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Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2006/9/9 10:36
From Philadelphia, PA
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I've developed a bad habit over the last year or so which has been giving me fits on the water, one that I can't seem to figure out. Normally, it isn't a big deal, as I'm fishing smaller water and the consequences aren't really that dire.

This weekend, on the Upper D, it proved incredibly costly, as it greatly reduced my ability to cast accurately with longer casts.

Anyway ... My casts are laying on the water with a belly, a "J" shape if you will. It's the sort of result I'd normally hope to achieve with a reach cast/mend, except backwards. My fly lands upstream of the line and leader, instead of downstream.

When fishing from the other side of the river, this works fine, but I have no control.

If I try to remedy the problem with a reach cast, I only end up with sort of an S-curve with my fly once again upstream of my leader and line.

I thought I might be turning my wrist or dropping the rod, but I'm not noticing myself doing this. Trying specifically not to do this isn't yielding a solution.

Any guesses?

Posted on: 2011/5/17 11:56


Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2009/5/18 17:57
From Toona
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Try holding the reel parallel to the water next time when you are casting. Most of the time the reel is kept facing up and down, while turning it parallel can help the line and leader lay out straight. I use this trick probably 90% of the time when I am nymphing or fishing dries even. Another thng you can try is stopping the rod at about 11 oclock on the forward motion. It creates a more abrupt stop often causing the line to flip downstream rather than upstream. Only other idea would be to pull the fly line slightly as your line is laying out on the forward cast. Pulling on it like that often results in the leader laying out the whole way to.

Posted on: 2011/5/17 13:07
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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TUNA -

Will definitely give these ideas a shot.

I tend to be more of a sidearm caster than a straight up and down, but I'll experiment with rod angle.

Doesn't seem to be an issue of the leader not turning over entirely, there seems to be plenty of power. It just wants to turn upstream when it does. You'd think I was doing a downstream reach cast, but I'm not.

For the record, btw, this is from the perspective of a right hand caster with my right hand/shoulder on the downstream side.

Oh, and if it provides any clues, I also had pretty frequent issues with my fly hooking my leader or fly line on the forward cast and causing me to have to untangle things. This came out of nowhere.


Posted on: 2011/5/17 13:22
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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You were probably throwing the tailing loops because you were struggling to fix the poor casts. Tailing loops, to me, are usually a red herring, and the result of trying to compensate for something else.

It sounds to me like you're sidearming and outcasting your range. I know because that's what my casts look like when I try to outcast my range. The fly isn't turning over, and the side arm cast results in what you're seeing. Probably can't do much but practice, and I'd imagine nobody could troubleshoot it without seeing it.

*edit: If you're getting too much turnover, consider a longer, stiffer leader.

Posted on: 2011/5/17 13:43


Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2007/4/5 16:03
From Altoona/Smoke Run
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Sounds like you're not getting enough turnover? or maybe I'm confused? try keeping the tip of your rod higher until your fly hits the water. Or go down a line weight? Hard to tell without seeing it/you cast. Could be a hundred things.

Posted on: 2011/5/17 14:00
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2010/1/21 17:06
From Southwest, Pa
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you could also have too much leader, or not enough defined taper. i.e. too much smaller diameter at your butt. I agree with tuna, stop your casts more abruptly and give a small pull back on the rod before you fly lands, then, as soon as the fly hits the water, pull your tippet back just a hair to get the fly in front of your line.

Posted on: 2011/5/17 14:36
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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Heck it could even be the line.
If you keep trying these methods to correct it and cannot; it might be a faulty line. Happens all the time when the foam gets formed unevenly.

Posted on: 2011/5/17 14:54
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
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If you are right handed, and your cast is not directly over head you're going to get a natural hook to your cast. Just like in golf. (*disclaimer, most bad golfers are really bad and slice, but a natural hook is what happens when a good golf swing is executed.)

Back to fishing. I can, on purpose, hook or slice my line to apply them to conditions. As it was said above, I do have problems casting great distances perfectly straight. It just takes practice. Make sure your grip is proper, your timing is right, and your cast is overhead, not side arm.

Practice doesn't make perfect... PERFECT Practice makes perfect.


Ryan

Posted on: 2011/5/17 15:42
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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The tailing loops I'm pretty sure are in fact, as jay suggests, having a little trouble with distance. The tangleups/tailing loops were mostly happening over 50-60 feet. Working with a 8'6" rod, standing in waist deep water, and having not had to toss 60+ ft casts in quite some time, I'm not surprised.

As far as the way the leader is laying out, I'm willing to try anything, and will.

For clarity, I've attached a beautiful illustration of what was happening, in case I've not described it properly.

The drawing is a more severe example, as often it would only curve upstream about half that amount, but should help illustrate better.

Attach file:



jpg  castbelly.jpg (20.63 KB)
15_4dd2d84c61a38.jpg 500X382 px

Posted on: 2011/5/17 16:07


Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2007/4/8 20:43
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Unusual looking brown trout, I think you have more problems than just a cast, check your glasses prescription...

Seriously, though. Force yourself to do a few directly overhead, not sidearmed. That's the problem, line follows the direction of the tip, and your tip is hooking because its sidearm.


Posted on: 2011/5/17 16:58
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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From Philadelphia, PA
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I'll have to experiment.

I'm pretty sure the same thing was occurring casting directly overhead, as I was forced to do so in several locations due to grass/brush on the bank.

Also, to be clear, though I said my typical stroke is sidearm, that's not accurate. Sidearm is what I'll do if I need to cast under branches. My normal stroke, more accurately, 3/4 sidearm.

Isn't 3/4 sidearm pretty normal, especially during longer casts, and not normally a problematic stroke?

Posted on: 2011/5/17 17:03
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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2007/4/8 20:43
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Mebbe, but regardless, that's where it comes from. Line follows tip, tip goes in arc from your arm, biggity bam, J!

Do a couple with your thumb ending straight up, and then straight down, remain concious of this fact, and you'll watch the J curve disappear.

You've become complacent, and lazy. I speak with the authority of one who does the exact same thing.

Posted on: 2011/5/17 17:18
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Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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Quote:

gfen wrote:

You've become complacent, and lazy. I speak with the authority of one who does the exact same thing.


Possibly, certainly not out of the realm. Though I tell myself I was doing everything humanly possible to make that J go away. I'll get out there soon and try again.

That said, let's say you need to use a partially sidearm or completely sidearm delivery ... stuck with the J? I mean ... there are plenty of reasons to use those positions. So .. there must be a way to compensate, no?

Posted on: 2011/5/17 17:45


Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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Quote:

stevehalupka wrote:
you could also have too much leader, or not enough defined taper. i.e. too much smaller diameter at your butt.


I'd be concerned about the leader as well if I hadn't recently switched to Gary Borger's leader formula. Seems to be working well. The current issue has been hanging around for a bit now whether using normal tapered leaders, furled leaders, or GB's leader.

Posted on: 2011/5/17 17:48


Re: Casting Issue - Unintentional J-shape/belly in line

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Yeap, pay better attention to what you're doing.

An answer easier said than done, perhaps. Or, pretend that the J is just your awesomenisty coming forth in automagic reach casts and only stand on one bank of the stream. That's my method!

Posted on: 2011/5/17 17:49
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