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Discussion Starter #1
Kind of an odd question and I think the answer is obvious but I'll ask anyways because I'm trying to solidify some thoughts in my head.

Would most people agree that the same distance of line is inherently easier to cast with a longer rod ? I ask because when I move to my 12'6" rod to practice casting, my mistakes seem to be magnified vs. a 14' or 15' rod. I'm working at a casting distance of ~80 feet for this situation.

Just curious.

Gillie
 

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I am not sure that I would agree with this. I think if you are talking about long lines such as an XLT that a longer rod is easier to cast and that a short rod could create problems. However if you are talking about skagit lines and skagit casting or shotting heads I believe that the opposite would be true. The longer rods would create issues and the shorter rods would be easier to cast. I personally dont own anything over 14ft long so I cant speak for some of the 15ft + rods vs a 12 or 12'6 rod? Just my .02 on this.
 

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Interesting question. I am going to think about this for a bit, but off the top of my head I would have to say that yes, longer rods will cast further than shorter ones - therefore when casting the same distance it should be more easily accomplished with the longer rod.

All spey-casting tournaments that I know of have rod length limits. I was at Spey-o-Rama this year and finished 14th - I am pretty sure that if Scott MacKenzie (who won) was to stick to his 15' 10wt rod and I was allowed to use my 16'7" 10wt that I would have beat him (at least I'd of had a chance :Eyecrazy: ).
 

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Mr. Mom
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Gillie said:
Would most people agree that the same distance of line is inherently easier to cast with a longer rod ? I ask because when I move to my 12'6" rod to practice casting, my mistakes seem to be magnified vs. a 14' or 15' rod. I'm working at a casting distance of ~80 feet for this situation.

Just curious.

Gillie
Everyone would probably agree that MOST things being equal, a longer rod casts farther. The tip moves much farther and faster on your stroke, plus the elevation helps, so yes at 80 feet it is easier on the long rod.

I was unable to fish for 5 or so months due to health issues and got myself videoed "Thanks Honey!" and spent alot of time analyzing my horrible casting, and dissecting the videos of the greats. To quote Kevin Costner, I was often walking around muttering "Back and to the left... Back and to the left" That doesn't make me an expert, but I did learn alot and have picked up a tighter loop, more line speed, and about 30 feet of distance on my best casts in the month I have been able to get out there. And no the extra 30 feet doesn't put me at 160, more like 100 :p

But back to the point, what mistakes are being magnified with the short rod? Dipping too much on the upstream sweep of a single spey would be magnified by a longer rod. "Cutting the corner" as you sweep around on a double spey would probably be magnified with short rod because as bad as the belly would be, the long rod would keep more of it up.

From my predominantly single handed days trying to find ways to cast into saltwater winds, I learned longer more supple rod could smooth out SOME flaws on a forward stroke, like accelerating too early, but then again magnify others like sloppy stops. Try a ten foot 8 weight scott ARC and then a 9 foot Abel pool cue, I mean 8 weight. You can get away with murder with one, and the other sings like a stool pigeon about all your flaws.

If you are "pooooshin'" the short rod, as Andy Murray says, cause you think you need to force it for distance, that's a "section 8" error, meaning strictly from the neck up. We all do it. I want my old brown Sage 7136 noodle to cast as far as my 15 foot alltmor, but There's a reason they make rods in different lengths and weights :D Pull in some line and relax, and figure out what that short rod wants, and what it'll do for you. Just don't Poooosh it.

Usual disclaimers, My 2 cents, grain of salt, yadda yadda yadda.
 

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Being a shorter/weight forward Grampa along with not being a jock, I found just the opposite. With the longer rods, my mistakes were amplified by the longer length, and I made more. That is the reason why my son now has my Sage 10151. We need our engineer and physic majors to help us here, however, it seems to me that any mistake will be amplified by a longer rod.

