How to cast for maximum distance from an ocean beach - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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How to cast for maximum distance from an ocean beach

Could someone please explain in simple language how to accomplish this, with emphasis on how to deal with strong frontal and side winds.

I am fishing the Jersey Shore for Stripers and Big Blues with a 14' 9 wt Sage, using a 680 grain floating shooting head and 15 ft of T-14 Sink Tip.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-02-2015, 10:27 PM
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Hey prepalaw. From the beach it is usually overhead. Beach = waves, and waves do not play nice with floating anything. You are going to want an intermediate shooting line, and at the very least an intermediate head, but probably an even faster sinking head in certain cases. The Outbound series of lines are very popular for this.

So, sinking head and intermediate shooting line cuts through waves. The cast is strip your clouser (or whatever) to the head or maybe past it, roll it to the surface, single backcast, single forward cast, count before stripping depending on the presentation. Rinse and repeat. Oh, and because your shooting line is intermediate (and again the damn waves)you will need a stripping basket if you are wading, or your cast is going nowhere. Unfortunately I got nothing for you as a silver bullet with the wind, except keep it low. A heavy dense sinking shooting head helps a lot though. That 15' footer might as well.

If you can find some very flat water like near an inlet,or in the special cast where the water is pretty flat and you can hold the shooting line *over* the breakers, then other option might present themselves, but I think generally if you just launch a floating spey head with a sink tip you may have frustrating and unsatisfying results.

My surf rig - echo sr 8wt switch rod, 10wt outbound short, up to 6 ips + intermediate shooting line, Orvis V or VI Hydros reel.


I grew up on the east coast - loved fishing for Bluefish as a kid. Kind of miss them.

We have some great places where I live to fish for landlocked stripers in lakes and reservoirs, and I fish for them with a regular spey setup. In that case a floating head and a sinktip works pretty well, and you can even do spey casts. A lot more "user friendly" than surf fishing.
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Last edited by Botsari; 11-02-2015 at 11:12 PM.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 04:25 AM
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The only way to beat the wind is perfect casts with high line speed and narrow loops. As Botsari stated int heads and overhead casts, roll cast out slooooww lift to 1 back cast and let er rip. Find the sweet spot with the over hang will help(probley more that you think) and prictice and find an instructor if needed. With good technique its not impossible to hit 150' with little effort and no shoulder problems.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-03-2015, 02:26 PM
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890gr line head is too heavy for a 9wt DH rod and 14 ft rod is too long for strong wind. If it is a four piece rod you can take the tip section away and test cast how it goes when shortened to about 11ft. This way shortened rod does not bend too much but is easier to cast fast casting stroke and line speed becomes fast but line loop becomes wider when rod does not bend enough.

I use 10ft and 11ft spinning and casting rods when I cast 700gr and heavier line heads. They are very cheap and more powerful than DH fly rods.

Esa
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Gentlemen,

thank you for you advice. I am new to the two-handed rod and started in June 2015 - casting about 40 feet. I took instruction and and working on my technique. But, casting on the grass is not casting in water.

I am getting 100 ft consistently and up to 120 ft. But, I am doing this casting over my "other" shoulder - backhanded. For some reason, this awkward position forces me to slow down and allows me to bend that rod overhead and shoot line.

I just can not do the overhand cast consistently well - I just can not get the damn rod to bend and catapult the line. I have over 500 hours of practice into this - I do not understand why this casting business is so damn difficult for me.

I fished yesterday on the Jersey Shore - the bait and blues got with 150 ft of the beach - I could not reach them. Water was bathtub flat with no wind. Used stripping basket which was hardly needed.

I have all necessary surf casting equipment - Mojo 12' St Croix rod with braided line - will catapult anything 300 ft. But, I left that rig at home and am determined to hook-up with the Spey Rod.

Fished for salmon in New Brunswick in October - could consistently cast 100 ft with floating line - albeit "backward".

I have dedicated this summer and now the fall to learn how to cast the two-handed rod.

I wish I could find someone between Montauk and Cape May to fish with - someone who as mastered the two handed rod and can sling line 150 ft into the ocean. I need to see it done, especially in a 20 MPH frontal wind.

