Picked up a 1wt rod from cabelas, there was this sale see and I just could not pass it up. $59.99 for the rod and $59.99 for the reel. Well needless to say ya it is now mine. It is a clear creak rood 7ft and a prestige I reel. I put 1wt weight forward fly line on it since that was the only 1wt line they had. I like the reel since it has a ton of drag to it more so then the reel on my 5wt has. So today finally got out and used it. To my surprise it is much harder to use then my 5wt. After using it a few questions came to mind. What length tippit should I use? Should I put more mussle behind the casting? Any suggestions or tips on using light weight fly rods will be welcomed. Thanks.
I guess to answer your question we'd need to know what you're fishing for and in what type of water. I've always heard that the lighter the tackle, the more difficult it is to cast, which would put a 1-weight way beyond my capabilities
Could you be a little more specific about the "much harder to use than my 5wt" part? Do you mean harder to cast?
If so, then you're finding what I, and everyone else that I've talked to, finds; that casting lighter lines on shorter rods is simply more difficult. As you know, with a fly rod, you're casting the weight of the line; that's what provides the load that allows the rod to function. 1 wt. lines are simply much lighter than 5 wt. lines. Now, granted, a 1 wt. rod is significantly more flexible than say, of example, a 5 wt. fast action rod (like a Sage Z Axis), and is designed to load with much less weight (lower line weight). But, in casting a 1 wt. you're also going to find that you have significantly less line in the air, since you won't be casting anywhere near as far as you will with a 5 wt. All of this, for me, adds up to a 1 wt. being, as you say, and as Fish2Fly confirms, significantly more difficult to cast than a 5 wt.
I fish a lot of small Brook trout (6-8" fish) in the narrow freestone streams up here in the Poconos and I've never found it necessary to fish anything below a medium action 3 wt. rod to enjoy the hook-up and to be able to have a little fun playing the fish. In fact, right now, my favorite small fish 3 wt. is Diamondback's Diamondglass 7'6" 3. wt. I'm not sure what I'd use a 1 wt. for, but I'm pretty sure that I'd be focused on short distances, accuracy and extremely delicate presentations.
Other posters may have different opinions on how best to use your new 1 wt. Sounds like you got a nice price on the gear.
Well this is why I never buy cheap fly rods. As far as it being hard to cast, I personally would not jump to the conclusion that the line weight of that rod has the most to do with it. A well made 1wt rod should cast with the same ease as a 5wt of comparable action and quality. Granted, it won't cast as far, and it won't cast as heavy of a fly, but as long as you are watching your line unroll on your backcast (until you get a handle on the casting rhythm), casting shouldn't be problematic. To be fair, people say that you can't "feel" an ultralight rod load as well as you can feel a heavier rod load. For people who do things totally by feeling, without looking, this could indeed be a problem, but it shouldn't be, IMO. I do not think of myself as a good caster, but my opinion is that all you have to do is watch your backcast for a little while and then the casting rhythm (and a better sense of rod loading) will come as as you get this feedback and adjust your stroke to it.
What action is the rod? I've found that, after fishing with fast and med/fast action rods for a long time, I had a hard time adjusting my casting stroke with slower action rods, no matter the line weight. The problem could be solved by adjusting your casting stroke. On the other hand, it could be the rod itself. A lot of cheap rods tend to be very fast action, with an uneven transition to the tip. If the rod is very stiff, you could slow it down to the point of getting the rod to load properly by putting a 2wt or 3wt line on it. Conversely, if the rod has a lot of flex casting a 1wt line, maybe it's not even ideally made for this line weight. Try casting a 0wt to speed up the action. This may not work out ideally, especially if the rod doesn't have much of a taper through the tip, but it could make the rod easier to cast if it's slow action.
I own a 2wt rod (med/fast action), several 3wts (med, med/fast, and fast), and used to own a 00wt (fast), and have never had a problem casting them or teaching my non-flyfishing friends to cast on them, so this is why I'm saying it's likely the rod itself that's at fault, not the fact that it's an ultralight. Probably the rod you have is slow action or simply not optimized for a 1wt line.
I do agree with Pocono that a medium (even a medium/fast) action 3 wt is as light as you need to go if you want to have a good time with smaller fish. This is because of the disadvantages you'll face with a lighter rod not being able to cast as far or as heavy a fly, as well as the inherent softness of lighter rods. Either they are slow action and have no backbone, or they are fast action, have plenty of backbone, but transition to such a soft tip that maneuvering the rod through streamside brush becomes a headache.
Simply put... a 1wt rod will always be harder to cast that a 5wt rod. However, this is like comparing apples to oranges. The two rods really serve two different purposes so we should not expect them to cast the same.
Now, adding more power to the casting stroke for a 1wt is the absolute worse that you can do. When it comes to lighter weight rods, the importance of timing and finesse is much greater. If we try to force the cast it will fall apart.
You shouldn't expect to get the same distance from your 1wt than you do with a 5wt. Typically, the 1wt is used on small streams for small trout... or perhaps bluegill on a small pond. So, you don't need to be able to cast very far anyway.
So, just relax and make sure your casting technique is sound. Timing is very important on starting your forward cast.
It is OK to bump your line up a notch. So, you could go with a 2wt line and it will cast a little easier.
That is a nice 1wt rod actually. What I figure is that the line is not matched to the rod. You might need a heavier WF1F, or try a WF2F on it. For flies, I would start with a #14 foam spider, on a 9'5x leader. That should get you going in the right direction. I am guessing you got the Okuma Magnitude reel, as I think that is the only reel they offer for $59.99, but hey I have been wrong before.
Do not give up on that rod, and if you do, let me know, and I will take it off your hands
hm, lot to digest. As I said the rod and reel were on sale and I could not pass them up. For the most part up here in ND the only fish that are catchable in the early part of the year are small perch, crappie, and gills. That being said I do mean small, 5" would be a monster over some of the other fish. I got into a load of small crappie and perch this spring that were in that 3"-4" in a tailrace with little running water. My 5wt was over kill, my UL spinning was over kill, my micro and SUL were also way too much to enjoy these fish. One thing you must understand is that for me to find trout I must travel a long ways. There are a few lakes about 30-40 miles away that have some trout in them, but they are few and far between with little effort being put forth by the game and fish to keep a healthy population in these lakes. And I can understand that fact, they would have a hard time in the summer when the water of most of the lake hits over 75 degrees. So if I am to fly fish I must focus on the fish that are around. That would be pike, bass, and pan fish. I have been waiting to get out after walleyes but it just has not happend yet and maynot happen at all this year. So needless to say that is why I picked up the 1wt for those extra small fish. Now the line that I put on was the only 1wt I could find, it is a WF1F type. When I used it, I had a harder time keeping the tippet from going all over. The fly line was some what streight but the tippet would often land short. This meaning it did not carry as far as the fly line did and would fall closer to me then what the end of the fly line did. This being the most frustrating. It is harder to cast with then my 5wt or even my 9wt. I guess that more then anything I need more time on it. Something I maynot get this year since the weather and work dont like each other. Oh well.
3-4" fish aren't very fun to catch even with a 00wt fly rod. I've tried it and they're still practically jacked out of the water when the hook is set. Personally, I'd consider 5-6" the bottom limit of catchability, even with ultralight tackle.