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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, the obvious answer is something on the order of "If you can cover the fish, you can cast far enough."

My question relates more to what the competent caster should be able to achieve with a 13ft 7 wt rod. I can cast relatively comfortably to about 75ft, and it does not seem to matter whether I am using a compact Scandi, Skagit, or Delta Spey. I am not terribly experienced at this, so I am questioning my technique, to say the least. Seems to me that there should be some difference in the easily achievable distances, using those different lines. After watching a few Spey fishing / steelhead fishing videos, I got to wondering, once again, how far a reasonably competent angler should be able to cast with, say, a 13ft vs a 15ft rod.

So, I decided to ask the experts!

Thanks,

Jim

BTW, I did a search, but either could not come up with an appropriate search term, or this hasn't been previously addressed (unlikely).
 

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I'm no expert. Just to be clear. For the first 4-5 years I couldn't cast much farther than 75 ft. I used a 13' 7wt so you're doing fine. More distance will come with experience. Just remember not to over cast. I'm constantly reminding myself to fish close first.

I find the biggest advantage to a DH rod is not the distance you can cast but the control over your fly and presentation. I would suggest while fishing concentrate on using the rod to control the swing over the lies you can comfortably reach.

As you practice casting and fish more you will find that casting farther, with control, will come in time.

Have fun.
 

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I find the biggest advantage to a DH rod is not the distance you can cast but the control over your fly and presentation. I would suggest while fishing concentrate on using the rod to control the swing over the lies you can comfortably reach.
I could not have said anything more meaningful, this is an excellent statement.

Ard
 

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In addition to the great advice above, in many steelhead runs, if you are standing waist deep in moving water, you're wading too deep. 90% of my casts are made in calf to knee deep water. The exception is going to be in runs on outside bends where the wading is often gnarly, or on broad flats where you need to wade out to a specific bucket. If you can shoot 15-20 feet of running line where the whole line turns over completely, you are doing fine.

Trying to cast too far just cause it feels good, which it does, won't guarantee you catch more fish. .

JM
 

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I have witnessed pro-staff cast an entire factory carron line with a 12' 8wt that's 150'. So i learned that technique is most important, practice, practice, practice, but make sure you practice proper technique.
 

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"- with a 13ft 7 wt rod. I can cast relatively comfortably to about 75ft, and it does not seem to matter whether I am using a compact Scandi, Skagit, or Delta Spey -"
No expert here, and in my humble opinion - you have nothing to worry about in regards to your technique. That is a 50 to 52 foot head (6/7 or 7/8 ) either way, you are shooting 20 feet of line, give or take. ;)!

As already stated: it's not so much about the distance and more about line control, presenting the fly as often as possible and the efficiency of the spey cast in regards to changing the direction of the cast.
 

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I have witnessed pro-staff cast an entire factory carron line with a 12' 8wt that's 150'. So i learned that technique is most important, practice, practice, practice, but make sure you practice proper technique.
Well said, reminds me of Sensei Kimura (Shukokai Karate) used to say:

"Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect."
 

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I won't offer a number either. What I will offer is encouragement to hire a guide for a day (or more?) of fishing and casting instruction. The folks who do well guiding seem to have a superb sense of what will make your casting better.
If you're opposed to that idea, at least hunt up someone who is a great caster (and hopefully instructor) and is willing to take the time necessary to evaluate what you're doing right and what you're not doing right.
 

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The advice from the previous posts is solid. I have been using a spey rod for 6years and for 2-3 spey fishing trips each year (SH for trout or saltwater more). I have 1 or 2 sessions annually with a very good spey instructor. And I practice on a lake (No rivers locally) a day or two each month about 6 months a year.

I have found that different action rods make a difference. The reality is I will never be "great caster". Many of us will always have imperfect technique. My first rod was a slower, traditional action. Then I tried a very fast rod. And I have discovered I do best with a fairly fast rod, but one where I can feel a load. I have tried to get better technique, but my stroke kind of is what it is at this point. The final result - the final test - is when I fish and cast all day without working hard. All but one of my rods is longer than 13'.

75 feet will be just fine for the majority of your fishing. After 5 years and finding equipment I like, I can fish to a distance where I pull 17 strips of running line (probably 40-50 feet) once the skagit head is out of the rod. I need this distance less than 20% of the time, and I will not be more than knee or mid-thigh deep. Practice, slow down, stay compact, and don't work too hard. Sounds like you are doing just fine already.
 

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well, the world record spey cast is 230.6 ft. just saying...:D
 

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middlecalf

I believe the cast you cite is overhead with a 2H rod. Last years winner at Spey-O-Rama was 177'.
 

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As my casting improved over the past two years I noticed the farther I could get out the less I was in touch with the actual fly, and had less of a connection with the presentation.

I feel more in tune inside of 80' out to the fly now, closer is even better for line control.. sometimes I have moved into the river to make a shorter cast, somehow feels better.
 

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Others have touched on some good philosophical points.

I will add:

The reason to extend your cast is not because it feels good. The longer your cast the flatter the arc of your swing. The flatter the arc of your swing the better potential your presentation will have. When the water is low and clear this could make a difference.

So, as long as you can manage your line and a good swing you may benefit from a longer cast. How long? The river, the fish and your skills will determine that.

I also want to stress what some have mentioned above, always start short and work your way out. I watch anglers regularly walk out waist deep and struggle to touch the far bank. Meanwhile I know the fish are swimming up the inside edge they just crossed over.:tsk_tsk:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I also want to stress what some have mentioned above, always start short and work your way out. I watch anglers regularly walk out waist deep and struggle to touch the far bank. Meanwhile I know the fish are swimming up the inside edge they just crossed over.:tsk_tsk:
Funny you should say that. Last year I was standing in about two feet of water, just off the gravel bar, preparing for a swing against the far bank, which of course is where everyone knows all the fish hang out. As I was stripping off line, with the fly dangling in the water directly below me, also in about two feet of water, I noticed the line behave strangely. You guessed it, had grab right there!

Jim
 

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Well there is more to the clip than just the distance achieved.

nope, this one at CLA, all single spey, big time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htZ_vVW7AbM
I'm going to make an educated guess here only: 18 foot rod, casting from a platform 3-4 foot over the water. For Jollies, lets say 3. With the distance above the water that 18' rod is now '21.'

That aside, the fellow is 'World Class' by any descriptive term.

Real game plan here as noted (very well) above is line control once that fly hits the water. If you can hit 75 -100 feet in a cast you're doing a damned job. The only question from there is are you fishing, or getting casting practice. Our Pacific run fish tend to be 'bank, and bottom, huggers so distance is one of the lessor factors to consider.

From all my readings, this may well not be the case with Atlantic Salmon. But short of the meat case at Safeway, I've never seen one up close and personal. ;>)
 

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Hey Fred, mostly just pulling everyone's leg with CLA distance post. But the OP did say "should" instead of "need to." Most of the great responses here (yours included) have addressed the "need to." Which of course, for "fishing" is one thing, for "winning a distance competition" may be different, and "for just plain fun" might also be different still. I just know that if I enter a distance competition and Marci is entered, I better be able to cast at least 140' with perfect loops, or I'll be buying the drinks at the bar that night - LOL. I caught my first steelhead on a 2hander at about 50 ft. So,...
 
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