Overhead casting

sgellert

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So I'm still on my first season of fly fishing for salmon, and my casting technique isn't great, but slowly improving.
Currently mostly using a single spey / scandi type of cast, which works OK for the most part.
The river I usually fish, is getting more and more vegetation, mostly tall reeds right at the edge of the river. Also, it's often very windy, which I've worked around mostly by picking other parts of the river.
Of course this limits the spots I can actually fish, so I've tried a bit of overhead casting, with varying results.
The main problem is that I pretty often hit myself with the fly during the overhead casts :(
I'm aware I shouldn't cast when the wind is blowing the line towards me, but it still happens quite a bit, so much I tend to cower, which just makes the casts even worse and dangerous.
I'm sure most of it is bad technique, but also thinking a different line might help.
I'm using either a Guideline Compact Multi Tip kit, which is around 30' long, when paired with the 12' tips. Weight is around 510 grains.
Due to the depth of the water, even during summer, it's usually the sink 6/7 tip that's used, coupled with about 5-6' of Maxima, and pretty heavy tubes.

The other line is a 570 grain Airflo Compact Skagit, 25', coupled with the same tip/leader as above, due to not needing T-Tips.
Both are cast from a Guideline NT8 12'9" #8/9 , which has a recommended grain window of 480-510.

So I'm wondering if I should just keep going with these (and get some more ear-piercings ;) , or would some other head/tip combination make it a little safer ?
 

Walleye

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So I'm still on my first season of fly fishing for salmon, and my casting technique isn't great, but slowly improving.
Currently mostly using a single spey / scandi type of cast, which works OK for the most part.
The river I usually fish, is getting more and more vegetation, mostly tall reeds right at the edge of the river. Also, it's often very windy, which I've worked around mostly by picking other parts of the river.
Of course this limits the spots I can actually fish, so I've tried a bit of overhead casting, with varying results.
The main problem is that I pretty often hit myself with the fly during the overhead casts :(
I'm aware I shouldn't cast when the wind is blowing the line towards me, but it still happens quite a bit, so much I tend to cower, which just makes the casts even worse and dangerous.
I'm sure most of it is bad technique, but also thinking a different line might help.
I'm using either a Guideline Compact Multi Tip kit, which is around 30' long, when paired with the 12' tips. Weight is around 510 grains.
Due to the depth of the water, even during summer, it's usually the sink 6/7 tip that's used, coupled with about 5-6' of Maxima, and pretty heavy tubes.

The other line is a 570 grain Airflo Compact Skagit, 25', coupled with the same tip/leader as above, due to not needing T-Tips.
Both are cast from a Guideline NT8 12'9" #8/9 , which has a recommended grain window of 480-510.

So I'm wondering if I should just keep going with these (and get some more ear-piercings ;) , or would some other head/tip combination make it a little safer ?
1 Don't overhead cast ever again.
2 Find a casting instructor.
3 Have a few lessons to help overcome your limitations when Spey / roll casting so you don't ever feel the need to resort to overhead casting ever again.

It's not normal to keep hitting yourself with an overhead cast. The ear piercings will sting a little. It's the eye piercings you need to be careful to avoid. Even if you wear shades, I am guessing they are not certified safety glasses for impact resistance. Most fishing glasses available today will be useful against small trout flies but fairly useless against for example a conehead salmon fly.
 

MCXFisher

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There's no need to change your line, just your technique.

The first problem with the overhead cast is the change of direction required: from the dangle to where you want the fly to go could be anything in the span 40-60 degrees. Having that sort of angle between your back and forward cast is very inefficient (about half the forward energy is lost) and it also creates a large curved shape in the air, which in a wind can behave unpredictably and potential dangerously. The second problem is obeying the rule of always keeping the fly downwind from you: the worst case is when the wind is blowing the back cast towards you - upstream or downstream - which puts you at serious risk. And the third is the added danger posed by heavy flies, which can inflict serious wounds. Taken together that's a pretty powerful argument for working on your basic Spey techniques.

As a novice casting in a wind you're best off and safest making use of sustained anchor casts. In a downstream wind its the Double Spey, and in an upstream its the Circle or C-Spey. Both work well with heavy tips and flies, are fundamentally safe (you can see where the fly is located and moving, and it's attached to the water) and the easiest casts in the book to execute passably well. I strongly recommend that you take some qualified instruction, because it will add so much to your enjoyment and indeed the chances of catching a salmon. And best of all, an hour with a proper instructor will cost you less than what you would have wasted on an unnecessary new line.
 

