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I am sure most of you know about this small adjustment, but it was an eye opener for me. I have allways cast with about a foot of belly inside the tiptop, but today I had about that much out side of the rod. (Thanks goes to Speybubba.) By doing that my loops are much tighter (more efficient) and I could shoot an extra 10'. It made my fishless day a huge success!

Dave
 

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Congratulations Dave! Well done!

Finding the optimum amount of "overhang", regardless of belly length, is so important when shooting line. It seems the perfect amount of overhang with a given line varies between rods and casting styles. Like fishing with a single hand rod and a shooting head, an easy way to get in the ballpark with a shorter to medium head Spey line is to purposefully start with too much overhang - like 24" with a short belly line (everything will feel very squirrely), and successively decrease the overhang by a couple of inches until things are just on the edge of feeling squirrely. Then you are just about there.

Casters with powerful or longer strokes will be able to handle more overhang, in general.
 

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"Casters with powerful or longer strokes will be able to handle more overhang, in general.
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Way Yin"

I guess that is why I have to have about a foot or two inside my rods for decent casts. I'm neither powerful or with longer strokes.

The Skagit lines seem to work best with about 6 inches of the green running line out of the tips for me.
 

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Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
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I think if you adjust the amount of line you leave out of the tip to the speed of the water you are casting from you can help your self also. A foot or two more in faster water and less line out for slower water.
 

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Swinger of Flies
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Congrats on the added distance!

I think this is one of the peices that solidifies the general idea that long belly lines are harder to learn on? When you get the basics down and embark on that natural learning adventure that we go on you start tweaking the little things and with the shorter head lines its a quicker learning curve. When that balance is right in relation to the head length / running line you can feel that difference in the cast and know that its going to zing out like never before with a super tight loop. It Definately took me longer to get the tweaks right in my long bellies.....and I only have them right sometimes! I think I would have been a faster study had I listened to those older and wiser than me and started out on a shorter head line. That all became very clear to me when recently casting that Snowbee rocket launcher at the Spey Days. It helped a great deal that Dana and Kush showed me how to tighten up those loops! There is quite a bit more involved in stripping off the head of the XLT, picking it up, and throwing it like that. :Eyecrazy: But one thing is for sure - Its just damn fun!!
 
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