TCXs in the Mist

TCXs in the Mist

Tracy&James | Sunday, 21 March 2021

A few years ago I tested a number of rods to see which I cast a MED #5 line furthest with. I think this coincided with a change in the BFCC rules to allow for any 9ft rod to be used in the trout distance event, rather than one with ‘5’ written on it somewhere. If I recall correctly I used rods rated as #5, #7, #10 and #12 and the maximum distance I cast was in the same order as the rod ratings, i.e. the single longest cast was with the #12. Ultimately I ended up using the #10 rod for the trout distance event because I really hated how the #12 rod felt with the #5 MED line. I should point out that at the time of these tests I only ever practiced #5 distance on a rod rated as #5, namely the much talked about TCR #5.

Unfortunately some time back I suffered a computer crash and lost the data I had on this test.  As an aside, I’d recommend that you don’t save any important data in a windows ‘profile’ – and have a back-up of anything that is precious to you.  The only record I have of the test is therefore a post on the old board where I just listed the longest cast with each rod.  After the test I obviously decided that the longest single cast maybe wasn’t the best indicator of which outfit was best for me, otherwise I’d have ended up using the #12, so my decision was based on something else.

As such, I decided I should repeat the test and I finally got round to doing that this week.  It should be remembered though that in the intervening years the bulk of my trout distance casting practice has been done with a rod rated #10, so the situation isn’t quite the same as last time when it was the first time I’d ever put a #5 line through my #12 rod (not that I used a #12 rod this time – I still feel I have to look after my elbow a bit).

The rods I chose for the repeated test were conveniently all from the same range, the TCX #5, TCX #7 and the TCX #10.   The line was a close-to-retirement MED #5 that I did my best to slick up, however once the running line turns dark (from cracking) it’s always going to feel a bit rough.  After a couple of warm-up casts with each outfit I proceeded to measure ten casts, although I did discard any that were significantly impeded by line tangles or me stepping on the line etc.  Now this wouldn’t be a distance casting article from me without my usual excuses about the weather – 100% humidity (casting just below a very low cloud base) and a very light wind that came and went.  I know air density reduces slightly with increasing humidity (and should reduce drag) but anyone who monitors their casting a lot absolutely knows that there is a punishing effect on distance, Paul’s PULD distance in Malaysia being an extreme example of this.

The chart below shows all the casts that I measured, i.e. 10 with each rod, obviously where it appears there are less data points it just means there were duplicate measurements as I measured to the nearest 10cm.  As with last week’s FP, these casts are a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly, but I didn’t exclude any casts other than for the reasons previously mentioned.


From a purely subjective point of view I did feel that I didn’t cast the #7 rod as well as I could (this is actually my favourite fishing rod as it’s what I use when flats fishing, so has accounted for many great fish and memories). Whether this was because the light breeze dropped away or I just tensed-up a bit I don’t know.  There’s always going to be issues trying to do this type of test outside though.

The results are also tabulated below.


I’m not going to draw many conclusions other than to say that the results were probably in line with my original test as I remember it.  It probably came as no surprise to see that the outfit I’ve been using in practice and competition for the last few years is the one that I produced the longest casts and the highest average with.  As such, I don’t feel the need to change anything just yet – I simply need to practice more so I can hit that elusive (for me) 40m mark in a competition.

Have a great week,