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 Post subject: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:13 am • # 1 
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Many of our UL rods are pretty short, 6 to 8 feet, sometimes even shorter. Now there are now also UL rods above 9 feet (nymph rods) but still many are sub 9.

This leads me to some problems:

1. Leader length: the normal leader is 9 feet. When using a 6'3 rod especially in short spaces do you shorten the Leader? Because especially in tight spaces I sometimes get tangled with the Leader and catch some bush, tougher to control the Leader and keep it off the bushes than with a longer rod

2. Starting the fly when you can't wade or directly get to the water. Wading it is easy but sometimes you have to cast standing a couple feet away from the river to not spook fish in a very small stream. If there is high grass then I have a tough time getting the fly in the air due to the shorter rod and longer leader plus fly line which is way longer than the rod. Again easier to manage with a longer rod where you can keep the fly off the ground easier especially on the first back cast (when the fly is in the air it works better).

Do you also have those problems and how do you resolve this? Do you have some tips both casting style equipment? And are short rods even the best solution for small streams?


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 10:35 am • # 2 
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Shorter leader is the easiest solution. I struggled until a friend asked why I was always using so much leader. Even with long rods, casting is easier with a shorter leader. Of course hat may not be the best with spooky trout.


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:02 pm • # 3 
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What leader length do you use for a 6 foot rod?


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 6:30 pm • # 4 
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All this seems like a loaded, multi-faceted question. So as Jack the Ripper would do, let’s take this in parts.

1. Leader length. In the 1970’s the standard leader length for small streams was considered to be 7 ½ feet. But the UL was considered to be a 5-weight, so the line tips were thicker than with today’s 1- to 3-weight lines. So you could probably find things easier with a leader no longer than 7 ½ feet, especially if your line is a drab color. What kind of leaders have you been using?

2. Rod length. If you’re fishing on small, brushy streams with overhanging branches and low canopy to cast under, a 7 ½ foot rod seems long. But if the streams have brushy banks but are open above the water, like meadow streams, you might be happy with a longer (above 7 ½ foot) rod.

3. Approaching the stream for your first cast. A bow-and-arrow cast can help get your fly out there with less chance of getting hung up. A roll cast can then help you keep fishing.

Why don’t you tell us more about where and how you have been fishing?


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:10 am • # 5 
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Thanks.

I mostly fish small streams that are only 10-20 feet wide, sometimes overhanging trees but also high grass in some cases. I mostly use dry flies from may till September sometimes also nymphs.

I have a 3 wt 7.5 feet and a 1wt 6 (also a 9 foot 5 but I don't like it except for streamers).

I use mostly those normal 9 foot leaders you can buy, sometimes shorten them by a foot.

Btw if I shorten such a leader which is the best way to keep the taper? Cut off the top or the bottom?


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:28 pm • # 6 
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I have a solution for the problem of getting the line out in tight spots until you have enough to roll cast. I shake the rod tip side to side and the line comes out nicely.

I don't fish for trout,just bass and blue gill and I can use a 5 foot leader and 1ft of tippet pretty comfortably.


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 10:32 pm • # 7 
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I have quite a few rods measuring from 6' to 7' 6", and I rarely use a leader/tippet combo longer than my rod. Thus on a 6' rod, I might use a 4' furled leader and a 2' tippet. For me at least, trying to cast a 9' leader on a 6' rod is a losing proposition.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:45 am • # 8 
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I agree with Larry......trying to cast a long leader on a short rod in brush choked streams is frustrating to say the least.I'm usually fishing for bass or bluegill so a shorter leader doesn't matter as much as if I was fishing for spooky trout. May be best to make your own leaders on the shorter side or invest $30 cutting up leaders to find a good balance between casting and lining fish.....wish I could offer more info. On my short rods... 6'9" or less I usually buy a 6.5 foot leader and cut a foot off the butt section....works for me anyway...but it sucks cutting up a perfectly good leader :P :P :P


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:19 pm • # 9 
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That is why I like using furled leaders. I can buy leaders in a variety of lengths, starting at about 3 feet if I so wish, furled and tapered to optimally suit the length and line weight of the rod. That way, the only trimming I do is on the tippet.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:14 pm • # 10 
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What is the advantage of a furled leader over a normal one?


