with Pavel Kupstov
a lot could be said about Pavel’s excellent technique but for today let’s just sit back and enjoy a little fly line ballet.
with Pavel Kupstov
a lot could be said about Pavel’s excellent technique but for today let’s just sit back and enjoy a little fly line ballet.
constantly surprised to hear so many anglers consider sinking lines as ‘specialty’ items or even lines they’ve never used, this new video should be able to set things straight for the neophyte who wants to expand their fishing possibilities but, the well-seasoned sinker just might pick up a thing or two as well.
once passed the rather awkward intro… the always-pleasant-to-hear Simon Gawesworth and his Rio cohorts kick in with a whole bunch of very good info and tips and trick that can make or brake your day at the lake when fishing below the surface. enjoy !
note: not that i mean any disrespect or anything but contrary to some of the explanations, there’s absolutely nothing new or revolutionary about density compensated sinking lines nor non-stretch cores or even the hang marker. as far as i know, it seems like its the first time these markers are factory made and good on them for doing this but its an old trick of the trade stillwater anglers have been making on their own for decades. however, what may be ‘revolutionary’ is producing a combination of these three elements at the factory. good job, i can’t wait to try one out.
if you too have ever had the strong feeling that sinking lines and tips don’t get down as advertised this article’s for you.
of course, given the myriad variables encountered in real-life fishing situations as opposed to lab environments like:
- current or it’s equivalent on stillwaters: wind
- and water temperature
- and tippet diameter and length
- and fly size and it’s buoyancy
- in the case of sink-tips if it’s attached to a floating line or sinking main line
- how hard or delicately the lines/tips land on the water
and other goodies like whether different parts of the line or tip’s diameters sink at different rates (something i didn’t see in their findings but i suspect is highly relevant)
yes, some manufacturers make density compensated lines, meaning the front of the fly line will sink faster than the back with the goal of keeping the complete line straight during the retrieve, but most sinking lines are single density.
anyhow, to spice things up even more, add to all of this a quasi-consistently ever-changing environment and probably a few other bazillion other things i’m not thinking about at the moment and it would basically be impossible for manufacturers to give us exact sink rates, but then, they could at least do those tests with the exact same things we’re buying in the package instead of shortened lengths and other non-realistic methods.
so, in the end we’re left with nothing very concrete sink-rate wise but is this really a problem ?
no, but since most of the variables mentioned above are about slowing down the sink process we’ll have to take them all into account and react accordingly instead of blindly relying on what’s written on the package, most often selecting lines or tips of a higher sink rate to eventually get the fly to what we hope is the right depth. hopefully…
if the article below tickles your funny bone be sure to click the links for descriptions of their studies, fluid dynamics studies, realistic charts, the science of sink rates and equations and other goodies. enjoy !
or, how to very easily untwist your fly line by Zack Dalton of Rio via Gink and Gasoline
oh, so simple and oh, so easy and oh so, feck, why didn’t i think of that ?!…
Zack’s demonstration is so good there’s nothing to add there. i do however want to expand a bit more as to why fly lines twist. there’s 3 reasons brought up in the video, let’s take a closer look at them.
1- i need to be honest, point 1: ’fly size/wind resistance to the fly’ doesn’t make a lot of sense. this would require such an amazingly unbalanced fly/leader/fly line combination and repeatedly casting it that it’s really hard to imagine happening in real. sure, twisting does indeed happen with certain flies but it’s the leader that becomes twisted and tangles first, looking something like a messy bird’s nest. it’s pretty safe to say the angler, getting absolutely nowhere with this and seeing this mess would stop and untangle long before the lighter, thinner and flexible balled-up twisted leader would work it’s way back and have any effect on the heavier, thicker, and stiffer fly line.
- Zack’s reason 2 is connected to and is in sequence to reason 3 so we’ll come to that later.