River fishing is much easier than ocean fishing. The instructors have no interest in ocean fishing, where it is impossibly to do all of those fancy casts, which do not impress the fish.

I do the rollcast retrieve and wait for the line to straight out behind me - when I feel weight - I bend the rod with the forward stroke and sling line - mostly using backward stance.

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Esa,

has anyone ever tried spooling a fly rod with braided line - using as both the "backing" and the running line and attaching the braided line to the shooting head of the two handed rod.

The braided line has no weight and no air resistance. But, if it gets tangled, you must have patience and time to untangle it, sometimes using a fishing hook as a pick.

peter
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 01:16 PM
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150 feet is pretty damn far short of tournament casting.

Andrew Moy at Tightlines Fly shop in NJ is a spectacular caster and excellent instructor- both sh and 2 handed.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by prepalaw View Post
Esa,

has anyone ever tried spooling a fly rod with braided line - using as both the "backing" and the running line and attaching the braided line to the shooting head of the two handed rod.

The braided line has no weight and no air resistance. But, if it gets tangled, you must have patience and time to untangle it, sometimes using a fishing hook as a pick.

peter
Peter, I have only test cast but did not find any benefit and I think it collects dirt which can wear guides.

Esa
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 01:52 PM
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I just can not do the overhand cast consistently well - I just can not get the damn rod to bend and catapult the line. I have over 500 hours of practice into this - I do not understand why this casting business is so damn difficult for me.

I have all necessary surf casting equipment - Mojo 12' St Croix rod with braided line - will catapult anything 300 ft. But, I left that rig at home and am determined to hook-up with the Spey Rod.

... sling line 150 ft into the ocean. I need to see it done, especially in a 20 MPH frontal wind.
Peter! Fly rod does not "catapult" the line much! Especially when the DH casting and there is no haul done the line loop begins to form very early when rod is nowhere even close to being straightened. Its the lever effect of rod is what mostly makes the line speed when DH casting! Biggest effect of the rod bend makes it easier to cast straight line path.

150ft fishing casts are very very rare without the tail wind!

Do you still try to cast the 890gr line using your 14ft 9wt Sage you wrote in the beginning? It is serious overload!

Esa
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by prepalaw View Post
I have all necessary surf casting equipment - Mojo 12' St Croix rod with braided line - will catapult anything 300 ft. But, I left that rig at home and am determined to hook-up with the Spey Rod.
How much weight you cast with this rod? If it is fine with 2oz you should test cast your 890gr fly head using it.

Currently I think a 11ft DH rod is best length for overall SW use and at least 700gr line head weight. 100ft fishing casts are quite effortless when it is calm and distance does not drop too much when there is very strong head wind. If rod is much longer a 700gr line becomes tiring to cast and when wind speed increase casting distance drops too much because of rod wind resistance.

Esa
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-09-2015, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Esa,

I thank you for your advice.

You have misread my line weight - 680 grains - not anything else.

I have spent collectively 8-1/2 days in 2015 with Andrew and Nancy Moy this year.

I am not up to speed on the lingo - what does "DH" mean.

Simply stated, my problem is this: Why, without instruction, can I pick up my Mojo rod and cast 300 feet - however, why must I have 500+ hours of practice/instruction to be able cast a two-handed rod 100 feet.

I have been a seriously on the quest with the fly rod for more than 25 years (72 years old now). I am a fly fisherman and not a fly "casterman". The endeavor is fishing, not casting. If I had a trained bird to fly my "fly" out 150 feet over ocean waters and drop it and repeat, then I would do that. Casting is not superordinated over Fishing. I have watched locals in poor areas unroll knotted bailing twine rolled over a coffee can and launch a dare devil red and white metal lure to the next bank and haul in a 5 pound trout on the retrieve and put it on the grill for lunch.

I have never, ever seen a loop - how can you see things behind you when the fish are in the water in front of you and not on the bank behind you.

From a standpoint of ocean fishing, all I give a damn about is distance and I can achieve that with means other than a two-handed rod. If I wanted to ice fish tonnage, then I would lace the bay with dynamite and scent it with chum and fish oil.

