Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#1  Postby Fla » Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:53 pm

Hi Bernd

Great FP! Thanks for sharing your setup for Zander . Some very interesting observations and findings - I am sure this insights will be very useful for the perch fishing that I plan to intensify this year.

I have some questions and thoughts:

- Do you let the fly sink on a tight line right after your cast, or do you feed some more line first?

- For lets say a 20 m cast: How much is your carry and how much do you shoot?

- Did you study the influence of the flies materials and shape towards their sinking rate? Most importantly, do you use loop knots in order to allow the fly to orient itself in a way that the drag is minimized? (This video might help to understand what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9Cr1O1P4cw)

- Did you test rather short shooting heads and thin running line? The thin running line should improve the contact to the fly / the line resistance.

- Thinking this further: Did you try to cast the flies with just mono running line? I experimented with tight line nymphing last year using a very long mono leader only - no fly line is leaving the reel. A 1.5g streamer can easily be cast more than 10m with such a rig (backcast, shoot some line, forward cast with haul).

- If you think this even further, you will probably end up with a ultralight spinning setup with thin braid. That's probably not where you want to go ;).... Is there an advantage of using fly fishing tackle, apart from that it is cooler?

By the way: I enrolled into your fly casting course in Zurich (the one on Sunday). Looking very much forward to getting to know you then!

Cheers
Flavio
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#2  Postby Bernd Ziesche » Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:28 am

Fla wrote:Great FP! Thanks for sharing your setup for Zander . Some very interesting observations and findings - I am sure this insights will be very useful for the perch fishing that I plan to intensify this year.


Hi Flavio,
Thanks for your fine feedback! Yes, perch are pretty similuar and a lot of takes will always be missed in the fly fishing world (for many of us without ever knowing it).

Fla wrote:- Do you let the fly sink on a tight line right after your cast, or do you feed some more line first?


Yes, I do (not feeding any line). Feeding line would make it harder to detect the fly hitting the bottom. You need to watch that part of line just in front of the tip. It will relax slightly (very slightly) in that particular moment. But for seeing that sudden loss in line tension, the line needs to be under proper tension first. The amplitude of the fly needs to be steep. Otherwise the sinking fly doesn't sink enough of a distance. That sinking distance is needed to put the hole line under proper tension again and again. So a heavily weighted fly and a very light line is a must have combination here.

Fla wrote:- For lets say a 20 m cast: How much is your carry and how much do you shoot?


My carry easily can be the whole distance. I use an old Wet Cel 2 of SA. Front taper shortened a bit though. I need high line speed (170 style works well here) in order to have enough momentum in the line driving the heavy fly to the fish.

Fla wrote:- Did you study the influence of the flies materials and shape towards their sinking rate? Most importantly, do you use loop knots in order to allow the fly to orient itself in a way that the drag is minimized? (This video might help to understand what I mean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9Cr1O1P4cw)


Well, it all depends on a) the bottom and b) the water depth.
If the bottom is really rocky a pretty light fly gets stocked much less. Also flies not jigging get stocked much less. That works unless you have more than 2 meter of depth. I prefer tube flies here (easily changing the hook after damage). These flies are usually not as easily identified to be wrong by the Zander as the heavily weighted ones are.
http://www.first-cast.de/Textdateien/tockfly-zanderfliegen.html

If I want to fish deeper than 2m, I prefer (need) flies with an eye put on a loop knot. I always use the none slip mono loop here. Thinner leader, loop knot, hook eye, softer materials and shorter tails all will allow the fly to sink faster = improved tension in all the line between the tip and the fly + steeper amplitude.
http://www.first-cast.de/Textdateien/zanderqueen-zanderfliegen.html

Lately I position the hook in the middle of the fly. That works great on Zander. I use Sawada double hooks here. Also upside down is smart when having your fly jumping on the bottom!
For perch I yet prefer to have the hook at the end of the fly! (starting to seriously working on perch at the moment)

Fla wrote:- Did you test rather short shooting heads and thin running line? The thin running line should improve the contact to the fly / the line resistance.


That's what I thought, too. But it did not improve my results. I tested it. I used Sawada Mono SL. The SL has some flex = not good. It also wasn't as straight as my sinking line based shooting line was. Problem is, that the slightest waves in the line at whatever point dampen away 90% of all takes.

Fla wrote:- Thinking this further: Did you try to cast the flies with just mono running line? I experimented with tight line nymphing last year using a very long mono leader only - no fly line is leaving the reel. A 1.5g streamer can easily be cast more than 10m with such a rig (backcast, shoot some line, forward cast with haul).


That's a great idea. Not sure what serious wind would do to this outfit. I did cast my flies on a spinning rod to see what the than improved contact would be like. I am pretty excellent now with being able to detect even a high percentage of small Zander (soft) takes. But there is still little room to improve. In little wave situations I don't need it. But when fishing from a boat in waves I yet loose contact. Thanks for sharing that thought. I will test and see where the limits for the weight of the fly are here! Being able to use lighter flies can be important sometimes (more easily to be sucked in and moving slower, but making less noise when hitting the bottom = it all depends).

Fla wrote:- If you think this even further, you will probably end up with a ultralight spinning setup with thin braid. That's probably not where you want to go ;).... Is there an advantage of using fly fishing tackle, apart from that it is cooler?


