Overlining and crosswinds
Re: Overlining vs underlining?
My experiences with casting in the wind would imply that there is merit to the concept of NOT overloading a rod to defeat wind, but only to a point. In other words, if anyone suspects a 3 weight is gonna cast as well in wind as a 10 weight is nuts. Likewise, if you have a rod that can properly energize a 12 weight line as well as an 9 weight line, then you'll probably do better with the 12wt in wind - particularly with big flies. Of course you'll have to soak your shoulder in a hot bath for the evening, but one would imagine that the ability to defeat wind would be present in that case.
What I tend to do is stay with the prescribed line weight in wind, and play with fly selection as well as leader length to keep the line speed very high through the whole cast. With such a huge population of fly fishermen joining in on the sport, I see lot's of casters who haven't figured out the relationship between cross-wind and injury. Flyfishing is many things, but one of it's greatest shortcomings is the
ability to deal with wind. This is something that the fisherman must do, not the rod or line. A cross-wind is what I call a wind direction that blows from your casting side into your body. As the fly and line pass your central position, it is being brought across your position and thus the fly will often whack you in the head, the back, or legs. This is not a joke, in fact my brother works at MA eye & ear and can show you photos of what a clouser will do to your eye. In one unforgettable case it was not the fly that did the eye in, but the glass polarized lenses that shattered into the eye. I ALWAYS wear polycarbonate, and if you are
talking about casting in wind you should too.
Best things to do in a crosswind:
- Turn around and cast to shore, shooting your back cast at the fish. This switches a cross wind to a favorable wind and often increases your cast (if you angle to let the wind carry the shoot). Sounds hard, but if you do it without fail, it becomes second nature. Teach your young ones to do this.
- Cast lefthanded if you can. I only know a few guys who can do it but it always makes me wish I'd learned. With the two-handed rods, I am more ambidextrous and often do cast lefty. This is another way to reverse a cross-wind.
- Move to another location. When it's blowing a gale on the bayside, it can be peaceful on the Nantucket sound shoreline (especially near bluffs). When Plum Island's bar is getting ripped by an east wind, drive over to Salisbury and put the wind to your left. Why kill yourself?
- Forget about clousers. Weight on the end of the flyline/leader/tippet mechanism is counter to the whole concept of the fly cast. You can get away with it under pleasant circumstances, or when the weight is not significant, but under windy conditions the slingshot style, under energized loop is downright dangerous.
Some guys feel that only fast stiff rods generate line speed. I disagree, line speed by my definition is the amount of kinetic energy driving the loop in a particular direction, and the extent that the loop is fully energized - not the ground speed of the fly as it zings by. Out of ten casts in a stiff headwind, I've consistently found that those that are fully energized are the ones that slice through the wind, regardless of one-weight line differences in the up or down direction. I personally prefer progressive tapers (verses mid-flex or slow) with lightweight, high power (not stiffness) blanks in the 8wt and 9wt classes fished with prescribed line sizes in most cases.