Rennie

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sgellert, thats some outfit to overhead cast!, most of the weights at the tip end.Now, I'm wondering if your managing to get into the water or are you casting off the bank?
Either way, by the sounds of things your going to end up in serious trouble- hospital or with a broken rod!
I do a lot of my fishing with big rods, fast sinking heads and brass/copper tubes, and its mainly overhead casting for extreme distance!.
In order to fish like that, you need EVERYTHING in your favour.It won't take much to put you in serious trouble, and I'm fishing from a clear open bank and wading deep.
The common faults for overheading such kit are to hoof it out, and when it all starts to go pear shaped, more ooooffff ya to get it out of the water and into the air and lots more oooooffff ya to get it all back out there!, wrong on every front.
Were I you I'd better concentrate on instruction to master Spey/Switch/ Underhand casting to solve your problems!- its far safer!.
If you feel you need to persist with overheading, there's a few problems you need to overcome.
1stly, when on the dangle, running line pulled back and all ready to go, you need a single/double Spey to set you up and get your line nice n straight facing where you intend to cast.You pick the initial cast to place your D loop on the down wind side of your body so the wind keeps your flee away from you.Now, very important bit, roll your line out so the flee, leader and a yd or so of line ONLY touches the water in the direction you intend casting at, don't drop the rod fully down, but keep the tip at shoulder height.Its not a full bodied cast, merely a forward flick to reorientate your line + flee, keep everything tight and under control at all times.
Part 2!, lift as much of the line off the surface as you can with a "shot gun lift"- everything has to be dead tight and then you want a steady backwards "flick" over your down wind shoulder, stopping the rod dead at 1 o'clock, you should begin to feel the rod ever more loading up!.Now you really don't want a herculean heave at it at all, merely a smart forward tap, but aiming it all straight off your shoulder, stop the rod in a high position with your forward cast.
You could try a neutral density flee such as an Aluminium tube to start off- it will help.
A good sense of rhythm and timing is essential.
Its the most difficult discipline of casting with a Salmon rod to overcome and mastering it won't happen at the 1st effort!, just try and remember, your casting the line and not the flee!, get the line bit right, the flee will simply follow!.
Honestly?, master spey casting it, a lot lot safer!.
Best of luck and stay safe, Pedro.
 

sgellert

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sgellert, thats some outfit to overhead cast!, most of the weights at the tip end.Now, I'm wondering if your managing to get into the water or are you casting off the bank?
Thanks for the detailed reply.
Wading is not possible on 95% of the river, the edges are very steep, into 5-10 feet of water.
In some cases its from a high bank, up to maybe 3-5 ft, depending on water level, most is close to water level.
But yeah, I hear your suggestions about improving the spey casting instead, I agree that's the safest, at least for the time being.
 

Andy Musgrove

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Nothing wrong with OH casting especially if your limited to no wading its technique you need to sort and in my mind that’s not the best line set up. I use a DH or Switch rod a lot for coastal fishing from beach or off the rocks and use a Wulff Ambush TT line with poly tips and only a short length of tippet for a heavy fly. It’s always going to be a Chuck and duck for a heavy fly but works when you get your style sorted. Single Spey to change the direction then one back cast with a low sweep lift and forward cast. Get some tuition from someone that knows how to cast DH rod OH, you’ll be amazed at how effortless it is to get good distance and accuracy
 

Rennie

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Mmmmm, I understand the sort of fishing you are doing sgellert and more than likely where you're doing it too.I'm pretty stoned on that you're going to have to sort the overhead thing to best effect. There are a few vids. kicking about of that sort of fishing on those venues, I'd make every effort to inwardly digest and have a reet good think about them.I know there's one on here, and pretty recently too, think you need to be looking at the Fly TV productions, the one one SKJERNE in Denmark
I see nothing wrong with sorting yourself out with dedicated kit to solve your problems. Utilising a Skagit or Rage head to overhead cast and factoring in the weight of the tips too so you dont exceed your rods grain casting weight. Might mean some nifty work with a calculator, but maybe with 12ft or 15ft multi tip type tips or one of the many types of mow tips you'll keep your flexibility for the sink tips and the Rage/Skagit will get it all out there and turn over very well indeed, might I suggest a slightly shorter leader, that might help no end with weighted flee's!.
Going shorter over all, line and tip will help too!
The more balanced you get every thing the better it will fly and turn over, the powerful Rage and Skagit line tapers will do that for you, keep within the rods overall grain weight window- maybe 500 grn fully inclusive and you should get what you want.
Rough guess at say a 450grn Rage and then a tip to suit, better slightly lighter than heavier!.
Cool stuff, keep us informed and tight lines, Pedro.
 

sgellert

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Yeah it's in Skjern River.
I think it's this video you mention :
It's from Stor Aa (directly translation means Big River). The vegetation and so on is exactly like Skjern though. Thanks for reminding me, there is some useful stuff in it for sure.
Some locals use the Zpey branded lines, which are "half skagit". I should be able to borrow a few of those to test with.
I'll go for some more tutoring, thanks to all of you for the tips !
 

