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> > Sinking Lines for Rivers and Streams, Page 2

EntomanSeptember 24th, 2012, 11:08 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
You're welcome and thank you back. See edit to my last while you were posting! (Sorry about that...) :)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
AdirmanSeptember 25th, 2012, 4:38 pm
Monticello, NY

Posts: 504
Yes, many thanks from me as well Entoman! Great explanations and great thread!!

EntomanSeptember 25th, 2012, 6:40 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
My pleasure, Adir. I need to stress in closing on the Brooks method that it is for rivers (water you can neither wade across or cast across), and usually not streams. Also I never go out with the intention of using it, but have it in my bag of tricks should the need arise when using my Teeny heads more traditionally.

I must also confess I don't use the Euro-tournament style of nymphing as much as I used to. Like Sayfu, I enjoy fly casting and you aren't doing so with Czech nymphing. That's not the main reason though as the same argument can be made to a lesser extent regarding indicator nymphing and high sticking. For me, the bigger problem is the specialized gear required to perform the technique at its maximum efficiency is... well, too specialized. I prefer 9 to 9 1/2 ft. rods from 5 to 7 wt. with a progressive action for fishing trout rivers. Czech nymphing is best done with rods at least a foot longer and more parabolic (stiffer tips, much softer middles and butts). Coupled with the highly specialized line/leader configurations, I find it way too limiting as the rods are clearly inferior and leaders unusable for the other methods I most often use, especially if a hatch comes off!:) About the only time I Czech nymph any more is when I'm fishing out of a boat and can thus carry multiple specialized rigs. However, options are always left on the table and I do use it occasionally with my standard tackle. That's where the hair curler comes in handy for rig storage! I'm not denying its effeciency, though. The difference for me is even if the choice came down to catching 30 fish a day having to use specialized Czech gear vs. 15 a day using a mixture of techniques with conventional tackle (especially dry flies), I'll choose the latter.


Your advocacy of the mini-head has inspired me to revisit its use more often this Fall (and next Spring). Typically, I've used it for specific situations where I've wanted a sink tip performance but didn't want to go though the hassle of changing out reels or adding a bunch of clunky split-shot up the leader. The short section of tungsten fly line I carry may not get as deep as your lead core ( I was comparing it to the Cortland lead core vinyl coated product not trolling line) and I also loop it to the end of my fly line. Your mention of a short section of leader butt (that's thinner than normal) between the head and line intrigues me. How long do you prefer it and what is its rationale vs. direct connection of the mini-head to the line?

BTW - You mentioned "not being up to date" regarding weighted lines. Well, neither was I! :) First off, I misspoke when I wrote the tungsten core fly lines are manufactured by Cortland - it's a Rio product. Sorry, my bad. :) I was also wrong about the designations - The Cortland line is designated LC13 and is a lead core (it looks to be a trolling line with vinyl coating). Rio offers T-11 and T-17, which are tungsten impregnated cores with a dark vinyl coating. The number designations refer to grains per foot. Both are sold in pre-packaged 30 ft. head lengths, but as I said before, some shops sell the Rio product by the foot off of large spools. By way of comparison, the Cortland lead product is much stiffer, prone to kinking, and not as thin for a given weight, but it is much cheaper. I don't know how they stack up to your trolling line in weight per foot or thinness, but they (especially the tungsten) are smoother and more supple and lay straight without bends in them. Do you know the diameter/weight per foot of the trolling line you use? It would be interesting to compare...
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRobertsSeptember 25th, 2012, 8:34 pm

Posts: 1776
Here are some Troutnut discussions were I write about my leadcore heads and their use:

Where I use a loop-to-loop is for my leadcore outfit, and have a reel spool dedicated to it -an old Medalist 1495. To the level floater is nail-knotted a permanent butt of .015 Maxima, with a loop at the end. My leadcore leaders are stowed in a wallet. They consist of a section of leadcore with a loop at one end (lead removed there) and a short two part tapered leader nail-knotted to the other end.

I used a long moderate action rod, floating line, and ~3-4ft leadcore sections looped to a relatively thin ~4ft leader butt (.015). This fishes so much more efficiently than sink-tips. Special tapers aren't needed for casting leadcore so I use a level floating line -dirt cheap they are, and you can cut em back as they wear.

You can do this with your existing rods probably. I use a 9ft 6wt. This is a GREAT way to fish streamers and wets. So easy and fun to manipulate the fly. I LOVED that fishing and while I used it mostly for lake run trout and salmon I caught a lot of big resident trout that way too.

