At Sexyloops gatherings, everyone casts same outfits which has always seemed to be a much a fairer system, though I personally have found that it can create some difficulty for some casters who don’t like the outfit or just take longer adjusting to casting a new outfit…
At the BFCC we offer outfits for people to use, however the serious competitors generally bring their own as they have often developed outfits that suit their casting style. Our current rules allow people to only use rods in the 5# and 7# competition events that are ‘commercially available or previously available’ marked by the manufacturer as a 5# or 7# respectively. This was an attempt to make sure that people used standard ‘fishing’ tackle, however everyone knows that what makes a rod a ‘#5’ is purely the fact that someone has written ‘5’ on it. There is a long tradition of ‘distance’ casting rods being significantly stiffer than normal – how many times have you heard someone say the TCR #5 is a nice 7 weight?
So these rods meet the BFCC rules but is this fair? Should people have to buy one of these stiff ‘#5 weights’ when they have a perfectly good #7, #8 or whatever that they could use?
Should the rules just be related to a line specification as in the Worlds? Though having a rule that only allows one specific fly line is a bit restrictive (the MED can also be difficult to get in the UK and is expensive). Furthermore the specific line may suit some people more than others; (for example, I cast better with a slightly shorter headed line rather than the MED) so do we allow all lines that weigh in correctly according to the AFFTA standard? What then if someone markets a 60ft DT #5 line? That would instantly be a game changer (I don’t think any of us at the BFCC would like to see the #5 and #7 comps turned into shooting head events).
So what is best for making distance competitions as fair as possible? To remove the rod specification? To instead specify a type of line that can be purchased from a range of manufacturers but clearly can’t be a shooting head for the 5# and 7# events? How much of a spec is needed?
Whatever event we attend, we always have a great time regardless of the rules, so whatever you are doing this weekend, enjoy ☺