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Thread: Back-Cast issues

  1. #1

    Default Back-Cast issues

    Hoping to hone my skills a little this year, and I'm pretty darned determined to cast off my whole fly line this season, no real practical reason, but you know how it is.... I was using a cheap Sci-Angler Lefty series line; which earlier this year I could cast all but about 10-15 ft of it. I replaced the line with a Sharkskin and now I'm leaving about 20' of it on the ground! Mid range casts feel awesome, I can really feel the load on the backcast and push forward with little effort. Once I get past 70' it will feel fine for a couple false casts, and then all of a sudden I have no load on the back cast. I'm sending it really high in the air I think, and not getting a tight loop. SO; I'm thinking that my back-cast should be a mirror image of my forward cast? Is that so? Also wondering what flaws in my stroke could be getting magnified when I'm trying to throw alot of line.

    This was with a TFO BVK 9'5wt with 5wt Sharkskin GPX

    Any Ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Bennington, VT
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    1,544

    Default Re: Back-Cast issues

    This is easier said than done...but if you're timing is right, and you are double hauling, you ought to be able to throw the whole line without a false cast. On the haul on the back cast, you should be able to hear/feel the line singing backwards. The important deal is knowing when to stop the line going back with your fingers thru the guides, begin the forward cast and haul again. And if the line is going high in the air, it's losing all its (and the rod's) energy, and the big cast is doomed.

    I do these hero casts on the lawn all the time. In all of my fly fishing life, I've never had to cast the whole line for real. But I know what you mean; its fun to be able to do whether you need it or not.

    I've seen one or two guys cast the entire line without a rod, just with their hands, and I hate them.
    Best,
    Gary

  3. #3

    Default Re: Back-Cast issues

    Quote Originally Posted by gt05254 View Post
    This is easier said than done...but if you're timing is right, and you are double hauling, you ought to be able to throw the whole line without a false cast. On the haul on the back cast, you should be able to hear/feel the line singing backwards. The important deal is knowing when to stop the line going back with your fingers thru the guides, begin the forward cast and haul again. And if the line is going high in the air, it's losing all its (and the rod's) energy, and the big cast is doomed.

    I do these hero casts on the lawn all the time. In all of my fly fishing life, I've never had to cast the whole line for real. But I know what you mean; its fun to be able to do whether you need it or not.

    I've seen one or two guys cast the entire line without a rod, just with their hands, and I hate them.
    Best,
    Gary
    I know, I know...I'll never need to cast the whole line out there on the river. BUT; I do remember catching a nice brown on the Madison that I really had to stick some line out there to reach. It must have been 80 ft of line or more, because it took me 4 or 5 tries to get it there and I could see my backing. There was a channel in the middle that I couldn't wade through, and a trout rising all the way on the opposite bank. It was a hard day fishing, and that was one of only two that I pulled in that day. Millions of flies, and no trout rising to them so when I saw this one way off I had to reach him.

    I can usually feel the line going back, and don't have a problem putting the brakes on it to load the rod. When it goes bad, it goes really bad. No feeling at all, it's like the line fell off. When I turn around to look there is a really wide high loop that doesn't have a chance to make it all the way back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Back-Cast issues

    Jason,

    When going for the whole enchilada timing is of course critical but making repeated false casts with 70 + feet of line out the tip top will challenge the timing of even some of the best. My advice is: when you have made a seventy foot cast and it is lying on the lawn or water in front of you do the following.

    1. Strip the remaining line from the reel and pull it through your fingers to take out the tight coils from being so close to the arbor.

    2. Rod tip low, grasp the line at the stripping guide and make one serious load and back cast.

    3. Be prepared to slip / shoot at least 5 - 10 foot of the remaining line into the back cast.

    4. You will need to find your stop point for the backcast sweep and also your own speed / power rate to fully load the rod and arielize the line with authority. When you know your stop point repeat steps 2 & 3.

    5. When the cast terminates you will feel it tug on the tip; (it may be helpful to turn your head and watch while practicing this so you associate the 'feel' with what you are seeing) now make the forward cast stroke, just one (not a series of false cast while trying to pay out the remaining line) on the forward stroke make a short and very decisive haul / pull on the line you hold in your free hand and be prepared to let it shoot on the stop point of this power stroke.

    This will shoot any remaining line into the finished cast. It can be done and once you get your system figured out it can be done with relative ease. The biggest mistake I see people make when they are going for a 90' cast is a continuous series of false casts. They try to get the entire line in the air and although they may hang with it into the 70' range they often lose the timing and energy needed to keep it going at this length. The steps I have described make distance easy regardless of whether you are working at 50' or going for the whole thing. There are times when fishing any of my single hand rods for salmon on our big rivers here that I am shooting casts of 70 - 90 feet when I have the back cast room. This back cast room, or better put; the lack of it is what drove me to Spey casting. With a 13' eight weight I can hit distances with no more than mere feet of room between my back and the rivers bank.

    Good luck with this effort,

    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

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