What everyone seems to forget is this: You bend the rod and the rod casts the line. Everything else is nice to know from an intellectual perspective, but unhelpful to achieve the result - catapulting the line to the intended place.

My problem, after having invested much money, time and effort in trying to learn how to do it, is this:

Nobody focuses on explaining how the fisherman is supposed to bend the rod.

First, I did battle with the equipment - fly rods are designed by fly casting experts for fly casting experts. A rod company should hire non-casting engineers, who are experts in materials and ergonomics (the interaction between man and machine). Those people would come up with a rod for $300 that you could pick up off of the shelf and cast 150 feet without instruction.

Second, I did battle with the casting experts - yes, they are "right" - their methods work - no discussion. But, it is a proposition of "my way or the highway". If you do not do it their way, then they stop helping you. A deliverer of personal services accepts the customer as he is, with all foibles and strengths. He knows what the customer is "doing wrong". But, the job of master (for hire) is not to reinvent the pupil into a reincarnation of the master. Rather, his job is to help the pupil do whatever he is doing better - if he is casting 40 feet, then get him, with a couple of small changes, to cast 50 feet. And, consistently and in the absence of the master.

That is why I want to fish with an expert two-handed caster - someone, who, on a windless day, delivers 150 ft casts, rep after rep, into the ocean blue. If I can see him operate, then I can learn much.

At this juncture, I realize that I must master this casting business on my own.

Lastly, if all those great casts are so exemplary, then why does that great cast not produce a hook-up every time. Why does every salmon fisherman have to cast at least 500 times to get a hook-up. The fish is not impressed with your cast, the cost of your rod and reel and probably not with your hand-tied fly. All fisherman with synthetic bait are practicing fraud on the fish - and casting is just one aspect of fraud scenario.

peter
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 12:17 AM
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Your St Croix Mojo 12' rod is a surf or beach casting rod, weighing itself 21 ounces, and the specs state that the lines recommended are 20 to 60 lbs, and the casting weight 6 to 16 ounces!

Put that rod in the hands of a beach casting expert, and it will cast 600+ feet (the world record surf cast (with a 5.3oz weight) is over 915 feet. That is because it is casting a small concentrated weight (lead) with fine mono or braided line.

The situation with a fly rod is quite different. The casting weight is the fly line, and that weight is distributed over a 20 to 40 feet, and, in the circumstance of an added sink tip, the weight and length of the sink tip.

In your case, a 680 grain head plus 210 grains in the 15' T14 sink tip (total 890 grains - or just over 2 ounces) is perhaps spread over 45 to 50 feet [and not the <2 inches of a lead surf casting weight]; in order for you to be able to cast that fly line head and tip, together with your leader/tippet and fly, into the surf 150 feet to the fish (and it is possible with a fly line setup) you most likely have to cast overhead. Thus all of the head, tip, leader/tippet and fly must be laid straight out in a backcast overhead before you can load the rod and cast off into the distant surf.

As has been pointed out, it is very likely that the rod you are using is being overloaded with the 890 grains (plus fly), ie. outwith the grain range which the rod can handle [of all the Sage rods in the 14' #9 categories, the recommended grain weights of heads for 'spey' casting lies between 600 & 720, with no recommendation on overhead casting grain weights].

When you overload the rod, the casts will fail, resulting in PP distance


Mike

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 12:23 AM
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prepalaw,

The main reason why people do anything is of course because it gives them pleasure. I think the answer to your questions is that in the surf, honestly, unless you get pleasure from the style points or the sheer challenge, fly fishing is not even very arguably that pleasurable for a lot of people. I commiserate. Short casts, waves in your face, managing all that line under hostile conditions, sand and salt in all your equipment, and that damn seven year old kid that is out-casting and out-fishing me with his 8 ft spinning rig. Truth is, and I surf fished my whole youth, surf fishing IS quite often all about the distance. Depending on the species, location and conditions you may have 100 feet (or 100 yards) of unproductive water in front of you. In such a case a spinning or bait casting reel on a long rod with a lure is honestly a bit more my definition of pleasure.

