Casting variables

Casting variables

Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 18 December 2018

This past weekend some dicey weather predictions and homeowner responsibilities kept me from fishing - which is almost a sin this time of year. So instead, I played with my new solo (non-fishing) canoe in some local waters and took to the practice field with my HT6 and a GT125 5wt.

I think the canoe and the rod have a lot in common: they are both simply a joy to play with and nicer than anything I ever expected to own. While the rod will definitely be fished, I cannot say the same for the new canoe as I will never be able to stand up in it. That is OK though as I have some wonderfully stable canoes for fishing.

Lawn casting the HT6 brought to light an idea that began to form during my last solo fishing trip.


On that trip, I alternately fished three different fly rods. First, I had a top-shelf 6wt (not the HT) that I have been using as my presentation tool. I need to be able to set a fly down as quietly as possible when sight fishing in the shallows. The fly I use is maybe a tad large for a 6 line, being tied on a 1/0 hook, but it is only about 2 inches in length. I need to push the outfit pretty hard to deliver that fly, especially in a wind, but with the relatively light line and a long leader, I can usually deliver without disturbing the fish.


The second rod is a mid-priced Orvis 8wt that I suspect is somewhat under-rated. It is rather thick at the bottom compared to most 8s, but it delivers the foam popper I like for shoreline casting with ease. It is the rod that commonly gets the most use.

Then, for casting a relatively large weighted fat-headed streamer I switch to an 8’8” Scott 9wt with a pike style line. While no distance tool, that rod will sling those flies out to fishing distances with relative ease, and it is especially kind to my poor aging over-used and abused arthritic thumb.


It took some time and experimentation, but I have figured out a way to have all three rods ready to cast without the stripped-out lines getting tangled in the canoe. Depending on whether I am in the flats, along a tree-lined shore, or in deeper water like a river bend, I can pick up the appropriate rod and deliver a fly quickly, if necessary. It works for me.


The interesting part, as it pertains to casting, is how different each rod/line/fly combination feels, and how I must alter my technique to send out a decent cast. In contrast to what would be hyped in a catalog, the “fastest” rod feels to be the mid-level 8, the easiest to cast is the almost antique 9, and the rod that I have to concentrate the hardest on is the recent-vintage 6.


Casting the HT6 with a fluff this weekend was yet another combination and it required again a different input.


Now, considering the level of casting expertise spread amongst the tournament casters, physicists, and other gurus who skulk around here on Sexyloops, I am almost hesitant to suggest what conclusion I drew from my recent casting… but here goes:


While I generally agree with the simplistic description that a common casting fault (a tailing loop) is caused by an inappropriate application of power, I don’t think it is anywhere explicit enough.


Would it not be better to say the fault is because the caster’s input has not matched the profile of the rod?


Does not that also hold true for other faults like wide loops or shock waves?