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Old 09-04-2012, 10:44 AM
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Default Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

Hi,

I tried casting a relatively heavy clouser minnow on my fly rod this weekend and had read that you should use a gentle back cast and "feel" the fly all the way around into the forward cast.

Well, I tried casting it and immediately found that I was backcasting too harshly....that fly was whiplashing at the end of my casting stroke so badly I thought I snagged a stick on every back cast . When I finally got the feel for "feeling the entire cast" (i.e. no harsh stops) I could *maybe cast 20 feet. That's it.

How in the world do you cast these big dudes effectively for any distance? And is casting a sinking line just like this heavy fly? I haven't tried sinking line yet. The only thing I could do was just back cast and let it land in the water for a second, then water lob it on the front cast. That worked okay, but accuracy and loop size were pretty bad.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

How large of a Clouser Minnow are you throwing?

Are you using your 8'0" 6 weight?

What line are you using?

What is your leader length?

Dennis
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Old 09-04-2012, 10:59 AM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

I cast 5 to 6" clousers with 5/32 lead barbell eyes with a 6wt and have zero issues. How big are the clousers you are trying to cast?
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:31 AM
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These are the lead head ones -- not the ones with the eyes. I have other clouser minnows that are size 6-8 that I can cast with no problems at all.

The big ones I'm not sure about -- I'd guessing #2-4 or maybe larger. I'll try to determine the size this evening when I get home. I got them from a guy who tied sort of a "variety pack" and these were among the larger ones.

Leader was a hand tied 30# >> 20# >> 12# >> 8# about 7 feet or so.

Line is 7 weight rio mainstream bass/pike floating line WF
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

Are you attempting to cast something that looks likes this?

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

Oh no, the ones I'm talking about are not as big as that lunker . I probably just need a lot more practice with heavy flies, and possibly I need to up from 8# to 12-15# for those big bass flies. I don't know if that will help much though.

Mostly it just seems to I get that *whiplash effect at the end of each stroke and I'm not good at softening up my backcast yet.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
These are the lead head ones -- not the ones with the eyes. I have other clouser minnows that are size 6-8 that I can cast with no problems at all.

The big ones I'm not sure about -- I'd guessing #2-4 or maybe larger. I'll try to determine the size this evening when I get home. I got them from a guy who tied sort of a "variety pack" and these were among the larger ones.
You may be throwing a fly that is too large for the rod that you have and your skill sets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
Leader was a hand tied 30# >> 20# >> 12# >> 8# about 7 feet or so.
For the large fly that you are using, your leader may be too light and short. Taper it down to 12 or 15 pound test. Shorten it to five feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbineblade View Post
Line is 7 weight rio mainstream bass/pike floating line WF
Line should be fine. If you need to feel more load, use an eight weight line.

As for your skill sets, can you double haul your cast? You might not be putting enough line speed to shoot your line effectively.

How are you starting your casts? Are you roll casting enough head length out, so you can have enough head mass to load your rod? You said that you are making 20 foot casts. That tells me that you have your seven foot leader plus 13 feet of the head off the tip of your rod. That is about the minimum amount of line that you should have when you are ready to make your first back cast. With one back cast, you should be able to get the rest of the head out for the shoot.

Dennis
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

It might be some or all of these -- but this gives me something to think about. My skill set is pretty poor. I can double haul, but it's unreliable and not very good. I actually do better (better loops, distance) at this point when NOT hauling if you can believe that. It seems like the haul makes me lose focus on good loops and allowing the line to straighten.

Surprisingly, I'm very comfortable casting with no hauls (or just a single haul on the backcast) up to 40-50 feet. Is this normal?

Man this hobby is tough and frustrating!
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

Quote:
These are the lead head ones -- not the ones with the eyes. I have other clouser minnows that are size 6-8 that I can cast with no problems at all.
I'm confused as to what you mean by this? My previous post is of a lead head bucktail jig, used either by casting or trolling, but not with fly tackle. There are many styles of lead heads, but they would not be called a Clouser.

Attempting to cast something like this, except for the tiniest sizes, with a fly rod could certainly cause issues.

Clouser Minnows are a style, but they have eyes of some sort, which can be lead, brass, tungsten, aluminum, etc., all being either molded or machined to get a barbell or similar shape. The eyes can also be plastic or metal bead chain, or even glass beads.

Do you have a picture of the fly?
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Casting heavy clouser minnow -- eh, not so good

I cast 1/40 oz Clousers (3.5-4 inches) with an 8.5' 4wt rod. I'm using a 7.5' knotted leader: 50# down to 3X. It's not a problem for me, but I've been working on this for a long time. I used to use this rig more often, when that was my go-to rod for all fish big and small. If I know that I'll be using Clousers for most of my fishing, I take a stiffer 5wt down to the stream/river.
Casting within 25 feet, I just make my usual sidearm cast. Just slow things down to allow the line to straighten out in each direction. Past 25 feet, I use a haul and put a pretty good bend in the rod. This is where the 4 weight actually begins to help things out a bit. More line means more bend in the rod, and that means more power to deliver the Clouser. The trick is to wait until the line has straightened out completely, and that allows you to put the max bend into the rod. You'd be surprised at how much distance that allows you to propel a bulky fly with a rod that's used more often for dry flies.

People often rush a cast, and with smaller flies you can get away with that more. It's not something that should be continued, and practice will eliminate it. More line out means more time before moving the rod in the other direction.
I see lots of people that have one speed when false casting, regardless of whether there's 20' or 50' of line in the air. With a small fly, you can recover from a rushed cast, but a Clouser can't be pushed like that. In fact, you should let your line fall on the water whenever things get ugly from rushing your cast, and start again. I used to take the rod out of my wife's hand when her line looked like ribbon candy, but now she starts over by herself.
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