Also, with the shorter rods, I can salvage a bad setup and adapt to it better than with the longer rods. With the 10151, if I screwed up with the setups, that was it, there was no salvaging the cast and getting the fly out regardless of what the cast looked like. Which is why my Sage 7141 is basically my backup rod. My 6126 has become my late spring to fall workhorse rod. It is easier for me to cast than the 7141, and if I screw up in my setups with it, I can usually salvage a halfway decent cast with it. The 7141 is less forgiving.

As I and my new 5120 get to know each other better, I can see it basically replacing my 7136 for lighter and more delicate dry line work. I'm getting basically the same distance with my 5120 as with my 7136. The 5120 is easier to cast and again more forgiving than the longer 7136. Also, I can use it in tighter to cast areas that might make the 7136 into a 7120 or less.

The same process with my new TCR9129-3 ended up with a 14' 9 weight being sold and Meise's Highlander 7/8 (really a 9/10 on steroids) becoming my backup rod. The shorter TCR is easier for me to cast, easier to recover from improper casting setups, easier to use in tight spaces and much less tiring to use.

As I have evolved into a shorter rod guy, I have returned to the Mid Spey and WC's with the Up Grade, and really like the Skagit lines with my shorter rods.

I am sure that taller, better casters and the jocks of the spey world are in the opposite camp. They prefer the longer rods and are outstanding casters with the longer rods and longer lines, and they look at my shorter rods as toys not real rods. Also, they probably prefer the longer Grand Spey, Jet Streams and other long lines.

What is great, is we have wide range of options to pick and choose the rods and lines which work for us, not someone else. Kudos to all of the rod manufacturers, line makers and the independent rod makers for giving us all these great choices to choose from. Kudos to the fly shops who are our sponsors as well as the rod and line makers sponsors for carrying the massive inventories to meet our individual needs/wants.
 

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Mr. Mom
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Grampa Spey said:
Being a shorter/weight forward Grampa along with not being a jock, I found just the opposite. With the longer rods, my mistakes were amplified by the longer length, and I made more.
I hear you grampa, that's why I said "Everyone would probably agree that MOST things being equal". Part of that equation is the rods having similar action, the lines being similar, and the caster being able to manipulate the rods in similar fashion. If you are at the very edge of your physical ability when swinging 15feet of 10 weight, of course you will be sloppier.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The mistakes that I see being amplified usually revolve around my d-loop and my timing. With the short rod I find I need that little lift at the end of the d-loop stroke and that I will more often find too much line stick if the timing is off. Because of this I do find myself "poooshin" the rod to compensate for the line stick and lack of load in the rod.

If everything else is equal (as mentioned above) I find that the longer rods help to keep the d-loop up and open and I will less frequently find myself with excessive line stick. In this situation a nice soft forward cast makes a nice loop.

I actually ask this not because I wnat to go to the longer rod to mask my problems, to the contrary the current theory in my head is that I should spend more time practicing with the 12'6" rod. My perspective is that if I can get good strong D/V loops with that rod I'll be golden when I switch back to my 14'.
 

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The mistakes that I see being amplified usually revolve around my d-loop and my timing. With the short rod I find I need that little lift at the end of the d-loop stroke and that I will more often find too much line stick if the timing is off. Because of this I do find myself "poooshin" the rod to compensate for the line stick and lack of load in the rod.

I think this has more to do with the belly length of your line than anything else. Even with a long rod you will have to lift the dloop if you are casting an ultra long belly. Not the case if you are using a mid belly type line on 14 footers and up.

I had my 12' 6" out the other day lined with a long delta for the first time. On this rod I usually use ultra short heads so I struggled for a bit because I was not raising my hands enough to compensate for the longer line. With the shorter lines I do not have to lift my hands at all and once I realized this my casting got better.

