Sexyloops - Drawbacks of practice?

Drawbacks of practice?

Drawbacks of practice?

Viking Lars | Saturday, 5 March 2022

Are there any? Well, the short answer is no, of course. But when I’ve practice too much with dedicated practice gear and not a fishing setup (and haven’t been fishing enough either), I’ve noticed a few “issues”. It all depends on what and how you practice too.

As you can see, winter is still fighting spring here in Denmark - it was 3 below 0 this morning. But absolutely no wind and I found a spot in the sun, so icing was minimal. And the frost in the grass kept the line wet and clean. Actually very nice conditions!

I felt like practicing today and there’s family stuff on the calendar all afternoon, so I had to get out early. I remembered something I’ve had on my mind for a front page for a while. Most of my practice the last years have not been about getting into competition shape, much more about sharpening my general casting to maintain a good level, staying casting-fit for fishing. That has involved long carry and distance (long carry is an excellent tracking exercise) and since I fish sea trout in the salt, comfortably casting a good distance, also in adverse conditions, just makes fishing that more enjoyable. Precision - I really can’t think of a fishery where you won’t benefit from being able to place a fly where you want to.

For the last couple of years I’ve been using my HT Comp 905 and a Scientific Anglers Mastery Expert Distance WF 5 F, which by any measure is an excellent practice setup. The HT Comp 905 is in fact *just” a 6-wt blank with a 5-wt designation on it. I can say this, because Paul has never been quiet about it himself. So technically it’s underlined with a 5-wt line. Even though I’m carrying more weight in my long-carry-excersises than I am when fishing shooting heads on my 6-wt rods, this practice setup, too much practice-gear vs. too little fishing gear, makes the fishing gear feel funny for first 20 minutes.

I first noticed this to an extreme degree when I got my Echo MPR. It was, and still is, so much fun that I cast it all winter. I had access to indoor facilities at the time not quite big enough for real tackle. After months of the MPR, real tackle just felt completely odd and it actually took me a long time to get used to it again.

The reasons are obvious of course. I need a long stroke for a long carry, which obviously bends the rod quite a lot deeper (oh wait, it loads the rod better) than a lighter shooting head. Even if I’m casting high line speeds, the faster stroke also bends to the deeper (oh wait…), the bend is clearly not as deep as in the long carry exercise. So most days on the grass, I actually now bring a fishing setup. Maybe a dry fly setup (usually an 8’6” or 9’ 4-wt with a Scientific Anglers Mastery Standard), one of my saltwater setups or even a double hander. Simply just to keep in touch with how my different fishing setups feel.

It has, I believe, another added benefit, which I think is not insignificant. By alternating the fishing setups I bring, I also keep adapting to different setups sharp. And as I pick up the 4-wt, I instantly go off long carry and distance and switch to dry-fly-oriented casting and associated exercises. When I fish the western, Danish rivers for salmon, I very often have a dry fly out fit with me as well. It’s not uncommon to happen upon a rising fish that is just too tempting. If I’m in Norway, I always bring trout gear as well as salmon gear. If the water levels drop and the sun is shining from a blue sky, salmon fishing mid day is often a waste of time. Or at least chances are bigger at other times. And then why not head to a trout stream or a lake and not water the first 30 casts shedding the double hand-rhythms and be on par immediately?

Have a great weekend!