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Alex_bassman

Bought My First Fly Rod And Reel Combo

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Hey everybody, I just bought my first fly combo yesterday. Of course I immediatly took it to a near by canal and tried it out. I have to say I may be the worst fly caster i have every seen, I just cant get the darn thing to go more than 10 feet. If any of you could give me some tips I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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Watch youtube videos, it helped me a lot. And practice, practice, practice! Iv been doing it for a while now and still am only a decent caster.

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Did you buy it from a Flyfishing shop or a local WallyWorld?  A flyfishing shop will usually give you some free lessons when you buy from them.  Otherwise check for a local flycasting instructor.

 

Fishing with a fly line is like learning to use a baitcasting reel.  Don't try for the moon.  Timing is critical.  Line needs to move in a straight line.  Watch some of the youtube videos.

 

EDIT:  Forgot to welcome you to another whole world of spending big bucks.  :teeth3:

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Did you add line later or did it come with it?  First thing I would do, if it came with (or you bought) level-taper line (line that is the same thickness throughout), is get rid of it and replace it with weight-forward line.  It is arguably  the most versatile and best line for distance and for less "delicate" presentations-something most bass fishing doesn't require.  Also, for most beginners, a floating line is best.  You can graduate to a sinking line but start with floating. 

 

Generally speaking, the line that comes with a rod/reel combo will match the "weight" of the rod.  In other words, if you have a 7 weight rod, the line should also be 7-weight as well.  (There is some tolerance for one weight higher or lower but it should approximately match.  If it does not, you'll have trouble.

 

Most beginners have trouble with a wimpy back cast and then getting in a hurry with the forward cast.  They do not give the backcast sufficient "umph" and then, before the line has flattened out behind them, they "snap" the rod forward.  I call this "cracking the whip".  If this is a problem, stand at an angle so you can see what is going on with the line behind you.

 

The weight of the rod and the line will largely deterimine how heavy or bulky a fly you can cast.  Too heavy or bulky a fly on a light-weight line will cause problems.  (Not so much the vice-versa scenario). 

 

Whole books (or thick chapters) have been devoted to the subject but what I've written may, hopefully, provide some help.  Let me know iof you have specific questions.

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Get a class or some private instruction and your learning curve will be dramatically shortened. I would also recommend doing it soon before you develop bad habits that will be harder to break.

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My dad taught me by having me stick the butt of the rod in the sleeve of my sweatshirt to keep my wrist straight and to be slow but powerful. Welcome to one of the most fun techniques to fish. I've caught more big bass on the fly with a popper than any other technique. Combined.

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Did you buy it from a Flyfishing shop or a local WallyWorld?  A flyfishing shop will usually give you some free lessons when you buy from them.  Otherwise check for a local flycasting instructor.

 

Fishing with a fly line is like learning to use a baitcasting reel.  Don't try for the moon.  Timing is critical.  Line needs to move in a straight line.  Watch some of the youtube videos.

 

EDIT:  Forgot to welcome you to another whole world of spending big bucks.  :teeth3:

It's a cheap Martin fly combo from walmart.

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what i was taught was 10 and 2 keep the tip between 10pm and 2pm during the cast and let the rod get loaded before pulling it the other way

 

also be careful of your ears and neck :)

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They key to casting a fly rod is slow purposeful movements and allowing the rod to do the work as it is designed.  You will notice on your back cast the rod loads as you stroke back and the line straightens out.  As the ine is about to straighten out completely is when you start the front cast.  You will then see and feel the rod start to load for the forward cast.  The other thing that a lot of new fly casters don't do is make a pronounced stop at the end of the casting stroke, think 10 & 2 oclock.  This allows the road to load and unload properly.  On an experienced fly caster you may not see it but trust me, it is there.  The other piece of the puzzle is on the forward stroke after the stop at 10:00, drop the rod tip to almost paralell to the water and that will help the line shoot straight.

 

Get out there and cast and let us know the problems and we can help pinpoint more of the exact problems and how to rememdy them.

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you can also practice with a ball of yarn or so on your line instead of a fly...im not the greatest fly caster with a max cast of about 45 ft but i practice in my back yard with the yarn so i dont have to worry about ripping hooks out of myself :D

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you can also practice with a ball of yarn or so on your line instead of a fly...im not the greatest fly caster with a max cast of about 45 ft but i practice in my back yard with the yarn so i dont have to worry about ripping hooks out of myself :D

The fly is irrelvant really when learning to cast as teh fly line is waht does the casting.  Things do change when you start throwing heavier or more wind resistant flies but the piece of string on the end of the leader allows you to see your cast.

 

Also in fly fishing it is not about distance, well rarely, it is more about accuracy, getting the fly and line to lay down softly and when startign the next cast pulling the fly up quietly.  When things are really going well with your casting you will rarely hear anything while casting other than the fly line moving through the guides.

 

Oh and keep you elbow into your side until you get your casting stroke down pat.

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They key to casting a fly rod is slow purposeful movements and allowing the rod to do the work as it is designed.  You will notice on your back cast the rod loads as you stroke back and the line straightens out.  As the ine is about to straighten out completely is when you start the front cast.  You will then see and feel the rod start to load for the forward cast.  The other thing that a lot of new fly casters don't do is make a pronounced stop at the end of the casting stroke, think 10 & 2 oclock.  This allows the road to load and unload properly.  On an experienced fly caster you may not see it but trust me, it is there.  The other piece of the puzzle is on the forward stroke after the stop at 10:00, drop the rod tip to almost paralell to the water and that will help the line shoot straight.

