Casting Clousres [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Casting Clousres

Mike Oliver
02-28-2010, 05:39 AM
Right now I am busy tying Sand eel Clousers for my Cape trip in late May. I see on a past thread that Juro is suggesting a TMC 811s in a size 1/0 with 7/32 real eyes. I use these Tiemco hooks to. My question is do we need to go to a 1/0 and with such a big dumbell eye as these things for me cast like a sink.

I am tying two sizes currently . One is skinny eels for the flats/ Monomoy on size 4 and 6 hooks with very small eyes max 5/32, mostly a bit smaller..

The other is a 5 inch long fuller bodied sand eel which I like to tye on a size 1. I have been using size 5/32 Real Eyes on these and 3/16. Problem is no opportunity to test if the hook will ride upwards with these smaller weights in a fishing situation. I am using Super hair for the under body followed by Super Hair and stuff like DNA mixed with Frosty fibres to do the upper body and top of the fly.To support the Super hair on the top side I have put a few strands of white BT on the upside of the hook shank first off.

I also tye a version of Sand Eel Clousers with all BT hairs.

Mostly I am casting either an I line or type 2 or 3 when fishing these Clousers and very short leaders as in 18 inches to 3 feet max. I still get problems with the cast. I don't try for tight loops when casting these monsters. How do you Guys cope with Clousers and especially these large 7/32 and up, eyed versions. Such a great pattern but such a pig to cast.


02-28-2010, 07:08 AM
I rarely use the large bumbell eyes. I use the smaller dumbbells with a full sinking line. Airflor 400 dept finder. I also, don't use a tight loop. Yes, I'm sure I miss some fish with this set up but it works for me. Other will disagree but that's fishing. :smokin:
If you are more comfortable with the smaller dumbells use what your comfortable with . If need be you can add a little split shot to the leader.
The type of casting you do with heavy weighted flies is called "Chuck and Duck":eek: :hihi: Not pretty. Hope this helps you out. FishHawk

02-28-2010, 07:16 AM
I tie the deep eels on 1 and 1/0 tmc 811's with 3/16 realeyes. Works for me. For deep rips like monomoy point I might use a 2/0 with bigger eyes. Generally I'm fishing shallow water and the eyes only function is to get the hook point to ride up. I fish them with floating, intermediate and fast sinking lines (usually whatever is rigged on the rod I grab when I go fishing, I don't think much about it). Mid may through mid june I'll tye them in olive/white with a bit of chartruse or lavender through the middle.

I've tried DNA in deep eels but found that the material fouls terribly. My opinion is that DNA is best suited for small baitfish patterns. For deep eels I've been using unique hair for mid length deep eels (5-6"). Smaller diameter fiber snarls a bit more than bigger brother super hair but it moves better. I carry an old tooth brush to de-snarl.

Early/late season and low light dawn or dusk through out I'll use bucktail clousers tied on an LC413 60 degree jig hook(Blanton's flashtail clouser), typically in Ray's fly colors.

I never use lead eyes, always the plated brass so I don't see a problem casting. But I cast these things 95% of the time so I probably don't know better.

02-28-2010, 07:27 AM
Mike...I'm with Bill.....have not had the need to go with a higher weight....I use a fast sink line if I have to go deeper or fishing a rip/current.
Hook riding properly regardless of weight should not be an issue either as the materials are placed above the shank and will naturally ride true.

Others may have another opinion, but what I have found helpful in reducing the "boing" effect when casting a longer or heavier clouser is to try an balance the amt. of materials with the weight and also move the weight back a bit on eels that are in the 4 to 5 inch range. ie. using a 1/0 hook on the 4-5 inch clouser...I place the barbell weight about 1/3rd back on the length of the shank.....this gives a nice long/sloped front look and really balances the fly reducing the boing effect regardless of the length of the leader I am using.
Of course, none of this helps me from hitting my fishing partner Garry in the head if he is too close. :smokin:

Mike Oliver
02-28-2010, 07:29 AM
Thanks Fishhawk and Fred for your very helpful replies. Fred I only put a few of the DNS Frosty fibres sandwiched betwen super hair for the reasons you state. It is one floppy non self supporting material. I do like to sandwich the DNA Holo fusion stuff in betwen the stiffer hairs as my flash material. I use complimentary colours. Ie Olive Super hair /olive DNA Holofusion.
I have unique hair too which as you say is finer and I will play around with that, maybe try tying it for the upper body and the lower in white leave with Super Hair. I will give it a go 100% to . Must remember the cat brush then.

Thanks again, I will keep on tying on the basis of what you have told me. Very useful info for us relatively inexperinced Brits.


02-28-2010, 08:34 AM
I have tried lots of different materials on clousers and they all foul to some degree. I like the look of unique hair but mostly use bucktail now because it doesn't snarl. You might try poking a bit of thinned goop through the fibers from the eyes down just past the bend - helps a lot with limp synthetics.

I tend to use a sinking line + long leader on the flats which helps with the hinging effect.

02-28-2010, 09:37 AM
Good feedback for you Mike, these guys know their stuff.

I use 7/32 + 1/0 TMC 811s and get zero hinging with intermediate or high density (sinking) lines.

My guess is that folks experiencing hinging with these sizes are (1) not using the light wire high-strength alloy TMC hook to save money or (2) using lead eyes instead of the nickel real eyes to save money and avoid the trouble of burnishing the eye in the socket or (3) both.

Lead breaks, is poisonous, and loses it's realism over time. Small eyes do not invert the fly which is the only reason I do what I do. I have experimented with many inverted patterns without the light nickel eyes and they are simply not as effective for setting the trap on the flats - as the bonefish experts will tell you.

