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Thread: casting wet flies

  1. Default casting wet flies

    when i cast a bead headed fly, it seems to be ten times harder to cast than a dry, do i have to really draw out my backcast and ensure that i dont have any tailing loops? Or should i be using a different leader and tippet size, im currently using a 4x, and using hook sizes from 10-16. thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: casting wet flies

    Casting weight is more a matter of timing the stroke to accommodate the added weight than anything else. For instance I often cast a size 2 salmon hook with a big heavy wet wad of bunny fur tied to it, add to that a set of the big zinc barbell eyes and one or two (large) split shot. I can manage this and hit some pretty incredible distances with a 7, 8, or nine weight single hand rod. It's all about timing the strokes and proper application of power in both fore and back strokes.

    If I can do it, you can learn to do it too. Whenever casting any amount of weight be sure to alter your casting plane fore and aft because hitting your rod tip with a bead head or split shot can be detrimental to the rod tip section.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    south florida

    Default Re: casting wet flies

    I don't know what you mean by drawing out the backcast, but you certainly don't want any tailing loops with weighted flies or you can wind up with a pierced ear.

    You need to slow (the cadence of) your cast way down, and use a longer casting stroke. This will open your loops and prevent tails. It will also give you a little more leeway in the timing of the next stroke. Smooooth is the name of game in all casting, but especially with weighted flies.

    A "constant tension" cast or "Belgian cast" is good for heavily weighted flies as Ard says. This is a technique that Lefty Kreh uses a lot, where you use more of a horizontal rod plane on the backcast and move it to more vertical plane for the forward cast.

    This gives you even more leeway in the timing, and the chances of impaling yourself or popping off the fly are much less.

    You might want to practice by cutting off a trashed-out fly above the bend of the hook, and adding a split shot or two. Wear glasses and watch your backcast, and concentrate on feeling the line (and heavy fly) when it unrolls behind you.

    Once you start getting the idea and feel of the line and the fly, close your eyes and concentrate on the feel of the backcast.

    A 4x leader is more than adaquate for what you are throwing.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: casting wet flies

    Its important to stop and think about why you're having this problem. It actually goes back to high school physics and is caused by inertia, gravity, and wind resistance. Since a weighted (beadhead or otherwise) nymph has more mass than a dry fly, its going to be more stubborn about wanting to continue traveling the direction in which its already flying. (inertia of motion) Its greater mass is also going to cause gravity to pull it down more while casting, thus making tailing loops and tangles more likely. Wind resistance obviously comes into play more for a fluffy dry fly, and decreases its effective inertia of motion. (think of the flight of a badmiton shuttlecock vs. a golf ball) I think the stiffness of the tippet also plays a part here, as its more able to affect the flight path of a dry fly than a weighted fly.

    First off, I'd start by watching your cast in both directions, to make sure its unrolling fully in both directions. If you see tailing loops, make your acceleration through the cast more gradually. (point 1.5, make sure you continue casting this way once you're back to fishing)

    Secondly, I think going with a slight Belgian cast will help. This will reduce the chances of tangles.

    Once you get this down, I think you'll find situations where weighted flies are in fact much easier to cast than dry flies. I know I find that to be the case on windy days especially.

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

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