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Aerializing lots of line..

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 11189
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To prep for my seaside escapades, I took out my new 10wt fast action (Cabela's XST), SA Mastery Striper Taper line (with AST), and made a practice fly out of a few pipe cleaners twisted over themselves.

And the result is: I need help.

At a certain point, everything just falls apart. My predominate casting i with a 4wt moderate action (SA Mastery WF line), and I think I'm able to do a good 40' cast, repeatedly, with that. I'd have suspected that the 10wt fast would rocket that fly out there, but I'm not sure I was able to break 60', and at that it wasn't a regular occurance.

One of the things that made a difference was cutting my leader down. I'm using off-the-shelf generic mono, originally about 3.5' of 20# bloodknotted to 4' of 15#, then to the fly. The leader is attached via loop-to-loop to a strip of mono nail knotted to the line. Things got marketedly better when I clipped about a foot off of each piece, to a total of 5'. Is this still too much? Should I give up on the tapering, and just do a straight piece of 5' mono?

As for casting, I tried to keep my arm in and just mimic my normal stroke, but to accent the power stroke a bit more. Should I be putting more, or less, force into the pop-stop at the end of my stroke?

My issue seems to be that at a certain point, the loops begin to tail wildly, and that I just don't have the power to keep all that line up in the air. I've also noticed that despite my best efforts, my arm slowly starts to extend the more line I throw out there, by the end of my false casting (which I try to keep to 3 to 5 strokes to minimize the time something can fail), my arms extended almost all the way out, and I'm throwing it as best I can.

Keep in mind, this was also in windless conditions.

Any suggestions on how where to compensate in the cast to try and keep it up and from forming those wicked tailing loops? I know one thing I want to do is actually use a fly rather than my pipe cleaner twists to see if that helps me out, as well.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 12:08


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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you've got to slow it down a bit. You have to make sure you let your line completely open up before changing directions and you should really learn to single if not double haul before you try to send out any great length of line with a 10wt. I'm just guessing and you can correct me but if you've only cast a 4wt you have never had to do any of this before. You'll need to make adjustments. I highly suggest help from someone who can physically show you how to fix this and you can mimic the action. Funny part is that when I have been throwing my 8wt for a week and then go back to my 4wt it takes me longer to adjust.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 12:50


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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2008/9/12 12:41
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It sounds like several things are happening all at once.

First, your timing is most likely the major cause. When a cast falls apart like you’ve described it means you are not letting the line straighten out on the forward/back cast (i.e., you are starting the reverse direction stroke too soon before the line is fully tight). The loop forming also means you are letting your rod tip drift and never really coming to a complete stop.

Also, when you start getting into heavier lines you’ve really got to make sure you get a good, strong pickup. I’ll be willing to bet that your trying a delicate “trout” pickup and what is happening is your starting your cast with not enough initial line speed and it gets progressively worse from there. With heavier line the initial pickup is extremely critical. Picking up too little line and you’ll never get the line out there and trying to pick up too much line and you can’t get the line speed up. Try your pickup with about 25 feet of line and don't worry about making a little commotion in the water.

If you don’t know how, learn to double haul – you need it.

Once you’ve got about 25 feet of line, get the line snug and drop your rod tip pointing it directly towards the fly. With your left hand (assuming right hand casting) pinch the snug line just below the first guide and in one smooth but powerful motion, snap your arm up to about 12 o’clock and simultaneously pull the line with your left hand. You are not pulling the line away from the rod but rather puling it straight down the rod. Also, this is an arm snap and not a wrist snap. Try holding the rod a bit higher on the grip and concentrate on having the butt end touch your arm just below your wrist. On the snap up you don’t want a large angle forming between the butt and your forearm – you really want to keep your wrist as quiet as possible. If a large angle forms, it means your breaking your wrist and your rod tip is drifting. Try and keep the butt as close to and parallel to your forearm as you can.

