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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
Embarrassed that I got sucked off the subject. Sorry.
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Some posts correctly indicate there are several variables to determining the answer to the question:
During a day of fishing does a series of long casts cover more water than a series of shorter casts?

Following are some assumptions that reduce ambiguity:
1. Fish are evenly distributed across the river, bank to bank.
2. Casts are made to any angle equal to or greater than 45º from the dangle.
3. Effective fishing begins when the fly, leader, line are at 45º to the dangle. This means sink tip anglers will cast to angles greater than 45º to allow the tip time to sink to presentation depth. Floating line anglers will cast to 45º.
4. A long cast is 80' to the fly. A shorter cast is 60' to the fly
5. Water velocity is equal from bank to bank.

Given these assumptions: During a day of fishing does a series of long casts cover more water than a series of shorter casts?

I appreciate the constructive answers most folks have provided and hope this triggers more such.

Thank you, Bob
 

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I don't think that anybody really believes that those who can cast long, can't cast short. On the other hand, it is logical to believe that once more than about 25% of any tapered shooting head is left on the reel or in the guides, the ability to consistently cast fly weight is diminished.

A 34' scandi head with a 10' tip and 3' of mono on a 13' rod means you have to cast 60' if you want a fully weighted D loop with all of the head outside of the guides. With a pull-back cast and 9' of the head remaining in the guides, you can shorten that cast to 46'. That doesn't pose a problem on many rivers, however rivers with a lot of structure often require shorter, precision casts that are unlikely when your D loop consists of the light, tapered end of your shooting head.

The answer is to carry a second, short rod with something like an Airflo Scout shooting head while floating that type of river. With practice, it's not difficult to change back and forth.
 

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3. Effective fishing begins when the fly, leader, line are at 45º to the dangle. This means sink tip anglers will cast to angles greater than 45º to allow the tip time to sink to presentation depth. Floating line anglers will cast to 45º.
Only true with a surface or near surface presentation. A wet swung at depth needs something of the same calculation as throwing a tip- the Leisenring Lift approach.

I’m not making the above point to be obnoxious, rather to say perhaps that point may be unnecessary.

This discussion is interesting. Very clear to me I’m not an engineer or scientist, but I see the appeal of it.
 

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I do better when I visualize something so here is a piece of water I was fishing the other day that is quite close to what you describe.
It is a long riffle approximatly 400' long and a bit over 100' wide. The current stream is a constant velocity approximately 80' wide and 3' deep. It is cut off from the main river by an island and sand bar.
Slope Water Astronomical object Font Soil


I chose to use a 5wt 11'11" rod with a 23' Scandi body, 10' of 3ips Versileader, 4' of leader to the fly. I fished it with approximately 40' of running line, so angler to fly about a 90' cast. These were very easy casts, if I went shorter I would have had to concentrate harder to avoid using too much power with the lower hand.

So would I have covered it better with only 10' of running line? I don't think so. I would have only covered about half the riffle on each run. I believe the longer cast covered more water on the swing and also more water on the strip. By the way I only got a couple of short tugs but no committals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #86 ·
Only true with a surface or near surface presentation. A wet swung at depth needs something of the same calculation as throwing a tip- the Leisenring Lift approach.

I’m not making the above point to be obnoxious, rather to say perhaps that point may be unnecessary.

This discussion is interesting. Very clear to me I’m not an engineer or scientist, but I see the appeal of it.
See assumption 2: Casts are made to any angle equal to or greater than 45º from the dangle.
A sink tip line may need a cast at 60º or greater to allow time for the tip to arrive at its fishing depth.
Bob
 

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See assumption 2: Casts are made to any angle equal to or greater than 45º from the dangle.
A sink tip line may need a cast at 60º or greater to allow time for the tip to arrive at its fishing depth.
Bob

Mike Kinney always said "set your angle, give enough slack to get down and fish it"
 