EntomanSeptember 25th, 2012, 10:19 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Thanks for the links. This is totally different from what I've been doing with my short tip. So, the short leader butt allows for a better isolation from the floating line to facilitate "steering" and controlling/manipulating the drift? BTW - That oval cast sounds like a single Spey, except lacking the brief anchor. Am I close on both assumptions?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuSeptember 26th, 2012, 10:02 am
Posts: 560
An Oval cast is one I use a lot, and good casters in my boat have used the cast a lot. Seldom fouls because the backcast, and the forward cast are on different tracks. The arm gets extended back on the backcast, lifts up slightly at the end of the stroke never really stopping, and the fore-cast is made on a slightly higher plane. And the cast is made off to the side of your casting arm. You should be limited somewhat on the line you can extend on the backcast, but it sure becomes a tangle free cast. And the history of that cast? Lee Wulff was given credit for inventing it whether self-imposed I'm not sure of. But then credit was given to a Belgium gentleman that designed the cast, and called the Belgium Cast. Let's give the Belgium guy the credit. Belgium isn't known for too much. My old Browning Over and Under was made in Belgium, and what else well done I dunno.
PaulRobertsSeptember 26th, 2012, 12:05 pm

Posts: 1776
Kurt, As to the cast, I assume so, although I haven't done any spey casting. Sayfu describes it well.

The oval, as used for chucking weight, simply keeps things out of trouble. You keep a short backcast -you must with something as heavy as leadcore. Short backcast to load the slow action rod and pitch, throwing line behind it.
With standard unweigted rigs one can cast long this way. Joan Wulff often casts this way.

As to steering the leadcore and fly, the floating line above is easily mended. You are still married to the current of course, but having the leadcore head separate from the flyline works really well.
SayfuSeptember 26th, 2012, 12:09 pm
Posts: 560
The key is your arm never stops. You never lose the load in the rod. Stopping the rod on the backcast causes problems because of the heavier tip stopping sharply, and dropping. With the oval the rod loads, and the line follows an oval course to the forward stop.
PaulRobertsSeptember 26th, 2012, 12:16 pm

Posts: 1776
Exactly. And with heavy weight, its a smooth rotation of that weight, something akin to pitching a bolo. :)
SayfuSeptember 26th, 2012, 1:29 pm
Posts: 560
I might say also that the oval cast, or Belgium cast is a good cast to use with a floating line, and no weight. Throwing tight loops the conventional way, and both the backcast, and forecast moving on the same plane causes the leader to run into itself/fly, and cause tangles once in awhile...not so using the Oval Cast.
EntomanSeptember 26th, 2012, 5:32 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Thanks guys. It's very hard to describe casts in words but you have done well. I'm going to read the posts through several times and think a bit (and go practice a little :)). It sounds like a Spey in that the rod stays loaded and the line doesn't seem to reverse direction, but differs in the lack of anchor. That puzzles me a little (in terms of execution). If I understand correctly, the cast starts more side arm and finishes overhead with the upward movement of the rod into the vertical substituting for the stop, which keeps everything in motion and avoids the abrupt change of direction?
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRobertsSeptember 26th, 2012, 6:21 pm

Posts: 1776
It's easy. Try it. Pull it under and then lob it forward. Plenty of line will follow.

Also, I don't like the vinyl coated LC bc it is simply thicker. The braided trolling line is thin and easy to remove lead from to make your loop.
EntomanSeptember 26th, 2012, 8:04 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Thanks Paul, I'll make up some rigs and give it a go!

Also, I don't like the vinyl coated LC bc it is simply thicker.