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:58 pm • # 11 
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There is very little line memory in a furled leader. They are durable; I have some that I have been using for over 2-3 years. They are tapered just like your fly line. They can be ordered by line weight range and come in many lengths, depending on where and from whom you buy them. They can be made from thread, monofiliament, fluorocarbon, or Spectra. I have tried furled leaders from many sources, but have been most satisfied with the ones from Streamside Leaders. I prefer the ones made with tippet rings over the ones with Shorb loops, as the loops tend to twist, making it difficult to make a loop to loop conncection with the tippet. Some people have told me that furled leaders tend to hold water, so that when you are false casting it will spray water. I have seen this with braided leaders, but never with furled leaders. They cost a little more than standard mono leaders, but last much longer.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:51 am • # 12 
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Dominikk85 wrote:
What leader length do you use for a 6 foot rod?


Probably over 40 years ago had similar problems casting 6 1/2' fly rods & then shorter with 9' leaders & even with 7 1/2' ones so researched & found George Harvey shortened leader formulas that would turn over a fly & also Joe Humphries short leaders so just tied even shorter leaders with the same proportions where even roll casting was easier.


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:40 am • # 13 
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I agree with Larry, too! Almost all of the rods I use on a regular basis are 6' to 7.5', and I typically use a 7.5 ft leader that is often shorter (due to fly changes, breakouts, whatever). Very occasionally I'll use a 9' leader, and turnover suffers noticeably. If I were a better caster ....


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:16 pm • # 14 
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For about as long as my memory serves me, I have tied up my own leaders using the Ritz formula: that is, 60% / 20% / 20 %. In other words, 60% of the leader length is the butt, 20% is the taper, and 20% is the tippet. It works well for turning over almost any fly, whether the leader is the same length as the rod or twice as long. One important point is the diameter of the butt should be 2/3 that of the line tip.

Now, back to the original question that Dominick asked. Since factory made tapered leaders are probably designed for lines that are 5-weights or heavier, hence with thicker line tips than 1- to 3-weights, I would like to make a suggestion. That is to get a couple of ready-made tapered (extruded) leaders and cut about a foot off the butt of one leader before tying it onto the line. Hopefully that will be a lot easier to handle as well as being a simple solution.


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:15 pm • # 15 
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Buy a 7 1/2 leader and cut two feet off it and tie on a 2mm tippet ring . Then add what ever tippet you need . EZ Peasy .


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:09 pm • # 16 
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Thinking about trying a furled leader. What is the reason many are coming in colored, sometimes even like screaming neon? Isn't that spooking fishes?


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:06 pm • # 17 
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Unsure about color, but as long as you're using a reasonable amount of tippet (10-12") you should be ok


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 3:02 pm • # 18 
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I really miss the SA 6' tapered leaders that used to hang in every filling station, convenience sore, and drug store in the Rocky Mountain west. Now I start with a 7.5' leader in the tippet size I need. I'll tie on a fly using a generous uni-knot then add more tippet as necessary. Oftentimes adding fluorocarbon tippet.


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2020 8:41 pm • # 19 
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On my 6' rods I have used 7 1/2' leaders but lately I use the short braided leader butts sold by Feather-craft. I use the shortest, which I recall being 3 1/2' . I add another 2- 3' of 5X tippet and it works great!


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 Post subject: Re: Casting short rods
PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2020 7:22 pm • # 20 
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I also use Streamside furled leaders. Four feet with a 2 - 2.5 feet of tippet on a 6'6" 2 weight and 6'8" 3 weight. Mike has many different colors available, from subdued to bright, and even with a sighter if you want.


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