Richardgw

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A couple of thoughts:

There is a beat I fish on the Usk where you have to fish off the bank (no choice with 6ft of water at the edge) and I have found a longer rod can help in keeping D loop of a single spey more over the water away from the bankside vegetation. I can cope well enough with my 13ft but my 15ft makes it just that bit easier.

But if you are forced to overhead cast then I would consider a short headed integrated line perhaps a size lighter than normal. This will allow you to airialise less and shoot more without a head/running line joint rattling through the rings and the lighter weight helps reducing the risk of it dropping on the backcast. Again the longer rod will help hold the fly well above your head.

Unfortunately whilst there are some short head integrated multi tips for single handers and light switch rods there are not many for proper double handers. The only one I can find is relatively new Vision Hybrid. I haven’t tried the line but am considering one for my own fishing. Has anyone tried one?
 

MCXFisher

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My apologies: it was only after I'd watched the Vision film that I understood your specific environmental challenge for casting. Clearly there will be long stretches where conventional Spey casting may not be a viable option. In those cases you should use a part roll cast to get the line pointing towards its destination before attempting an overhead cast. A straight roll cast from there should give you 20+ metres, which may suffice on narrower sections. But do remember with the overhead always to keep the fly downwind from you, so learn to do it off both shoulders.

Spey lines are weight-graded for Spey not overhead casting, so if you are going to do a lot of overhead work with a line with a relatively short head (i.e. <13 metres), consider coming down at least one weight step to avoid over-stressing your rod.
 

sgellert

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In general a 20 meter cast will suffice.
Also, some stretches work for neither, due to electrical fences AND tall reeds, but that's ok, can't have it all ;)
Sometimes there's a friendly cow clearing the bank :
OI000025.JPG
 

Andy Musgrove

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There is a very good instructional clip by Andrew Moy on OH casting with a DH rod. He’s using a Beulah surf rod which are very popular in the states for surf fishing. Beulah Seram lines are designed for this type of casting however given the sink rate your using a good full sink head with floating or intermediate running line for a single handed rod would be worth trying. I’d go for an 11weigth single hand sinking line like the Airflo or Wulff Ambush. Popular lines for saltwater fishing casting heavy closures etc.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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Thanks for the detailed reply.
Wading is not possible on 95% of the river, the edges are very steep, into 5-10 feet of water.
In some cases its from a high bank, up to maybe 3-5 ft, depending on water level, most is close to water level.
But yeah, I hear your suggestions about improving the spey casting instead, I agree that's the safest, at least for the time being.
You may wish to try a single handed outfit with a suitable line, e.g. the Rio Striper series - which offer a range of sinking rates using a 30ft sink tip.

The advantage of using a single handed rod and such powerful lines is that you can retrieve almost into the rod tip before using a few false casts to get enough line out to load the rod - without disturbing the water. I note the Rio striper also comes in a 450 grain version, which may overhead from your double hand rod.
 

sgellert

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There is a very good instructional clip by Andrew Moy on OH casting with a DH rod. He’s using a Beulah surf rod which are very popular in the states for surf fishing. Beulah Seram lines are designed for this type of casting however given the sink rate your using a good full sink head with floating or intermediate running line for a single handed rod would be worth trying. I’d go for an 11weigth single hand sinking line like the Airflo or Wulff Ambush. Popular lines for saltwater fishing casting heavy closures etc.
Thanks for the video suggestion, I think it must be this one :
 

Jock

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In general a 20 meter cast will suffice.
Also, some stretches work for neither, due to electrical fences AND tall reeds, but that's ok, can't have it all ;)
Sometimes there's a friendly cow clearing the bank :
View attachment 48365
If this picture with the cow etc is typical of where you fish then variations on the Perry Poke should be fine. The basic principle of the PP is that you dump the end of your flyline/ leader well into the river before executing the final stage of your spey cast be it a single / double / or whatever. There will be plenty videos on youtube showing the basic PP just adapt to your needs.
 

sgellert

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If this picture with the cow etc is typical of where you fish then variations on the Perry Poke should be fine. The basic principle of the PP is that you dump the end of your flyline/ leader well into the river before executing the final stage of your spey cast be it a single / double / or whatever. There will be plenty videos on youtube showing the basic PP just adapt to your needs.
No that one is quite alright for casting, since the cattle have cut it down.
The best pic I could find is something like this.
In many areas the reeds are quite a bit taller, and not always possible to get quite as close to the water.
1596663768908.png

I'll look into the Perry Poke, thanks.
 
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