Apples to oranges, changing a rod's action. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Apples to oranges, changing a rod's action.

05-07-2007, 02:19 AM
I could use some help from the experts out there.

I currently have two rods that I use to fish for trout in fairly shallow lakes. The first (and my favorite) is a St. Croix "Pro" 9 ft. 5 wt. I find this rod very comfortable, though it has problems in any steady wind.

I also have a Sage SP 9 ft. 5 wt. that I find hard to live with. It is better in the wind by a small margin, has better components, but is not very comfortable to cast (seemingly requiring more effort). Although it is generally kinder in windy conditions, it fails miserably when tossing a two fly setup into the wind (tangled mess!).

Would overlining the Sage to a 6 wt. load the rod better and slow the action, like with the St. Croix?

I'm currently using a Cortland 333 WF floating line on both rods. I primarily fish nymphs, both single and double.

Keeping it nice and easy

05-07-2007, 06:14 AM

First and foremost, always cast with the wind on the lee shoulder. Period. If that means fishing the backcast, crossing the body to cast on the left side, or casting lefty when needed, that's what one should do. Ok that being said...


I cast in severe wind and find that the general belief that an extra stiff rod being an advantage in these situations is just a rumor, even a farce - at least in my hands.

Of course a real soft rod is not either but the average easy loading / quick recovering rod does best for me in wind simply because it loads best and gives me more feel.

Wind tends to reduce the casting feel and ability to load. Reducing feel throws off timing. Why would I go to a stiffer rod which reduces things even more?

Well frankly, I tried it and hated it. I cast far better even into a nor'easter wind on the beach with a more moderate action provided the line had what I will call "traction" during the cast, like a tank-track; and a slim loop profile.

As long as the line can be put into a tight loop with good energy through it's whole aerialized length casts will work as well as they can, no matter what rod, in wind.

What do I mean by 'traction'? When the energy in the top leg of the loop is in serious conflict with the bottom leg of the loop, and they are aligned in the same plane, and parallel and near each other in the air then that leading wedge will have tremendous turnover like a long pulley being whipped around a small wheel.

That small wheel is in low gear yet spinning like there is no tomorrow and it will dig into the wind very effectively, like low gear on a bicycle climbing a hill.


Try saving the double haul until late in the forward cast, so that as the line is turning over into the wind you accelerate it by pulling down and back with the line hand. You will find that the line digs into the wind much more effectively. This will work with any rod because the rod is almost straight to the line at this point, like pulling a snag.

The load you have in the line is what gives you the potential to power an efficient cast into wind, but in my hands neither stiff or soft but average does best. Stiff rods tend to encourage over-powering the line with a 'snap recoil' and they reduce feeling of loading and tracking. Exactly what I don't want in wind.

I find casting a 6" weighted fly into the teeth of the wind is more a function of this 'traction' throughout the line than punching power and most graphite rods today work great as long as my casting is correct.

I could demonstrate much easier than explain, but here is the bottom line - IMHO defeating the wind is a function of perfecting the cast, not the stiffness of the rod given we are talking about the average graphite rod available on the market today.


05-07-2007, 12:02 PM

Nice explanation of the dynamics of casting with/into the wind. W a y to much effort, IMHO. I just move the pontoon or utilize the several spey casts I know, usually the double spey to work the crosswind. Or I cast crossbody, i.e. off the left shoulder (I'm righthanded).

Really though, I'm asking about changing the characteristics of the Sage so that I may better feel the rod loading whilst slowing down the action. I just can not feel this rod loading with the current line. It's like there are several "dead zones" with regards to distance. Short sucks, medium not too bad, far seems to be hit or miss.

Not a wind issue; I simply stated the one aspect of the rod that was superior to the St. Croix. I simply do not like the rod's action, too fast.

If casting a 6 wt. line on this 5 wt. rod gives me the feel that I'm looking for, then I win two times. Isn't going a line size higher (providing it works for the rod/user) a good way to somewhat overcome windy conditions? Still the wind is a secondary issue here.

Thanks for the reply!

Keeping it nice and easy

05-08-2007, 10:18 AM
OK if the question is not about wind and just about slowing a stiff rods recovery then yes, overloading it will definitely help as will going to a line with a longer head length in tandem with extra grains (usually hand in hand). That is if you like to feel the cast thru it's course.

However the most common use for very stiff rods I see around here is for short compact heads and a very quick stroke, kind of a chuck and duck - which is great for fishing from boats as Smolt pointed out with the 10wt RPLX recently.

05-08-2007, 11:23 AM

Now we're talking the same language (the first post was LATE at night and probably not too clear). This is the answer I needed to hear; confirming what I believed to be correct.

As to the chuck and duck - yuck! Not for me. I look for a comfortable stroke, usually slow and easy.

Keeping it nice and easy