Sometimes Heavy is Too Heavy - Page 2 - Spey Pages
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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A good question in there FishOn.

Would I put on a heavier line? No I would not. We don't solve problems with casting mechanics by adding weight. We solve the casting mechanics problem. That's one of the challenges of instruction for we meet all kinds of clients. We have to develop a bag of tools that we can use to help the struggling client to get it right.

About line choices, our opinions as to the 'right' way are irrelevant. We teach the client using the line system appropriate to their fishing and their preferences. If they have none, then I outline the choices, we discuss and let them first try, then they choose. I never work on the basis that I like this line therefore you shall use it, nor "I know best so fish my way."

As far as weight goes, I steer down the middle of the rod's range for that line system then teach proper mechanics so that they can cast it efficiently. Handing clients crutches does them no long term favours.
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 04:09 PM
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I had never looked at it that way Peter and it looks pretty darn good from here.
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 06:16 PM
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After all this the examples in the OP look pretty outlandish. Where did they come from???
I haven't used a line chart to choose a line in a long time but those are recommendations by the companies based on what they believe to be a good starting point. The anglers I fish with when I do, shop owners, guides and instructors, most of them cast heavier than I do. One example is an Echo TR # 7. I liked 540 skagit on the rod and the owner likes 600. Watching him cast I wouldn't call it over-lined what so ever.

So - who's willing to draw the line as to what is too heavy? Anyone? What would that do for personal preference? What does this mean for "up-linning by one then backing off"?
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Summed up in one word, "effort". I've watched big muscular guys whip around some ridiculous grainage (back off with the double entendres boys and girls).

If we're willing to work, we can handle ridiculously heavy. If we have loads of big muscles, then it ain't so ridiculous. (I'll refrain from commenting about efficiency). I remember a clave many years ago where a strapping young lad from out west came to show us Great Lakes heathens how to manage heavy. He was whipping some serious weight. I tried his rig and damn near needed an EMS team.

Couple good mechanics with a line in the sweet spot of a rod and it really is effortless. The fact that others can manage much more shouldn't be taken as an endorsement.

BTW, that big muscular lad wasn't setting the world on fire when it came to distance. He was just working harder.
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 08:49 PM
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Oh-no. None of it intended from here, and I apologies if that how it comes across.

You are not putting anything down that seems out of the field. I agree with most of what you are saying so those numbers seem like they must have been way off and they must have come from somewhere ...

Only saying though that if you, anyone for that matter, say "too much" is too much then maybe a figure would help. Some substance otherwise... and someone could be left out in the blank. What would be considered too heavy a line for a rod?
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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No worries . . .

I don't think we can put an exact number on it. We can keep adding weight, slowing down, broadening our casting stroke and the line still sails out there with little effort. But add some more weight and now the same minimal effort no longer rewards us. We have to start muscling it just to try and maintain distance. It's when we reach that tipping point that we have gone too far. Add to that the better the caster, the farther out that tipping point goes, but every rod has one and even the best caster in the world will have to muscle it beyond a certain point.

Last year to prove a point, I took a 9' 5 wt. out in the yard and double hauled a 480 grain Scandi head on it over 90'. Would I fish that combo? Not in a million years, as it was brutal to cast, but it shows that even a ridiculous combo can be made to work with enough effort. It's all about what we're willing to tolerate. Beginners shouldn't be put in that position.
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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 07:08 AM
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Talking Smoke and mirrors.

I’ve been fly casting and speycasting for more than 45 years and have noticed that over the years the line and rod classification have changed in a major way. It used to be that the rod and line classification matched most of the time. With the revolution in line design and carbon/resin technology this has changed. Furthermore it is important to understand that the recommended grain weight for any given rod merely represent the rod designer’s choice.

You might feel the need to find your own grain window depending on your line design. Cutting your own shooting heads as we used to do in Scandinavia, and still do to a large extend, teaches you a thing or two about the line taper, length and weight influence on how a rod bends and straightens and at what speed and how a rod recovers under different loads and casting techniques.

This was and is the real beauty of the Underhand technique, as practiced in Scandinavia or for that matter the Skagit technique when it was developed in the PNW; you tailor your heads yourself and end up with a set of rod and line that is tailored for you and the fishing problems at hand. The recommendations are just what it says merely recommendations and your rod will not suddenly break or turn into a pumpkin if you do not adhere to the line recommendations as long as you use your experience.

Yes it is possible to cast a 10 weight line on a # 3 rod and a 3 weight line on a # 10 rod. Most committed students of the OH cast with single hand rods have practiced keeping an entire 100’ # 7 DT line in the air on a 9 weight rod to learn the importance of tracking.

Most of the recommendations I see on modern rods are way off in the heavy end of the grain window and what is now a # 7 line is what used to be a # 9/10 line. I’ve noticed that what is called a # 7 rod in the Americas is often rated as # 8/9 rod in Scandinavia.

The beginners need to know, what has taken the proficient caster many years to develop a feeling for; the balanced set of rod and line, no matter what is says on the rod and flyline. This is not done by over lining or for that matter under lining a rod, this will only lead to faulty technique and piss poor performance of the caster, line, rod and leader.

Anyway I think the importance of the rods and their classification is way overrated. Don’t take my word for it. Try to take a broomstick or a piece of bamboo and fit it out with some guides and try to cast a line. You’ll be surprised how good it actually works if your technique is good.

