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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #1
Dana, et. al. -

With reference to the "sweet spot" for each line and rod combination...

During some light conditions it's difficult to tell where to stop stripping for the next cast, or what length of DT line to put out as you start working a run. There is merit in going "fretless" (bass guitar analogy) because it teaches 'feel' but for some lines it would save me a lot of trouble to have a registration point to refer to.

Has there been a discussion of this I could not find via search keywords? Do people use a registration mark and what is the best medium for it? I suppose 1/2 width cut electrical tape would work - it's flexible and waterproof and comes in different colors.

I would think this would be a good learning aid as well - I know I've wasted way too much time with the wrong line length out there only to change up and ZOOM!

thoughts?
 

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Juro
I mark my lines spey and others with a sharpie marker it stays on along time and lets me know what the rod likes. Im going to start splicing some cheap lines to get a long belly line that will turn over small tips. I will for shure mark some footages off so I Know(I should say Guess:rolleyes: ) weither or not I should add or take away belly, taper,ect........Nate
 

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marking fly line

Juro:

I use a couple of methods, both of which are by feel. The first is I basically whip finish or nail knot some 9X tippet material on the spot in the line. The second is I use some "Knot Sense" which a rubber like product for leader knots and it won't harm the line. Both of those offer "feel" while shooting line during the back cast drift. Yet, they will offer very little resistance to the line passing through the guides. Those are not necessarly the "right" way, but they work for me. And, if you dont like the spot you can always move the mark easily enough. I mostly use them for marking a big fish that I am sight casting to. I have to hit them pretty well on the "spot" so I'll mark my line by feel. That way I can cast, and if I miss I have a reference for the next cast in a few minutes, without making repeated false casts, thus spooking the fish.

I hope that helps.

John
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #4
John -

I failed to mention that I was referring specifically to Spey casting whereby the load of the rod depends to a large degree on the line out of the guides. Never thought of marking for single hand rods, very interesting idea. Not sure I understand the logic of marking off a distance before a cast is made though...

Nate -

I am surprised the markers work - I assumed the coating material would not be permeable even to laundry markers. Worth a try, thanks.

It's really only a problem when it's getting dark or too bright.
 

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I'll second Nate Bailey's suggestion for the Sharpy markers. I use them to mark the line weight e.g. 4 bands = 4 wt. I've never had a problem with it wearing off.
 

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Juro, the water-proof markers work very well.

You can mark the 'sweet spot,' and all lines have them vis a vis the line vs. the rod it's on. This is of particular importance with shooting lines such as the RIO Windcutter. (Big "ps" here: it will differ from person to person even on the same rod/line). You mark the 'spot,' but I'd also suggest you strip off the line and mark the line at regular different lengths. Every 25', every 50' what-ever; this way you know where to pull the line in/out but you also know how much line you really have off the reel.
fe
 

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line marking

Juro:

Unless I missed it, you are trying to calculate the specific distance of overhang necessary to properly load a specific line/rod combination. Single or double should make no difference. I can feel the load. But in single had I don't mark because of temperature, fly and all of the various lines we use. Marking the line visually is inconvienent because you have to take you eyes off the cast/target to see where the mark on the line is. So, although I use a marking system for a different purpose, it will work for spey casting as well. I just prefer to feel the mark rather than see it.

Just my 2 cents.

John
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the reply and great explanation. I could envision you focused on a target and using the little bump to register without taking your eyes away. Neat.

I sight fish mostly thru the season when alone or wade guiding, so I agree with the eyes forward point you make. With single handed rods the range of effective load is so broad (20-100 feet) that I cast by 'feel' for distance and direction.

As a former steelhead junkie living in Seattle, I've found that Spey lines are a whole different animal. With some such lines, the range of line beyond the guides is a few feet, or let's say for anything but double taper lines it's important to have a registration point that is within a small margin for a full-power cast. If your overhand casting, the range is once again huge even with the same rod and line. If you're Spey casting, the margin for error is a mere fraction of the overhand range.