But don't dismiss the very elusive concept of pleasure, or that it can trump numbers. Yesterday I caught, I'd guess about an hour apart, two steelhead of about the same size in the same river - one from a boat with an indicator rig, and one swinging. My personal pleasure meter (in this very scientific experiment :-) ) told me that catching the one swinging a fly was approximately 5 times more pleasurable. To me this means I'd be happier catching a lot less fish if I could just catch a few swinging. I can't really explain it. I could try, and many have, by saying it was being in the river with the fish, and the feeling of effortless grace of the whole process of swinging down a run, and a host of other things, but ultimately it is personal. Follow YOUR bliss, I say, not what someone else's idea of what it should be.

But some of your lack of pleasure may be due to a mismatch of rod, line and casting style. If you are still up for it, keep experimenting and adjusting because it CAN be done. If taking a bluefish in the surf on the fly turns out to be 5 times more pleasurable than other ways of doing it, for YOU, it will have been worth it. If you are very sure it will not, then why bother.

Edit: perhaps another way of re-presenting what the others have said above. If you look of a Sage 14' 9wt rod on the Rio line recommendation chart (e.g. here:http://www.rioproducts.com/RIO-Spey-Line-Recs.pdf) you will see that the recommended Rio Outbound line (that being a very stereotypical surf fishing line as well as for other saltwater conditions) is an 11wt. It is more or less understood that the outbound line will usually be used overhead, so the recommended weight would be expected to be less than, or at the bottom end of, the rated grain window for spey casting for that rod. If you were going to try to do waterborne casts you might want to adjust the weight up. But overhead you would generally want a lighter line than the middle of the grain window. Anyway, if you look up the head weight of an 11wt outbound (e.g. here: Rio OutBound Fly Fishing Line) you will find the head weight is listed at 465gr!! And this is a line you use without tips, generally, as it has the tip built into the head. The head you are using now is even much heavier than the recommended heaviest skagit head on that chart for a similar rod - almost heavier in fact than I would likely use on my 15' 10wt - for spey casts! So what you are being told is both your line system, and the total weight of the line you are casting is way out of whack for the rod and what you want to use it for. Maybe before you give up, just try overhead casting a sinking 11wt (do they still make them?) outbound line or its equivalent. I bet you could even get a loaner somewhere. These can really fly with what is basically a simple overhead cast. Should not take a "master" caster by any means. The thinner diameter of the sinking head will also make it a bit easier to punch it through the wind. But if you are way mismatched nothing is going to feel or work right, and no amount of practice will change that . Exactly the same could be said about using too much weight on a conventional rod.

Last edited by Botsari; 11-10-2015 at 02:21 AM.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 04:16 AM
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You have misread my line weight - 680 grains - not anything else.

I am not up to speed on the lingo - what does "DH" mean.

Simply stated, my problem is this: Why, without instruction, can I pick up my Mojo rod and cast 300 feet - however, why must I have 500+ hours of practice/instruction to be able cast a two-handed rod 100 feet.

I have never, ever seen a loop - how can you see things behind you when the fish are in the water in front of you and not on the bank behind you.

What everyone seems to forget is this: You bend the rod and the rod casts the line. Everything else is nice to know from an intellectual perspective, but unhelpful to achieve the result - catapulting the line to the intended place.

Nobody focuses on explaining how the fisherman is supposed to bend the rod.

That is why I want to fish with an expert two-handed caster - someone, who, on a windless day, delivers 150 ft casts, rep after rep, into the ocean blue. If I can see him operate, then I can learn much.

peter
It was because you mentioned 680gr belly and 15ft of T14 (210gr) which usually are cast together. That 680gr belly alone is way too short to cast far because the line loop unfurls very fast and straightens so aggressively that line tip overshoots badly. Long casts require long line head!!! at least 50ft head is needed for 150ft cast but 50ft is too long (tiring to cast) for fishing when overhead casting.

DH=double hand (-casting and -rod)

A caster who is used to cast weights often has trouble achieving a straight line path which is essential when fly line loop is cast.

We all should forget that because it is at least 80% wrong!!! Rod straightening (spring effect) has very small effect to the fly line cast. It is the "rod lever effect" which transfers the energy we input to the rod which mostly accelerates fly line. Only max 20% of the energy which bends the rod transfers to the fly line and it is measured from a single hand cast where efficiency is better.