I did test my flies on a spinning rod, to see where I am. Well, fishing for really small Zander my friend Hansi still gets more fish. That is because his rubber fish has very little weight (drop shot) and thus easily can be sucked in. Also he obviously has a better contact! As soon as the Zander are over 40 - 45cm our catches are even (takes get strong enough for me to be detected. Bigger Zander over 60cm yet seem to like my flies more than his rubber fish! So, in regard of your question... my fly seems to offer a pretty attractive movement, which most Zander never have seen yet! Besides that, a professional spin fisherman will always be hard to be beaten. Especially in deeper water + current + waves he will outfish me on Zander. In my homewater I now for some time did significantly outfish the average spin fishing bears.

Fla wrote:By the way: I enrolled into your fly casting course in Zurich (the one on Sunday). Looking very much forward to getting to know you then!


Looking forward to meet! ;)
Regards
Bernd
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#3  Postby Paul Arden » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:27 pm

This is a really great FP, mate. I’ll make you a short Hird Leader this week and hopefully by next week it will be dry enough to post. Sounds like very challenging fishing you have there.

Cheers, Paul

Edit: very cool that you guys are meeting!!!
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#4  Postby Fla » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:15 pm

Hi Bernd

Thanks for the additional explanations!

Cheers
Flavio
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#5  Postby Bernd Ziesche » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:30 am

Looking forward to test that leader, mate! Interesting stuff!
Thanks!
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#6  Postby ska1911 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:01 pm

Hi Bernd,
very interesting topic. i did a lot of pike fishing last year and realised, that i would have missed a lot of takes, if i wouldn`t have seen the pike attacking the fly. i guess that i miss most of the attacks on longer distance when it´s not possible to see the fish. i used an 8wt swimming or intermediate outbound short most of the time, and it always felt like not having sufficient contact to the fly, esptecially when retrieving very slow. what are your observations concerning this issue in context of pike fishing? i may try fishing a 6 wt line next year, as i always felt some kind of overgunned with the 8 wt on my home river. whats the impact of the fly weight, and materials? i observed that the pike took rabbit bunnies much deeper than flies tied with ep fiber. i remember that you wrote in some of your FP that all of this applies much more to zander fishing than pike, because zander take the fly more subtle, but do you think it can also make a difference in pike fishing?
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#7  Postby Bernd Ziesche » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:13 am

Hi Ska,
you may have a read on my last fp as well:
https://www.sexyloops.com/index.php/ps/the-biggest-disadvantage-of-fly-fishing
I added a part to answer your question as well.

In fact at some point I have realized, that I can see a fair number of pike takes by very carefully watching the line hanging of my rod tip, BEFORE being able to feel the fish (not the take) still being on the fly. That only works in calm conditions though!
No doubt many fly fishermen will tell you, hat pike hammer into the fly. That often was mistaking the run for the take and missing the take in truth. I have seen pike coming in opposite direction to my retrieving path and grabbing the fly hard. When that happens you truly get a very different sort of feeling. It's amazingly massive.
Mostly pike come from behind the fly and put slack in your leader when taking the fly. We usually cannot feel that sort of take. Especially when (like Niklas Bauer) fishing huge flies on a very heavy fly line. Such line setups totally dampen most takes!
Last season I had to fish very light tackle based on my rod hand being strongly injured. Man, that has opened my eyes a lot here! Now for pike we are lucky that a high percentage of them keep the fly and then run off. But even with pike we hook more when fishing lighter lines increasing the chance of feeling the take!

On many other species of fish like Zander, perch, mullet! and sea trout for example we miss a lot of fish when not stripping very fast (reducing the time lack between the take and us feeling the fish to be on our fly). This is one of the biggest advantages of the very fast retrieve!
Regards
Bernd
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#8  Postby Thomas » Thu Mar 07, 2019 7:32 pm

Hi Berndt!

This is all very interesting. I started fishing for pike a few years ago and I have had some success too - its great fun! Here in Sweden the big authority on flyfishing for pike is, as i´m sure you know, Niklas Bauer. And as you said in your post above he uses big flies and heavy lines. I mostly use relatively small flies - between say 15 and 20 centimeters - because I fish an 8 weight and the really big stuff is too tiring to cast with such a setup (at least for me). Do you think there is an advantage fishing the really big stuff or should I stick with what I already have?

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Post Number:#9  Postby Bernd Ziesche » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:24 pm

Hi Thomas,
I love to watch some of the vids of KG presenting ff for pike with NB. Excellent action, great editing. Still they miss a lot of followers and it seems to me they yet dont nearly know the causes. Otherwise they would change a few things. These big flies can be good. Clearly big pikes in many waters also feed on small fish. Especially when all anglers fish big... the biggest pikes often come for small stuff. They are smart and learn fast. I caught many big ones on small flies. The small ones though are much more fun to be casted and give the chance of fishing with thinner lines and leaders. Thats often an advantage. A thinner leader does mostly make a huge difference! Big flies kill thin leaders castingwise. But big leaders are causing followers over followers (just to give one cause). Regards Bernd
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Bernd's FP - Fly Fishing For Zander Line Set Up

Post Number:#10  Postby Paul Arden » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:56 pm

Ska’s comment on rabbits is very interesting and reminds me of Boobies. They are taken much deeper - also suspender buzzers and floating fry, this time from the surface. That might be an alternative solution? A bit backwards but a crease fly on a short Leader and a sinking line.

I concur with rabbits but hadn’t really put that together. Thanks! Why do you think that is?

Cheers, Paul
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