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FKA Bhudda from 06’
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Long casters fish everything in their way…and don’t have to think about it. The short caster will fish as much as possible and be thinking about hitting that bucket that’s just out of reach…. You decide which caster you want to be, that should answer this question sufficiently. My 2 cents
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
I do better when I visualize something so here is a piece of water I was fishing the other day that is quite close to what you describe.
It is a long riffle approximatly 400' long and a bit over 100' wide. The current stream is a constant velocity approximately 80' wide and 3' deep. It is cut off from the main river by an island and sand bar.
View attachment 406457

I chose to use a 5wt 11'11" rod with a 23' Scandi body, 10' of 3ips Versileader, 4' of leader to the fly. I fished it with approximately 40' of running line, so angler to fly about a 90' cast. These were very easy casts, if I went shorter I would have had to concentrate harder to avoid using too much power with the lower hand.

So would I have covered it better with only 10' of running line? I don't think so. I would have only covered about half the riffle on each run. I believe the longer cast covered more water on the swing and also more water on the strip. By the way I only got a couple of short tugs but no committals.
If this piece of water were very, very long and you spent all day fishing as much of it as you could (there is too much to finish in a day), would you cover more water with a 60' cast or with an 80' cast?
 

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I admit there is a potential to make more casts over a given amount of time taking shorter casts as you spend less time on the swing and less time on the strip. So you will cover more river miles distance using a shorter cast. However, you missed all the water on the far bank that the longer caster was able to reach. So which is a more efficient way to cover that run? Is it better to cover just the middle and the near seam but more river miles or is it better to cover the far seam the middle and the near seam and less river miles? I have picked up many fish casting to within feet of the far bank that I would have missed with a shorter cast. But I have probably caught more fish as the swing approaches the dangle. So maybe it does not matter when it comes to # of fish caught. As to the original question being is the long cast over-rated, I don't think so, you don't have to always use a long cast but, it definitely has it's place.
 

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It sounds like time is a variable as well, I will take the short cast. I hope the wind is cooperative, and my single spey is working well…The long casting skagit angler will cover far less water in a day.
I strive to cover as much water as I can effectively swing. Longer casts allow me to cover more water while having a chance of convincing a fish to eat.
I believe covering water that doesn’t get as much pressure pays off. Further out or marginal in appearance are often gold.
 

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FKA Bhudda from 06’
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If this piece of water were very, very long and you spent all day fishing as much of it as you could (there is too much to finish in a day), would you cover more water with a 60' cast or with an 80' cast?
You’ll be stripping more and casting more @ 60’ .. I’d rather fish the 80’ cast and drift with less work covering more water in a distance scenario
 

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SSpey
Some good points. Last week on the Dean River above the canyon we fished at least 3 runs where velocity of flow is essentially equal from bank to bank. We wondered about water coverage in a day of all 80’ casts vs. all 60’ casts. We chose 60’ feet because it is the distance to a fly when casting a long Skagit (29’)+ 15’ sink tip +
6’ leader + 15’ rod = 65’. Deduct 5’ for rebound, mending, line wiggles = 60’ without shooting line. We arbitrarily defined a long cast as 80’.
 

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As long as you start short it sure can not hurt to work out to a long cast. From my reading your longest cast should be the the longest cast you can do well, consistently.
Also, you could go through a run once with shorter casts for close in fish. Then go through again with more aggressive casts.
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
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@Robert Pauli how about this 10 percent of the anglers catch 90 percent of the fish and in my experience those 10 percent cast longer than most so please keep fishing short so those 10% can keep catching more fish 🤷🏻‍♂️😏🤣
 

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Bob
I think the only way to answer your question is to find a run conducive to your parameters and fish it through with your longest fishable cast and mark the time to finish the run. Then fish it again with casts shorter (maybe 60% of the long casts), taking the same steps, and mark the time to finish the run. The difference in time would equal additional time added up through out the day to fish more runs or river yardage. My guess is factoring the down time to move from run to run, that the long casts will cover more water than the short casts, and given your parameters of fish equally spread across the river and assuming the long casts are good casts, turning over and fishing well, the long casts should cover more fish as well.
 
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