There is something of greater impact to flight than these two things - the fibre material itself. I've explained this in previous posts. It's critical in a number of ways. E.g. a bulky fly has more air resistance and is much harder to cast in wind than a sleek profile, which is another strength of the deep eel.

Any hinging that would occur with a properly tied eel on an 8wt - 10wt modern flyrod is in the leader design given the proper fly design. In other words if you tied directly on to the fly line it's not going to hinge. Therefore the loss of kinetic energy (i.e. hinge) occurs in the leader design. I'd give that equal consideration if you're getting a hinge. I get none and typically finish with the new knot sense 15# flouro tippet, the rest of the leader is maxima ultragreen.

While guiding I typically start my clients with this standard pattern and rarely do they have trouble casting it. If there are two clients then what happens most of the time is when the better caster has great success with the fly the other will find a way to cast it and I could not convince him to change it to save my life :)

As far as longevity, tangling, effectiveness - these are also functions of the design and tying technique. I really don't have these problems (ask anyone who has fished with me for a full day how many times I fuss with the fly) and have examples of this pattern that have caught countless fish over years of hard use and still catch fish. The material often outlasts the hook.

Lastly, I like the real eyes best when much use wears off the sheen of the nickel finish and it looks like a real sand eel's head.

Is it spring yet?

Mike Oliver
02-28-2010, 10:38 AM

Yes the Guys have been very helpful, as have yourself and of course it is very much appreciated so thanks now to you Ron and Big Dave.

Now I already use the Real Eyes from 5/32 to 7/32. I don't tie overdressed flies and I think my patterns are tied ok in terms of the materials utalised in them. But truth is I don't enjoy casting large dumbell eyed clousers a great deal. I have no serious problems casting Deceivers but Clousers I do. I understand about energy transfer and maybe the problem area is in my leaders. I keep them short in an effort to reduce hinging and to help in energy transfer from fly line to fly. Ok I have tended to use just one piece of leader /tippet in 20lb test std mono when casting any type of sinking line. Do you use a heavy butt sction for your leader before dropping down to your 15 LB tippet. As a start would a leader of say 35. 25 and 15 get me on the right track. Total length between 5 and 6 feet.

It is cold over here but if Crocus flowers signals spring we have them showing now.



02-28-2010, 11:37 AM
First are we talking about hinge or shock?

Shock is a 'slingshot' effect caused by the fly traveling faster than and with more momentum than the line which throws the cadence out of whack and ruins the cast. Hinge is usually caused by the inability of the energy in the loop to turn the entire line, leader and fly over thus resulting in an unresolved cast with a fold (hinge).

Heavy eyes create a slingshot effect unless there is enough material tied on the hook. The 1/0 TMC (a light wire hook) takes about 6 inches of well-tapered material to create the proper cancellation of the slingshot effect. It should be tapered (i.e. mustache twist) to a wispy tip.

Hinge occurs when the dynamic transfer of energy can not turn the fly over. They are related in that both can occur, and the cause can be the same, but you can easily create a hinge in a line without a fly. Aside from deep water express, it's very hard to create shock without a fly.

Know the cause, know the cure. Again I get no shock nor hinge with the 1/0 size deep eel on a standard 8wt-10wt set up.

Mike Oliver
03-01-2010, 04:51 AM

Thanks for the explanation. My view is that it is the mass of the dumbells which is the root cause of the problem both sling shot and hinge.. The addition of significant amounts of material to balance the sling shot effect you would guess would effect the ability of the fly line to turn the fly over still as it is having to cope with mass and increased air restistance even from a nicely tapered fly. The increased air resistance will reduce or stop shock but not help in turn over in theory. But thats theory for me right now and theory never beats experience.

Juro, I am not disputing what you have established in a practical way. It works for you. I have tied up some more Clousers on 1/0 with 7/32 Real Eyes 5 to 6 inches long and with tapered bodies. I taper my bodies as std anyway.

I will test cast and see what happens. I hope I get same results you have. Test casts this weekend.

Thanks again. Interesting stuff.


Could be I am just a crappy caster. LOL

03-01-2010, 07:31 AM
Mike, sorry if I am coming across as disputing in any way - not so, I am just trying to convey what I've learned and discuss precisely to avoid misinterpretations.

As far as fly design, it's accepted that the balance of material and weight can be coordinated to buffer each other. Case in point: there is a local striper angler who is known for throwing amazingly long casts at fly fishing exhibitions - Mark Sedotti. He throws a giant fly which is carefully designed with added weight which is balanced by the surprisingly large qty of materials (this thing is huge). Without either, the fly would not cast. Then he throws this chicken right over the railing at the far end of the casting booth with one or two false casts.

I'm sure your research will pay dividends this season!

Mike Oliver
03-01-2010, 08:12 AM

Funny old world. It was me actually trying to appologise to you for debating with you what I think might be happening. I was seeking not to be coming across as the guy asking for help and then totally contesting it. That would be just plain rude of me. I am just keen to understand whats really going on.
It's one thing to have an intellectual debate within ones head verses what you have found in the real world on the beach. Which is why I am keen to try out what you have already discovered. I know of Mark through participating on SOL. What you are telling me is priceless. I will try my 9 and 10 wt rods.


03-01-2010, 09:38 AM
Nah I'm just a beach bum... my motto has been 'shut up and fish' lately but you gotta see Sedotti, he's also very generous with his knowledge of fly designs and if distance fly casting with small poultry-like flies was an olympic sport he'd bring home a medal ;)

Mike Oliver
03-01-2010, 10:30 AM

You are lucky to be able to fish currently. I have about a 3 week wait, unless air temps get to at least 10 degrees Celcious then I am off like a shot to my local Trout reervoirs. Salt water does not start here until at least May 1 and it is very hit and miss then. Mostly miss. LOL