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Old 08-21-2011, 08:35 PM
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Question some questions

Hello everyone!

So today I was practicing my casting, because I'm new, and I started getting tight loops and some distance and I was so happy. Anyways, when I was trying the rollcast, I realized I could only do it successfully with a certain amount of line. I was wondering if this is just the cast or am I doing it wrong?

Second question. When I was practicing I found small knots that had formed on my tipped. This was very annoying. So I tried to do some research and read this happened due to the fly your uaing. However I was knot using a fly and I was just wondering if its from my casting or just because the line 5x was twisting while I was casting and that's why it caused the knots? I am just wondering if it is my fault.

Last question. When I bought my reel I had the nice fellow put the backing and fly line on. Well I have realized that when I reel in all of my line that some of my fly line connects with the reel. I was wondering if I should unwind all of it and cut off a good section of backing and just re-wind it or if I do that it will ruin the backing?

Thank you
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: some questions

Blueduds,

Even some casters who are old practice. It's actually fun, and really helps when fishing. In fact, more often than I like to admit, some of my fishing trips turn out to be casting practice too.

If your fly line is wound on reasonably well, it shouldn't be contacting the frame when you rotate it. There are two ways of dealing with the problem, one is to remove some backing and the other is to remove some of the back part of the fly line. Guys who fish for big fish that make long runs will often chose the latter. For most fresh water fishing, most guys just remove some backing.

I learned from fishing with conventional reels as a kid which did not have a "level wind" to wind on line so that it went on the spool hollow. In other words, more on the edges and less in the middle. This makes it easier to wind in with a fish on without getting a big ball of it in the center and having it hit the reel frame. When you wind on your backing, wind it on tight.

As for your casting questions, you should always tie a piece of yarn on the end of your tippet when practicing. It will save the end of your fly line where the tippet is attached, and may help slightly with the knots.

However, the knots are probably caused by your casting stroke. There are a whole bunch of ways to cast that will cause knots. The best thing to do is to find a good casting instructor that's been through the Fed. of Fly Fisher's teaching course. Those instructors are trained to spot problems in casting.

It is well worth the money to take a class and learn what you should be practicing. It is much easier that way than trying to figure it out on your own.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: some questions

Roll casting requires a minimum amount of line to be used, attempting it with too much or too little and it just won't work. Practice is the only way to figure out how much you need to have to do it correctly. Keep in mind too that roll casting with different types of flies will affect the cast. For example a small panfish popper will cast differently than a big bass bug.

That's commonly called a wind knot, and yes it's a problem with your casting technique. Keep practicing! It would be a good idea to get some help with your casting too. Someone who is proficient at casting can diagnose the problems and help you correct them. Otherwise, you'll develop bad habits & keep doing them!

It's more likely that you're just not getting the line back on the reel evenly, or not tightly enough. Loose line on a reel, or uneven line will take up too much space & the line will end up rubbing when you turn the spool. Strip the line & crank it back on evenly & with enough resistance to keep it fairly tight and that should solve the problem.
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Old 08-21-2011, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: some questions

I'm sure some more experienced casters will weigh on here, but wind knots are usually the result of creating tailing loops. From what I've learned (I'm a fellow newbie), these come from dipping your rod tip in your casting stroke rather than following a steady arc. I believe this can come from incorrect wrist movement but I may be wrong. Both Jims have got the right idea, but also remember, as this is something I have heard from very experienced casters, wind knots are a fact of life when it comes to fly fishing. It is just a matter of limiting them! That's something I have been working on as well!
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: some questions

I agree that "wind knots" are casting knots caused mainly by tailing loops. It is interesting that you said you were getting tight loops, and that is the clue to why the knots were occurring. Some of these loops were too tight and actually were tailing loops.

Loops size is controlled by many factors but the two main ones are the rod tip path convex or concave. Convex = open loop, concave = tailing loops. Secondly , the loop size is controlled just before the stop by a very slight wrist flick. See the illustration below from Jason Borger's book, Nature of Fly Casting. Joan Wulff says to tighten your grip at the stop and this will tip the rod down slightly. Doug Swisher calls it a micro wrist. I discuss the tailing loops on this post.

Click the image to open in full size.

Regarding the fly line jamming the reel, I suspect that too much backing was placed on the reel. But I also think you are not winding the line back as carefully on the reel as when it was originally placed. Use the little finger of your reel hand as a line guide and move it back and forth along the reel face to place the line evenly on the reel. However, the best cure for this is to take all the fly line and backing off of the reel and reverse wind the fly line first onto the reel. When the backing gets 1/4 inch from the reel edge, cut it off. The remove it all and rewind the backing and fly line on the reel correctly. The end of the fly line will have 1/4 inch of "head space" to allow some sloppy winding without jamming the reel with the fly line.