 

Get out there and cast and let us know the problems and we can help pinpoint more of the exact problems and how to rememdy them.

One problem I keep having is when I go to cast the to where I want it to go, the fly line never extends fully it ends up in coils in the water.

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One problem I keep having is when I go to cast the to where I want it to go, the fly line never extends fully it ends up in coils in the water.

 

you are starting your back cast to soon and the rod is not loading properly on the back cast which means not enough energy is being transfered to the front cast.....very common mistake.

 

When doing your back cast, turn your head and look behind you and watch the line uncurl and wait to feel the rod load before starting the forward cast.

 

Also keep in mind the rod you picked up probably isn't the most sensitive and easy to cast but you can still learn and when you decide to upgrade, noticed i said when too and not if, you will see a huge difference.

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you are starting your back cast to soon and the rod is not loading properly on the back cast which means not enough energy is being transfered to the front cast.....very common mistake.

 

When doing your back cast, turn your head and look behind you and watch the line uncurl and wait to feel the rod load before starting the forward cast.

 

Also keep in mind the rod you picked up probably isn't the most sensitive and easy to cast but you can still learn and when you decide to upgrade, noticed i said when too and not if, you will see a huge difference.

I figured the cheap rod would be a bit more difficult, but I just wanted to get my feet wet in fly fishing before I go out and spend big bucks. I went to a little spot last night and slayed some bluegill and a few crappie with my new fly rod(only being able to cast about 15 feet) and boy was it fun! I have never had so much fun catching bluegill. Tasted darn good too.

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What weight rod do you have?  I am guessing it is probably  5/6.....and yes, catching any type of panfish on a fly rod is super fun.  it is actually one of the things i like to do when taking someone out for the first time.  Throw little poppers and they smack the crap out of them and even if you don't catch them the action alone is addictive.  Now if i have achoice i take them to chase brookies in the mountains as that is about as fun as it gets....well other than sight fishing for carp, picking apart a lilly pad field with a popper for largemouth, tossing big streamers for brown trout...... :D

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I believe it is a 6 weight rod. What kind of retrieve should I use with the poppers? The kit came with 6 or 7 of them.

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poppers can be twitched, popped, drug across the surface or just dead sticked.  The key to me is the pause as the action draws the attention and the pause entices them to hit.

 

Basically there is no worn gway to do it just figure out what the fish are looking for that day.

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thats what i need to work on more putting the fly down without making a sound cause most of the time unless im casting like 10ft the end of the fly line goes further than the fly lol and really im not even sure what size flies i should be throwing either lol 

 

guess im going to start practicing more cause i usually only get the fly rod out maybe once every other week or so....mine is a st croix cheapie from basspro shop was like $100 lol (8wt 9ft) used for light saltwater (bonefish, redfish, sea trout)...i would love to build a new fly rod but unfortunately i have no idea whats good and if i did i wouldnt really know how to make good use of it lol 

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My 1st flyrod was a cheap glass rod made for Sears.  Forget the name of the famous flyfisherman on it.  (Ted Williams, maybe.)  Bought level line for it.  Didn't know anyone who used a flyrod.  Al Gore hadn't invented the Internet yet.  Panfish were a blast to catch, but my casting absolutely sucked.

 

This was long enough ago that Alex's father wasn't even a glint in his grandfather's eye. :teeth3:

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Any form of fishing is fun, but casting a fly rod should be enjoyable and not at all frustrating.

 

The learning challenge primarily comes from all the different fly casting "tips and techniques" suggested from all sorts...some are valid and helpful and others just plain confusing...but which ones are which?

 

For what it's worth you might try the follwing three principles (facts, based on physics):

 

1. NO SLACK: Just like starting a water skier, you must have zero slack in the tow rope before you power up the boat and "pull" the skier out of the water. The same is true with your fly line...no slack! This will allow you to get the entire fly line moving smoothly in one direction without any shock to your cast.

 

2. SMOOTH CASTING STROKE: A fly rod is really just a spring, designed to store energy in the flexed tip of the rod. However, a fly rod really likes a constant "load" or flex. It doesn't like to be "shocked or punched" during the casting stroke. The secret is to PULL the fly line. Unlike casting or flicking, PULLING is smooth and keeps a constant load (flex) in the tip of the fly rod. Just PULL the fly line in the direction you want to cast. You'll quickly learn how much pulling power and exceleration is necessary to make your desired cast.

 

3. STOP THE ROD: If a fly rod is a "spring" and we now have stored energy (in the rod's flexed tip), we next need to efficiently transfer this energy into the fly line (which is how we deliver our fly). Just stop the rod during your casting stroke (Stop the rod where you want the fly line to go.) The stop is the most neglected part of most fly casts and this is why most casters are not efficient. A solid stop will efficiently transfer your rod's stored energy into a rolling loop of fly line and off it goes. The leader and fly just ride along.

 

A few thoughts...

 

Fly casting should really be called "fly line pulling."

PULLING fly line (with no slack) to a STOP is possibly the easiest way to initially think about fly casting.

Don't worry about distance at first, just get the basics down using principles.

Casting a well designed and balanced fly fishing outfit should make you smile.

 

Hope this helps and feel free to hit me with questions.

 

Burke

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