Yeah, that makes sense. It's probably built around a lighter core than what you use as well. Besides, since the heads are so short and not going through the guides, concerns over the trolling line's rough exterior and stiffness are pointless.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
SayfuSeptember 26th, 2012, 8:09 pm
Posts: 560The cast is made virtually sidearm. The backcast comes back somewhat low, and you need room to cast off to your side...smooth back, the hand raises some at the back, and then over the top paralleling the back cast. A spey cast? I am not an accomplished spey caster but I think on most every spey cast the D-loop on the backcast is made back, and off to the side, then the tip raised, and redirected more behind you. Sounds very close though.
EntomanSeptember 26th, 2012, 8:51 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yeah, the D-loop formed in the diagram from Paul's link is what got me thinking in the Spey direction. You don't really pause in a well executed single Spey either, but there has to be an anchor or the rod won't load well enough to cast much more line than what's already in the air. With the cast you guys are describing, there must be more power exerted in the back cast and with the d-loop formed by the arch of the rod as apposed to line inertia? With the rod tip pulling the line? Like a more powerful roll cast pick up? Without having tried it yet, I assume there will be an adjustment to get the amount of power right to clear the various heads from different currents, i.e., hopefully somewhere between skipping back across the water and flying back out of control! :)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
EntomanSeptember 26th, 2012, 9:33 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Ah! OK, check this out guys. Is this it? If so, the Belgian or oval cast are essentially just different names for what most call an underhand cast in my neck of the woods. I use it mostly for indicator fishing and multiple fly rigs to keep things from tangling. Especially when a spey cast isn't practical. I can see now why you like it so much with your mini-heads, Paul.

Superfluous side note: The demonstrator gets his wind problems a little mixed up. Being hit by the fly with a strong wind blowing across your body towards your casting hand shouldn't ever be an issue. In fact, it takes a unique skill set to make it one.:) I've known a few that have managed to pull it off over the years, but it ain't easy.:)LOL Other than that it seems a good instructional on the basics of the cast despite its frenetic execution.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRobertsSeptember 27th, 2012, 11:16 am

Posts: 1776
Gosh... I suppose so. I don't think of it as side arm either. Just pull it under the rod and lob it over. It sort of takes care of itself in that there aren't many other options for chucking the leadcore head, at least on the relatively light rods I use. Whatever "distance" is achieved by the weight of the head pulling line behind it like a runaway truck. No it's not exactly graceful, like a spey cast, but it works and the real beauty is the way you can mend to the leadcore. You'll appreciate separating the fishing part of the rig from the casting part -two different tasks.

You'll notice in the video he starts out "sidearm" but then has to come under more as he gets more line out. Can't really help that otherwise it would become more like throwing a lariet, which we're not. I haven't done it in a while (tried this spring for BIG resident browns but found my awesome stretch of stream closed to fishing! :( ), but when I think about it (muscle memory), on shorter casts, I may pull almost directly under the rod, and this is most accurate -the book under the arm style. But with more line out I throw somewhat more out to the side on the backcast, for safety if anything. And I'm giving short hauls too. On the longer casts I suppose it is spey-like in that you are directing the head behind you, pausing to feel the rod load, then rolling forward pointing at your target. The soft rod helps absorb the load.

Remember though, generally you are going through the "casting" motions with a short line and shooting the remainder. Spey casting puts a lot of line through the casting motion, whereas with LC you are casting a short line but pitching the rest like a running line.

Try it. You'll see. There's only so much you can do safely, for you and the tippet. Maybe with a 14ft heavy (10wt?) spey type rod you could actually "cast" a LC head. But the way I've used it is with long (for overall leader length, and for reach when manipulating the fly), softish (for smooth open loops with relaxed timing), 6wt's. Again, I'm talking about having a short amount of line to load the rod, the rest acts as a running line. Now... this doesn't mean a true running line is better as it is not mendable so you need some mass in the line. For the length/weight heads I use a 6wt is massive enough to mend with, cast with, even roll cast a short accurate distance. A DT is probably best but I tried a level and it worked fine and was a lot cheaper.

The one thing you have to keeps tabs on is "wind knots" (which I call more properly "caster's knots"). These will cost you fish. So check your tippet often.
EntomanSeptember 27th, 2012, 12:26 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Yes, that all makes sense. Thanks, Paul. This has been a really interesting thread!

BTW - went by a local tackle shop yesterday evening to inquire about the line. Turns out that they sell the stuff by the yard, just like they do mono and several other line types. Apparently it is still quite popular for use fishing at the deep thermoclines in our mid-elevation lakes during the Summer and for fishing Tahoe and Donner among a few others for big Mackinaw. Frankly, I assumed it had fallen out of favor long ago with the advancing popularity of downriggers, but I guess not. Anyway, when I told the clerk how much I needed, he gave me such a puzzled look I felt compelled to tell him what I intended to do with it. He smiled, peeled off about ten ft. and handed it to me. When I asked him how much, he replied "No charge, come back and let us know how it worked out." Nice guy...
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRobertsSeptember 27th, 2012, 4:14 pm

Posts: 1776
Awesome find.

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