06-05-2010, 10:59 AM
Re: New Rod and reel
Yes, a 1" piece of bright yarn tied in the middle is great to practice with if you're on a lawn etc. Having a bit of yarn on the end of your leader 9 (or tippet if you've added some to the end of your leader) will keep the end of your leader/tippet from fraying as you practice casting.
If you're practicing over water you can use a fly, but it would be a good idea to pinch down the barbs on your hooks, especially while you are learning to cast (many of us do this on all our flies anyway), and wear some eye protection (polarized sunglasses will cut surface glare and help you see into the water). If you want to practice casting and have a chance of catching a bass with your leader, you could use something unweighted and not too wind resistant like a muddler minnow.
Keep in mind while practicing that it's all about the timing of your casting stroke rather than raw power and muscle. And make sure you have room behind you for your backcasts--- trees, bushes and overhead wires will eat your flies too, and you always want to make sure no one is sneaking/walking behind you.
Accelerate smoothly on your back stroke, add a sudden stop, wait for the line to straighten out behind you, accelerate smoothly on the forward stroke and end it with a sudden stop.
If you hear a crack the whip sound (and you will) it means that you're not waiting long enough for the line to straighten out behind you on the back cast.
BTW that 7 1/2' 2 x leader is a good leader for bass fishing too, not just practice casting, and could be used with most bass flies, poppers, weighted flies like woolly buggers and clousers and large streamers.