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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:42 pm • # 21 
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Quick update. Spent a good part of today on the Farmington in CT with Fred (fkrow) who helped me work through my Skagit casting problems. What a great guy! He knows a hell of a lot about casting and does an excellent job of sharing that knowledge. While I'm at no means proficient yet, I finally understand the fundamentals and was banging out 60' casts with almost no effort. I had been putting all kinds of monkey motion into my cast, resulting in the line going nowhere. Fred showed me how to keep the movements compact and smooth. Now I can't wait to get out there and practice what I've been taught and build the needed muscle memory.

Thanks Fred!


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:34 pm • # 22 
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That great to hear Knotty. Sixty feet sounds pretty darn good.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 2:59 pm • # 23 
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Knotty,

You were an excellent student. Very pleased you are happy.

One note: On many of his casts, the reel was burping,,,, that is at the end of line roll out the running line slapped the rod and the real burped or clicked,,, to me this means the line would have traveled further if not braked with inadequate running line on the water.

We were in a very shallow pool due to low water conditions this fall. The line was a OPST 200gr with a RIO MOW Light floating tip 10ft long with about 6ft of mono leader. If we attempted to use sinking tips they would be dragging on the bottom very quickly.
The Echo SR 3106 was a nice smooth rod and cast very well. We also had my personal rod set up with a OPST 250gr head for comparison and for Knotty's T-8 10ft tip section. I find that a heavier Skagit works better with heavy longer sinking tips.

You can also obtain similar results with single hand casting the ultra short Skagit heads.

Very versatile line system:
Skagit head with MOW tips or short sections of T-8 or T-11
Skagit head with PolyLeader tips 5ft, 7ft or 10ft long with tippet, I like the Salmon/Steelhead or Saltwater sized Polyleaders.
Skagit head with short home made floating or intermediate sections of fly line with appropriate tapered leader/tippet.

You now have a system to present small wet flies and streamers as well as sinking tips or PolyLeaders with heavy larger sized flies.

Regards,
FK


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:11 pm • # 24 
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I know the scales sort of compress on the smaller end of the rods, but what would a 3wt switch rod compare to in a single hand rod?

My buddy has a 4wt spey rod that's about the same as a 7wt single hand. I don't think it's an exact correlation, but I'm just wondering where one of the lightest switch rods out there would fit into my existing arsenal of rods.

I've thought of getting a spey or switch rod but I probably wouldn't go light with it. I'd want something as burly as my single hand 8wt or larger for the big rivers we fish part of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 5:32 pm • # 25 
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I think the lightest Switch rod is a three weight. I have used my Cabela's Stowaway 6 #3 weight Skagit casting and works like a charm.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:19 pm • # 26 
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The rod manuf. do not have a standard with rod line labels, the only standard we have is the line weights.
You must cast the rod with an assortment of lines to fit your individual casting style.

We now have DH 2wt rods from Sage in the ONE series.
This rod really likes 210gr Scandi and 200-225gr Skagit Trout

Even lighter is the Echo Glass 3106 despite its label likes much lighter lines than the Sage 2109 ONE.
I cast conventional WF5F lines very nicely on mine.

In that same class is the Mystic 3113 which is also mislabeled and likes very light lines in the 175-180gr range.
The Mystic 4113 is very popular on my rivers and likes a 210gr Scandi,, more of a 2wt rod.

My personal standard is based on Scandi lines:
Sub 2wt = under 200gr also called Micro Spey
2wt = 210gr
3wt = 240gr
4wt = 270-280gr
5wt = 300-330gr

Skagit lines have a wider grain window and are normally heavier than the Scandi due to heavy sinking tips and heavier water soaked flies. Scandi lines have a long front taper and are usually cast with long mono leaders 1.5X rod length and lighter flies.

Other line weights will work however, the efficiency of distance is usually not optimal.

Comparison of SH rods to short DH rods is best done not by line weight. I like a flex or bending comparison, side by side and evaluate the fish fighting stiffness. Many DH rod will bend into the cork, others will be relatively stiffer in the lower 1/3 blank and be better at landing larger fish.

Regards,
FK


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:51 am • # 27 
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Sorry I haven't provided any updates lately. Been busy with work and life.

First off, one thing I learned from FK's lesson was that my initial attempts on my local pond were doomed from the start. The setup shipped to me had a 10' T-8 MOW tip. With my slow movements setting up the anchor and then finally casting, that heavy tip was already sitting on the bottom, in the leaves and algae, by the time my cast was made. Far too much load for the OPST Skagit head to pull out, especially with my poor form.

But I can't blame it all on that. I bought a 30' section of T-8 and made up some 2, 3 and 5 foot tips by cutting it up and welding loops with a heat gun and shrink tube at each end. Went back to the water but still struggled. Just couldn't get that easy smooth motion followed by a crisp stop FK had taught me. Then I watched an OPST YouTube about nymphing and the angler said "It's really easy if you don't over think it." Well, I over think everything. So, I went to the park to practice on the grass and tried not to think too much. Casts were much improved, at first, but grew worse with time. Kind of like golf, where you're best tee shot is on the first hole. After that you start analyzing and trying to correct and it all goes to pieces. So much for not over thinking it.

