wind knots on leader - Fly Fishing Forum
Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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Old 07-31-2007, 06:15 AM
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jero jero is offline
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wind knots on leader

Hey guys,
Lately when I practice my casting I end up with a bunch of wind knots on my leader (even when there is no wind...). Is this normal, due to the lack of weight at the tip being the fly absent?
Or maybe its indicating some kind of mistake in my skill? I do cast some tail loops from time to time.
I find the wind knots ocurring specially when I practice long casts.
any suggestions welcomed.
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:53 AM
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Warren Warren is offline
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Wind knots are caused by tailing loops not wind. You need to refine your casting stroke to eliminate them. Having said that, I sometimes wonder if they are not inevitable no matter how good a caster you are. I notice when I get tired after a long day. I tend to throw tailing loops more often. And no one ties a better wind knot than me

A thing I do when taking casting practice or testing, especially with weighted flies is tie on a fly with the hook cut off above the bend.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:00 PM
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ak_flyfisher ak_flyfisher is offline
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Yup - we all get 'em.

Warren's right, they're not caused by the wind, although in a high wind they can get a bit more common as you tire more quickly. Try a longer pause at the front and especially back of your casting arc. This gives the line time to straighten out before you start the rod in the other direction, which will reduce (as Warren said, not end) the number of tailing loops and consequent wind knots.

This is also the secret to longer casts, because your line loads the rod as it straightens completely, bending it away from you, and causing it to spring the line back in the opposite direction when you stop your stroke at the opposite end of your arc.
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Old 01-20-2009, 12:10 AM
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I think that the problem occurs to most of us as we try to reach out beyond intermediate distance -- we try to go from 40 - 60 feet to 60 -80 feet.

I think you must learn to double haul if you are concerned with line control as you go for distance. The double haul is not hard to learn (for most; it was for me); timing and smooth acceleration are everything.

Don't put too much line into your backcast. Learn to shoot line. If you are using a weight forward taper, just a little more than the heavy part of the line (forward taper) is needed to cast 80 feet or more, given a properly balanced outfit.

When we are first learning to cast farther, we tend to put more umph into the cast and we do it too soon. From my experience, trying to correct the most godawful macrame you can imagine, I learned to avoid tailing loops by letting the line straighten out behind me on the backcast and then pulling the line forward with my wrist stiff and forearm vertical, gradually accelerating the pull until my hand was extended the length of my forearm. Then THE STOP. (this unloads the rod). The line should come from behind your shoulder in a tight, smoothly unrolling loop.

The business of keeping a stiff wrist and a vertical forearm helped me to put a bend in the lower third of the rod. Putting flex, down low right through the corks, is what generates the energy and leverage for that long cast. For me, the wrist alone was not sufficient to bring out the power in the lower third of the rod.

Work on a gradual acceleration. Don't shock the system by putting too much power into the start of the forward cast. Too much power at the start of the forward cast will result in a tailing loop nearly every time.

Get Mel Krieger's book on flycasting, or rent a good instruction video and try to analyze, to the very best of your ability, what the good casters are doing when they go for distance. I had to learn this stuff a paragraph at a time. People who are natural athletes pick it up right away. Most anglers are between me and an athelete.

What I've described worked for me in correcting a very discouraging casting fault. Others, more knowledgeable and skilled than me, may have other suggestions.

For me, the concept of pulling the line with gradual acceleration from behind was the tip that started me on the road to recovery.

Always use a practice fly, as noted above.

Good luck and Cheers,


Last edited by Eric; 01-20-2009 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:09 AM
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I agree with Warren that wind knots are caused by tailing loops.

Tailing loops a normally caused by the rod tip dropping on the forward casting stroke.
There are a couple of very good casting web sites that can help you better than I can.

If you want some very good info let me know and I can put you in the right direction.

As a simple tip, don't drop the rod tip on your forward cast.

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Old 01-20-2009, 02:22 PM
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Wind knots caused by tailing loops are common when making longer casts with extra effort. The can occur on both the b ack and forward cast. Almost all tailing loops occur when the rod tip speeds up and stops in a straight line.

Here's why. When casting a fly, the line unrolls in a loop. As long as the top of the loop remains on the top and bottom on the bottom, there will be no tailing loop. To avoid almost all tailing loops, the tip of the rod must get out of the way of the incoming line to avoid running into itself. As you come forward, dip the rod tip slightly on the stop. More than a slight dip will open the loop.

The above is compliments of our esteemed sage, Lefty Kreh.

One additional point from Lefty: "If your rod hand travels at the same height or plane throughout the forward cast and on the speed-up-and-stop the thumb is parallel to the water (vertical or side casting), no tailing loop occurs."
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