I would not count on your casting being better on the 14' rod just because you are practicing with a short stick. I think it comes down to line choice. Because if you are practicing a lift at the end of your backcast to compensate for short rod with a longer belly and go to a longer rod that does not need that lift at the end you may end up pulling a lot of your anchors into the trees behind you.

-sean
 

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It's height above the water.

Longer rods place the fly line farther above the water than shorter rods, in the same manner that shallow vs. deep wading and tall vs. shorter stature do.

Distance above water is a key component of distance casting.

Regarding a mistake amplification factor with short vs. long rods, it strikes me as logical that a longer rod will amplify mistakes more than a short rod. Your casting improvement probably came from months of practice that you would not have had were you fishing.
 

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Mr. Mom
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Bob Pauli said:
Your casting improvement probably came from months of practice that you would not have had were you fishing.
Ahh, but here's the rub. I didn't practice. One of my problems was vertigo. Just getting the video shot was a cluster chuck... studying, visualizing, and pantomine, usually in a sitting, or lying down position... I now have a pretty good understand of what makes a cast work, and on short belly lines, I've found a casting stroke that works for me, and which is about 90 percent repeatable.
 

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kush said:
All spey-casting tournaments that I know of have rod length limits. I was at Spey-o-Rama this year and finished 14th - I am pretty sure that if Scott MacKenzie (who won) was to stick to his 15' 10wt rod and I was allowed to use my 16'7" 10wt that I would have beat him (at least I'd of had a chance :Eyecrazy: ).
I'll have a fiver, $10US that you would still come second. Scott has never lost a Speycasting (Ness Casting) competition in his life.
What are the rules? Single Spey? or are you insisting on a reverse over the shoulder Skagit underhand snake roll?
 

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A who?

A reverse............................ over the shoulder............skagit.......underhand.........snake roll........................?

Could I get a video clip of this please? I would like to add that you must be smoking a cuban and do this after a couple single malts while wading deep on the Thompson with a 16ft+ rod :tsk_tsk: :hihi: :Eyecrazy:
 

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ChromeFever,

I will take all of those conditions thank you very much! :D

However, Malcolm - in the pond at Golden Gate I said I would have a chance. :eek:

Now belly button deep at the bottom end of the Bay at John's Rock with a typical Thompson "breeze" - Scott with a 15' rod, me with a 16'7" rod - I'll take that bet! :smokin:
 

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Kush,
I was struggling to rememmber just how you described the cast you did righthand up off the left shoulder. I thought I was close!!!!!!!!!1
I'll still put money on Scott.
 

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Malcolm,

There is clearly only one way to settle this... fly Scott over here in November and I'll take him to said spot on the Thompson ... or if you want - fly me over to Scotland - I hear the Ness is a pretty big river, I don't know if the wading is as treacherous as the "T" (don't you get the gillies to build casting platforms?) but we can wade deep and settle it there. ;)
 

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Hi Kush,
Now this seems like a bet thats worth travelling half way around the globe for your 16'7ft against my 15ft now thats what i call a challenge:eek:.i except the challenge and i look forward to seeing you next May at the spey o rama,if you don't reply to this i know you'll be out practicing :hihi:
Scott
 

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If I'm expected to pay the air fare I'll fly Scott over as if they charge by the Kilo, Scott should be a hell of a lot cheaper.
 

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Scott and Malcolm,

I welcome you both - the Martini Bar (my trailer - caravan to you UK-types on the the "T") has plenty of room for all of us! And once you get a hook-up from the largest and strongest steelhead in the world you would not be too interested in any casting contest!

Scott, I wasn't practising, but it sounds like I had better start :eek: as Spey-o-Rama is not that far off!
 

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Junkyard Spey
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I think you boys shouldn't wait until next May to have this "grudge match". I'm inviting you boys to the Clearwater (Malcom too) in Idaho on Sept 24, 2005 for a "grudge match". My river is BIG enough for a deal like this and that way neither will have the home water advantage.
 

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:cool: Mike, I will be there ;)
 
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