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Thread: define "slack"

  1. Default define "slack"

    I'm working hard on improving my casting. In many of the "how to" articles and books I read, they reference the need to start the rod at 9 o'clock or lower postion, and to make sure there is no slack in the line.

    Does this mean stripping the line in so there are no waves or curves in the line before you begin the back cast? Or does it mean putting the tip to the ground/water and then beginning.

    Also, when practicing casting on dry land, should I use regular set up of 9' leader, 2' feet tippet, and some type of hook? Other options for practice? Thanks.
    You can't catch 'em sleeping in bed!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: define "slack"

    Hi ducktropper,

    Welcome to the forum.

    You are pretty close to what is meant by removing slack from the line. Before you start your back cast you need to point you rod tip at the water and strip in line until the fly starts to move. You then start your back cast from this low tip position. Simply pointing the rod tip at the water won't work if there is any slack in the line between you and your fly.

    A 9' tapered leader has about 24" of tippet on the end of the leader. You don't need to add an additional 24" of tippet. It may make it harder for the leader to unroll completely. So just use a standard 9' tapered leader with a fairly light fly with the hook broken off at the bend. You could also use a piece of yarn but a lot of times new casters use too much yarn. You want a simple, easy setup to practice with. When you get your casting stroke down you can experiment with bigger flies and longer tippets. If you are fishing small streams with a light weight rod you might even want to practice with a 7.5' leader.

  3. Re: define "slack"

    Good advice from Frank. You might want to buy some C/D's on casting. There is a great one by Geo. Harvey on nymphing. Right now you're on the right track. In spite of all the years fly fishing I still practice. On the stream when there's a lull in the action I'll practice. There are days when you're not paying attention and wind up with the line around your head. Enjoy.

  4. Default Re: define "slack"

    Also, slack often gets into the cast between our rod and line hands. This is caused when we begin our forward cast by moving our rod hand, but not simultaneously moving our line hand downward, and the fly rod, therefore, doesn't load. One way to help prevent this is to keep our rod and line hand at the same level or at least close together.

    To take his idea further, if we're double hauling, we should always finish our upward haul with our line hand level with our rod hand.

    Randy Kadish

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Grand canyon of Pa.

    Default Re: define "slack"

    I get slack when my shorts get just had to....
    sandfly/ bob
    N.J.B.B.A. #2215

    I did not escape.....they gave me a day pass!
    from the outer edge of nowhere
    fly tying and fishing Gillie..

  6. #6

    Default Re: define "slack"

    Very good reply by Frank to not start the cast until the fly is moving.
    A couple more tricks I use to make sure the entire line is loading the rod is to wiggle the rod tip vertically until the fly moves then immediately go into the back cast.
    For show, and because it was shown me by Mac Brown, you can also do travelling spirals with the rod tip to get the line travelling in spirals and rolling across the ground then jump right into the back cast. It's as showy as all get-out and has a huge wow-factor but it does indeed work!

  7. #7

    Default Re: define "slack"

    "Slack" = What I get from the wife when she out fishes me!

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