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Old 07-31-2006, 07:22 PM
Radical1 Radical1 is offline
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Fly Questions

Well today I went out to the susqehanna with a Crystal River 8ft 6wt rod and had a blast, my arm is a little sore but besides that i had a great time! I caught 3 rockbass only 5 inches, they felt about 15 inches. Problem is that about 10 minutes after I started to cast my Susquehanna White Fly, a fly which is supposed to stay up on top up the water, started to sink to the bottom unless i kept holding the leader and spinning it around and around. I think that floatant would fix this? Am i Right?

Next problem is my woolly bugger was doing great when i first started, I was doin great! Caught all 3 fish on it, problem is that after the third fish, they eyes fell off it! Is this going to make a different? Also after about 15 minutes, it started sinking to the bottom. What can i do to stop the woolly bugger from sinking? I think that it is supposed to sink a bit because the tail gets wet, and it is supposed to. Should I put floatant on this?

I hate to ramble on like this but i have 2 more questions. When i got my rod set up for me, they put on 20 pound test monofilement backing line followed by the fly line itself, and then an 8 foot leader. Problem is that unlike most fly rods, I dont seem to have a lot of fly line on it. Is it normal to sometimes cast out into the backing line? I havn't been able to cast this far yet, but is it normal to only cast your line out 20 to 30 foot?

This brings me to my next question, when i cast, i can false cast 20 to 30 feet out without to much problem, when I go to cast, Im lucky if i can get the fly itself out 5 foot. The fly lands 5 feet from shore while the line itself goings 10 to 15 feet out.

Thanks in advance!

Mike
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:22 PM
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Eric Eric is offline
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Hey, Mike,

Let's take these one at a time:

Dry flies generally benefit from an application of floatant. Without floatant, flies absorb water and sink.

Between casts, try false casting to dry your fly. If you stand next to someone false casting, you can often see the droplets of water spritzing off the fly. It really works.

The Wooly Worm is typically tied to sink. It's weighted to go deep. Having the eyes break on the fly is not good -- although this often happens with dumbbell eyes that have a thin connecting shank. The Worm will sink even faster once the body material has absorbed water (see comments on dry flies). Retrieve the fly slowly to keep it off the bottom if the current isn't fast enough to do this.

The line you have is called a shooting head. It's made for distance casting and is short. The idea is to work the head out of the rod tip and then shoot the coils of monofilament or other shooting line out behind it. You can use the shooting head to cast modest distances until you learn the techniques of distance casting (such as the double haul). I'm surprised a fly shop would have started you off with this kind of specialized tackle. You might want to invest in a double taper, floating six-weight.

Your casting problem is related to the shooting head you're using. Try just letting one of your 20 to 30 foot false casts go and see what happens. Make sure you strip off 20 feet or so of line to hold in your non-casting hand. If you want, if you're practicing, just pile that extra line on the ground next to your feet. The shooting head is designed to pull out lots of extra line, and it will.

I hope this helps,

-- Eric
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Old 07-31-2006, 09:29 PM
Radical1 Radical1 is offline
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Will the eyes on the woolly bugger hurt its attraction on the fish? Thats what i was worried about, it still sinks fine.

With this line, should i pull the monofiliment backing off the reel? The way i have been casting is to false cast and keep pulling line off the spool.
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:39 AM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Radical1,

I grew up near Hazleton, PA (left there when I was 25, a lot of years ago) and fished parts of the Susquahanna and the North Branch as well.

I agree with Eric, a shooting head is not something a new fly fishers ought to be using, it is very specialized and takes a very good understanding of casting dynamics and good skill level in fly casting to use it effectively. A double taper or WF (weight forward) line of the proper line weight for your rod, meaning a 6 wt, would be a much better way to go.

Also, I'd be suspect of a fly shop that recommended or sold you a beginner a shooting head to learn on. Was this a fly fishing shop that caters to and only sells fly fishing equipment, or is it a larger place like the Cabella's at Hamburg?

At any rate, you really owe it to yourself to go to a smaller fly only shop (store), tell them what the problem is and ask if someone there could give you a few minutes of casting lesson to help you out. I have yet to see a fly only shop turn down such a request, especially if you buy something like a new fly line from them. You will also find the local fly shops are a great source of information and qood tackle at all price levels. Plus they almost always have great customer service because they cater to a specific niche of fishermen.
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Old 08-01-2006, 08:32 AM
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Why are you guys assuming he's using a shooting head? Some beginner fly lines are only 60 feet long (or shorter). That may be what he has.
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Old 08-01-2006, 09:29 AM
Radical1 Radical1 is offline
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I dont mean to down you other guys, but this was a kit and not a custom set up. In a beginner kit, I would think it is unlikely that they would put in a shooting line, is it perhaps just a short line? If so, is it ok to cast from the mono backing, or just put the fly down not as far out?

Also when i cast, should i be stripping line out of the reel and casting it out via false casting and then just letting it drop, or am i doing something wrong there and is there another way?
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Old 08-01-2006, 03:53 PM
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The system does sound to me like a shooting head as well...

1)You typically do not see mono used as backing, unless it is running line for a shooting head....

2) I know of very few if any lines in the 20-30 foot range other than shooting heads, even the most basic weight forwards or double tapers lines have at least double that.....

The only thing that does not add up is the fact that it is a beginers set up... Maybe the shop figured that the heavier head would help with feel?
In any case, it will be very difficult to learn mending or other stream craft with that line....

As for casting, At the end of your false caasting, right as therod loads and line start launching forward, let go off line stripped from the reel and held in the off hand... This will cause the line to "shoot" through the tip top and through the air adding distance to your casting...
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