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Thread: Rod Length, Wading and Casting Distance

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    Member Wyatt's Avatar
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    Default Rod Length, Wading and Casting Distance

    Something I never considered: I recently read that for every foot of height gained or lost to the water, casting distance (in theory) is changed by 9'. Someone 6' 5" will have an additional 9' of casting distance over someone 5' 5". Same goes for rod length and wading. While reading this information, I kept wanting to say "visibility", but distance is the term used! Wading is where it struck me! If the gradient on the river bottom is 1' in 5' (rise over run), and you wade in 10', you are actually 8' further away from the area you were trying to reach. Any gradient more than 1 in 9 and there's no point in wading. I am interested to know what others think as it's a new principal to me. There are reasons of course where wading creates room for a backcast, but it's something to think about. Plus getting wet is a requirement for having fun.

    Wyatt

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    Member Matt S's Avatar
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    That's interesting in theory but too often we are casting too far to begin with. The addition line mending needed and effect on the drift from a long cast are usually counter productive. Wading in puts you closer to the seam or hole and hopefully decreases the needed amount of line laying on the water and messing with your drift. Just my 2 cents though.

    And yeah you gotta get wet to have fun.

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default WOW

    That is some pretty "deep" stuff Wyatt!!! I can hardly pick out the fly I want to use at the time, let alone do geometry prior to wading in and casting. I am more of the less thinking, more fishing type guy.

    Jake
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    Member Alaskan Salmon Sith's Avatar
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    I'm impressed.....it actually made my head hurt.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Now this is a good thread. One that makes you think.

    Personally, I find that the more experience I get with fly fishing, the less I tend to wade out in the water. Seems I spook more fish than I reach. I prefer to use the rod to do the work, casting further, and wading less. But of course this is dependent on the waters you are fishing. At 6'6" I would love to buy the taller folks get more distance casting idea, but I am not so sure that in real world applications that is exactly the case. Timing is far more important than anything. With that said, a 6'6" guy and a 5'5" guy that both have perfect timing/technique, perhaps the taller guy would throw a few more feet of line. Mechanical advantage, yeah, I see that. But in general, us bigger guys are just trying to walk straight and not break our camp chairs
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    I second the point about the difficulty of having to mend a longer cast... it's much easier to wade out to where you can easily mend your line, or high stick as your fly works its way downstream. Of course, you only would do so if you can wade without spooking fish. In my experience, you can wade to well within easy casting distance without spooking most Alaskan fish, with a few exceptions.
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    very interesting concept, one that i'll try to remember whenever i perfect my abilities. unfortunately, i am 6'4, and am routinely out cast by my buddy who is only 5'5. technique in my opinion is far more important. that being said, my friend who is almost flawless casting and mending is also so stubborn he will refuse to change flies when he thinks that one is the ticket for the day. (often decided over beers the night prior). so we usually come out pretty even on numbers. there are so many variables to success on the river, i have a hard time remembering all the science. barometric pressure still baffles me, although when my gauge says its good, i usually produce better. the day you figure everything out is the day you should stop fishing and pick up another hobby/passion.

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    This is a good point...I find that many spots have a sweet spot and definitely, the closer the better for mending. However, as I stood in Puget Sound up to my armpits the other night while messing around for some coho....I know I enjoyed casting distancewise much more when I was knee deep.

    But also, a lot of times we need to wade out to get enough backcast room to even make a haul...making wading necessary even if it costs us some height.

    But I am a firm believer in height increasing your possible distance. My recent acquisition of a ten foot rod makes throwing some things ridiculously easy...I almost feel as if I can truly cast

    That extra height really helps the mend too...I always try to perch on a rock or a log if it presents itself.

    All that said, I also agree that most of us still try to cast too far....but it's a hard habit to break for sure.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post

    But I am a firm believer in height increasing your possible distance. My recent acquisition of a ten foot rod makes throwing some things ridiculously easy.
    For me personally, not so. I got some 10' 7 wt rods for a float trip a few years ago. I usually use 9 foot rods. I hated them. The timing was the issue of course but I went back to my 9' 6 wt rods for the remainder of that trip. Of course the action of the rods makes a difference as well as the length. I had bought fairly inexpensive 10 footers that were med/fast, while most all my other rods are normally fast action and 9 feet long. So I gave myself a double dose by changing to a slower action and adding a foot of rod length. I am sure with practice (and different timing) I could enjoy the improved mending capabilities of the ten footers, but my first experience in doing so was a poor one. I felt like a drunk clown trying to water ski on ice skates. Food for thought for anyone wanting to run out and get a ten footer.
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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    A longer rod never hurts, watch a spey casting video and you'll know why
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    A longer rod never hurts

    But when you already have such a long rod in the first place, adding 12 inches seems like overkill

    Not too long ago, fly rods were in the 7-8 foot range. Seems they keep getting longer and longer. There has to be some point of diminishing return.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danattherock View Post
    Not too long ago, fly rods were in the 7-8 foot range. Seems they keep getting longer and longer. There has to be some point of diminishing return.
    Thats because of the materials they were made out of, fiberglass and bamboo are very inefficient beyond the 8 foot casting range. Todays longer rods are nothing compared to some of the giant rods of the past, a lot of them were up to 20 feet long and weighed like 5 pounds.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default yes and no

    Dan, I think you will find with more practice that you will enjoy that longer rod (it took me a few weeks of hard core fishing to get mine to do what I dropped all that cash to) ....switching from one to another takes a different tact....largely you want to SLOW down....and really load that rod to make the difference in distance. I feel more accurate with my 9 footers but when I want pure distance....longer is mo bettah.

    That said, on smaller streams...I use an eight footer so I can swing it around....these things are like golf clubs...each one has a purpose although they all do the same basic thing...throw flies.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    Interesting thread...

    I suppose if you really wanted distance you could always resort to the tricks of the Pyramid Lake cutthroat crowd.

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    Default "..like a drunk clown trying to water ski on ice skates"

    Actually Dan, I've seen you cast and...

    I have a (gift) 9'6" fly rod which really makes line pickup easier.
    It does seem to improve my casting efficiency.

    BTW- I have not actually seen Dan cast...

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