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Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

Joined:
2016/1/14 13:03
From Blair County
Posts: 58
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As the title says I am looking for some help. While I am not a total beginner I am still learning and thought this would be the best section to ask this question.

When I am fishing the larger limestone rivers, like the lower LJ and Penn's, I often struggle to effectively cast heavier rigs (ie. nymphs with split shot and weighted streamers) during medium to high water conditions. It is quite frustrating because I want to enjoy these great rivers, but find it difficult when I am struggling to get my fly to the fish.
I have put some thought into how to address the problem and I am wondering is my 8'6'' 5 wt. just not enough gun in those situations or is there a problem with my casting mechanics that is holding me back? (Or maybe both?!)

I am currently in a position to buy a new rod (or maybe take some casting lessons!) and have been rolling around the idea of getting a 6/7 wt for WW and steel head--and maybe trout. Do you think a heavier rod like that would help in those situations where I am struggling?

Thanks!

P.S. I realize it's hard to tell form just a forum post, but I am would still appreciate your opinions.

Posted on: 2016/10/2 15:58


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

Joined:
2015/11/27 13:46
From Pittsburgh
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John96,

I am sure you will get many opinions on this one. I have been fly fishing for two years and went through the same issue last year. I have a 5 weight that wasn't getting the job done. I picked up an 8 weight and it works for me. I wanted to use larger streamers for WW fishing but my smaller rod wasn't getting the fly out far enough. With my 8 weight, I am getting the distance I was seeking in addition to casting much larger flies. I use this rod on everything from small streams to surf fishing in the outer banks.

Posted on: 2016/10/2 20:45


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

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2009/11/5 1:46
Posts: 228
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A heavier weight rod would definitely help in the situation you describe -- heavily weight streamers and split shot can be a bit much for a 5 weight.

Another possibility you might want to consider is using unweighted streamers and a sink tip line with the rod you already have.

Posted on: 2016/10/2 22:42
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Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Well, if you HAVE to get it way out there, I echo the others here.

But, when fishing nymphing rigs with lots of weight, I almost never fish very far away from me. Not because I can't cast, but because I can't control drag very well and fish effectively. But yes, if I was trying to get it the whole way across the stream I'd have trouble casting too.

With weight you have to open up the casting stroke. In most situations, it ain't much of a "cast" really. I use a whole lot of water hauls. At the end of the previous drift, lift rod tip, let line lift through the water column downstream of you. Current on the whole rig generates resistance, which loads the rod. Now, just flip it upstream. You want the flies landing upstream of the shot and indicator, if you're using one.

Nymphing puts an extra emphasis on wading skill.

Posted on: 2016/10/3 7:32


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 2134
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Agree with Pat, nymphing doesn't require great distance or conventional overhand casting.

The standard trout rod for big rivers is a 5wt. I like longer rods, but your 8'6" 5wt should do the job.

A 7wt can be useful as a multi-purpose rod used for trout fishing with streamers, steelhead and smallies.

Posted on: 2016/10/3 7:51


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

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2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 744
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It's a matter of practice, and in combination with understanding that you may never cast the full width of a river. So enjoy the distance that you can cast.

Posted on: 2016/10/4 10:07
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Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

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2006/11/2 8:50
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A heavier, longer rod would help.

But I've cast a lot of heavy stuff with an 8 1/2 ft 5 wt, and on those very streams. And then if a hatch comes off, you still have a nice set up for dry fly fishing.

Casting heavy weight is very different from casting dry flies. If you are trying to do the typical dry fly motion of false casting, you are going to have a lot of trouble, including stuff hitting you in the back, neck, and head. Don't ask how I know this.

It's best to just have someone show you. Or maybe there is a video on YouTube.

But you are slinging weight. You have to take your time at the end of your backcast to let the weight fully bend the rod, before you make the forward casting movement.

The timing is slower, because the rod bends more, because there is more weight involved.

In dry fly fishing, the weight you are throwing is almost entirely the line.

In "lead slinging", the majority of the weight is the lead (or substitute.)

If someone would take time lapse photos, you could see it. The rod will bend back much more. You have to feel that bend and notice when it's gone as far back as it's going to go. Then start the forward cast.

Imagine you have an apple on the end of the leader, and how you would "throw" that with a fly rod. The motion is about the same.







Posted on: 2016/10/4 15:34


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

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2015/6/1 16:22
From Burke VA
Posts: 1224
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I use a 10 ft four weight to nymph almost every situation, length makes a huge difference while nymphing. Streamer fishing for trout I use my 9 foot 5 or 6 weight. Try a longer rod you might be really suprised.

Posted on: 2016/10/4 22:55


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Quote:

ryansheehan wrote:
I use a 10 ft four weight to nymph almost every situation, length makes a huge difference while nymphing. Streamer fishing for trout I use my 9 foot 5 or 6 weight. Try a longer rod you might be really suprised.


+1^.......Long rods rule!!

Posted on: 2016/10/5 7:19


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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Your rod is fine, but more weight means you must adjust the cast, noting that the point of proper load for the transition from rearward to forward arm motion is different in degree and therefore the timing of your whole stroke is altered.

Posted on: 2016/10/5 8:01
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Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

Joined:
2016/1/14 13:03
From Blair County
Posts: 58
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Thanks for the replies! It is very appreciated. When the time is right I will definitely put some more time in with the advice that you guys gave.


Posted on: 2016/10/5 12:29


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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You can still practice with weight in the back yard. Just leave the hook off entirely. There is no experience better than on-stream, but in the backyard is a close second.

Posted on: 2016/10/5 17:33
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"Western man lacks conscious recognition of his inferiority to the nature around him and within him. He must learn that he cannot do exactly as he wills. He does not know that his own soul is rebelling against him in a suicidal way."


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

Joined:
2011/7/6 13:48
From Philadelphia PA
Posts: 744
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Yes, Set up some hola hoops and have at it. I did this here in Philly and got many a strange looks. Just make sure you put some foam in the back of your hat.

Posted on: 2016/10/6 9:14
_________________
When life looks like it's pulling you down, Rear back and make sure you set the hook:)

Remember: Never replace "I Don't Know How" with "I Can't"


Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

Joined:
2009/6/17 21:49
From New Bloomfield
Posts: 10
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Have you adjusted your leader? Many new anglers don't take the time to adjust terminal tackle for weight. The most experienced casters would become frustrated trying to cast a poor setup, especially at distance in fishing scenarios. When you are trying to learn casting it is important to manage well what you do have control over, otherwise it's like trying to learn to shoot a bow with bent arrows.

Posted on: 2016/10/6 9:48
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Re: Looking for some guidance with casting difficulties

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2014/8/2 20:20
From Mechanicsburg
Posts: 428
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That rod is suitable for those rivers. Without knowing exactly what your problem is though, its hard to give advice. e.g. are we talking "euro nymphing" where you're just lobbing the weight with little flyline out of the guides (if at all), or throwing a tuck cast, indicator, etc.

Imho, a longer rod isn't a solution for bad mechanics. It will allow you to keep more line off the water and lift it over currents once the cast is made though.

As Stenonema stated above, it could also be a terminal tackle issue. Excluding long euro leaders and that specific way to fish, a heavier leader will perform better if you're using split shot, large flies, or an indicator.

I'd try to get a lesson from a casting instructor, or someone experienced who can point out what's causing you problems.

Posted on: 2016/10/6 12:34



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