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@"£**$^# tanlges!


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Hey!

 

I've only been fly fishing on and off for about a year now. Really enjoying it and still learning all the trade secrets as I go along. I've always fished from the bank but recently hired a boat for the day to give it a go. I fished at Hanningfield reserviour my last fishing trip and was lucky enough to catch 5 fish that day.

 

My tackle outfit is a 9'6 Orvis 6 weight rod with a 5 weight WF floating line. The way I try and fish is with say for example a goldhead green damsel (or orange blob) at the bottom and 2 or 3 buzzers on the top. That way I can let the leader sink and cover a wider depth range.

 

The thing that really broadens and ignite my colourfull vocabulary and verbal abuse towards any innocent objects/humans/wildlife is the tangles that keep occuring when I'm trying to cast a 12 to 15ft leader! I have it that long because of the amounts of flies and of course to be able to fish deeper on a floating line. Yes, I know I can fish with an intermediate or fast sinker with a shoter leader but I need to learn how to do it properly (just like the "old timers" there on the lake who makes it look so easy).

 

I'm not fishing with a tapered leader so would that make a difference? I watched one of the older boys and saw that he pull the rod back at a 2 O' clock position and then flick the rod forward at a 12 O' clock position. I tried that and it definately worked better for me. Before I used to cast forward and backwards in a 12 O' clock position only...

 

I would really appreciate some advice and any tips from you experienced fly fisherman. Thank you very much!

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In simple your leader is not thick/stiff enough to "carry" the fly when you are casting. If you look on good quality, purpose made, spools of tippet material you will see an X number. This should be used to decide the tippet material you are using for a given fly. If you are using a tippet that isn't stiff enough the fly has control of the tippet and goes where it wants: usually into a tangle.

 

The way to work it out is based on hook size. For a light medium wire hook divide the hook size by 3 and add 1 to get the x number you need. So for a size 12 light/medium wire hook (12/3)+1 = 5. Therefore you need a 5x tippet. If the hook is heavy wire or weighted (why would anyone weight a light wire hook?) use 4, or even 5 if it is very heavy, as the divisor. This results in a lower x number. (The thicker/stiffer the line the lower the x number).

 

This may cause a reaction, but here goes. In choosing a tippet the breaking strain of the line is irrelevant. Treat breaking strain as a piece of information only. It is not the basis for deciding on the correct tippet. Stiffness of the line is. In fishing a fly you are trying to balance presentation and casting. Too stiff a line makes casting easy, but ruins presentation. Too soft a tippet gives great presentation, but leads to tangles.

 

Would a tapered leader help? You use a tapered fly line, why? As the energy of a cast turns the fly line over it is used up. To make the cast turn over better the fly line is tapered. As the energy left in the cast diminishes there is less work for it to do, i.e. a thinner line for it to turn over. Then as the cast extends it reaches the end of the fly line. It has to turn the leader over. First it has to overcome the joint between fly line and leader. More loss of energy. Then it reaches the level mono of your leader. Now it has to do a constant amount of work but with a diminishing amount of energy. The result is that half way along the leader there isn't enough energy left to continue the cast. The rest of your leader lands in a heap into the middle of which plops your gold head damsel. Making an instant tangle. A tapered leader has a much larger butt, making a smoother transition from fly line to leader(less energy loss), then it helps with the turnover, in just the same way your tapered fly line does.

 

The other solution is to come and spend a day on the river with Big Al (now truer than ever) and me, and we might initiate you into the secret right used to banish the tangle gremlins. I believe Al was first taught it by a creature known as a Badgerbunny way, way, way back in the mists of time. (Oops! wrong web site). All I can say is that, if you do come along, bring alcohol, oh and some lubricant. :P

 

Cheers,

OT

"Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious"

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Increase your line to a 6 weight, your rod is rated for this, not a five. Also reduce the size/weight of the bead on your fly. Your bead head is not casting properly, it is dropping down and hanging back, thus catching the cast on the way back..

