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RascalWinWJuly 2nd, 2018, 4:45 pm
Posts: 2 July 2nd, 2018, 4:11 pm reply quote edit
Posts: 1 New to fly fishing and looking for some casting guidance. I am currently running 5wt line out of redington's drift 4/5 reel on a 9' 5wt TFO graphite rod. This was the set up I decided to start with... looking into getting a small brookie set up for here in Virginia with a glass rod. Anyway, I am still trying to learn the whole wt and fly size etc... and have some questions.

My current problem is that my casting is limited to about 20'. Anytime I try and get it out further it ends up just bunching at the end with leader, tippet and line all falling down together - no longer elongated. Is this due to casting abilities or wt of current line or cheaper rod etc...?

Thanks for any advice... I plan to re-spool my reel with some new line so now is the time to figure it out.

On another topic. I plan on getting a glass rod in the 7' 3wt range for the small brook streams here in Virginia. I've been reading about people talking that 3wts can't cast streamers and bigger flies etc... so is there a rule on rod and line wt and fly sizes or something?
MartinlfJuly 2nd, 2018, 5:07 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2830
I don't think it's the rod or line; I suspect that you need to speed up more quickly and stop more abruptly at the end of your casting stroke. You are aiming at building speed (not power) and getting your loop tighter. The best way I know to get a feel for this is to work with an experienced caster. She or he can even stand behind you and grasp the rod over your hand and cast with you to help your muscles get a sense of this. Watching videos may help as well. Lefty Kreh has a good description of the casting stroke in any of his books that discusses casting. And I'd bet he has some videos. Try Google to see if any are on YouTube. It takes some time to learn the right strokes to get proper loops at different distances, and for me, at least, relearning at times. Today I was casting my 3 weight into wind at some distance, and it took a while to get loops tight enough to cut into the wind and put the fly where I wanted it. As for 3 wt. rods casting streamers, it depends on the size of the streamer and the distance you need to cast it. For small brook trout streams a 3 wt. might be sufficient for smaller streamers. Take one of the streamers you plan to fish and try casting it with the rod you like, if possible. That's a good way to find out. Generally heavier weight, longer rods cast bigger flies better, but the stiffness of the rod, the experience of the angler, and other factors come into play as well.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
RascalWinWJuly 3rd, 2018, 3:43 am
Posts: 2Ok thanks for the input. I haven’t thought about the loop I’m forming at all... all my focus has been in my wrist/arm movement and loading the rod.

Dillon
Jmd123July 3rd, 2018, 6:43 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2289
I use a 7.5-foot 3-weight frequently, as most of my waters are small. I would not throw anything heavier than a weighted #10 streamer on a rod of that size. And not too much weight - many if not most of mine are weighted with bead-chain eyes. Anything heavier than that and you better have a good hat on, and/or expect to get stung in the shoulders a few times!

Having said that, I have thrown light poppers and large dry flies on my 3-weight - but that's with a few decades of experience. Such a rod is really in it's element throwing dries from #10 on down, and streamers of the same size, on small creeks and ponds. You really won't need anything bigger than that on a brookie stream.

Best of luck!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
JerryCJuly 6th, 2018, 5:50 pm
Philadelphia, PA

Posts: 3
You'd be surprised at how many fish you can catch with a 20 foot cast. I would suggest if you have a fly shop near you, see if they offer casting lessons and take one. Often, fly fishing clubs will have someone who'd be willing to give you instructions. My small stream rod is 7 1/2 foot 5 wgt I built on a Fenwick glass blank. I use it mainly when I go up to my sister's place in Vermont and fish the small streams there for brookies. I don't think I've ever made a cast over 20 feet, too much brush. I mostly fish dry flies for brookies but will occasionally use it on local streams for pan fish and bass and cast small woolly buggers and bait fish patterns with it.
"All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia."
MartinlfJuly 9th, 2018, 1:43 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2830
You'd be surprised at how many fish you can catch with a 20 foot cast.


Good point!
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
IasgairJuly 14th, 2018, 8:40 am
Colorado

Posts: 76
Yes, there are charts and formulas for fly rod weight and fly size, as well as tippet size/fly size. But I'll break it down for you.

Fly rod weight to fly size:

Rod fly sizes
1wt #16 - #28
2wt #14 - #26
3wt #12 - #24
4wt #10 - #22
5wt #8 - #20
6wt #6 - #18
7wt #4 - #16
8wt #2 - #14

and so on.

Tippet/leader fly size:
1X #4-#8
2X #6-#10
3X #10-#14
4X #12-#16
5X #14-#18
6X #16-#20
7X #18-#22

and so on.

To get better turn over, use the heavier size leader for better turn over.

For just an example:

If you wanted to use a #14 fly, use a 4X leader with a 5X tippet, or even a 3X leader will work.

There's also the divide by 3 rule. A size #16 fly divided by 3 woud be a 5X tippet.
Now if you wanted to fish a #18 fly, this would be what I'd do. #18 divided bt 3 is 6, but 6X is the lightest I'd use, so I'd use a 6X tippet tied to a 5X leader.

I hope this helps.




