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Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

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Phil Blackmar
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#211

Post by Phil Blackmar » Thu Dec 24, 2020 12:18 pm

Paul-

Throwing a fairly large (heavy when wet) streamer wade fishing in thigh deep water in the surf. 9 wt rod and line. Long casts are a premium. Trouble keeping fly above the waves, primarily on the beginning of the final forward cast. Thoughts? Would a side, horizontal loop, backcast work better? I was also experimenting with a very high backcast, at home and not on the water, but it seems tough to get that cast started without the fly getting too low at the beginning.

I have a new line that throws great. If I can get the entire shooting head out of the end of the rod, I can easily make a very long cast. But, on my final forward cast, I hinge my wrist back a little more at the start to help delay rotation and tighten the loop (works great), but this adds to the fly getting too low at the beginning of that forward cast.

Thanks
Cheers
Phil

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#212

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Hi Phil,

My thoughts would be a short heavy Shooting Head and a stripping basket. Fairly compact stroke and a low backcast trajectory so you can throw a higher forward cast. What sort of sized flies?

Side cast is good on the backcast if you want to keep the line low, especially on the pickup or if you have an off-shore wind. If it’s a big sockfly I would most probably cast this way.

Fortunately with a short head like this you won’t have to do much false casting, so it’s really about putting the line in the right place with the backcast, with just the right amount of overhang, and then a launch on the forward cast with an “early”* quick haul release.

*I really concentrate on releasing early, even to the extent of releasing the line before the conclusion of the haul. (it’s not really early of course, just “earlier”!)

Cheers, Paul
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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#213

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:47 pm

I should add, when I say “compact stroke” I mean body movement on the backcast. The rod should be fully open/Stopless/170 delivery on the forward cast. Definitely don’t try to throw a light loop off the tip with such tackle!!
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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#214

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:38 pm

Many years ago we had Mark Sedoti on the Board with his “Sayonara Sling”. Basically this is a backcast delivery with rod butt tucked against forearm for launching huge flies. In some ways it is actually easier launching on a backhand delivery with such tackle - certainly with regards to stroke consistency.

Once you have the stroke you want dialled in it would be time to play around with tackle. Weight of line, length of head, diameter of shooting line, This really is about tinkering. The leader is always important too of course.

There are guys on this Board far more knowledgeable about casting and fishing heads than I am. In fact just about all of them :D

Cheers, Paul
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#215

Post by Phil Blackmar » Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:07 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 4:38 pm
Many years ago we had Mark Sedoti on the Board with his “Sayonara Sling”. Basically this is a backcast delivery with rod butt tucked against forearm for launching huge flies. In some ways it is actually easier launching on a backhand delivery with such tackle - certainly with regards to stroke consistency.

Once you have the stroke you want dialled in it would be time to play around with tackle. Weight of line, length of head, diameter of shooting line, This really is about tinkering. The leader is always important too of course.

There are guys on this Board far more knowledgeable about casting and fishing heads than I am. In fact just about all of them :D

Cheers, Paul
I've never messed with a shooting head. I'll do some research and see what I can learn. The pic below has the flies I'm tying for the surf. Not that bad except the top one which really holds water. They all get a little heavy actually. Distance is not a problem with the set-up I'm using except I keep hitting the tops of waves on my last forward cast, particularly when standing knee deep in the water or more.

I'm already using a casting basket as you can see in the second pic. This was from about two weeks ago on a cold morning.
surf fish.jpeg
surf flies 2.jpeg
. 15 mph wind in and from the left..

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Phil

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#216

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Dec 25, 2020 4:49 pm

9WT rod so I’m assuming a 10 or 11WT shooting head? It’s certainly a different sort of challenge when the flies are too heavy to be carried by the line. I do that sort of fishing from time to time. If I was doing it all the time though it would be no fun :)

When I first started playing with shooting heads quite long lengths of overhang were sometimes recommended to delay turnover. However I don’t see that recommended very often nowadays. I aim to have just enough overhang such that the head stays out of the tip ring plus a few feet (maybe a metre) - as a starting point.

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Lasse Karlsson
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#217

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Fri Dec 25, 2020 9:31 pm

When are the flies to heavy to carried by the line?



Most tend to use too long and too thin leaders and tippets for the bigger flies, and alot can be gained by choosing thicker tippet, and a shorter leader.
For those flies I would be chopping up a 11 or 12 weight line, preferably a intermediate DT if I where to fish in waves, cut back on the front taper if needed and chop around 30 feet total length.
But keeping it from ticking is mostly a timing and force issue, rather than tackle!

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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#218

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Fri Dec 25, 2020 9:38 pm

Phil,

It sounds like the fly is tucking on your last false cast, of so you may be overpowering it? Or, over extending it. Try for just enough umph to straighten the final false cast to set things up nice and tidy, but no more. Anything beyond that is wasted, and counter-productive.