Edited by greg long

IF YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE THE BEST

Don't seek a second opinion.

 

http://www.anglingireland.info

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Hey Greg and OT

 

Thank you very much for the replies. I think you've actually nailed it on the head! The line that I usually use for my leader is 6lb Snowbee Magic line. This is a non-tapered leader and very thin and soft therefore must have been causing the tangles. I never actually thought about using a stiffer line before and used to think that the X represent the amount of flies you could tie on those manufactured tapered leaders...

 

So by using a 6wt line on my 6wt rod with an stiffer, tapered leader (calculated by OT's unconfusing-straight-forward-user-friendly formula) and smaller beads I should have a much more relaxing day at the water? It all makes sense so I will definately give it a go

 

As to a day on the banks with OT, Badgerbunny, Big Al, alcohol and lubricant...Wellllll...why am I suddenly thinking of Deliverance and hearing the dualing banjo's in the background :P

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Waaarrrlllllll We is just good ol' boys up heyar!!

 

The other thing to consider once you have sorted out your leaders as per Owd Trouts recomendations is to consider the next biggest cause of tangles for most fly anglers which is the tailing loop this is caused by putting too much energy into the forward cast rather than relying on timing and loading the rod properly. By holding the rod corectly and stopping the back cast at 12 and allowing the line to get behind the rod properly and really loading it you can sort out your problem the way you hold the rod handle is actully more important than most people think. On this aspect alone it is worth getting someone who knows what they are doing just to have a quick look and guide you.

I was fortunate as Charles Jardine did this for me and in about 10 seconds put me right, a tiny change to my grip made a big difference to my casting.

"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical

minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which

holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd

by the clean end"

Cheers

Alan

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the next biggest cause of tangles for most fly anglers which is the tailing loop this is caused by putting too much energy into the forward cast rather than relying on timing and loading the rod properly.

 

a tiny change to my grip made a big difference to my casting.

So right.

 

After many years of fly fishing and managing to keep the tailing loop at bay most of the time, I find the one situation where it creeps up on me is when there is a strong wind from behind - presumably because my backcast is not straightening into the wind. It seems obvious that in this situation one should put a bit more effort and pause into the back cast, but there is a limit to how much you can do this.

 

Any comments? (other than walk round the loch and fish INTO the wind, which is a lot easier!)

 

Perhaps a couple of photos of your grip from two different angles would be useful.

 

 

RNLI Governor

 

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"Nothing matters very much, few things matter at all" - Plato

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As the others have said, a tapered leader is the first thing to get sorted. The thing I've found useful in this situation (long leaders with droppers) is a 'lazy' casting style. If you do short, sharp casts the loop is too tight and the droppers catch the line and cause horrendous tangles! By throwing a nice wide loop this is mostly avoided.

 

Earlier this year I did quite a bit of bank fishing at Farmoor with 20ft+ leaders and droppers and although I did till get in the odd tangle, by throwing wide loops I got away with it most of the time :D

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music

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So right.

 

After many years of fly fishing and managing to keep the tailing loop at bay most of the time, I find the one situation where it creeps up on me is when there is a strong wind from behind - presumably because my backcast is not straightening into the wind. It seems obvious that in this situation one should put a bit more effort and pause into the back cast, but there is a limit to how much you can do this.

 

Any comments? (other than walk round the loch and fish INTO the wind, which is a lot easier!)

 

Perhaps a couple of photos of your grip from two different angles would be useful.

 

Even in strong winds fishing from the boat with the wind behind, by taking the rod back in an arc as such, prior to the forward cast you will keep the flies from tangling on even a long cast as the back cast will be 3 or 4 feet to the side of the forward cast giving plenty of room to ensure clear air as the cast comes forward past the trailing end even when it has not fully straightened.

IF YOUR DOG THINKS YOU ARE THE BEST

Don't seek a second opinion.

 

http://www.anglingireland.info

Fish Paintings

Linocut fishy prints..

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