There were a couple of things that prompted this matching the rod and line madness. First was the realisation that it didn’t feel like I could cast the distances that I used to with a soft rod. Prior to a rule change a few years back, rods for the #5 (and #7) BFCC trout distance events had to be marked as #5 (or #7) maximum. Obviously some of the rods used were still pretty stiff, the TCR #5 being the favourite, however that’s a complete noodle compared to what some, myself included, chose to use now the rules state ‘any 9ft rod’ (10ft for the #7).
Something has changed with my distance casting that means it doesn’t feel comfortable carrying the length of line that I used to and, as such, the distance I’m able to throw a cast with a soft rod is well down on what it used to be (this could also be a result of me getting older mind you – things are definitely starting to creak and pop these days and I ache after casting extended practice sessions). By going back to a soft rod I hope to learn something about my casting that may improve the distance when I go back up to the #10. I failed to achieve my target of casting over 130ft with a #5 in competition this year and I suspect next year it will be even harder to achieve, however I’m going to leave it as a goal (in 2020 I’ll be eligible for the Seniors BFCC category – I’ll still need to cast over 127ft to get a record though).
The second thing that prompted a return to the #5 rod is a desire to up my game in the accuracy event – this isn’t at all influenced by the fact that Tracy beat me at this last time out I should add! I haven’t practised accuracy for quite a while and it shows in the BFCC championship results where I dropped a number of points to Kei, in fact my best results were two 3rdplaces (scoring 6) compared to Kei’s two 1sts, meaning I lost 4 points on one event only. When I have previously practised I’ve managed to get my scores routinely into the high 50’s – low 60’s, not great by World Championship standards but a damn sight higher than what I currently cast at the BFCC. I’m not going to put a target on a particular score for next year other than to say I want to achieve a higher average than this year and never lose to Tracy – although she might have something to say about this.