Moved to the river at the park's edge to see if that change would help but it didn't. Started back to the car as the sun was getting low but decided to give it one more try on the grass. Pulled out a bunch of running line and found myself shooting all of it quite often. Paced it out to discover it was about 63' from reel to fly. This was hugely encouraging. After a short while I was shooting that length of line on 4 out of 5 casts. They weren't pretty casts. The loops were large and sloppy but at least they're getting out there most of the time.

One of the big problems for me is that it all happens with almost no sense of load on the rod or power. My mind expects it to require effort so my body wants to move in ways that require work. Yet it all happens when movement and effort is minimized. Cognitive dissonance I guess. I also have a very hard time manipulating the rod with my bottom hand. It's hard to unlearn the one handed casting which is all about the dominant hand.

Below are some pics of the Echo SR 3 wt and the switch conversion I installed on my Eagle Claw Featherlight 8' 5 wt.

Echo
Image

Image

Image

Image

Eagle Claw
Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:30 pm • # 28 
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After posting the above, I went down to my river to practice. Let's just say what ever I was doing to get those 60' grass casts the other day...well I wasn't doing it today.

I really got to get out there and video myself so you all can critique what's wrong. Ugh!

On the plus side, I did catch two nice rainbows on my 7'6" Echo 3 wt.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:56 pm • # 29 
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Knotty,

Look at your hands not the line.
If you use too much top hand the line will form large loops and not be very efficient.
Slow down your rod stroke,, very little power is required to cast the Spey rods.
Try and keep your bottom hand to the left of your body,,,, do not stand with shoulders square to target, this forces you to use mainly top hand.
Left foot forward and shoulders at 45 degrees to target (for RH caster).
Try and not push forward and down with the top hand,,, stop higher.

Regards,
FK


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 10:09 pm • # 30 
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Knotty if you video yourself, compare your actions with one of the casting video's. You should see the differences. Without seeing anything my guess is that you are allowing The rod to unload before the forward cast. Ed Ward points out in his OPST video on casting that the sweep from the front after dropping the line must be a continuous move loading to the side then lifting at the shoulder and begin the forward cast without stopping or the rod will unload with only the forward cast to reload will cause the cast to fail. Just my thought after watching Eds video.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:01 am • # 31 
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FK: Guilty on all counts. Sad thing is I understand what's wrong but still can't seem to correct.

Linecaster: I believe you are correct. I follow what Ed Ward is saying about keeping the rod loaded but in practice it remains elusive.

Time to put myc iPhone on a tripod and document whsts happening.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:25 pm • # 32 
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Knotty, really appreciate all your posts and thanks especially for "switching it up": this post demonstrates the challenges of fly casting no matter what technique.
I've been working on casting with my off hand, left, for about a year now and it's been difficult to achieve any semblance of my right hand casts.

When faced with the difficulties of learning a-new, it makes for a realistic appreciation of others learning a task for the first time.

Thanks for sharing these experiences.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:11 pm • # 33 
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Finally got a chance to film myself. The horror! The video showed me that what I was doing was nothing close to what I thought I was doing. It was as if I had forgotten everything FK taught me. Sorry Fred.

I'm using my upper hand to push the rod in the forward cast instead of the lower hand pulling in and stopping crisply at the body. Probably more importantly, I'm stopping very low to the water, instead of high. It's like when you see a person use a fly rod for the first time and to cast they make a big arc, from low in back to low in front. Doesn't work. All this should have been obvious but I've never been good with body in space perception (not an athlete), especially when so much is going on at once.

I'm going to get back out there with the camera again and work on this. Decided not to post the previous video simply because it was so bad that the mistakes were obvious. May need feed back once it starts coming together and just needs some tweaks.

Thanks for bearing with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 1:32 pm • # 34 
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Knotty, how did you go about filming yourself? Does that simply require a tripod and a decent camera?


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:35 pm • # 35 
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Thanks for the update Knotty, maybe a good idea for most of us to film our casting, many faults will be detected, me at the top of the list.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:42 am • # 36 
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These days the only thing I use for filming is an iPhone, usually held by a small tripod with flexible legs.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:49 pm • # 37 
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Haven't been able to film myself on the water but this YouTube is me grass casting in the yard. Lack of stick on the grass has me blowing the anchor but at least seeing the casts in slow motion is helping me better understand what's going on. One obvious error is I'm still casting with the upper vs. lower hand. Also in some of the casts you can see how dipping the rod or pausing unloads the rod (bad). Wish the running line was more visible.

I appreciate any criticism that helps me improve. No need to candy coat any of the comments. Thanks in advance.

https://youtu.be/yon7G7Tuf6s


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 7:01 pm • # 38 
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Knotty you are definitely unloading the rod by pausing before the forward cast, not being a two handed caster my observation is that it appears that the forward cast is being done as per a single handed cast.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:23 pm • # 39 
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linecaster wrote:
Knotty you are definitely unloading the rod by pausing before the forward cast, not being a two handed caster my observation is that it appears that the forward cast is being done as per a single handed cast.


Good points. The whole transition from the sweep to vertical to the forward cast hard to get. Also, I have tried using the same line and rod for single hand Skagit and find it much easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Switching It Up
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:47 pm • # 40 
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Bumping this one back up. knotty, if you didn't run across it already a grass leader will help anchor you on the lawn. Some of your first casts looked pretty decent, well done.

https://www.deneki.com/2014/12/grass-leaders/


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