The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (
-   The Fly Cast (
-   -   What is the secret to casting with an indicator (

tex 08-05-2013 04:38 PM

What is the secret to casting with an indicator
Because I can't seem to figure it out. I can cast well most of the time, but when I put an indicator on all bets are off...especially when I have a weighted nymph on there. What am I missing? I can't seem to get any distance and everything slaps the water like a WWF wrestler.

Any tips?

MoscaPescador 08-05-2013 04:55 PM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
Regardless what you do, don't expect a soft presentation with an indo-float-a-bob-icator rig. Slaps are common, but an adjustment in your casting can limit the harshness of the slap.

As for casting, slow down your stroke. Don't try to overpower the cast. This will open up the loop to throw the rig much more efficiently.


tex 08-05-2013 05:03 PM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
Dennis, thanks for the pointers. I will be sure to try it this weekend!

chased 08-05-2013 05:57 PM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
Indicator fishing with heavy flies can get pretty messy. Try to open up your loops. Using a double or single haul should help with getting the line speed you need to turn over the rig.


silver creek 08-05-2013 06:29 PM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
The best way to cast depends on several key factors. One factor is how many flies you are fishing, whether they are weighted with beads or lead, and how they are distributed on the leader. Heavy flies or split shot add point source masses on the leader and this disrupts the turnover of the leader.

Now add a indicator and you have not only added another weight, but also another point on the leader with disruptive aerodynamic drag.

When the flies are unweighted and the indicator is small, casting is not difficult. When the indicator is large and the flies heavy, you can end up in a mess.

These point sources of mass and air resistance means the path of the fly line ahead of the leader has less control of the leader. Rather than following the path of the fly line, the heavy flies and indicator try to follow a ballistic path. They will want to go in direction they were going at the stop. When the flies and the indicator are not on the same tract as the fly line at the rod stop, you can get a tangles leader.

If you are casting a heavy nymphing rig, the most important piece of advice I can give you is to AVOID false casts. You will have difficulty getting that leader to go around the loop because the weights want to keep going in a straight line. Even if you make just a single back cast and a forward cast, those flies and indicator will disrupt the smooth loop and make each following cast more difficult because the fly line, the leader, and flies will become further off tract with each subsequent cast. Each casts adds more opportunity for a tangle,

When casting heavy rigs, do a water haul/tension cast. This is a forward cast WITHOUT any backcast. Let the fly line, leader, indicator and flies drift past you and straighten below you. Then you use the tension of the flowing water to straighten your leader and your fly line below you and you make a single forward delivery cast.

Here is how it is done:

At the end of you drift, point your rod downstream at your line and allow the line, indicator and nymphs to straighten downstream. The amount of line that is down stream will determine the extra load BUT it also determines how far the cast will go. If you have too much line, you will not be able to cast it all upstream even with the extra water load. If you have too little, you are limiting the distance cast. So you need to titrate the amount of line, meaning you need to experiment to see what is the optimum amount of amount of line for the maximum load you can use.

In a single smooth motion, cast the line toward your target. Make sure the loop is wide enough so that you don't hit your rod with the indicator or flies. That would be bad. Try a wide loop first and then you can narrow it as you get better at the cast.

The cast is best done at 180 degrees from the the downstream line position. Sometimes the downstream line position will be such that you cannot cast upstream to the point you want to. You can then make the upstream cast as best you can, then immediately pick up and cast back downstream to where your need to to make another upstream cast to your target.

Secondly, you can haul and shoot line on this cast. The amount of line you shoot varies with how effective you are with the water load and the haul.

The effectiveness of the cast varies with the fly rod you are using. Depending on the weight being cast, some fly rods will wimp out. They will not be stiff enough to propel the cast. So give it a try but be careful you do not over stress your fly rod.

So when the distribution of flies, split shot, and indicator makes standard casting unworkable, resort to the water haul/tension cast.

The Water Haul Cast - Slow Your Roll | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

kglissmeyer1 08-06-2013 09:02 AM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
The water-haul is my secret to nymphing with an indicator. As Silver said, false casts are a no-no. On a water-haul, make sure you utilize the backbone of your rod by loading it with the current and then sending it upstream. One secret I have found is to point my rod tip at the end of the haul to where I want my flies to end up and lo-and-behold that's where they go.

If I don't like where my rig ended up I will load it with the water again from the upstream position make a back-cast and then fire it to where I want the drift to start. Works like a charm. Allowing the water to load your rod makes a lot of sense and really makes the job of casting multi-nymph indicator rigs quite easy. Again, keep the multiple false casts out of the equation - load, fire and drop to fish the next stretch.


turbineblade 08-06-2013 09:08 AM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
Bingo -- water haul or "slingshot" casting is the best in my experience.

Particularly if you're using a light rod (<3 weight) and heavy flies, or split shot. I've fished a few rigs that were so heavy you honestly couldn't cast them if you wanted to, even with a good haul.

Water hauling works great though and sometimes you need the weight to get deep.

I also use water hauling in really windy conditions for long casts (like 50-60') on some of the big rivers around here. It makes the experience more relaxing.

tex 08-06-2013 11:05 AM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
Thanks for the info guys! I think one of my big problems is that my loop is too tight. I will try opening it up use the water to load my line. Fingers crossed!!!

turbineblade 08-06-2013 11:11 AM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
Having a loop that is too tight is a problem I wish I had sometimes ;). You're right though -- tight loops are not beneficial for this purpose.

tex 08-06-2013 12:06 PM

Re: What is the secret to casting with an indicator
My loops use to be huge, I couldn't get them to tighten up. Then I took a casting class with my local fly shop. Best $50 I have ever spent. Only problem is that now my loops are too tight when I try to throw a larger weighted fly. Things get tangled from time to time. It was an amazing experience watching the loop change over the course of the class just by tweaking the way my arm moved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.40 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2005-2017 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.