So focusing bending rod might be your problem!!! You don't need to think that at all! Concentrate accelerating line smoothly using straight line path and your line loops will improve.

Until you can do a basic cast of at least 60ft landing line and leader pretty straight you should not begin to shoot any line! 14ft rod, 40ft line, 2ft overhang and 10ft leader allows 6ft of slack. IMO you should have at least 40ft line head for practice because it gives you more time to do Drifting (best "trick" to increase distance and worth searching instructions) when line loop straightening lasts longer. Line loops also becomes better when line is longer and relatively lighter. Using 40ft line head casting 100ft + is easier than using only 30ft line head.

Casting a fly line 150ft constantly you need a long and powerful rod, long and heavy line head, strength, endurance and especially skill. First two require only money but if someone enjoys fishing perhaps he won't "waste" fishing time to achieve the last three

Esa
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2015, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Gentlemen,

for the generosity, thoughtfulness and depth of your responses, I thank you. I could not have ever envisioned that a couple of questions from my side would have produced such prodigious answers. And, for all of your inputs, I am very grateful.

To get to the bottom line, the message that has been driven home to me is this: I am casting too much weight with the rod I am using. And, I never added the weight of the fly, which could be a 5-1/2 inch bunker imitation.

So, here is what I am going to do: use a 550 grain Skagit Max line + 12.5" of T-14 ( 175 grains) = 725 grains. Plus fly weight.

Now, will I be in the ballpark - from the perspective of maximum weight delivery capacity - to cast that with my 14' ft 9 wt Sage Spey Rod? According to Mike, I am pretty close to the max - which he says is 720 grains.

I have really learned much from all of you - I just wanted guidance to get pointed the right direction - and have received that.

From a standpoint of "over-lining" the rod, I do this pretty religiously with my single handed rods - 6 wt line on my 5 wt rod - 7 wt line on 6 wt, etc. Overweight by a factor of plus one.

After I re-read and digested all of the details provided, I am amazed that I can do anything with a fly rod. I will give you the following example:

When I was fishing for salmon in New Brunswick, CA in October with a 15 ft floating leader on my 14' 9 wt, I was having trouble casting "overhand", meaning getting the line over my casting arm shoulder. I am left handed and pretty much ambidextrous. I am fishing on the right side of the river (looking at the river downstream from the top of a bridge - that right side). So, I instinctively developed this casting technique:

Facing downstream, with my left foot forward, I stripped in line parallel to the bank until the beginning of shooting head;

Using the roll cast technique, I dragged the line out of the water parallel to the bank;

I waited until my rod was over my head with the line moving in the air parallel to the bank - sailing over my other (right) shoulder;

Without twisting my body and continuing to look downstream with my head ( and never turning my head), I cast the line perpendicular to the bank back out into the run. I made about 100 casts per hour with this method - most every cast was 100 ft or more. How this is possible, I do not know. But, it works for me. I can not replicate the cast on grass but can do so in water. This technique was very efficient.

Fly Presentation in the river: I am studying the book - Greased Line Fishing for Salmon (and Steelhead), which detailed the methods used by Arthur Wood to achieve the presentation of the fly broadside to the fish in the current. I have a simple question: How do you know that your fly is swimming broadside to the fish? I want to implement this technique as well in fishing for trout in small streams and rivers with the single handed rod.

Fishing Enjoyment: There were words of wisdom written by Botsari on this subject. How important is it for me to catch a great number of fish on an outing. At my age of 72, I have caught and released so many fish that quantity is not so important. If it is too easy to catch fish - then that is boring. On the other hand, casting into "empty" water is pointless. How do you know that the water is empty, that is a big question. And in the ocean, where fish are not impounded by river banks, dams, dead-fall and other barriers, most ocean water is 99% empty most of the time.

From a qualitative perspective, I view landing and releasing fish as follows:

The Best: Getting a fish from terra firma without a guide.

Next: Getting a fish from terra firma.

Next: 10 fish from a boat = 1 fish from the river bank or ocean beach.

If anyone out there wants to go river fishing for big fish and needs a "third man" for the trip, please let me know.

Regards,

peter

Last edited by prepalaw; 11-10-2015 at 07:57 PM. Reason: misspoke
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