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Re: Rookie

Joined:
2006/10/26 23:01
From Ohio
Posts: 657
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You made a very good choice.

Posted on: 2007/9/19 18:45


Re: Rookie

Joined:
2006/9/14 10:18
Posts: 72
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Well I finally got out and had my first fly fishing experience. I decided to head to the pennypack and fish with some small foam beetles on Saturday. I think I did more fumbling around than actual fishing becuase I kept getting my leader tied up with the line attributed to my novice casting ability (if you would even call it that). The cabela's pretige plus reel worked out ok but the next day it was really locking up on me and I didn't even dunk it or anything. (Also there was something worng with the mechanism that kept the spool in place because it was wobbly) Regardless, I returned it to exchange it for another along with the line and backing I had already loaded on it. I've heard good things about the reel though so I'm sure mine was bumped in shipping or was just defective. However, besides the frustration of the day I did manage to catch a few sunnies and a rock bass and I must say it was so awesome seeing the fish take the beetle off the top of the water. Fishing for sunnies was never so fun. I can't wait to get my replacement gear. I really need to get better at casting though, those tangles were a pain. I have a 8'6 rod, generally is there a ratio for rod to leader length?

Posted on: 2007/9/25 9:49


Re: Rookie
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Joined:
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2259
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"I have a 8'6 rod, generally is there a ratio for rod to leader length?"

No, not really. Leader length is really a function of presentation & the size of the fly you're throwing. Some guys can cast a leader of 20' or so and will when fishing small flies in the summer when the water is low and clear.

9' is pretty much a standard. I wouldn't worry about trying to use anything longer than that if you are still learning to cast. And it can take a while to get comfortable with the equipment. We all wrestle it in the beginning. Going to a shorter leader may help. Especially if you are casting bushy flies or heavy ones.

If your leader is geting wrapped up in the line, you may not be giving the line a strong enough speed up and stop. Most beginning casters don't. They wave the rod softly back and forth. You definately don't want to rip the line up off the water. Once the line off the water you need to get the line moving quickly. Then when you've brought the rod back, stop it dead. Same for the forward cast. Begin to bring the rod forward softly, then speed it up and stopit dead with a little wrist snap. You aren't looking for loops per se. You want the line to look like two parrallel lines seperated by a couple of feet.
Click to see original Image in a new window
Look at the above picture. The "loop" is line doubled over into two neat, parrallel lines. (Disclaimer, casting that far is rediculous. 20' for most eastern trout streams is plenty. Even on big water.)

Posted on: 2007/9/25 10:51

Edited by Maurice on 2007/9/26 23:36:51
Edited by Maurice on 2007/9/26 23:37:24
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Padraic
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Re: Rookie
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Joined:
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 22101
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Following up on what Padraic said, for emphasis, a shorter leader will be easier to lay out properly, but not too short that it isn't an effective disguise of your presence. As a relative beginner, I would stay with leaders of about 7.5-9 feet. With an 8.5 rod, you might want to consider keeping the leader shorter than 8.5 just so you aren't constantly getting the line/leader junction snagged in your tiptop while landing fish.

Posted on: 2007/9/25 12:01
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Re: Rookie

Joined:
2007/1/22 13:49
From Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 411
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What size tippet was on you leader? For sunnies I would use a #12 foam beetle or stimulator on a 7.5', 4x leader. The heavy, short leader will make it easier to turn over the fly, and thicker tippet is easier to untangle.

I like the stimulator for panfish, but you have to revive it after every hook up.

On another thread someone mentioned Joan Wulff's casting analogy: Imagine that you fly rod is a paint brush, and you're flicking paint on a wall in front of you, then behind you.

Posted on: 2007/9/25 16:07
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Re: Rookie

Joined:
2006/10/26 23:01
From Ohio
Posts: 657
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Thats very disappointing to hear about your prestige plus reel. What I have noticed is that the reels are very prone to "locking up when they get dirty. Even a small amount of dirt/sand can do it. Just wash it out with clean water and let it dry.

As far as tangles, simple stuff first:

Make sure you have no tag ends sticking out around your nail knot. A dab of Loon's knot sense works well to keep it smooth.

More complicated:

Tangles or "wind knots" are most often caused by "tailing loops". Take a look at the orvis picture. Notice that the bottom line of the loop is at the level of his rod tip. The top line of the unfurling loop is actually at the height that he was at the end of his back cast. Tailing loops occur when the tip of your rod at end backcast is lower than the tip of your line at end foward cast. This causes the line to unfurl with the tip passing up over the bottom line, often causing a tangle.

Two main ways to help correct this:

Most commonly, for a beginner, this is caused by breaking your wrist backward on your backcast. A drill to correct this....wear a long sleeved shirt and tuck the butt of your fly rod between the end of your shirt sleeve and your wrist. This will prevent your wrist from breaking.

More commonly for the more advanced caster, tailing loops occur when you are making a long cast with a tight loop and put extra effort into the final forward cast, stiffen your wrist, and don't let your wrist drift forward to open the loop slightly. A good drill to correct this is to make concious effort to drift your wrist to the point of having your rod butt touch the underneath of your wrist at the end of the forward cast.

Posted on: 2007/9/26 23:28


Re: Rookie
Moderator
Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
Posts: 8845
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Great advice by Ohio. Also, one of the best ways to keep your wrist from breaking too far backward, while also eliminating side wrist movement (which forces your loop out of plane) is to use an index finger up grip instead of a thumb up grip. Try this, put your thumb up like you are gripping a fly rod and bend you wrist back like you are making a back cast – it bends to about 45* rearward. Now do the same with your index finger up – it remains close to vertical. The IFU grip locks your wrist from going too far back. Now do the same thumb up grip and turn your wrist from side to side – a lot of movement. Try the same side-to-side wrist movement with your index finger up – it’s almost locked into position with little side-to-side movement. A simple change of grip can solve some casting problems. Once you get your stroke down with the IFU grip, you can use either grip to cast. I use either grip depending on the type of cast I want to make, and the rod I’m casting. The index finger up grip works well only on lighter rods, with heavier rods, the thumbs up grip gives you a stronger grip on the rod, and is more comfortable. Good luck.

Posted on: 2007/9/27 7:11


Re: Rookie
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Joined:
2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
Posts: 2259
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I agree with afishinado about the index finger grip addressing the issue of "breaking" the rod too far back. However, there are limitations to it. Not only is bad for larger rods and heavier lines as he states... It's also a bad grip to use if you start trying to cast for any distance. So don't get too accustomed to using it.

However it is a good way of ensuring accuracy. So if you start fishing in tight quarters, you may want to give it a try.

Posted on: 2007/9/27 13:10
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Padraic
Never challenge a cat to a staring contest


Re: Rookie

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5429
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Since I teach, I would suggest to get some lessons first...Then start out with a 8'6" for a 5wt...check out mainstream outfitters in doylestown they give lessons.....

Posted on: 2007/10/1 16:31
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