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Thread: Wind knots and assorted problems;

  1. #1
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    Default Wind knots and assorted problems;

    An old thread was recently bumped back to life wherein the poster described having a "knot" in his fly line. When I clicked the thread I didn't immediately notice that the thread was nearly 2 years old or that I had replied back in 2015. When I found that I had replied on the thread some other things stood out, I didn't ask how the guy got a knot in his fly line, and I didn't make any suggestions regarding how we might avoid such unpleasant things from happening.

    That's what this post is about, how to avoid some problems before they occur.

    I've had my share of wind knots but don't ever recall tying a knot into a fly line. Back in the 1970's and early 80's I still fished nymphs and wets using three flies at once and believe me, I tied some knots. I also was into seeing how far I could cast a fly line and this often results in knots. For the past dozen years I've been using Spey rods and make no mistake about it, you can make some messes with a 14 foot rod & 15 foot leader preforming giant roll casts..............

    My solution which I am offering to you isn't some new casting style. It isn't an accessory we can pick up at a shop that will help. Nope, the tool, the skill we need is something we already have, our eyes.

    Some reading this may agree that many of the problems we encounter when fishing may be the result of our being in a bit of a hurry. Not all of us have unlimited time to just go fishing, I get that. It could be helpful though for us to just slow down a little bit. Slow down when we drive to the creek or river, I'm sure someone reading this has gotten a speeding ticket while on the way to go fishing................ I did back in 1979 and never forgot the experience.

    So what does this have to do with knots where you don't want them?

    Where was I? I've read posts here made by guys who fell down and got banged up pretty good, some while entering the water, some while walking down a trail to the creek. Then there are the rods that get broken due to our being in a hurry or feeling rushed.

    OK, OK Ard so how do you avoid getting tangles in your lines or leaders?

    I take my time, I have seen many a good or correct cast and I know what a good cast looks like. If you think about this, so do you. When I am fishing, when I make a cast, if I see anything at all which seems out of balance, in any way not right I stop the cast right then and there. It's simple, you just take a moment to examine your line and then get back to fishing. This will slow you down a bit but it won't slow you down like a big old knot will.

    It's that simple, watch the line and you will develop an instinct for recognizing when something isn't quite right. The longer you do this (fishing) the more likely that you will figure out most problems on your own, being a part of this forum allows us to share things that may be helpful to others with less experience.

    I hope this may help some, just be willing to slow down and look carefully while you are casting. I haven't had a knot for so long I can't tell you when the last was, it wasn't in this century.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    Just my .02 cents but foot placement is a key factor to a proper cast (on-going). Me. (Right handed) my left foot will be a bit forward of my right and body facing about a 45 degree angle.

    This allows for plenty of body rotation, at the hips, so you can watch your line regardless of the cast or where it is at the moment. If I had to guess the first place you're going to get a bad cast going is the part where the line is moving behind you.

    Flub that bit and its pretty hard to recover with a single hand rod, with a 2hander you do have a limited number 'they'll work' options.

    fae
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    Quote Originally Posted by Ard Stetts View Post
    It's that simple, watch the line and you will develop an instinct for recognizing when something isn't quite right.
    How right you are Ard.

    Another hint that something isn't quite right is the sound the fly makes as it passes by. An unusual whistle or hiss can often indicate that a knot is in the leader or that the fly is fouled somehow. Stop and sort it out and the day goes more smoothly.

    Cheers,
    Graeme
    IFFF Certified Casting Instructor

    (Formerly known as Kalgrm)

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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    Late in an outing is when I'll get tend to get a wind knot. I do a lot of casting and paddling in my kayak most days out and fatigue will set in late in the day. For me, Getting tired leads to casting form issues. I generally know when I've made a cast that will lead to a knot. Then I can check the leader and undo the knot easily before it tightens. I think most come when I'm casting almost directly downwind and I'm worried about hitting myself with the fly. Sometimes, the fish or structure I'm casting to is in a position that demands odd angle casts in gusty and shifty winds.

