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how do you cast weighted flies?

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2009/7/29 10:25
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I fished with dry flies for while, then, in cold water or deep holes, tried to cast weighted nymphs... argghhhhhh! Very bad-cowboy-at-the-rodeo scene -- lasso-ing trees, myself, look out -- I don't understand casting weighted flies. I assume I shouldn't start with a 6 foot, full flex rod, but beyond that, how do you cast that weighted thing out there when it has momentum and, seemingly, a mind of its own?

Posted on: 2010/3/4 17:20


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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It will come to you once you do it for awhile.

Weighted nymphs are easier to cast than nymphs with weight ( if you have 3 flies and 3 shots that 6 points the leader is going to cast; where as 3 weighted flies is only 3 casting points).

Posted on: 2010/3/4 17:32
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Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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When casting with weight I prefer using a roll cast or to just lift the rod straight up and give a firm forward cast. It does take a couple of outings to get comfortable doing either but you will get there. Good first question for this forum,

Posted on: 2010/3/4 18:08
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Re: how do you cast weighted flies?
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K-bob,

Some variations to this but this is a good visual of how and why a roll cast works well for weighted nymphs and streamers.


Posted on: 2010/3/4 18:43


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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2009/10/15 12:02
From Dispositionally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
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For me anyway, casting a weighted fly takes a different casting stroke that is more of a lob than the standard dry fly cast. With the weight, the dynamics of the cast shift away from using the weight of the line to put the fly out there and more towards using the weight of the fly to provide the momentum.

Try this:

Don't backcast at all. Just let however much line (within reason) beyond the tip and then, instead of having your arm travel a flat plane as you bring the rod ahead, lift the rod a little as you bring it ahead of your shoulder and then drop it a bit as the fly turns over in the air.

If that makes any sense...:). I'm not sure it does.

It's more of a lob than a cast, in any event, at least at shorter distances, which is where you should be working anyway.

Posted on: 2010/3/4 19:51


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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I like the roll cast, or the flip (using the weight of the fly and the current just to throw it back upstream).

If you gotta backcast, and sometimes you do, come back hard on the backcast, but then extend the pause till you feel the weight. For a long line, the forward cast is slow, more of a lob like a spinning rod, with an open loop. For short line high sticking, I like a tuck cast. You still have the long pause till you feel the weight, but come forward hard and aim for a spot about 4 foot above the water. You want to uncoil the loop at maximum line speed. Then pull back and shock it a bit right as the line straightens out. The nymph(s) will dive straight down with force, it gets the flies on the bottom quicker.

Posted on: 2010/3/4 20:22


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Slow everything down...

Posted on: 2010/3/4 20:28


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
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If we get out fishing next week, I'll bring a 9'5wt and you can try to cast some weighted stuff with it if you wish.

Posted on: 2010/3/4 20:54


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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2010/1/31 16:53
From St.Clair
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Pretty much what everyone else said.. roll casts, just flipping it upstream.. etc... The weight of the fly will do all of the work for you.

Posted on: 2010/3/4 22:16


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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Thanks for the responses. Seems a different cast is needed to project a weighted fly rather than the weight of a fly line. My usual dry-fly sidearm flail with backcast is clearly not the way, it gets the weighted fly going in the wrong direction fast. I will try more of a roll cast and also more of a lob/flip action, minus any backcast. thanks again

Posted on: 2010/3/4 22:26


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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K-bob,
I'll add that, in my experience, casting weighted flies (esp very heavy ones) is really more a matter of "slinging" rather than what we typically consider as "fly casting." As Tom and others have suggested, slow down your intitial stroke (as you pull the rod back toward you initiating backcast), wait for the backcast to completely straighten out, then "sling" the weighted fly forward using the weight to help propel the fly forward.

As always, it helps to practice on a lawn. Very heavy flies and split shot can actually be a bit dangerous to learn to cast and can give you a serious injury or break your fly rod so it helps to practice with heavy flies so you can start slow and easy without feeling the pressure to cast further and faster as you might feel if actually fishing.

Casting heavy flies is often referred to as "slinging lead" or "chuck and duck" and these colloquialisms are actually rather accurate and realistic.

Posted on: 2010/3/4 22:37


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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fishidiot: I will work on a separate stroke/sling action for weighted flies, and, yes, try to make things less hazardous :)

I also bought a few streamers that are very small and light, but easy to see in the water. Hopefully, as with small san juan worms, I can add a few drops of fly sink, cast the small streamers with my usual dry fly cast, and see them as I fish below the surface.

Posted on: 2010/3/4 23:00


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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2006/11/2 8:50
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In addition to all of the above:

Make the cast more out to the side, i.e. away from the body and your fly rod, then you would normally cast with dry flies.

When that lead-eyed streamer is coming forward, you do not want it hitting your rod (possibly cracking it) and you don't want it hitting your head or back.

So instead of casting with the rod near vertical, cast with the rod tip a little more out to the side than normal.

Make a slow backcast, and wait until the weight of the fly fully extends the fly line, and you will feel that weight actually start to bend the rod, then make the forward cast. Yes, slinging the weight forward, as someone already described.

In normal fly casting, you are throwing the weight of the fly line, and the fly just goes along for the ride.

When casting heavily weighted flies, that weight is what you are throwing, and the fly line is going along for the ride.

Be sure to pinch down all your barbs. Because sooner or later you will bury a hook in flesh. And they come much easier when the barb is pinched down.

And yes, get a longer fly rod, like an 8 1/2 or 9 footer. That will help a great deal.

Posted on: 2010/3/4 23:00


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

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"Be sure to pinch down all your barbs. Because sooner or later you will bury a hook in flesh. And they come much easier when the barb is pinched down.

And yes, get a longer fly rod, like an 8 1/2 or 9 footer. That will help a great deal."

Thanks. I do have a longer rod around here, and since I value my mangey hide:), I will be sure to flatten the barbs!

Posted on: 2010/3/4 23:10


Re: how do you cast weighted flies?

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6527
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Try using a water haul. At the end of your drift, let your flies swing all the way to the surface by using the current of the stream and then make one big flip to put them back upstream. This reduces the chances of getting hang ups by false casting (same thing for a roll cast), and gets the flies back in the water quicker.


And for the 15th time on this thread you should look into getting a longer rod. That will help with your dry presentation and accuracy also. I'd only use a 6 foot in heavy cover for wilds.


If you're on a tight budget like myself, check out http://www.albrightflyfish.com/


Keep asking questions, we'll be more than happy to help you out.

Posted on: 2010/3/5 12:23
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