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Old 03-19-2009, 08:58 PM
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Default Weighted v. Unweighted Flies

It seems that the vast majority of my subsurface flies have beadheads or coneheads. I guess I have ascribed to the school that thinks that weighted flies from the beads or cones are the best way to get the flies down. The problem I seem to encounter is casting some of these weighted flies. I'm sure my casting plays the biggest part, but I would like to be able to cast some bigger flies without having to go up a size in rod. For example, I think I should be able to throw unweighted size 8 flies on my 4wt, but weighted size 8 flies seem to be a little much for me. I am using heavy enough tippett for the size fly, so that is not the problem. What kind of alternative do I have? I read something about liquid sink on another thread and I am really not familiar with it. I assume it is something you put on the fly to help get it down. Is this a viable alternative to weighted flies? How well does it work? What do all of you do?
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:33 AM
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Default Re: Weighted v. Unweighted Flies

The lead, or tungsten, will get your fly down a lot quicker than any liquid you put on your fly.

When casting heavily weighted flies it helps to open up your casting stroke a little and make sure you wait for the backcast to straighten out behind you-- if you start it too soon you'll send shockwaves down the fly line. It also helps to introduce an oval path into your stroke, so the tip doesn't follow in the same plane on the forward and back casts.

Some things to try---

when you're ready to cast, flip a roll cast out-- it'll bring the fly to the surface.

pick up the fly line with a "sidearm" backcast ending up with the rod at the normal backcast position--- this will throw an oval into the path of your stroke.

wait for the line to straighten out behind you-- open up your stance to watch it. Start your forward cast and shoot line-- try and eliminate as much false casting as possible).

An alternative, and easier to throw, is using a sink tip fly line (for moving water or fishing from shore in lakes/ponds with a gradual slope to deeper water) or a full sink line (from a boat or shore along steep drop offs). With a sinktip or sinker you can use unweighted flies on a short leader (4-6' long). The short leader will keep the fly from riding up on the retrieve. It can be very effective, and is much easier to cast. You can count down to different depths by counting mississippi's or hippopotomussessessess before you start the retrieve. (you can also use weighted flies, but tho that will let you get even deeper, it brings you back to the same problems with casting.)

mark
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: Weighted v. Unweighted Flies

Try fishing sleeker weighted flies and fishing them slower. By sleeker I mean flies with a less fuzzy profile. All that wonderful stuff sticking off a fly (wrapped hackle, fuzzy dubbing) slows down its sink. For example- a Copper John will always sink faster than an equal weight Hare's Ear due to the increased sleekness. One has to choose their spot on the buggy/sleek spectrum depending on the sink rate they're seeking. Buggers are great, but a slender clouser will drop much quicker.

Fishing a weighted fly slowly will help it get down better as well. Since you are retrieving the fly with a floating line, you are therefore pulling it up with each strip. Stripping shorter and slower will get it down lower.

However, if you're talking more about getting dead-drifted nymphs down deeper, that's done with trick casts and mending. Let us know if that's what you're after.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: Weighted v. Unweighted Flies

Thanks for the input so far. Cliff, I am mostly concerned with streamers and not dead drift nymphs. I haven't really had much issue when nymphing for some reason. The majority of issues come when fishing for bass and trying to throw bigger flies for them. Part of the issue could have to do with the length of the cast I try when fishing for bass. Mark, I do the roll cast the majority of the time to start my cast as you suggested. I had read about that on here somewhere and it does help.
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Old 03-21-2009, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: Weighted v. Unweighted Flies

TX,

The liquid sink will raise the specific gravity of the streamer (helpful on muddlers) and make them less buoyant. It will not take them down like weight will. Look for braided lead heads, you can try this link and it will take you to the kind I use.

Beartooth Flyfishing

I bought a bunch in the 80's and love them. The only difference I see is that the old ones were black in color.
The braided head in 48" will handle most streamer situations and they cast much better than a chunk of lead or a cone or whatever. Try it you'll like it.

Ard
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Weighted v. Unweighted Flies

I am a big fan of the weighted lines and not the fly thing also. I even had a type II for my 3 weight. Sink tips are a great choice, but I prefer full sink as they are much easier to cast to me. The weight isn't concentrated in 5' to 15' leader.
As far as NYMPHs...I rub them in mud. They sink fast and the mud washed off.
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