Overhead Beach Rods? Juro - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:23 PM
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Overhead Beach Rods? Juro

Juro,

For the outer beaches what grain window do you use most often and why? I'm looking at a few rods in the 11' range from 7wt to a 9wt. Each rod's line recommendation comes with different grain windows 350-500, 400-550, etc. So an 11' Deercreek 8wt has a grain window recommendation of 400-600 while an 11' Beulah Surf 8wt recommends a 350-400 grain line.

Thanks
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:48 PM
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I haven't cast the Deercreek but the Beaulah 8wt is a rocket launcher with Simon Gawesworth's 10wt Intermediate Outbound. We were sending it to the moon at the Beaulah clave in Chatham year before last.
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Old 03-30-2010, 08:56 PM
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Per the why...

A more stout two-hander can toss 550-650 grains with ease thus making it simple to throw big flies or very dense heavy sinking heads (for breakneck rip currents over sand for instance).

The 10wt Outbound on that rod makes it comfortable to stand way back on the beach above the breakers and still fish past where everyone else getting surf-slapped is fishing.

It also permits off-hand casting with a little practice. Most find their form can be better on the off-hand side, but with less power. Some have better form and power on their off-hand side but less consistency. A few are even better all-around that way

I have found some of the biggest fish in fast currents over structured sand (e.g. the Big Girl Bar discovery I shared with the gang a few years back where half a dozen 40"+ stripers were landed before the 9am parking curfew). When the line gets slapped against the beach it's nice to throw a little snake or double to get the cast back out there without much effort, a two-hander facilitates that.

I'll try to cast the Deercreek overhead soon and let you know.
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:38 AM
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Thanks. I was at the Chatham demo day and as a novice two hander enjoyed the Beulah 8wt the most out of all the rods I tried. I currently have a T&T 12' 8wt but it flexes much deeper in the blank and I've had trouble overheading with it using the recommended Outbound line. I don't think the recovery is as quick as the rods that are designed more towards overhead casting either. On the other hand it's been a joy to learn spey and skagit on.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:46 AM
PEC54 PEC54 is offline
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Length of stroke .

If I may add my .02 worth here . Since I started overhead casting with a 2hander , I've had the opportunity to introduce the technique and demonstrate what one can achieve with very little effort using 2 hands. .The biggest flaw I have noticed when a newbe is attempting to overhead cast a 2hander is the length of back and forward strokes. People don't realise because of the extra rod length ,how very little travel in the stroke is needed compared to a shorter single hand rod. There are 2 things I try to point out when showing how to cast the 2 hander- shorter stroke combined with pushing the lower grip out on the backcast with a pulling in combined with a quick stop to release the energy in the forward stroke. I yield the floor.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:48 AM
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Bravo! Encore!
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:47 AM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is online now
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You have to be careful with the amount of push you do with the lower hand on the backcast. A little bit, done briskly, adds a lot of power to the cast. Too much and the backcast gets too low and the movement can become what Simon refers to as trunking. I try very hard to think 11:00 to 1:00 on this style of casting which is a lot narrower than what I normally do with a single-handed rod. One other fault, and I've mentioned it before, is the desire to falsecast. I find guys proclaiming how proud they are that they can cast 100ft+ with only one or two falsecasts. Truth is, there should be no need for ANY false casts. That's part of the beauty of it, and why it is far less fatiguing than single-handed work. Simply get the head on the water in the direction you intend to cast, let it get a little traction (bite) and then one back cast and one forward cast and that's it. Lots of lower hand, especially on the forward cast as your body will prevent you from going too far with it. And I like to keep my upper hand at ear level or only slightly above it depending upon the depth of water you're standing it while casting.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:27 AM
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The water haul, one of the most efficient ways to load a rod,a very simplistic form of water loading in a spey cast .I used the same technique when I threw predominantly single handers.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:33 AM
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Here's where I get even for all your (justifiable) lashings upon my reel-based threads JR! Half kidding of course, your points are valid and right on target... BUT there's more to think about from a fishing perspective than casting.

First I would argue that if your false casting technique is good, you can false cast all day with a two-hander, just watch Simon Gaweswworth cast one. He uses the one or two false cast to increase load, ensure tracking and explode into his championship winning overhead cast.

More importantly than casting, there are times when FISHING that it serves a very important purpose. When fishing for shoreline species like striped bass you often do need one (or rarely two) false casts because the head is often pulled way up into the guides, or else you're leaving a lot of fish uncaught especially in the surf's edge. Predatory fish follow right up to your knees on the flats. Even with the most well-trained 'slip and grip' technique, and mine is pretty experienced, throwing a false cast when needed ensures alignment and maximum load for the next presentation.

