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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I tried casting a RIO WC 6/7/8 floater on my Winston 11-foot 7-weight BIIx this weekend. A strange thing kept happening on the single spey cast an explanation for which I am hoping to get from one or more of you.

There was little or no wind, but what wind there was was up-river. The bank was to my left as I stood facing down-current. (Is that "river right"?) I have the end of the taper clearly marked on the line (this is a pre-two-color WC).

No matter how gently I tried to make the motion to form the D-loop, 90% of the time the "fly" ended up far up-river from me, and sometimes even up-river and behind me. I tried casting with the end of taper a foot out from the tip, a foot in from the tip, at the tip, in my hand, and a number of other variations, but the result were, pretty much always, the same.

A few times when the fly landed far up-river, I quickly did a double spey move -- dropped the rod down-river, made my D-loop move up-river, and then cast. The results were quite good (especially for me, since I don't cast too well) -- line went just where I aimed it for the full length of the taper plus 10 feet of running line shot through the guides. From this I concluded that the line, which I think has a Peter-S-C casting weight of 352 grains, was not too out of balance with the rod, a rod that Winston says should be matched with a line weighing no more than 300 grains.

I still cannot, however, figure out why I had trouble placing the fly on the single spey. I assume what happened on the single spey would be more likely to happen if the line was too light, but according to the data available, it appears to be 52 grains too heavy. If the line was too heavy, wouldn't I have to really power it back to form the D-loop and wouldn't it have a tendency to drop close to me? I thought it might be that my "dip" on the D-loop motion was too deep, too shallow, or too flat, so I varied that as well, but no improvement.

So, what's the answer? All ideas, except asking me to send the rod to you, will be appreciated.
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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any others?

smolt, did you happen to try your 8wt rio S/AS line on it? i thought that the WC 6/7/8/ came in around 455 grns? the 5/6 at 330, re the 03 rio brochure i have.

my money is on the S/AS line being a better fit.

i bet your getting anxious to have a bend put in the rod, wish i was heading up there myself. SG
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello FishGunner,

My 8-wt SA/ST is an Orvis that I have been told weighs 309 grains at 50 feet. Hopefully, I will try that one tomorrow.

If my WC 6/7/8 weighs as much as you think, then I really don't understand my problem with fly placement. Maybe I just don't understand these things, but it would seem to me that if the line was over-weighted for the rod, when I try to execute the D-loop move gently, the line would not move as much as it does.

Turning to a more potentially pleasant topic, I haven't gone yet, but have been told fish are in the river. Unfortunately, the air temperature tomorrow in NB will be in the 90's. That means if I can get up there next week I will have to spring for the cost of fishing a cold water pool. I hope that I have to face that dilemma.
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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I had the same problem with the WC and a simple solution for me was to get rid of it!! Just kidding. Though I learned what I needed to learn and moved onto the mid speys. As for casting this line I shortened up on my arm movement and compacted the casts to effectively manipulate the short head of the WC. Just my $.2. How long of a leader are you running?

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means an excellent caster so please take this with a whole lot of salt! LOL

LoopHiTech
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Smolt -

a) You were on the left bank

b) upstream fly... I have a question and might have a suggestion.

When this occurred, did the fly and leader point upstream or downstream?
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Smolt,

I'm not sure from the short description you provided if you are moving the line upriver by lifting the rod tip up like you would start a backcast with a single-hand rod; but I suspect that is what you are doing. I suspect this because if you lift the rod tip up and upstream in the manner of the pickup of the line from the water as with a single hand overhead backcast, the line will travel well upstream and put the line's end well upstream too. I've seen many folks who a new to spey casting do this when attempting the single spey.

I have found that if you make your upstream move for the single spey D Loop with a side-arm movement that sweep the rod tip on a horizontal plane about waist high above the water you will get the line placed properly for a good anchor with the single spey. The side-arm, parallel to the water, waist-high movement of the rod tip doesn't allow the line to travel upstream nearly as far (unless you really put the wood to it) and will make a huge difference to the single spey anchor placement and D Loop formation as a result. Just make this parallel to the water, waist-high rod movement and start your forward spey as soon as the line end hit the water. I think you will be pleased with the result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Flytyer,

I was moving the line upstream to create my D-loop. The movement of my rod created the "shallow dish" suggested by Simon G. on the RIO instruction tape, BUT the movement was very high above the water, not at waist level as you suggest. I will give your suggestion a shot. Thanks for your help.


Juro,

When this happed, the fly (and the line) landed pointing upstream (except when they landed upstream and behind me, which wasn't often), almost as though I had made a backcast with a single-handed rod and allowed it to fall on the water, as Flyter suggested. The only difference was that the line traveled parallel to the front of my body from left to right, rather than over my head from front to back.

As you may have guessed, when it comes to describing things that have anything to do with spacial perception, I am somewhat "challenged". I hope this answers your question and am looking forward to your response. Thanks.

CK
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Ahhh.... I am almost certain what the problem is. Something Simon Gawesworth talks about in detail and is in fact highlighted in the Sandy River video, the upstream bloody L created when forming a d-loop on a single spey.

Let me try to explain verbally but keep the video clip of Simon in mind; or ask someone who knows the problem to demonstrate it for you on the water.

For review, the sequence in a single spey is (a) lift from the dangle, (b) sweep the line around and stop to form the d-loop, (c) then cast with the anchor.

