decent med-fast to fast action 8wt. I think that will work quite well with this line and even some heavier flies. Maybe something like a Sage FLi or Echo 890.

cheers for all the thoughts and advice Frank.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

Hi shmish,

Thanks for the clarifications about your equipment. It sounds to me your 8wt Dragonfly rod is too soft for what you are casting and your stroke. Some people are never able to cast a fast action rod well and others have a problem with a very slow rod. You casting stroke has a lot to do with it. A really experienced fly caster can adjust his stroke to match a rod but it takes someone who understands the mechanics of fly casting.

Congratulations on getting the casting DVD. I can't think of any one thing that will improve your fly casting ability except lessons from a fly casting instructor. Everybody should own at least one casting DVD sometime in there fly casting carree.

You will like the Sage FLi rod. I haven't cast the Echo rods but others have reported good results. Your experience with the TFO rod emphasize the importance of getting a good rod to start with.
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Old 09-03-2007, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

I might try and line up some lessons too.
I got up at 4am this morning for some dawn beach casting in Vancouver. I was using the 8wt and a new stripping basket. I would say that 35-50% of the fisherman landed some salmon this morning. I had two issues that cut down my productivity/chances of catching a nice coho.
1. I would have increased my chances a lot if I could cast 20 or even 10' more. My "average" cast was just on the near side of where the strike zone was.
2. 1 out of every 5 casts I would have a tangle inside the stripping basket. I think this was the result of having the line in there for too long between casts. I would make a good cast, then 4 lousy short casts and then by that time the line sitting in the basket would coil and tangle...
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Old 09-03-2007, 03:54 PM
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Default Re: some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

Hi shmish,

I don't know what kind of stripping basket you have. The picture shows the Orvis tub that has anti-tangle cones on the bottom. The purpose of the cones is to prevent the line in the basket from moving around and getting tangled. Here is a link for a Stripping Basket insert. It might work with your basket. I have not used it but someone else may have. Some people put heavy, 50 to 80 pound mono in the bottom. It curls up and forms small circles. You can get a piece of plastic or even wood and drill holes for the mono and then glue in place. Then the plastic or wood is placed in the bottom of your stripping basket.

You could also drill two holes in the bottom of your basket about 1/4" apart and then stick the mono into one hole from the inside. If the hole is real tight you can sharpen the end of the mono to help get it started. Now take some form of heat and ball over the one end on the inside of the basket. Now pull all of the slack out so the melted ball is against the inside of the bottom. Now push from the outside the other end of the mono into the second hole and pull it tight into the inside of the basket. If the mono is about 6" or so long it will coil up on the inside and you have a anti-tangle basket. The holes should be the same size as the mono or slightly smaller. I would think the cones would work the best.

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Old 09-03-2007, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

My stripping basket is actually one of the mesh type. Yesterday I went to Home Depot to buy some SS fasteners and a rubbermade bucket to make my own basket. After adding up all the costs, the nice looking folding mesh stripping basket was almost as cheap. I'm might try and return it and get the plastic bucket type with anti-tangle mechanisms

One last thought on the rod... While I maintain that my current dragonfly is not a very good rod, is it correct in thinking that with the proper technique that this rod is entirely capable of casting out 60' of line with a med size saltwater fly? I think so, and that means I should probably get out to the field and practice more!
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: some rods to flexible for heavier lines?

Hi shmish,

I think this was the result of having the line in there for too long between casts. I would make a good cast, then 4 lousy short casts and then by that time the line sitting in the basket would coil and tangle...

I just reread your post and the fly line should not be coiling very much in your stripping basket. It may tangle but if it is coiling you need to stretch the line. With some lines you may have to do this quite frequently. Maybe even before each trip.

Some of my gear isn't too bad, I make things sound worse than they are. Generally speaking I can cast with my 6wt and 4wt rods pretty good using floating lines. I can double haul a bit and shoot line maybe 60' with the 6wt. I start having problems with the 6wt when casting heavier lines and tips. Roll casting is okay too, and I've actually improved my technique quite a bit by getting a fly casting dvd.

If you are casting 60' with your 6wt you should also be able to with your 8wt. You talk about having trouble with your heavy lines and tips. Sinking tips that you add to your fly line can be fussy to cast. You had a guy in a fly shop make up your sinking tip line and he may or may not know what he is doing. I recall that he cut off ten feet of the fly line and added a sink tip of some type. If he did not use the right weight tip the overall weight of the 30' of fly line could now be too heavy for your 6wt fly rod. You could also be getting a hinge effect at the connection of the sink tip to the fly line. Fly lines are balanced to match a fly rod in the first 30 feet of the line. If you modify the weight of that 30' feet of line you complicate your casting. Sinking lines can also be difficult to cast for some people. Make sure you don't have any more that 30' of fly line out when casting your sinking line.

Having said all of the above you could still be having a problem with the extreme slow action of your rod. Remember that slow to medium action rods are intended for precision and relative short cast. Fast and Extra Fast rods are intended for distance. The Dragonfly is made with IM-6 Graphite and that should be a good rod. It also could be a piece of junk. When you are out fishing next time pick out a fellow that is casting pretty good and ask him to cast your outfit. He might even let you cast his outfit. You don't want to take away his fishing time but in 5 minutes you can see if he can cast your outfit OK. If he can't cast with your rod then I would turn it into hot dog skewers.
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