Finally, a roll cast is form of spey cast and it requires the proper technique. In fact good spey casters, can "roll cast" long distances by using one handed variations of spey casts. Even with a 9 foot rod and a standard roll cast, you should be able to cast at least 40 feet. Beginners generally stop too low driving the cast into the water. Without seeing you cast it is difficult to say what you are doing. Try varying the angle of rod tip path and the stop point.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:10 PM
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Default Re: some questions

I've read the replies you have already received and will avoid redundant info hopefully.

Addressing roll cast & knots; when a person is learning they seem to inevitably want long casts, this trend toward wanting distance prior to developing a good method often leads to a mixed bag of frustrating results. Whether those results manifest in casts that pile up, knotted leaders, wrapping line around the rod tip, or other problems almost all of this can be avoided if we go slow and perfect a good casting style for a 25 - 30 foot range. Once you are having little in the way of trouble with this range you may want to stretch out a little more line. By 'stretch out', I don't mean for you to jump to 60' but to understand that becoming good at casting will take time. I have been casting for a while and when I overextend myself in distance I still will tie a knot in my leader but when I stay within my comfort zone there is seldom a problem if at all.

In regards to the full spool on your reel, I see that you are in AZ. and you may not be fishing for anything that will run deep into the back-line. However if the line does not begin to bump the reel until it is wound all the way in I would either take only a little backing off or I may choose to leave it alone. I like reels that are full and my salmon reel bumps line on frame every time I wind it all the way in. The only way this would be a problem is if the line actually bound the spool so that I had a hard time pulling the line back off the next time I wanted to string up the rod. If your reel is in the class of binding up the reel and giving you trouble when you go to string up the rod then I would remove backing. Just remember this, it is like a hair cut, if you take too much off you'll have a hard time putting it back. Study the reel closely and determine how much room you need as in 1/8", then try to take only the 1/8" in depth from the backing.

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Old 08-22-2011, 12:53 PM
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Default Re: some questions

Believe it or not... after a while and with good technique and proper instruction you won't see those wind knots again. That is, unless you get a bit of buck fever when either missing a nice fish or trying to do an impossible cast to direct your fly at a fish that is teasing you!
Don't ask how I know.

You are practicing your roll cast on water, right? Darn near impossible to learn to good roll cast without some resistance from the water to help load the rod.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: some questions

Thanks everyone for the great comments.

On a lighter note. I went out last night to the park to practice some more casting. This time I tied a small amount of toilet paper to the end of my tippet. Anyways when ever I would backcast I would see a bat come out of nowhere and try to eat my toilet paper.

I had quite a good laugh at that and thought, maybe I should just become a fly batfisher. At least I can catch those.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: some questions

Jackster is correct in that you should roll cast on water, when you can. However, there is a way to make a "grass leader" for practicing roll casts on grass.


The original article is on the Summer 1998 issue of The Loop by Al Buhr. It is also described on this Roll Cast Instruction by Floyd Dean.


"It's best to practice this cast on water because the water creates the friction and drag necessary for a good roll cast. The friction of the water on the line in the roll cast helps load, (bend) the rod. Learning how to load the rod is important for your future development in casting expertise. If water is not available, it is possible to learn this on grass using a grass leader. This was developed by Al Buhr in Oregon for practicing Spey casting.


Take a spool of monofiliment, 15 to 30 lb. test. Make a cut at 15". This will be your butt section. Now, tie a blood knot. Move down the leader seven inches. Make another cut and tie another blood knot. After you have done this about 15 - 20 times you will end up with about a 9' grass leader with a blood knot every 6 inches. Leave fifteen inches on the end for a tippet and tie on a piece of yarn. Trim the stubs at about 1/2" or less. (You have to tailor the length of the stubs to the length of the grass. The longer the grass the shorter the stubs should be. )The stubs will cause drag on the grass. They will also resemble barbed wire. This leader can be dangerous so be sure to wear eye protection! This is the formula for a Spey rod. You can make the leader longer or shorter according to your needs."

I have not tried this grass leader but there are plenty of on line references that say it does work. Good Luck.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: some questions

Agree with Jackster and Silver Creek on the roll casting. Dec Hogan and Marty Howard taught me about the blood knot (grass) roll cast leader. Although it's not quite the same, it will work if theres no water around. Water creates drag on your line, and make sure when you roll cast, let the D loop go behind you before making the roll.
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