Sometimes you need to use that extra graphite to reach much further to hit fish, during the spring migration for example, and a false cast adds load, there is no doubt about that.

Further, I like to use a false cast for timing purposes such that an approaching pod doesn't get the fly dropped until I am in perfect position relative to their location and direction. It only takes a fraction of the time to make an aerialized cast drop that it takes to pick up a slack line on the water so I get it in the air before the right moment arrives.

These are coming to mind while I wait for a database to load at my desk, but I am sure I can think of many other cases where using false casts is advantageous, justified, and effective for two-handed overhead fishing.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:01 AM
JR SPEY JR SPEY is online now
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You know, I agree, and I probably shouldn't have inferred that it is never necessary because the truth is I do it myself on occasion. And I don't consider the maneuvers done to get the entire head out of the rod tip out to be included as true false casts, but that's a matter of symantics. Many of the guys I see, though, false cast at least once or twice, and often quite a bit more, on every cast. That's just not efficient, is rarely truly necessary in any type of fishing including stream trout, and usually puts a lot of strain on oneself physically. Once you have the head outside of the rod tip, it should not be necessary to false cast except when fish are at extreme range (or perhaps for rhythm purposes as you suggest.) I'm sure it's done in competition, but there are a lot of techniques and equipment used in competition that have little to do with fishing. I guess my bottom line is that I see a lot of guys struggling with their casting when I head out fishing, including both single-handed and double-handed, and I believe many of them would improve immensely if they worked harder to load the rod with minimal or no false casts, because for many of them the more false casts they do the more their timing goes to pot.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:08 PM
PEC54 PEC54 is offline
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Agree.

I also was refering more to the final money cast, I now basicly make a couple of spiral type casts to get the head out, make a line straighting forward cast if necessary,than backcast once into the forward cast.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:05 AM
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That brings up another good point and one I'm hoping to iron out. How much is equipment related and how much is simply bad technique? It could be that I'm trying to make up for bad casting technique by saying I've got the wrong rod or the wrong line which is how this topic began.

I think I'll stick with my current set up and get some instruction first before deciding if the equipment I own needs adjusting. I'll keep these tips in mind as I practice as well. Thanks to all.

Juro, looking forward to your new website. I'll contact you once it's up.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:28 AM
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One other question. Does the upper hand move at all in a straight plane as if single hand casting, although it seems it should be on a much shorter plane, or does it stay in one spot to act as a stationary pivot point while the lower hand pushes and pulls? It feels much more natural for the upper hand to move in conjunction with the force from the lower similar to a dbl haul so the tip of the rod moves in a straight or close to straight line to control the loop size.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:25 PM
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I hope I didn't stifle others responses - everyone has good insights to offer.

Obligatory answer:

The upper hand should not be on a stationary pivot point because it forces the rod to act like the hands of a clock if you do.

The hands of a clock can only scribe a semi-circle, a circular path which opens the loop, which dissipates energy and kills the cast. Remember that the rod tip must lead the line to full horizontal extension back, then forward which means it must travel straight.

Think of a giant fly on the wall and you with a two-handed fly-swatter in hand. To smash the fly it would require a straight path of the upper hand toward the fly. If you left the hand position fixed, the swatter would strike downward in a circular path and may even miss or skim the wall.

If your upper hand led the way until close enough to yank the lower hand for the final snap, the fly hasn't a chance. The force is directed straight at the fly.

Technically the flex in a rod could compensate to scribe a straighter line with a fixed upper hand, but the path of the rod tip would be so short you'll only be able to make a weak flick cast at best.

So bottom line - "no". For two-handed overhead casting as used in surf flyfishing do not leave the upper hand stationary, allow it to glide along an imaginary track that is straight and true.

Do not allow the lower hand to change the path of the rod tip, it's only there for power (e.g. the snap).

I can show you much better with gear in hand but I hope that helps. Go out in the yard and try to smash some flies
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:57 AM
PEC54 PEC54 is offline
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Often over looked -

but equally important is the amount of pressure you apply on the rod grips while you cast. I see a lot of people with death grips,the white knuckled squeeze the sap out of the cork grip ,which only leads to robbing rod power and limiting the natural fluid movements of your wrist and arms.The rod should be held with just enough squeeze to prevent it from falling out of your hands,the bottom grip is held in the crotch between the thumb and index finger with help from the middle finger,no squeezing.
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