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Cleetus 05-18-2007 08:04 AM

Piling up of my line
I got to go fishing on the Gunpowder today for a few hours and I came up with a couple questions I'd hope you al could help with

First off, I found that about half the time I cast, when I finish the forward cast, my leader just piles up on itself rather than stretching out like the rest of the line. Sometime this doesn't happen however and the line stretches out to where I want it. Thing is, I cant seem to figure out the why of it.

Another problem with my cast is that sometimes, I'll go to change flies or something and I'll notice the tippet end is knotted. Sometimes it's just a little overhand knot, but one time I managed to get a full on bow tied into it. How does this happen? Could it have to do with the aforementioned pile-up of leader and tippet?

Lastly, I noticed when trying to mend the line I have a small problem. As I lift up on the line, the surface tension holds it down and the line slides through the water, putting a little "V" shaped wake behind the fly...I don't know for sure but I'm guessing this is wrong as flies dont generally go fast enough to create wakes.


zerolimit 05-18-2007 10:37 AM

Re: Piling up of my line

You are dealing with common issues. I'll try to shed just a little light on what they are then let some experts provide you with more detailed advice.

In general,the leader piling up at the end of the cast is the result of inadequate line speed/energy to turn over the leader as an extension of the line. Assuming that you are not tossing heavy flies. It is also possible that the leader is not matched to the line and fly combination.

The knots in the tippet are referred to as "wind knots". They result from timing issues. The most common is applying too much energy too soon on the forward cast. This creates a tailing loop which folds back over itself.

BigCliff 05-18-2007 01:22 PM

Re: Piling up of my line
Zero limit is right about the leader troubles.

On mending, one of the tricks is you have to mend before you have to mend. By this I mean once the current has already put a belly (bowed section downstream of the fly) in your line, it becomes much more difficult to achieve a mend without moving the fly. This is because all the slack has been taken out of the line, on top of the fact that a line under tension is likely to already be partly pulled under the surface.

Try to make your cast land with some slack already in the leader, and then do your mending before all the slack is pulled out of the line. Doing all this will take some practice, but eventually it will be easier than I'm making it sound.

Frank Whiton 05-18-2007 02:36 PM

Re: Piling up of my line
Hi Cleetus,

Your problems have been covered pretty well but I will comment on the mending problem. You are right, real insects usually don't leave a "V" behind them. You are describing drag and it is caused by the line pulling the fly through the water. Mending the line begins as soon as you have recovered from the cast and are observing the fly and line moving with the water. If you have used a Reach cast and have a lot of potential slack in your line, you need to make your first mend right away. The best and longest floats comes when you have folds in the line like an accordion. You can watch the folds and see that they decrease as the line goes down stream and mending is used to add more folds so the line does not pull on the fly. To mend line you need to have slack line hanging from the rod tip or on the water. You get this slack by feeding line through the guides. You can do this by wagging the rod tip back and forth or using a wrist flip or by a mini-roll cast with the tip of the rod. Each person finds what works best for them. The problem you described is caused because you are waiting too long before you mend or you are not putting enough slack into your mends.

Cleetus 05-18-2007 03:49 PM

Re: Piling up of my line
Great replies, thanks to you all. I'm going to try and get out again tomorrow and we'll see how it goes. The following quote brought up another question.

[QUOTE=Frank Whiton;11345[The best and longest floats comes when you have folds in the line like an accordion. [/QUOTE]

I did often have the 'accordion' effect. Once I got a rise to the fly even. However, by the time I tried to set the hook, the fish had already spit out the fly. With all that zig-zaggy slack in the line there was no way (at least no way that I could figure) to get that slack out and set the hook before the fish "Pa-tooey'd" the fly.


Frank Whiton 05-18-2007 04:32 PM

Re: Piling up of my line

You have to use your judgment and not get more slack on the water than you can control. With a 9' rod that is quite a bit. Getting too much slack can be avoided if you mend as you go. You want enough slack so you can make a mend and not drag the fly but not so much that you lose control. It just takes practice.

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