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> > Help with Cane newbie.......

BjanzenNovember 19th, 2006, 7:12 pm
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13
Just bought a couple old bamboo for looks and one to fix up to fish with maybe. I have been casting in the yard and need some tips. I am a medium action guy and like slow casting but I can't seem to get the tip wiggle out of my casting. Is this normal? The only way I have found is to slow the cast down to nothing and just double haul to move the line. Surely hauling isn't the only way to throw line, is it?

Help me please, Barry
MartinlfNovember 19th, 2006, 8:01 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233

If anyone can give you the help you are looking for without seeing your casting, he (or she) knows something I don't. I've been fly fishing for about fifteen years and still have casting problems from time to time. What has helped me most has to find an instructor who I trust and whose style fits mine. For me it's been Bob Clouser, who I've known since I got started. I still go to him for regular tune ups. See if you can find someone at a local shop who gives lessons. It can save years of trial and error--or at least reduce the error in those years. A good instructor can also help evaluate those rods and see if they are the best to learn to cast with. The other thing that helps me is casting in the yard as often as I can find time. Best of luck.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
BjanzenNovember 19th, 2006, 8:14 pm
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13
Thanks Louis,

I was hoping it would be something that cane just has that experienced people would know that I don't. Maybe I will get the bamboo rods at the shop in Chattanooga and cast a bit and see if they do the same. The people there may be able to help.

Thanks, Barry
TaxonNovember 19th, 2006, 9:16 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1350

Not really sure what you mean by "can't seem to get the tip wiggle out of my casting", but I do have some thoughts on your inability to move the line. It could be either technique or equipment, or both. As Louis indicated, it would be virtually impossible for anyone to evaluate your technique without being able to observe it.

However, with regard to equipment, I do have some thoughts. If the rod is seriously over-lined, I would expect "hauling" to exacerbate the problem, rather than lessen it. On the other hand, "hauling" would tend to (somewhat) offset the under-loading of a seriously under-lined rod, so that might be (at least) one component of the problem. Also, "old" rods, whether bamboo, fiberglass, graphite, or whatever, often have seriously worn and/or rusted guides, which will seriously impair fly line sliding through them. Also, "old" fly lines characteristically have serious cracking and/or wear and/or set coils that will seriously impair their sliding through the guides.

Hope these observations are of some use to you, but as Louis suggested, taking your equipment into a fly shop, and asking for evaluation of both the equipment and your casting would be the best course of action.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
GONZONovember 19th, 2006, 9:37 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681

Just a couple of thoughts. I assume that you don't experience as much of this "tip wiggle" when you use a modern graphite rod. Cane will certainly have a slower and slightly bouncier feel, but I suspect that when you test-cast a good quality cane rod you will not find it as "wiggly" as what you describe (especially if you are a "medium action" guy).

You don't mention the vintage, make, or condition of the canes you've purchased. Most early cane rods had a "wet-fly" action. These "buggy-whips" were exceedingly slow because it prevented whipping the moisture from a wet fly. They were not fished in the modern "false-casting" fashion, nor were they designed to shoot much line. It's entirely possible that this is the type of cane you have. Otherwise, a loose-fitting ferrule or an extremely fatigued tip could be at fault.

Compare your rods to a sound "dry-fly" action cane (modern or vintage), and you might discover that you have two wall-hangers on your hands. A good cane rod just isn't that difficult to cast.

PS--Sometimes you can salvage a sound old wet-fly rod by shortening it and fitting it with modern hardware, grip, and reelseat. You might end up with a soft but respectable 2- or 3-weight; but you're just as likely to waste a lot of time and money.
BjanzenNovember 24th, 2006, 5:47 pm
Near Chattanooga, TN

Posts: 13
Louis, Roger, and Lloyd,

Thanks for the suggestions.....I have made progress. I think it was a combination of style and equipment. I tested a new Diamondback rod at the local shop and got the similar thing in my casting. I know I have to cast cane slower but I was still "flicking" to much and trying to shoot the line at the end of the forward cast. The result was a couple of tip bounces and wiggles going down the line. After a few minutes I was able to get it out someway. Mainly a technique problem.

On my own rod I decided to re-build the worst one. I stripped it down, cut off the heavy grip and funky ferrule system. I replaced the guides and re-glued the ferrules and polished them inside and out. I installed a new reel seat and cork. I lost about 9" of length but the new length of 7'3" feels great casting a 5wt line. I can't believe the difference. The rod feels just as nice as the new one at the shop. I am totally pleased. I just fished it today and I love it. Can't wait to get back on the water with it.

Thanks again, Barry
GONZONovember 24th, 2006, 7:45 pm
Site Editor
"Bear Swamp," PA

Posts: 1681
Hi Barry,

Glad to hear your "project" rod turned out so well. Sounds like you were just forcing the tempo of the rod. In addition to the casting adjustments you made, shortening the rod may have helped to quicken the tempo a tad. We can get spoiled by the dampness of modern graphite, but you may find that the added "feedback" from cane actually improves your casting (especially at normal fishing distances). As a lifelong amateur rodbuilder, I'm quite impressed that you were able to pull off such a successful conversion. Enjoy!

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