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Leader curling...

2009/10/26 19:39
From Butler
Posts: 5
Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum, but have been reading for a while. I'm also new to fly fishing and I'm getting in practice with casting in the back yard with some success. My question though is not covered on the DVD that I am watching before I practice!

My question is about the leader. After I cast, my 7.5f leader is curled up most of the time as it lands. The line is pretty straight (when I do it right), but the end is not very inspiring. I have learned that sometimes when fishing that's fine, as the drift will be better for the fly on a bunched up leader. But I wonder why this so often happens to me.

So, is having a straight leader at the end of a cast my goal for most casts? Could my leader's curling be a result of a casting error on my part?

(And if it might help, I have tried to straighten out the leader after taking it from the package.)

Thanks for any help! This is a great forum.

Posted on: 2010/4/16 11:58

Re: Leader curling...

2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13541
An abrupt stop at the end of a cast (as you should do) is why you get the slack in the leader. As you said, it can be a good thing. If you are using a nymph it allow the fly to sink vertically rather then being pulled back toward you as a taught line would. With a dry your fly will float longer before it starts to drag. I wouldn't change a thing.

Posted on: 2010/4/16 12:03

Re: Leader curling...

2009/10/26 19:39
From Butler
Posts: 5
Wow, I feel better already!

I have spent much time working my sudden stop of the rod on the forward cast. Once I got over the desire to overuse my wrist and arm in vain attempts to 'force' it out, I really improved what I was doing.

Posted on: 2010/4/16 13:07

Re: Leader curling...
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 9739
Your leader not straightening out at the end of your cast could be a result not enough energy (speed/power) to fully extend your line all the way to the fly, or quite the opposite, too much energy in the forward cast and the leader straightens and whips back. Also it's possible you may be making you forward cast before the line completely straightens out behind you, and the leader whips around and does not lay out straight.

Just experiment with the amount of power you put into your cast, and try to find a happy medium that lays out your leader. Also be sure you wait until your line is extended fully behind you, before you make your forward cast.

As you and Tom both said, many times it is desirable to have some slack in your leader. Ideally, you should be able to control the amount of slack (if any) on your cast. Just keep fishin' and castin', it sounds like you are doing just fine.

Posted on: 2010/4/17 7:23

Re: Leader curling...
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2251
I'm not clear on what's going on.

You say in your title that the leader is "curling". That sounds like the leader looks like a slinky. If that's the case, it's not desirable. A leader (or any other monofilament) retains a "memory" of being coiled around your reel or in its package. Straighten the leader by stretching it before you use it. If it hangs limply and "pretty much" straight, then it's ready for use. Some leaders do this more or less than others. I was always in a big rush to start fishing when I was new to fishing, and I frequently had this problem. Try Orvis Superstrong leaders, they do this less than others.

If the leader is "bunched up" in loose s curves or a puddle, that is desirable as the other posters have said. That will help with controlling drag. If that is what you are seeing, congratulations! You are doing great.

Posted on: 2010/4/17 9:24
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest

Re: Leader curling...

2009/10/26 19:39
From Butler
Posts: 5
Thanks for the further advice! I'll keep practicing and varying the power/timing of my casts as I learn more.

I was pleased that on my second outing to Slippery Rock Creek, I did not even get the fly caught in my hat or make a wind knot in my leader during the outing. Of course, I did not catch a single fish, but at least I did not catch myself either. I think that's a sign of progress!

Posted on: 2010/4/17 9:33

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