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Last edited by Johncke; 08-28-2015 at 01:50 PM. Reason: Spelling.
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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 05:36 PM
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The way it used to be

Johncke has it nailed! Just because Jerry Seim, or Jimmy Green for that matter, liked a 3wt line on a particular rod (such as an old 390-4 RP rod like the one I have) does not mean it is carved in stone. It is merely a recommendation based upon the rod designer's personal preferences.

In the old days, before every aspect of everything being so over regulated to the point it is today, tournament distance casters made up their own shooting heads by chopping a high density DT line of two, or three sizes under the rods designated weight. The resulting head made up for the needed grains by adding length, and was much more aerodynamic than a short fat thirty foot floating head. The real kicker though was they had discovered that a fly line will only continue to fly until it has completely turned over. At that point, it runs out of energy & starts to fall. These longer heads, with custom spliced tapers, delayed the turnover as long as possible. So much for ancient history.

Many line manufacturers have marketed lines that deviate somewhat from the ACA standards, halfway between sizes, long bellies, or extra long rear tapers. A lot of saltwater schools used to recommend their clients over line rods one size and chop the tip back. No big deal. These & other variations have been going on for decades. Not only in the single hand world, but the two hand world as well! Alexander Grant made his own lines over 150 years ago.

Well, perhaps I'm getting carried away here and straying off topic. But I remember (that's what happens when the years start stacking up on you ) reading about Charley Waterman teaching a beginning fly caster to feel the rod loading by stringing a 10 or 12 wt line on a little three weight rod. When the student got to the point he could feel the rod loading, Charley would line the rod lighter. It was an exercise, a tool used in the teaching process to drive home a point. Later, perhaps days or weeks, by the time Charlie got that student down to a properly lined outfit, they were taking a break when Charlie' wife Debbie came out to go shopping. She picked up the rod, made one false cast and then said "oh looky, I shot the whole line"

I've heard people say "those who can do, those who can't teach" I'm not so sure of that anymore. I've come to the conclusion that just being a master at something does not automatically qualify one as a good teacher. Teaching is a skill in itself.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.

Last edited by JDJones; 08-31-2015 at 03:14 PM.
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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When talking personal preference, we always have to remember that an educated preference is different from one that has nothing to back it up. When an angler doesn't have an educated preference then they have to rely on the opinion someone else. That's what manufacturer's recommendations are for. Given some time and experience, they'll go there own way.

With all of the opinion floating around on the net with no bonafides, if I was a beginner, I think I'd go with the expertise of a Rajeff, Hardy, Jack, Jamieson, Green or Siem over Mr. Anonymous-on-the-net-fly-fisher.

And you're right J.D. as sport is littered with examples of the greats who failed as coaches and unknown players who became expert, winning coaches.

Peter Charles
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Last edited by peter-s-c; 08-30-2015 at 02:34 PM.
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-30-2015, 09:45 PM
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JD-you think any of these folks know who Charlie Waterman was? Its their loss if they don't.

In the very first year or so of this forum there was a great deal on information passed around here about how to cut up, join, and repaste sections of high density DT lines , not only for tournament casters , but for spey casting fisherman--as l recall some wanted to deliver larger flies at distance and with heavier tips, and others were looking for great turnover in varying conditions. Doubt if many here realize that some of the "cut and paste" line designs were the forebears of several line manufacturers lines we see in the classifieds here. I remember taking one such line l had put together to a BC camp and having guides there who cast it asking me for details as to how l had produced it. I was just lucky that what l put together fit the rod and my casting style and lm certainly no Jedi.
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-31-2015, 03:42 PM
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JD-you think any of these folks know who Charlie Waterman was?
Charley Waterman1913/2005 Perhaps little known by two hand fly rodders, Charley Waterman's contributions to the Sporting World were by no means minuscule. R.I.P. Charley
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I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 06:15 AM
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Those who can teach ,generally do, without fuss or fanfare , and we never forget a good teacher.
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 09:44 AM
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I was trying a new line yesterday evening, it was an LTS 3D float/ hover/ intermediate 9/10 head rated at 39 grams [600 grains] but which actually weighs 40.08 grams [617 grains]; together with a 10 ft slow sink poly tip.

I went fine on a 9/10 14 ft NRX, but on my old 14 ft Alta Stinger I had to work too hard & ended up with tailing loops etc - so plainly too much line for this rod; still, now I know what to match it with - & I caught a nice little 4lb cock grilse as well.

Regards, Tyke.
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 07:53 PM
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I bought my first two handed last year, it's a Beulah 6wt platinum switch rod. When I bought it I had only watched a few casting videos, and was at the mercy of the sales man who recommended the rio 6wt switch chucker, which is 420 grains. I did want a integrated line, It just seemed simpler. I took a crash course with a guide who said "this cast like ****" and really pushed going with a small diameter running line and a much lighter head. I then went out with a different guide, who really set me up, I ended up with a 360 grain Skagit compact, and a airflo ridge running line. (What was really nice was that he had probably 50 different shooting heads, and a few different running lines that I was able to try) Then I got more serious and took some private casting class's, which I wish I did originally. I now have a 300 grain opst heads and the rods a cannon, and super easy to cast.
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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 09-12-2015, 08:20 AM
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It is very common path that first we cast heavy and often also short line heads and then turn to lighter heads or longer heads and then finally when casting keeps improving and we acquire more gear we fish the fly we believe target fish require and cast the line conditions require using the rod we believe casts that line best...

Esa
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