The upriver L is created when the rod is dipped and raised abruptly during the sweep-around to the d-loop. You should use a smooth, slow and FLAT circular motion around the body, in fact practice without a dip at all at first. This will force you to be slow, smooth, and accelerate only to the final stop where the d-loop pokes back. Don't raise the rod too high, this begs for a dip. Go slowly and smoothly.

Details:

  • the line is lifted from the dangle and is pulled toward the desired anchor point, creating momentum in that direction...
  • then the rod dips - which lets the heavier part of the line nearest the rod drop downward due to loss of tension. It is still slightly moving toward the anchor at this point but is diving downward, while the end of the line is still coming ahead in the original pull direction...
  • then the rod is abruptly raised, which creates upward tension on that dropped line negating any of the original motion and making it an aerial anchor point... thus the end of the line continues in the original straight path it was on right on past you and upstream with the fly leading the way
  • in other words, the front of the chain reaction stopped but the rest of it just kept right on going

It's really easy to reproduce once you are shown what happens, as Simon shows on the video or when talking live.

If this is in fact the problem, and I guessed right then you can combat the it by sweeping the line around FLAT to the d-loop, keeping the rod tip angled up roughly 40-45 degrees or so and for practice, do not dip at all.

Additional points:

Keep it super smooth - lift from the dangle slowly and not too high, and start the sweep before the line starts to fall so it glides toward you without jerkiness light as a feather. The only power you should use in the backcast (d-loop) is to poke out the d-loop in the proper 180 degree direction at the end of the sweep, that's it. The rest is smooth, flat and slow motion.

The rod leads the fat line, the fat line is leads the taper and that leads the fly along in a semi-circle. Smooth, slow and only a poke/stop/rise to create the d-loop.

Try this Derek Brown excercise: Take the left hand off the rod and put the butt on your rib cage. Now see if you can form a d-loop using only the top hand, resting the butt on your rib cage. You can't cast that way, but you can sure make a nice d-loop and you will get a really good idea of how little the rod needs to dip if at all.

Without seeing your cast it's hard to be completely sure but based on the description I think this is what is happening.

Let us know if this is it. If not, get someone to take a video clip and I am sure the group will be able to help at that point. If not you could get Simon to look at it, and that would be a 'sure thing'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Juro,

Many thanks. I have the Sandy River Clave tape and will look for the section you described. I have printed out what both you and Flytyer have suggested and will give both suggestions a try this weekend at the latest.

Thanks again to you and Flytyer.

CK
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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If I didn't drop his name often enough above, I need to mention that this is something I was enlightened to by the "sultan of spey" and not something I deserve any credit for analyzing and deciphering on my own. In fact since Simon showed me what this phenomenon is all about I suddenly see it a lot more... even when I do it :p

Good luck with this smolt and please keep any such other questions coming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, my problem appears to be solved. Flytyer's suggestion regarding the waist-high, side-arm movement, on a horizontal plane, coupled with Simon G.'s "Spey Clave" tape suggestion to finish every backcast with an upward movement seems to have done the trick. Juro, while my problem didn't involve the "Bloody L", suggesting that I review the Spey Clave tape did lead me in the right direction. BTW, Simon G. covered something akin to Flytyer's suggestion on that tape as well. Thanks again to both of you.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Great news!

Glad you were able to resolve your problem. Flytyer offers a great suggestion and it seems to have clicked for you.

The core solution, IMHO, was that you kept the rod slower and level on the sweep around to the firing position, without sharp dips and rises or generating too much start up speed.

Also the rod tip does not have to be waist high, in fact a higher rod angle generally facilitates easier angle changes, something to consider especially for a single spey. I prefer to bring the rod around with my top hand around shoulder level, bottom hand about touching my body, and the rod tip well over my head angled outward at 9:30 position. Turn the body smoothly around keeping the tension in the rod before the speed-stop for the d-loop formation, then lift a little but (drift) slowly once the energy is released into the backcast (d-loop). Most casters I've met will use this starting angle or something close to it.

Keep the bend in the rod from the start even when you are moving the rod tip slowly, and don't lose the load by stopping or jerking. It starts very light, then gets heavier as you speed up but never goes leaves the rod. Slow, smooth and circular around the body position gradually increasing speeding (not applying arm power) until you are in the angle of aim (180). At that point make your d-loop with a little arm power and prepare to make the forward cast with the anchor's kiss.

The shape of the d-loop is very important. Moving smoothly helps make a smooth d-loop, free of slack.

When you watch Simon on the video, you will notice that the rod is lifted to about 9:30 and kept basically level from there. If you ever saw his large angle change demo (180!) he uses an even higher rod angle and an exagerrated dip to transition from the sweep to the d-loop. So at the risk of confusion, higher rod and a well-executed dip is not a bad thing, in fact done right it's useful for big angle changes even > 90 degrees. Something to keep in the back of the mind, but for now the best thing to do is practice a lot with a slow level sweep.

Congrats on reaching a milestone!
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Smolt,

Glad to hear that you got it worked out. As Juro said, the key is having an even sweep of the rod into the D Loop, and the horizontal rod movement helps facilitate this.

After you get the single spey well in your command, you should experiement with the angle of the rod above horizontal as Juro so well spoke about because there will be times that a higher rod angle will be best. However, wait until you can perform good single speys at will before experimenting with rod angle.
 
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