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Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2013/8/1 18:17
From Gettysburg, Pa
Posts: 52
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Ok, I have a beginners question for you all. I recently started fly fishing and feel I have gotten pretty good with some of the casting basics and have been doing my best to improve.

Recently I have been casting some bigger streamer patterns and some more "weighted" flys to go after some small mouths at a little deeper depth.

No here's the question...as I begin my forward cast I can really feel the streamer "hang" back and can feel the tip of the rod load a lot more. So I am thinking increased weight on the pattern, so I try to time it better, more often than not it feels like someone is snapping a "rubber band" on the backcast and as I present the fly, it all comes down short and usually in a mess.

If I drop back to a dry or a smaller wet, cast looks perfect and I get the results I want.

Working with a 6wt 8'6" Hobbs Creek rod, with a 9' 5X tapered leader and this is occurring with #8's and up.

Now is it 1. ME (The usual suspect)
2. The Leader (too light too long)
3. The Rod (I know its a more of a starter rod)

Hopefully I have given you enough to help in this endeavor. Just cant seem to figure it out.

Thanks

Posted on: 2013/8/21 19:38


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2012/6/11 23:48
From Coopersburg
Posts: 584
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I have the same setup, and a really awesome mentor and friend from this sight is helping me out with my own bad habits with casting. I had this same question come up last week and he mentioned a shorter leader and to slow your cast down a bit. I applied to onstream practice and it definately helped.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 20:01


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2013/8/1 18:17
From Gettysburg, Pa
Posts: 52
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Thanks for the advise. I remembered reading "the deeper the fly, the shorter the leader" during my reflection on this. I will try it. I already knew I was rushing the forward cast.

It kills me I am patient w the lighter ones and w a little weight back there, I am just "banging" it all over the place.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 21:21


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2012/6/11 23:48
From Coopersburg
Posts: 584
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Yeah i know what you mean. I also noticed a shorter leader is better for roll casts too.

I was rushing my forward cast and then slamming my finger on the line and my fly would just slam the water and almost come back toward me right before it hit. Not the best for spooky fish...

Posted on: 2013/8/21 21:27


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2766
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You guys already covered what I was going to say....slow it down a bit and that should solve the "snapping" feeling you're getting.

* shorter leader will be easier to cast

* longer leader will allow the fly to get deeper quicker

There's always some type of trade off with this sport.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 22:25
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Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

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2009/9/9 14:52
From Bel Air, MD
Posts: 703
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Maybe related to your casting problem, but it seems to me a 5x tippet is too light for bigger streamers, particularly for smallies. I use 4 lb. test mono for my smallmouth tippet. Google Harry Murray's smallmouth leader forumla - that should get you started - or just buy some from his site.

Posted on: 2013/8/21 23:09


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2012/6/11 23:48
From Coopersburg
Posts: 584
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but it seems to me a 5x tippet is too light for bigger streamers,

I thought that too, but assuming you snip your leader down from 9' to round 7' or 6' it would give you a heavier line right?

Posted on: 2013/8/22 5:20


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2013/8/1 18:17
From Gettysburg, Pa
Posts: 52
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That was my next thought as well. When I was having the problem yesterday I had just tied on a fresh section of 5x and then then a black bugger. Worked just fine, but as I stepped up to a little more weighted cray pattern w some split shot, then the problems occurred.

There are just so many little variables that the novice has to learn in this sport. And as many have already said...experiment!

J55...your right as well, I slammed the water on a couple of casts so bad it looked like a dropped a rock from about 20'. I didn't blame the fish, I would have swam for cover too.

Posted on: 2013/8/22 6:07


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9115
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First of all, a 5X tippet is way too light for casting and fishing the big heavy flies you mentioned. Drop back to 3x or even heavier.


I suggest you try a Belgian or oval cast keeping tension on the fly at all times, thus preventing the "rubber band" effect you mentioned in your OP.

Good luck.

Posted on: 2013/8/22 6:58


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 740
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For big heavy streamers try a 7.5' or 9' 2x leader and slow down your cast. The oval cast Afish recomended may help too.

Posted on: 2013/8/22 7:20


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

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2011/3/31 12:18
From Clearfield
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Posted on: 2013/8/22 12:15
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Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2006/9/11 11:34
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 490
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learn how to haul

Posted on: 2013/8/22 12:53


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1946
Online
Good advice above so far. First and easiest thing you can do is shorten your leader and use a heavier tippet section. Yeah, for a 9' 5x tapered leader just cut back the last 24 inches or so (until the line gets a little thicker) and fish from there…fixes both of those issues. For Bass/WW fishing I use regular old 10lb mono off my spinning gear spools for my tippet, and a total leader length of 6-7'.

Second thing is just to understand a little bit about the fundamentals of rod weights and their capabilities. A 5wt is an excellent all around, middle of the road freshwater stream rod and a great choice for a beginner. That said, it does have its relative sweet spots and limitations…as Kray mentioned, everything is a trade off. The basics to understand here is that there is an upper limit to the amount of weight/size of flies a 5wt rod can effectively throw. A size 8, weighted streamer (with shot on top of it) is probably approaching the upper limit of what a 5wt will throw effectively. It sounds like you have your cast down pretty well if you're casting smaller dries and wets effectively…it's really not a whole lot different with a streamer. You may very well just be approaching the upper limits of what the rod was made to do…meaning there may not be much wrong with your casting, you're just asking the rod to do something it wasn't meant to do. I fished WW for a while with an 8'6 5wt and ran into issues with my casts starting to fall apart at about the same size of flies you're talking about. I fished the 5wt like that for a while and then eventually broke down and bought a 9'0 6wt for warmwater and larger Trout applications.

Posted on: 2013/8/22 14:12


Re: Help with casting bigger streamers
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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If I cast a streamer with less than 4X, you can bet I was too lazy to clip my tippet. As noted.

Posted on: 2013/8/22 14:18
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Re: Help with casting bigger streamers

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6528
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Define "big"?


If I'm specifically fishing streamers, then my leader is typically not tapered... especially not a pre made tapered leader that cost a few bucks. Just put on a 2 ft piece of 30lb mono, and then a 3-4ft section of 10-15lb mono. Short and sweet.


One common error by people is their equipment doesn't match the flies they're throwing. If I'm tossing big streamers, I'm surly not doing it with the same rod I'm throwing tiny dries with, or even nymphing a tandem rig. If your goal is to just throw streamers then have the equipment to match. If you don't have it, then make due for now, but as you add new rods and reels to your quiver make them do specific jobs instead of buying a new rod because "I don't have that weight rod yet".

Posted on: 2013/8/22 16:21
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