Overlining and crosswinds - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 03-17-2000, 12:13 PM
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juro juro is offline
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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.

Juro
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2000, 02:04 PM
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RE:Overlining and crosswinds

Several years ago I was fishing under the conditions you are talking about. Rather than move my skiff to fish a good looking spot I made the mistake of trying to force my fly through a cross wind.Foolishly assuming I could cast and duck I made one false cast on the second false cast the wind gusted. I saw the fly coming but the thing came so dam fast I only had time to turn my head the hook buried deep just under my left eyebrow. It is a foolish and dangerous game to play.
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Old 01-21-2001, 08:40 AM
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RE:Overlining and crosswinds

just a quick safety note.... buy polarized shooting glasses guys... they are the same money in most cases(or less) and can handle extreme forces better than that $200.00 pair of oakeys etc... my faves are PST (precision shooting techknowlegy) shooting glasses they are about $125.00 and are polarized and also have a special dye in the lens called avian orange. this is one of the things that helps raptors to see so well. the other advantage is that now I can use my glasses for shooting and fishing as well. Tom D
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Old 01-21-2001, 05:01 PM
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RE:Overlining and crosswinds

Juro, there is another way which has been successfull for me and actually uses the cross wind as distance and direction benefit... I was practicing it on one of our rip trips.. I saw the method from Lefty's book. What I do on the cross wind coming in on the rod side is make a few side casts low to the right (I am Right handed). When I've loaded the rod (not fully) I immediatly move my casting hand close to the upper right side of my head and cast directly overhead. This makes the line and fly go high and over my head somewhat to my left as a result of the right hand cross wind. The fly passes harmlessly over my head in a hugh arc and actually drops in the water like a dry fly... then the line hits the water. I lose no distance and infact have shot the entire fly line since the wind is also helping me. As I say ,I started to practice this on a very light cross wind and perfected it somewhat later in the fall on some pretty nasty cross winds where I would have normally done the backcast method. It is also more comfortable and is certainly less strenuious than the back cast method.
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Old 01-21-2001, 06:45 PM
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RE:Overlining and crosswinds

nice tip John, guess i better get back to reading Lefty's book!!! Tom D
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Old 03-24-2001, 03:53 PM
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RE:Overlining and crosswinds

Unless it is imperative to fish the top, i'd suggest going to a denser line and sticking to the line weight that is best for the rod. If you like to fish a full line (ie, not tips or a shooting head), IMHO, nothing cuts the wind like a very high density (type 4-6), full sinking line, such as the Mastery Uniform Sink.


While we're on the overlining topic, I've found it easier to cast in the dark of night with an overlined rod - it slows things down a bit so your mistakes aren't as critical, and helps you to feel the line better, since you can't see how it is behaving.
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Old 03-24-2001, 05:39 PM
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RE:Overlining and crosswinds

I will always wear glasses for any wind or no wind and especially at night. I agree that night casting slows you down and you go more with feel than sight, and we all know that distance casting is less critical at night anyway.. But one thing I will do at night is bring my clear lens plastic protective gasses or goggles. The same ones I use cutting my lawn or using my chain saw. This gives me the protection I need and has no effect on my night vision. Also, in reponse to Juro's first message above of some time ago... If you try Lefty's over head cast you will never have to load the rod fully for cross winds.
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