WbranchJuly 14th, 2018, 11:07 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2367
Iasgair,

Fly rod weight to fly size:

Rod fly sizes
1wt #16 - #28
2wt #14 - #26
3wt #12 - #24
4wt #10 - #22
5wt #8 - #20
6wt #6 - #18
7wt #4 - #16
8wt #2 - #14


Providing this chart to a novice might make him think he will need many rods to cast the gamut of flies from #2 - #28. This is incorrect. I would be able to cast every size listed on the chart, to at least 40', with a 9' #6 mid to tip flex fly rod. The choice of leader is important but far more important is learning the correct casting strokes to effectively cast this vast range of flies. Remember the old adage of fly fishing; the line is casting the fly and achieving the distance. The fly has no meaningful weight. Therefore it doesn't make any difference what size the fly is if you have the prerequisite casting skills.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
IasgairJuly 15th, 2018, 6:06 am
Colorado

Posts: 76
True.

But if RascalWinW is a thinking man like I believe he is, he will notice that a 3wt and a 5wt will handle pretty much the whole thing, unless he wants to go salt water or pike fishing.

He already has the 5wt, and now he wants a fiberglass 3wt. That will cover it.

As for his question about 3wts not being able to cast larger flies and streamers, i know that personally I wouldn't want to cast a size #4 streamer on a 3wt, because of a very good chance of snapping the rod if you are careless. But a 3wt will cast smaller streamers. That's why I added the rod to fly size chart. He can look at the spectrum and see what rods will handle what flies as a whole.

A 3wt rod will handle pretty much what a 2wt & 4wt will do. A 5wt can do pretty much what a 3wt or a 7wt can do within reason. You have to break it down. There are exceptions to the rules, nothing is written in stone. But to use a 2wt rod to cast what an 7wt can do, that is totally two different sides of the spectrum.

As for the casting, for someone fishing as long as we have we know the old adage of fly fishing; the line is casting the fly. He may not know this yet. But his focus is on the rod weight. So I'm keeping it on his subject.

Would you fish a 3wt on the Madison or Missouri? No. but you could use big flies, and a 5wt or 6wt would be the choice of rod.
WbranchJuly 15th, 2018, 7:33 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2367
Would you fish a 3wt on the Madison or Missouri?


Never. Inadequate backbone to land big fish, 18" - 21", in current and even the lightest breeze will play havoc with my casting. However when I take my frameless pontoon boat down the Missouri I have a 9' #4 and a 9' #5 in each rod holder. The #4 is a tip flex Helios and a very good tool to throw 40 footers all day long right on the target and it will handle some breeze. I usually have the #5 set-up with a nymph rig and I hate to say it, with a bobber, to nymph the riffles. But if it gets breezy I can quickly change the leader and make it a dry fly rig.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123July 15th, 2018, 12:09 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2289
Guys, I boated this on a 3-weight:

http://www.troutnut.com/topic/8543/When-switching-gears-leads-to-renewed-success#41315

On a #6 dry fly, no less.

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
WbranchJuly 15th, 2018, 5:47 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2367
Wow Jon,

That is a beauty of a smallmouth! It must of been a surprise while using your #3 rod. I know #3 rods can handle bigger fish. I just wouldn't want to fish a #3 rod at all times as it is not the rod to be throwing any but the lightest streamers and surely no lead eyes.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123July 15th, 2018, 8:12 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2289
Yep, that was one hell of a fight! These days I use a 9' 5-weight, and getting one on that rod makes me wonder how I ever handled them on that little 3. That fish was feeding near a grassy island, a place I've gone back to several times with similar success, and boiled under a #6 White Wulff. "You sonofabitch, I got something for you!" On went a #6 Royal Wulff, and no, he couldn't resist that.

As I mentioned above, the heaviest thing I would throw on that rod would be a #10 streamer with bead-chain eyes for weight. Lead or brass dumbells, a no-no as is anything bigger, unless you like getting your shoulder stung on a regular basis. I pretty much use that rod for the smaller waters these days, the Pine, the headwaters of the Rifle, and even at [REDACTED] Pond, because at the last one I like to paddle up the feeder creek where the brookies hide from the heat. Otherwise, it's a 5-weight, 8 1/2' for the lower Rifle and 9' on stillwaters, for extra distance and throwing heavier streamers.

My biggest smallie ever on that 3-weight was 19 1/2" long, and a huge surprise on a lake that I had never caught a smallmouth in before. Couldn't tell you how I hung on to that one either, and actually had to lay down on my side on the dock to reach the water with my landing net. That one finally got beat by a 20-incher last summer - on a #12 elkhair caddis! Smallmouth are something else. Love 'em!!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
IasgairJuly 16th, 2018, 7:18 am
Colorado

Posts: 76
Jmd123, very nice!!

In no way am I saying a 3wt CAN'T handle bigger flies, and you just proved it Jonathan. A #10 streamer would be max for me. I may go a little bigger on a 8' 6" 3wt, but maybe only one size bigger, but a 10 is doable. In my opinion it's just not practical. The chart I posted, it basically just a reference like many charts. Nothing is written in stone, but common sense goes a long way.

Wbranch, I'm 100% with you on your selection of those rods you just mentioned for those rivers. And again, I know what you mean about bobbers when nymphing, but they do help in riffles. I like you don't care for them, but I don't nymph very often, I prefer classic wet flies when subsurfacing.

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