Your files look to be quite heavily built and natural. If so, that might be why they hold a lot of water. Try going to full synthetic materials. Your flies will not hold water, will be lighter, and even sink faster. The old adage that less is more can be very true with flies.

Look into "Squimpish" material for the tails: it has a lot of action compared to a lot of the stiffer synthetics. On the other hand, a head of "Kinky fibers" can create a nice fat profile, yet still be sparse enough to sink quickly. KInky has been a bit tough to find lately though.
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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#219

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Dec 26, 2020 9:22 am

Buying manufactured shooting heads or integrated shooting heads is not only an expensive way of doing it but you lose the ability to custom fit them perfectly to your rod/stroke. Buying a DT will give you two heads but generally when WF lines crack they do so in the running line also giving you a head you can chop.

Of course the nice thing about having a head you’ve made yourself as opposed to an integrated one is that you can change the head relatively easily (less reels) and if the shooting line messes up you can simply chop it back a few metres. If you are buying DTs then this is the perfect opportunity to buy cheap Chinese lines because generally they are limp, conform to AFFTA and most people I talk to prefer limp lines for shooting heads. You can buy these from anywhere between 5 and 20 dollars. Of course recycling old lines is even cheaper! At these prices there is plenty of room to experiment.

There are some good articles from Lasse about shooting head connections on ‘loops. Eg https://www.sexyloops.com/articles/smoo ... ions.shtml

I personally rarely use them however. I’ve spent more time casting them in competition than fishing them, and that’s not very much! However if I was doing that sort of fishing I would certainly be using them. I will build some sort of Frankenstein monster for fishing deep in the stumps next week.

Cheers, Paul
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#220

Post by Phil Blackmar » Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:02 pm

9WT rod so I’m assuming a 10 or 11WT shooting head? It’s certainly a different sort of challenge when the flies are too heavy to be carried by the line. I do that sort of fishing from time to time. If I was doing it all the time though it would be no fun :)

Thanks everyone for the help-

Paul-

I've been practicing for quite some time the things you suggested and I am doing much better. Tracking continuers to improve, I can stand closed stance and square shoulder and easily throw 90-100 ft with an ever improving straight line layout. I've still a lot of room to grow, but I decided to start challenging myself taking it to the water in ways I don't usually try with a fly. Hence the surf fishing.

I practiced with one of the flies in the pic I forwarded but added large weighted eyes to simulate the weight when wet. On the street or closely cut grass, I can easily throw to the end of the line to the reel with my 9 wt rod, and 9 wt line with 5-10 ft of overhang and this fly. That's why I'm not so sure going to a shooting head set-up will solve my problem.

The issue seems to be on my final forward cast, I like to keep my wrist soft and it hinges more as I start forward. When I do this, and hold off release as long as I can, I can get a very tight loop. I find a tight loop to shoot for distance with the heavier fly a must. The problem, I think, is when I hinge the wrist more, the rod tip drops allowing the fly to drop as it starts forward.....When I keep the wrist firm, my loop open up enough to be counterproductive.

With your help, I've gone primarily to a vertical line plane cast. In this plane, when the loop unrolls, the fly goes down. The reason I asked about the side back cast is that loop in such a cast rolls out horizontally which may offer a few more feet of cushion above the water on the turnaround. It looks good at home but I haven't had a chance to mess with it on the water.

I've been experimenting with a combination of casts you mentioned. On the back cast, tucking the rod against the forearm is interesting....I feel that I need more speed earlier to bend the rod earlier and the timing of the haul changes a little. It also seems a more steady pull on the haul doing this rather than an abrupt yank seems to produce a better loop. On the forward cast, I can get a good loop with the early release but not the power....I guess I'm no Raejeff...

Mangrove Cuckoo-

Thanks for reaching out. It's not an overpower problem although it may be a technique issue...I'm still working on making the same quality backcast without watching the line as when watching....When I close my eyes I'm great. When I watch, the same....when I keep my eyes on the target, the quality suffers a bit. It's a process.

I've got a large storage container full of tying materials, but I haven't kept them in original packaging so I have no idea what anything is called. I used to tie flies on the road when playing the tour to give me something to do at night and to stay out of trouble... :D :D I will inventory my stash and then go to the local fly shop to get what you mentioned, if I don't already have it. The colors and size are meant to immolate the Mirrolures my dad and I used successfully in the surf for trout years ago...I've gotten away from fishing the beach...

Lasse-

I can only imagine the circumstances surrounding the "Rubber Chicken incident"....Your leader comment may be right on...I'm using 40-20-15 at 9-10 ft in length...I'm going to firm and shorten it up and see if that doesn't help some....sure sounds like it will..

Again, thank you everyone
Cheers
Phil

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