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  1. #1

    Default Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    I realize there are probably several answers for this question but I'm just looking for a general guideline. What is the largest Beadhead Wooly Bugger you can comfortably throw with a 4wt moderate action rod with matching line? I do realize it largely depends on the leader, caster's ability, wind, and even the taper of your line to an extent. Some of my heaviest flies are #10-12 BH Buggers, I even have a couple #8 but they seem pretty heavy. I know you can lob larger flies with light gear however for now, what would be an ideal size to stop at for a beginner?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fisher King View Post
    I realize there are probably several answers for this question but I'm just looking for a general guideline. What is the largest Beadhead Wooly Bugger you can comfortably throw with a 4wt moderate action rod with matching line? I do realize it largely depends on the leader, caster's ability, wind, and even the taper of your line to an extent. Some of my heaviest flies are #10-12 BH Buggers, I even have a couple #8 but they seem pretty heavy. I know you can lob larger flies with light gear however for now, what would be an ideal size to stop at for a beginner?
    I think the water is a major factor here. I often lob short casts across small streams with overly heavy flies and let them swing down, works great. Upstream or stillwater presentations are a lot more work. I say Sz8 for sure, maybe Sz6. That's assuming some lead weight or tungsten cone on the fly.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    I guess I would put a short heavy leader; 2x or 3x, or maybe the butt end of an old leader and experiment. See how big your rod will handle.

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    It all depends on things like wind, length of cast, type and character of the water and other factors.

    But if the conditions allow, I have no problem fishing tungsten cone head size 8 buggers with some additional lead tied in using 4 weight outfits, especially longer (10ish foot) rods. Now that is with a normal fly line (Rio Gold or SA Trout). To fish much heavier I would put a mono-rig on the front of that line and just lob the heavy fly just like Euro-nymphing.

    I can do most things in trout fishing with a 4 wt until the wind chases me to a 5 or 6 wt.

    Don

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  8. #5

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fisher King View Post
    I realize there are probably several answers for this question but I'm just looking for a general guideline. What is the largest Beadhead Wooly Bugger you can comfortably throw with a 4wt moderate action rod with matching line? I do realize it largely depends on the leader, caster's ability, wind, and even the taper of your line to an extent. Some of my heaviest flies are #10-12 BH Buggers, I even have a couple #8 but they seem pretty heavy. I know you can lob larger flies with light gear however for now, what would be an ideal size to stop at for a beginner?
    I've answered a similar question before.

    I think you're asking the wrong question. The reason you are asking the wrong question is that your question as you asked it has no specific answer because WE are NOT YOU. I think what you should ask is how can I maximize the distance I can cast a heavy and/or air resistant fly regardless of fly rod rating and fly rod action.

    Rather than give you a fly size, I am going to answer your question differently because I want to get you to think more holistically. By trying the methods outlined below, you can discover for yourself how big a fly and how far you can cast it. After all, what is important is not our opinion but your performance.

    One solution would be to buy a rod or fly line more suited to casting these flies. However, your questions makes it obvious to me that you are not going to buy new rod or fly line just to cast theses flies. So if you are not asking what rod to buy, and there is no way to change the action or the line rating.

    Since the answer in your case CANNOT be the rod or fly line, it must be in casting technique. Regardless of fly rod action and the line rating that you already have, the casting method for heavy and/or air resistant flies for the rod and action are IDENTICAL.

    To cast heavy flies and avoid hitting the fly rod use the Belgian Cast. It is the same cast that is used to cast heavy split shop rigs and other clumsy rigs that share a common problem with heavy streamers. Lots of mass on or at the end of the leader that can destroy a fly rod if it gets hit. So the Belgian Cast keeps the loop wide and away from the fly rod tip. Read the articles below and study the video.

    Casting Heavy Flies | MidCurrent

    The Belgian Cast | MidCurrent

    How to cast weighted fly line, heavy flies, and split-shot

    Pro Tip: How to Cast Heavy Streamers - Orvis News



    Regards,

    Silver



    "Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

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  10. #6

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    Great advice from S&S.

    My suggestion: select the line to deliver the fly.

    Lob it with a mono rig, skagit/spey cast with specialized shooting heads, or use a heavier wf line for executing the oval/Belgian cast.

    Very likely you will use a heavier line, and you can continue to use your favourite 4 weight rod.

  11. #7

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    skagit 4wt heavy flies

  12. #8

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    A 4wt is not meant to throw heavy flies. It'll do it- but you're robbing yourself of the pleasure of the fly cast.

    Size 16, unweighted ;0)

    Buy a 6 or 7wt for that heathen stuff- or go back to spinning gear if you wanna throw lead, ya troglodyte

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    Quote Originally Posted by osseous View Post
    A 4wt is not meant to throw heavy flies. It'll do it- but you're robbing yourself of the pleasure of the fly cast.

    Size 16, unweighted ;0)

    Buy a 6 or 7wt for that heathen stuff- or go back to spinning gear if you wanna throw lead, ya troglodyte

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
    Eh, I frequently fish for pond largemouth bass and small stream smallmouth with a 4 weight. I don't toss huge bass bugs but I use plenty of large wind resistant bugs and poppers. I can't cast them 60 feet but I don't need to and I get less tired when I fish all day.

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  16. #10
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    Default Re: Appropriate Fly Size? 4 WT

    to the OP, the short answer is YES, you can definitely cast and catch fish with those sized flies using your standard 4wt setup. will your casting stroke and cadence be the same? probably not. will it be as pleasant a casting experience as throwing a dry fly...probably not...but that doesnt mean it wont be fun or productive. try it. i think youll enjoy it. just shorten your leader and use a heavier tippet to make the energy transfer from the cast to your fly more efficient.

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