2- reason ’3′ (hmmm, this is starting to get confusing… ) is the big one and it has to do with casting in different planes. casting in different planes means that the fly line isn’t being cast perfectly straight over the rod tip in both back and forward casts. casting over the rod tip doesn’t necessarily mean a purely vertical overhead cast either, the casting plane can be at any angle. if one casts perfectly over the rod tip, fly line twists don’t happen.
an easily understood example of casting in different planes in the aerial cast family is the Elliptic, Oval or falsely-known-as Belgium cast. the back-cast is performed to the side and the front cast is done by casting overhead. the very same principle applies to the roll-cast/spey family because you can’t successfully cast these with the D-loop directly below the rod, the anchor needs to be to the side.
so, what happens is the line gets a half or so twist with every false or complete casting cycle and the half twists in the line that we’ll find between the stripping guide and reel start to add up quickly and this brings us to reason 2.
3- if we cast to the reel at every delivery (the line goes tight from its tip end all the way to the reel, there’s often a little ‘bump’ feeling) the line gets the chance to completely untwist before it lands on the water. the twist gets pulled out while in the air. there isn’t this ‘inert’ length of line between the line hand or pile on the water/ground/stripping basket/whatever and the reel.
if we have too much line out of the reel for that specific fishing distance, the twists remain coiled up between the rod’s stripping guide and the reel and those twists continue to increase in numbers as the casting goes and if we attempt to shoot line, the twists catch on the first thing they can. usually it’s the stripping guide of the rod but it could be anything anywhere around the line’s path and of course the cast is screwed up and if you’re lucky you might even get a ‘wind’ knot from recoil !
note- it might seem like i’m saying that since it leads to a problem, casting out of plane is wrong. it most definitely isn’t. it’s a basic part of most casting styles and it’s a very safe bet to state that 99% of casters do not cast their lines exactly over the rod tip, myself included. once again, i simply wanted to explain the causes.
line twist at one point or another is simply inevitable and just a part of fly fishing/casting but thanks to great tips like Zack’s, at least one of our problems just got a whole lot easier to live with.
“Have a good look at me and smile because it’s probably the last time you’ll look at me without wanting to throw me away.”
how many times have you heard the gleeful chant “I just cast 30m/99 ft !!!” ? (with as an example the average line of 27m/90ft plus a 9′ leader) and that person believes the fluff-fly is actually that far from their feet ?
well, i’ve heard it a lot but since Stanley was usually missing from the equation, my reply tends to be a polite smile and maybe a “far-out !” for encouragement all the while knowing they’re usually 20 or so % off.
- with the average angler, in most cases the above distance once Stanley’d might be something around 25m at best.
- with an experienced caster (in this case meaning someone who has good to great control of their cast) that distance might be around 27-28m.
- and a distance competitor maybe between 28 and 29m.
please take notice of the ‘maybe’s‘ and ‘might be’s‘ above. there are too many countless variables involved to reach definite conclusions. however, my point here was to demonstrate ballpark proportions for the three groups of casters.
as can be expected, the one’s who regularly practice distance casting will be the most consistent and their casts will go furthest but there is a common denominator to the different levels: no one is actually reaching 30m. because fly lines simply don’t fly out and land all straight, taught and perfect. (or at least it’s so rare that it’s basically a freak incidence when/if it happens)
with our 30m example, to get to that distance consistently would mean being able to cast much further consistently and then ‘holding-back’ to reach the 30m smoothly, precisely and with straight line layout: actions that are extremely hard to manage when trying to cast ‘all-out’.
of course (and thankfully), most fishers/casters couldn’t care less about exact distances, so this all is just a reminder of a common phycological state/belief that things aren’t always as they seem.
thanks to friends like Mel Krieger who stated “The distance between your head and your hand can be a long way” and not-so friends like Stanley who likes to slap our egos once in a while, in the end both will put us back on the right track and make us work a little harder to live up to our expectations.
if you want to cast further and don’t have a tape measure, get one. as stated above, you’ll spend most of your time wanting to destroy it but at the same time, deep inside you’ll be happy to have this new friend and this one always tells the truth.
just out and designed to do everything listed below very-very well, i’ll add that as an added bonus it also brings a smile to every cast.
after playing with one of the prototypes for the last several months that last part is indeed subjective but that’s what really sums it up to me.
The Barrio Switch floating fly line is a full floating line designed for two handed Spey and overhead use on Switch rods.
Many Switch lines on the market are sold as lines for both one and two handed casting, thus being a little light for two handed use and too heavy on a long rod to be comfortably managed single handed.