    I can live with a few wind knots here and there. I look at it as I'm not playing it safe and only making casts when I feel fresh or when the casting conditions are favorable. The fish aren't always at 10 o'clock wind blowing from your off hand back and shoulder. If the fish is at 1 o'clock and the wind is coming from my dominant side, I'm looking to make the shot. Sometimes it might be an off hand cast or and backhand over head dominant hand cast and sometimes it isn't pretty. For me, it's about taking the chance and see what happens.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    Good advice Ard. It applies to me. Hurrying rarely pays off. I'll also get locked in on a spot on a small stream I know I want to cast due to past success. All fly fisherman quickly learn to be aware of what is behind them, but I am pretty bad about failing to look up. If I was a trout an eagle would eat me when I was a fingerling. Anyway I'll be locked in on the water and unknowingly creep under a tree 10ft over my head. Exact same trees will get me several times each season on a few of my streams.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    One of my problems is that I mostly fish in a local pond that has lots of trees right down to the water. As I get more line out I start getting nervous about catching the trees behind me, so I begin to start the forward cast before the back cast is finished, and voila: tailing loops and "wind knots." (Some days though the tree is the only thing I catch.)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    Good advice, Ard.

    Hurrying certainly applies to me. Hurrying a cast almost always ends less than spectacularly. To make matters worse, I sometimes hurry up the next cast to make up for the bad one, thereby making things even worse. I guess I sometimes even fall into the category that continuing to do the same thing will result in a different outcome. I will take this one to the stream with me.

    Thanks, Ard.
    steve
    "Nothing is as bad as something that is not so bad"...Sr. Percival Blakeney, aka The Scarlet Pimpernel

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    Hi guys,

    I'm glad that you get what I was trying to say, it's difficult sometimes to put thoughts out in a post and have them received the way you meant them to be.

    For some replies I'll offer these: for Steve, unless you get caught in a tree or bush there is no such thing as a bad cast. If the fly lands in the water it was an OK cast. I do not rip line back off the water based on whether or not I approved of the way it landed. I let them all go as if each was as perfect as they can get. Some of the best fish I've caught came on some of the worst casts of the day.

    For gpwhitejr: Conditions like you describe are how I learned to do a single hand rod, Spey cast. It cut my back cast down by about 90%. Not so good if you're trying to fish dry flies but I thought I'd mention it............

    For Dewayne: I've done what you describe buddy but I somehow learned. I learned to take some time to study the entire situation before I even began to fish. Another handy thing was that I knew where to go so that I had the luxury of being able to take a seat and acclimate to the stream. There were no worries that while I was trying to reach my Zen level some butt head would come walking up on me and wade into my run. Pressured waters change us, you gotta find the place where no one else is. When you do, you tell no one, ever.

    For Karstopo: I understand, give it full throttle while you can buddy. I'll be 63 soon and admit that I'll wait for a favorable wind

    For Graeme: That's exactly what I'm talking about buddy! Seeing something just a wee bit hinky as that line - leader and fly go sailing past. With the Spey rod I watch the sweep so I can check the fly as it passes nearby.

    When you are fishing streamers and have either a couple bumps with no fish or you have had no action for a while..................... Drag that fly in and have a look, many times the materials may be fouled around the hook and your fly is doing a cork screw thing while it is swinging across the stream. I have never had a fish whack a fouled fly.

    Fred: You are right on with the body position, I sometimes have to stop and examine my stance if I'm suddenly having a problem casting. Especially true when looking for accuracy or distance, being in a proper body position is important, much like shooting.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    "Fred: You are right on with the body position, I sometimes have to stop and examine my stance if I'm suddenly having a problem casting. Especially true when looking for accuracy or distance, being in a proper body position is important, much like shooting."

    Dad and Mom. He was Canada Grand National shooter; Mom was 4 or 5'ish with shot guns.

    Me? I don't even know how to load one of those things. Years back, Bird hunting .. tracking a bird ... fellow hunter head just under the barrel. Unloaded the shot gun and never touched one again.

    Back in the day, rifle/Coast Guard, I could take a bird out of the air. But that was back in 1961'ish. Don't think I've fired a round in close to 40 years. May be longer. Now thousands of young men/woooman between them and me.

    Old Doggie and I, sleep well knowing.

    fae

    fae
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Wind knots and assorted problems;

    Quote Originally Posted by gpwhitejr View Post
    One of my problems is that I mostly fish in a local pond that has lots of trees right down to the water. As I get more line out I start getting nervous about catching the trees behind me, so I begin to start the forward cast before the back cast is finished, and voila: tailing loops and "wind knots." (Some days though the tree is the only thing I catch.)
    The line will go where the rod tip points last.
    Back cast parallel to the bank, then turn the forward cast where you want it to go.

    "Every [child] has the right to a first fish. On this particular planet, no man is granted a greater privilege than to be present and to assist in the realization of this moment". Bill Heavey

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