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freeze69 07-18-2005 12:06 AM

Fly size and castability
Went out yesterday and today for the first time since my last attempt. Had ok luck yesterday considering the weather. Today after many weeks practicing my cast I actually think I did half-way decent. Turned the score around from the last time. Caught about 20 missed about 3 and lost 1. Don't know what the one was thinking a bass because of the fly landing next to dragonfly and the leader being broken. Now for the main question. While using about a #6 or #8 popper or anything else about that size the fly line just didn't seem to want to cast. Put on a small popper or a small misquito type fly it casted just fine. Is it possible that the bigger flies are just to big for my 8ft. 5wt. fly rod? Just seemed like the bigger flies just didn't sound right going through the air? Does this make sense or just my imagination?

BigCliff 07-18-2005 08:39 AM

Re: Fly size and castability
The size of the fly definitely is the issue because of its lack of density. The flat surface on the front of that popper provides quite a bit of air resistance. The five weight line may not have enough oomph to to pull that popper through the air. Its kind of similar to the idea of running with an umbrella behind you. If you drop down to a size 10 popper, your casts should improve. (and you still catch PLENTY of sunfish)

Just for clarification, not all size 6 or 8 flies will have this affect on your casts. There is an ideal weight/density range which will cast well on a given weight of fly rod/line. A bead-head wooly bugger that weighed exactly the same as those size 6 poppers might cast just fine, due to its smaller profile. A size 6 Mickey Finn, with its slender profile and light weight, should cast just fine. If you were to bump up to a size 6 Clouser Minnow with lead eyes, that might bee too heavy and give you a different casting variance that didn't seem "right". It also might not feel "right" when you whacked yourself in the back of the head with the Clouser, as this happening is very common with Clousers on light, and especially short rods.

fshfanatic 07-19-2005 06:28 PM

Re: Fly size and castability
If you use a slightly heavier tippet you will cast the larger/more wid resistant bugs a little better as well.

freeze69 07-20-2005 12:38 PM

Re: Fly size and castability
Will have to keep the heavier tippet in mind. Is there a general rule of thumb when it comes to tippet size for problems like this?

BigCliff 07-20-2005 01:16 PM

Re: Fly size and castability
There's an often touted formula for matching tippet to fly size that I think goes like this. Hook size divided by 3 = optimal x of tippet. Example: size 18 fly, 6x tippet. I don't think of it in quite such a formulaic way, but rather just use what seems to be about right for a given species.

On the poppers, if you're using 4x (4-5lb) then bumping up to 2x (8lb or so) should help. 10 or 12 lb would help even more. (in case you were wondering _x refers to tippet diameter, lb rating to strength)

Just thought of another thing that might help- make sure your leader is straight. You can straighten a leader by either stretching it or by pulling it through tightly clasped fingers. (you'll have to use some "touch" on this. if your tight grip is making the mono too hot to hold, that's too much. that much heat will weaken it as well)

freeze69 07-21-2005 02:36 AM

Re: Fly size and castability
If I remeber right I'm using about a 2 or 4 lb tippet. I use the same lb test on my ultra-light. Even though it's different from a fly rod it's still the same I would think. I just think it's a blast to try and catch something on light line. I don't think that I'll ever try trout fishing or in my area salmon fishing with a fly rod. But you never know. Told the wife when I bought this as a starter kit if I like it and can do it I will buy something nicer next year. For me when I mean nicer I'm probally only talking about $200 to $250 for a complete set-up. Only time will tell though. Appreciate all the input and the advice though.

BigCliff 07-21-2005 08:13 AM

Re: Fly size and castability
Yeah, 2 or 4lb falls into the category of "light". Bumping up to 8lb won't make the fish fight less, as its still attached to the same limber rod. Your casts should turnover better though, and you'll have less chance of leaving the fly in a fish.

You may also find that you're comfortable casting closer to overhanging trees, etc, since you'l have a better chance of pulling your fly out. I'd be willing to bet you'll be amazed at how many more fish you can catch when you're casting closer to the cover. We've got some limestone bottomed streams here in Texas where you just cast under the trees and ignore the rest of the river, as the fish are all under the trees. (all the panfish, that is)

freeze69 07-21-2005 12:47 PM

Re: Fly size and castability
Will try that then. Taking the wife to a lake this weekend that is full of lilly pads and the bluegills have been close to pads. Thinking that all the big ones are super deep though. Haven't caught to many big keepers this year yet. Where entering the dog days of summer up here. That and lack of rain most of the year has got all the fishing missed up.

zerolimit 01-31-2007 11:04 PM

Re: Fly size and castability
I've been learning to toss clousers and poppers for bass the past year and had a heck of a time coming to terms with them. So far what has helped me most is using heavier, shorter leaders. I found that light leaders just won't turn over the larger flies. I also have an easier time throwing bass bugs with my 7wt. than with my 5wt.

Joni 02-01-2007 10:29 AM

Re: Fly size and castability
I agree to step up your tippet weight. I use 6lb P-Line Flouro on most occasions. Also if you have a wide open space, try casting to the side (we call it the guide cast LOL). Not as much wind.
If you have all the vegetation, you might want to think about a WET CELL sinking line. Not for poppers so much but nymphs. The belly of the line will drop, but put the fly up in the weeds.
Maybe the big fish are holding a little deeper.

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