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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by FloatinglineNelly View Post
    Wow! I was expecting something along the lines of 2 beautiful nymphomaniacs jumping out the bushes after not seeing a man for years bearing platters of Oysters and Strawberries who then gave of themselves freely and then went home with said man who threw his wife out cos she was moaning about how much time he spent fishing.

    Maybe that's a wee bit too Klinky?

    Ahh...we can dream.
    That's a shame, I don't like oysters!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2016


    Quote Originally Posted by Salmologic UK View Post
    Glad you agree its worthy of at least a page in T&S Llandogo.
    The scenario described is not meant to sell anything, its to make the readers realise that so many casting faults lie with something so simple as the leader.
    The physics of the cast apply regardless of what line type you are using be it spey, skagit or a Scandinavian style shooting head.

    In the morning the angler had too much leader, offering too much resistance against the loop rolling out during the cast, the outcome being the line failing to turn the fly over and stretch out the leader. We have all seen these casts where the fly falls behind the line or just falls in a heap as the cast peters out.

    Then as the day progressed, the angler had changed flies a few times and removed the wind knots all of a sudden the leader was right! The casts are smooth and the line rolls out with a beautiful loop and stretches the leader right out, fly lands with delicacy and its fishing from the moment it touches the surface.

    As we come to the end of the scenario and several changes of flies later we find the angler has removed enough leader throughout the day to reach the other extreme, too short a leader which in turn does not offer enough resistance to slow the loop down enough. You will have seen the casts where the line really flies out only to bounce back abruptly at the end of the cast, the line crashes in and the fly slams into the water. This lack of resistance greatly affects the distance of the cast as the line only gains distance whilst the forward loop is formed, once the line straightens it falls to the water surface, a short leader causes this loop to roll over quicker.

    Too much leader = Leader fails to stretch out fully, fly lands in a heap of line.

    Perfect leader = Delicate presentation, leader fully stretched, fly fishing as soon as it lands

    Not enough leader = Leader snaps back on itself, fly line crashes into water, poor presentation.

    Dexter the flies do come into affecting the cast as well, they too offer resistance, the fly choices in the scenario were there just to make up the story, they could have been all the same size and the casting would still have been affecting the cast as the leader was cut back.
    But absolutely the size of fly must be considered when making up the leader. The bigger the fly the more resistance it offers, so we have to remove some leader in order to keep the balance.
    If we then want to use a tiny size 16, well then this fly offers little resistance so we have to make that up by adding more leader to our cast.
    Again fishing two or more flies we must adjust the leader to make up for the added resistance.

    If you adjust the leader 100% according to the physics of the cast then fly fishing is easy. Go out and give it a go, put on an overly long leader and make a few casts, then gradually start cutting it back and you will see how the cast changes, cut it back enough and you see the cast affected in an entirely different way.

    This post is to hopefully help people from making expensive mistakes and wasting money on yet more tackle, whatever brand they may use. Before you dismiss the rod being the problem or the new fly line as not ideal, simply try spending a bit of time adjusting the leader.
    Good article. Actually I suffered exactly this on Monday. Started off with a Sunray Shadow tied on a plastic tube. Could not get a good turn over. Fly and Maxima lying back alongside Versileader. Resorted to brute force and ignorance as I usually do knowing I would end up driving home with a sore right shoulder! Eventually cut off fly and maybe just under two foot to remove embarrassing 'wind knot' and put on WG tied on 1" copper tube. Result! Decent turn over on most casts. Happiness.

  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by FloatinglineNelly View Post
    Wow! I was expecting something along the lines of 2 beautiful nymphomaniacs jumping out the bushes after not seeing a man for years bearing platters of Oysters and Strawberries who then gave of themselves freely and then went home with said man who threw his wife out cos she was moaning about how much time he spent fishing.

    Maybe that's a wee bit too Klinky?

    Ahh...we can dream.
    Bog standard day on the Nairn FLN...move along, nothing to see here ...


  4. #14


    Thanks Ypres. Once you start recognising what is happening with each cast small adjustments can make all the difference. The main key is to have the leader extending fully on each cast, so the fly fishes from the moment it touches down.

    The first time I was invited to fish to the river Mourne I was told by another angler to make sure I fish the fly right into the dangle and hold it there, as 80% of his fish are caught doing this. So I did as I was told and when I finished fishing the pool I reeled in, stood on the bank and watched the other angler for a while, every cast his goal was to get it as far as possible, yet every cast the leader fell back in a heap, he would throw in the customary upstream mend and let the current swing the fly round.
    It was clear the reason he caught the majority of his fish on this river on the dangle was the fly was simply dead drifting in the current, looking like another leaf being swept round in the current, once the river straightened the leader as it approached the dangle then all of a sudden the fly would become alive and start swimming into the current, this resulting in a a take.

    We are currently working at putting together a bit of a series on balancing tackle, using the rod to its full potential and also some fishing tactics. Heres a few images to hopefully convey what I was talking about in the original post, perhaps you recognise a few of the casts.


    Too Much, the leader fails to straighten and usually falls in a bundle behind the line>


    Not enough, the line turns over quickly and the leader springs back crashing to the water. Splashy presentation.

    Just right, the perfect cast, fly line rolls out and the leader extends fully just as it drops to the waters surface, gentle presentation.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    Good article Mike, if you want to get those fish that are showing on the far side of the pool, then the fly needs to be fishing the minute it hits the water. For that the turnover needs to be perfect and straight so the current can start working the fly straight away. I have watched some anglers whose flies are not turning over properly try to correct it by shortening the cast instead of maybe reducing leader length.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Warrington - Cheshire

    Default Good Point!

    While being a very average caster I'm glad I've took the time to read this very interesting thread so thanks for posting. I'll be paying a little more attention to my leader/fly set up from now on. Reading about some of the line weights rods snap t's skagits scandi's etc confuses me a little so I'm sticking to the standard spey set up until I bump into someone who can show me them casts and convince me to purchase a switch set up that I think that'll help my fishing on mainly Mid-Ribble beats. ( does it confuse anyone else ?? )

  7. #17


    Thanks double taper
    It can be confusing trying to start of. We are currently suffering from information overload in the fly fishing world and more tackle than we know what to do with.
    If you can learn to single spey and do a circle cast off each shoulder then there is no riverbank or conditions you can't fish in, once you get the hang of the single spey the rest follows.

    Switch rods are tricky and you can end up wasting a lot of time and money buying the wrong lines over and over again.
    The rods fall into two categories, Long single handers that have an extension handle and can be cast with two hands, or small double handers.

    The long single hander and extension handle would be my interpretation of a 'true' switch rod. These use a line that is light enough to continuously cast with one hand before you get fatigued too quickly. The small extension handle is there for when you want to use it two handed in tight spaces or if you are fishing over the wrong shoulder I find using it as a DH rod much more efficient. These rods are using trout rated lines say #6-8 or roughly 15-19 grams. This seems to be the road the majority of the European tackle manufacturers have taken, a single hander that can be cast with two hands. We all had these rods in our cupboards for years, Daiwa whiskers, Bruce and Walker grilse + sea tout rods etc.

    The small double handers are short rods that cast lines that are too heavy to do any prolonged single handed casting with. They seem to have their own line rating that has been made up out of thin air and its wedged somewhere in between trout line ratings and salmon line ratings. This spectrum seems to stretch from 20 grams all the way up to 30 grams. The majority of the tackle brands from the US have gone down this route.

    If you have an questions about switch rods, lines or tactics feel free to send a PM, email or call. I am fortunate enough to have tried the vast majority of them and we have built up a large folder of what lines really work on the rods.

    Happy to help


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