Quickly stop the rod tip at 12 o’clock. Your arm, wrist and rod should all be almost straight up with no angles or hinges between them and concentrate on not drifting the rod tip backwards. You may initially stop at 12 o’clock but yet you are actually letting the rod tip slowly drift closer to 2 or 3 o’clock or moving it outside the casting place (this is what causes the line to open up) in preparation for the forward cast. If you drift the tip this will prevent the rod from properly loading.

Once you’ve snapped the line up and stopped a 12 o’clock let the line straighten and you should feel the line pull backwards on the rod. At this point let line out. Pinch the line with your left hand and slide your hand just below the first guide and start the forward stroke against simultaneously pulling the line down the rod. Quickly stop and let the line fly.

Repeat.

Heavier lines take practice. I would say put 20 feet out there and forget about even trying to cast it - just work on false casting for 30 seconds and keeping everything together. Then let 5 feet out and do the same. Slowly work your way to longer distances and then start working on shooting line.

A really good exercise is to forget about the rod totally. Just take your fly line, a leader and fly and cast using nothing but your arm. Lay out 15 feet of line, pinch the line with your right fingers and snap the line up and start false casting using just your arm. Don’t even bother letting line out just false cast the 15 feet of line back and forth for about 30 seconds concentrating on maintaining the loop and keeping things from drifting all over the place. If you can’t do this you will never accomplish it with a 9 foot rod will because the tip of the 9 foot rod will amplify the positional mistakes you are making with your arm. This really works on timing because if you start the forward cast before the line has straightened in back of you, the cast falls apart immediately. With a rod it kind of compensates for bad time to a degree.

After you can do 15 feet of line, extend it to 20 and then start letting line out and see how much line you can actually get out. If you can aerialize 30 feet of fly line w/out a rod, you will be shooting 80 feet no problem

Posted on: 2009/7/9 12:51


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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2008/5/5 11:06
From King Of Prussia, Pa
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I'll second Tom's advice. You need to learn how to double haul, if you don't already know. I go through this too when I fish for smallies with my 8wt. It usually takes me awhile to get back into the groove, so to speak. But if you don't know how to double haul, either find someone to show you or look for videos on the web.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 12:55


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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2008/5/5 11:06
From King Of Prussia, Pa
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Greenweenie, that is an excellent post, both the double haul explanation and the practice exercise.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 13:11


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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Agreed- good stuff.

Hauling will help alot.

gfen- I am in the same boat as you realtively speaking. I can single haul pretty well but still need considerable work with double hauling. Practice makes perfect.

Sure is fun trying.

Good luck at the shore.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 13:59
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Re: Aerializing lots of line..
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2006/9/11 8:26
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Here is a good article that may get you back on the right track:

http://flyfisherman.com/skills/lkcastingbasic/

Good luck.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 14:07


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

Joined:
2007/4/8 20:43
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 11189
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The bulk of my fishing is with a 4wt, occasionally I move to a 6wt.

With both the 4 and 6, I can easily pick-up, cast, and present that 40' at a time, consistently and on target. However, I get wonky the more I have to false cast (in truth, I usually avoid false casting as much as possible beause of this). Part of the reason I can do this is because I can single haul on pick-up, but I've been having issues with hauling as I end backcast and procede to forward.

On 10wt pickup: You are correct, I'm sure my pickups were gentle. The cheap-bastard in me was trying to protect my line while practicing on grass. I definatly was off to a better start with less line in the beginning, which would then fall apart as I let more out due to having to 1) false cast more and 2) the usual tailing loop forming at any amount of line.

Sounds like I'm going to have to really concentrate on stopping at the 12 o'clock position, as you're right, I know I'm letting it drift further and further back with each bit of line I let out. When I'm doing it, it almost feels like I have to, like I'm trying to compensate for more line in the air by increasing stroke, and thus power, but I guess thats the exact opposite of the proper behaviour. This is also probably aggravated further by the fact that my arm slowly extends during repeated false casting, again probably becuase my brain thinks it provides leverage instead of causing it to fall apart.

I'll give the exercises a try, and start working on that double haul. I knew my inability to false cast would be an issue, but I honestly didn't expect it this bad.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 14:53
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Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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Trust me, I FF for 30 years and never cast anything heavier than a 5 weight and I could put the fly anywhere I wanted to up to 50 feet away.