When on the flats casting a single hander for big smart stripers, I never take my eyes off the target. You can't, the fish are moving and you have to lead them with respect to depth, current, fly design, the line you're using, forage species they're after, even things like the mood of the fish (really). Angle of attack is critical on the bayside flats. A good rod like the RPLXi communicates when it's ready and with a shoot into the backcast (slight haul) a full cast can be made with one or two backcasts and a good haul. Distance varies with every approaching fish so I've never given a thought to marking a distance off - but that's not to say that I couldn't benefit from changing that thinking if I could process that relative thinking fast enough to drop the fly in front of the fish.

ON ANOTHER NOTE...

A lot of the guys in the northeast flyfish at night a lot. I am not in that camp, but your method might be something for them to consider. It wouldn't be a matter of keeping eyes focused but a matter of being able to work the line to the working length without blind guesswork!
 

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For a spey rod the micheal Evans arrow head is probably what you want .They are lines on the same taper as the Lee Wolf,the only differance there is a differant colour between the running line and the head .Therefore you know exactly how much line to leave outside the rod. The lines come in floater,intermediate, slow sink,& fast sink. In Scotland all good spey casters fish theis line or the Lee Wolf.
 

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Marking spey lines?

The marking of long bellied spey lines and traditional one handed rod lines, not only helps the less experienced caster it can also refine a better caster's search for that sweet spot, but it really helps one guage the amount of line out so won't line a pod of fish that you're casting to. I's an old technique and it's very savvy way to enhance the effectiveness of your casting presentation. And I'd suggest you consider using the simple marking system Joan Wulff writes about in several of her books.

If your using short bellied windcutter style of lines there really isn't a need to mark a line to find the sweet spot as you'll find it intuitively. These lines don't work well if you have more than a slight bit of running line dangling from the tip and the only real reason to mark them is to guage the distance of your intended casts.

For those of you that wish to do a bit of tropical salt water fly fishing, one of the best reasons I found to mark my lines is most of the guides are raised on the metric system. Though they work hard and try and give an accurate distance for you to cast to in feet, more often than not they're wrong and if you're struggling to see the fish, the two of you both end up frustrated. By marking your lines, and explaining the distances to them, you will share a common distance reference and increase your chance of success, as well as their opportunity to earn a well deserved tip.

JB
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the thorough reply JB -

But to avoid being misunderstood in my previous reply... let me be frank - I spend a very large number of hours sight fishing on skinny mid-day waters to pods of very spooky fish and have no problem gauging distance or feeling the sweet spot with a single handed rod without ever looking at the line. And the sweet spot is from 30-70 feet (shoot the rest) with any good saltwater rod, making a mark kinda moot.

It's intuitively obvious to me that using a mark requires an indirect thought process - inferential, there is the dot, therefore that must be the right distance -or- the distance I need is relative to the dot, etc. It would also require that you guess the distance to the fish in order to extrapolate that distance to your dot.

A mark for stripping a Spey line from a cast that is over in order to start another cast in an arbitrary location for a blind swing is one thing. To me, trying to extrapolate things in the heat of an approaching pod on the flats is completely another!

It might take longer to learn, and be prone to more initial error while learning, but once a caster has a feel for distance and rod load a mark on a single handed line would detract from the spontaneous reaction that sight fishing on the flats requires. It might work for some, but I'd rather not be looking at a mark, instead I'd rather be letting my reactionary/reflexes place the fly where it belongs. Works great for me!

Also on the Spey head front, as I said in the first post the problem only occurs when light conditions make it hard to distinguish the taper.

.02
 

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Dear Juro,

I'm also with Nate...The Sharpie Chisel tip permanent markers work great. I tend to use them in different color combinations to differentiate line lengths, i.e. One wide red mark is 50 feet, a red and 2 blues is 70, 2 reds a 100' and so on. I tend not to use them so much for marking sweet spots, but rather in making the comparions in casting performance of diffrent lines at different lengths. It helps to make a better comparison of lines, apples to apples so to speak. The sharpies do need to dry well before winding them on your reel sppols or they will run..if you take a match or lighter flame and warm the marked line it seems to prevent this. Hope to meet you one of these days as well...

steve
 

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Juro & [email protected];
I've marker penned the back of the belly on my WC & Delta lines, but have also added an 8 turn nailknot of 20# Amnesia at my "pinch point".
I can hear/feel the nailknot ticking thru the guides as I strip, so it's seldom necessary to even look at the line as it comes in, just feel for the lump hitting my index finger.
 
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