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Old 12-27-2008, 04:47 PM
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Default tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Hi, I'm new here and to fly fishing. I had a gift cert for Gander Mt. so I decided to pick up a fly rod package (preassembled w/ backing, line, leader).

I went twice today (first day) just to practice casting. It started out a bit rough, but later this afternoon i felt that i was improving a bit. I'm able to form a rolling loop, it's a bit wide but i'm working on that. Here is my biggest problem so far.

When i'm false casting just to get the hang of the motion, i will stop after a few minutes and my leader is all knotted up. A few times even my fly line managed to get a knot in it. To give you a perspective, I had a 8 foot leader on this morning and i had to cut it off by the end of the day it was so knotted up.

I'm guessing that it has something to do with me not staying on the same casting plane for the forward/backward casts. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips on how to improve this?

Thanks
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Old 12-27-2008, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

There are 3 times I come across that problem, when its windy , when I rush my cast and when I try to cast a fly thats to heavy for the outfit I'm useing.
Good luck
Bear
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Those are called "wind knots" usually caused by poor timing. A common beginner fault is not stopping or pausing long enough to let the line completely straighten out between the back cast and forward cast in effect whipping the fly line. "Whippers" also have a tendency to cast on an arc rather than a straight plane. You did well to notice your casting plane problem so soon.

Force yourself to throw a high back cast up and over your shoulder and watch your back cast. Accelerate through the back cast coming to a sudden stop (speed up and stop). Watch the line straighten out behind you and then come forward with the cast. The timing of this little pause between the back and forward cast is critical to making a good forward cast. It is really a matter of practise to get the timing and mechanics down ("muscle memory").

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a high back cast when learning the basics. It is so much easier to watch and control the cast keeping it on a straight plane if you start with a high back cast. At the same time, it is just impossible to break your wrist (drop your thumb back) and throw a high back cast . If you throw a low back cast (lower than your shoulder which is often the result of a "broken" wrist), you have thrown an arcing backcast and usually end up arcing the forward cast as well to prevent hitting yourself with the fly.

Tight lines and keep your back cast up!!
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:45 PM
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Thumbs up Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Guy,

Well said! Wish I'd read this a couple of years ago; would have saved me a lot of grief (not to say $$ lessons & wind knots).
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:47 PM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Thanks for the advice. I think that it is a result of not staying on the same plane and not waiting for the line to straighten out before casting again.

When i cast and the line goes into a rolling loop, should i wait for it to completely straighten out or should i cast the other direction while it is finishing the rolling loop? i read something that i interpereted as saying to cast the other direction while the line is still in the rolling loop.

Another question if you don't mind, when i do actually wait for the line to straighten out before casting the other direction it seems to want to drop to the ground. is this a result of what guy said by over bending my wrist? i tried to start with out any wrist movement at all, and then gradually add the "snap" as i thought i was improving.

thanks for all the help, i'm really enjoying learning this sport, i hope i will be able to pick up my spinning rod again....
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Quote:
Originally Posted by yuengling910 View Post

When i cast and the line goes into a rolling loop, should i wait for it to completely straighten out or should i cast the other direction while it is finishing the rolling loop? i read something that i interpereted as saying to cast the other direction while the line is still in the rolling loop.

A
This is the perfect way to break the fly right off the end of your tippet. You are casting, not cracking a whip. Let the line and leader unroll and feel the slight tug that tells you the line has straightened then start your forward cast. Actually, your backcast is the same as the forward one. You will get the hand of it.
Here is a site that might be helpful.
Flycasting Manual ...beyond flycasting
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Old 12-28-2008, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

I'm new to fly fishing but will mention why I think it seems the line will drop to the ground on the backcast. Your line speed is too slow. You don't want to muscle the rod but, you need to keep the line moving fast enough to keep it on a level plane. Let the rod do the work by allowing time for the line to straighten out and load it. Allowing the rod to load (bend) as the line straightens will generate the necessary line speed.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:19 PM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Yes,yes... my experience has been that if you don't let that loop unroll all the way, you end up casting forward and back a little to quickly. Take your time, and definately cast up a little on the backcast. The other thing I have problems with some times is throwing to much force into the cast. It ends up producing really super tight loops that all come from the same exact place. They "Tail" and give these little knotted leaders. Fun.

One other thing you can try that really helped me was to single haul on the back cast. Just keep your non-rod hand on the line and as you broom the rod back with one hand, give that line a slight tug with the other. Loading is your friend.
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Old 01-03-2009, 10:12 AM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Hi yuengling910,

You have some good information here and I want to present my thoughts. Every fly fisher finds a casting method that works for them. So when you hear conflicting information it doesn't mean anyone is wrong. They just have had different experiences.

A high back cast is very good but you don't want it to be extremely high. When you are casting you need to stand with your left foot forward and don't cast perfectly vertical. If you cast slightly to the side you can see your back cast better and it opens up your body. I disagree with those that suggest that you wait for the line to totally unwind behind you before making you froward cast. Your back or fore cast should begin when the line is in a "J" shape with a few feet that has not unrolled. When you see the "J" on your back cast that is the time to start your fore cast. You start the cast slowly, accelerate and abruptly stop your rod tip.

We all say you are casting the fly line but in fact what you are doing is unrolling the line. If you wait till the line is completely unrolled the line speed will drop and the line will start to fall. Our reaction time is not quick enough to wait for a straight line and then cast forward. A high back cast will help so that the line doesn't fall to the ground but it won't save your line speed.

Most wind knots are generally caused by the caster apply too much power on the stroke, especially the fore stroke. I did this for years until I learned that fly casting is not about strength. It is about technique and timing.

Frank
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Old 01-03-2009, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: tapered leader became a knotted leader...

Thanks for all the advice. I went out again yesterday to practice some casting on the water and it went alot better. No knots at all after about 45 minutes. I'm still trying to better my false casting while shooting line, but I know it just takes practice.

So far I have just been keeping my non casting hand down by my side, when I go out tomorrow I'm going to start practicing single hauling, and roll casting.

The only flies I have are a wooly bugger assortment that I picked up. They are in sizes 8 and 6. I currently have a 3x leader tied on, should I buy a 2x leader to match up or cut my current leader back to the 2x section and add some tippet material?

Thanks again for the help.
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