About 5 years ago I got invited to go salt water FF and I figured it would be a piece of cake because I was such a (ahem) proficient caster. 80 foot casts would be no problem with a heavier line rod – child’s play.

Was I ever wrong! I couldn’t cast the 9 weight to save my butt. I looked like I had never cast a fly rod before and forget about distance, a successful cast was one where I didn’t hook myself (or worst yet, someone else) with the fly.

The thing is with light lines you can make up for less than perfect technique/timing with brute force and power but with the heavier lines power alone cannot compensate for less than almost perfect technique.

Trust me, practice 15 minutes a day for the next 2 weeks or so and you will notice a huge improvement in both the 10 weight and your 4 weight.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 15:32


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

Joined:
2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
Posts: 13614
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I watched a demonstration once that helped as well. The guy was showing us how you keep accelerating through the cast. You can't ease up right before stopping the rod in either direction. You must be at the fastest speed throughout the cast just before you stop the rod.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 16:53


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3242
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gfen - if you're aerializing 60' of line without double hauling, you're doing pretty well. If you want to lengthen your cast, you need to learn to double haul and also to shoot line. Here's some video help on the double haul:

double haul

As far as a compact stroke for long casts, check this out:

extreme distance casting

At the risk of information overload, this site has lots of good info:

sexyloops

Can you think of any of your friends that MIGHT be casting instructors? Think hard.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 19:51


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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2007/4/8 20:43
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 11189
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Quote:

Heritage-Angler wrote:
gfen - if you're aerializing 60' of line without double hauling, you're doing pretty well. If you want to lengthen your cast, you need to learn to double haul and also to shoot line. Here's some video help on the double haul:


The single haul is easy, its that I just don't know where to do it on the back cast. I honestly think that I should've considered a shooting head system, it almost seems like its suited to my style better, and almost what I've come to doing on a regular basis. Roll cast it out there, pick it up with a mighty single haul, then backcast and launch. C'est la vie.

I tried GW's trick with not using a rod, and I can only wonder if he meant to do that with a 5wt line, and not the 10...I hope so, coz with the 10wt, I was able to rodlessly cast approximately zero feet.

I'm gonna have to start watching videos, coz the reading isnt' cutting it...

Quote:

Can you think of any of your friends that MIGHT be casting instructors? Think hard.


Believe me, you're on the list of resources. I truly didn't expect it to turn out this badly. I really expected that, without wind at least, I'd be throwing a country mile.

Was curious if the Bean casting school let people walk on with their own equipment,or if you needed to use their stuff; or if you're a hired gun for outside consulting.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 21:29


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

Joined:
2006/9/11 13:33
From Lehigh Valley
Posts: 3242
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Quote:

gfen wrote:
Was curious if the Bean casting school let people walk on with their own equipment,or if you needed to use their stuff; or if you're a hired gun for outside consulting.


No, yes, and no. I'm not permitted to teach for pay, or even mention the B word as far as teaching anywhere but at work.

However, I'd be more than happy to chuck some line with you.

Remember - I've seen you cast. You can do this, no sweat.

PM sent.

Posted on: 2009/7/9 21:47


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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2007/1/30 10:05
From Jersey Shore, PA
Posts: 441
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gfen, Heritage and anyone else interested:
I'll be in the Quakertown area (Allentown is just a hop) on Wednesday and would welcome the opportunity to cast with anyone who may be interested. I teach this stuff and distance casting is one of my fortes, so I'm told. No charge for an informal gathering. It could be fun!
Just let me know if anyone would be interested. We could do this along the Little Lehigh or somewhere else where we have plenty of casting room. Maybe Heritage Angler has a good venue in mind.

Anyone interested for Wednesday evening?

Dave Rothrock

Posted on: 2009/7/10 10:46


Re: Aerializing lots of line..

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2008/12/16 10:37
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Dave please keep me in the loop if you are coming to the valley Wednesday nite. Of course my casting could use some help.

Thanks
Corey

Posted on: 2009/7/10 17:15
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