The Barrio Switch features a compound rear taper similar to our SLX single handed line, this helps to produce sharp controllable loops from dead line roll casts and allows more line to be carried into the D loop when we have space and the need arises. The head length to the colour change is approximately 30ft on the Switch and up to 6ft can be overhung for long range casts where required.
Barrio Switch Lines are designed to work well with poly leaders or 10 to 15ft heavy butted tapered salmon leaders. With the right leader set up, these lines will delicately present a micro tube on a long leader in low summer conditions, yet will also carry “heavier gear” for fishing bigger waters, high flows on spate rivers, or bouncing flies at depth for Pacific species.
The 7/8 and 8/9 lines will carry fast sinking 10ft salmon poly leaders, lengths of “T” tip material and moderately sized copper or brass tubes straight from the box, however if your fishing dictates that fast tips and big flies are usually the order of the day, then the line can be cut back by up to 18 inches from the tip.
Our 5/6 line will carry any density of trout poly leader up to 10ft in length and the 6/7 will carry 6ft to 8ft salmon poly leaders in any density and short “T” tips, plus long tapered leaders for fishing small flies to spooky fish in thin calm water.
Target head weights:
Switch 5/6 – 340 grains (approx 22 grams)
Switch 6/7 – 380 grains (approx 24.5 grams)
Switch 7/8 – 425 grains (approx 27.5 grams)
Switch 8/9 – 470 grains (approx 30.5 grams)
* Please note that our fly line profile diagrams do not include information regarding any compound tapers that we may have included within the profiles and that the dimensions may also vary for each individual line weight.
since i get asked all the time: Barrio fly lines are not available in any store but only through Mike’s online shop. not going through middlemen explains why they are all at more than reasonable prices and those prices include shipping anywhere in the World.
they are all highest quality premium fly lines more often than not better than any of the big-name brands in their respective category.
click the image to access the Barrio Fly Line page.
by Lee Cummings
over the last few years and among a whole lot of other things, Lee’s been doing a lot of research on shooting heads and more particularly, short, mini and micro heads to be used in the tightest of areas where other lines can’t deliver (pun intended), such as this little seatrout stream in northern England.
sure, the need for these is situation-dependant but it does give us the possibility to fish in areas we might generally pass. (and if we pass them there’s a good chance other anglers do it as well, meaning that fish who aren’t comfortable in high-pressure areas will happily congregate there)
without going into the micro-short, the set up below directly inspired by the Skagit school is a very good example of out of the box thinking even though it actually comes straight of a box without any cutting up, weighing, measuring or other fancy finagling. taking the Skagit concept and scaling it all down gives this, and that’s a good this !
“This awesome little set up is handy for fishing the tightest of the tight when it comes to available casting space.
The head in this example compromises of a 5ft Rio floating Skagit cheater coupled with the 1.5″ per second 15ft sink tip that came with the Rio Skagit system.
The running line is simple mono so as to offer minimum resistance and maximum range to this super short and deadly fishing shooting head.”
“One of the questions I normally ask a client whilst setting up his/her own equipment is “may I ask what line you are currently using there?” and secondly “what is the head length ?”
These are not trick questions, I just simply wish to learn about the clients mindset as to why they chose that line, or why it was recommended to them. Quite often the client remembers the name of the line manufacturer and even the model name and its AFFTA classification number, but there the knowledge of it often ceases.”
“If a line of inappropriate and excessive head length has been purchased, the angler “after some frustrations” does the sensible thing and only false casts out to a length which they can manage, sadly the outer most reach of their fishing is regulated by a head length issue right there.”
and that’s just a few snippets i hope will wet your appetite for more.
if you’ve ever gone out and bought a well reputed fly line and wondered why it wasn’t living up to your expectations you’ll find some very important thoughts in Lee’s highly recommends article. enjoy !
with the hope the following article will help clear out a few ideas on fly line selection and since there’s been some recent comments regarding the use of level lines…, here’s an introductory excerpt on the hows and whys of fly lines tapers from Bruce Richards‘ seminal book Modern Fly Lines via Virtual Fly Casting.
as a reminder, Bruce was head line designer at Scientific Anglers for over 30 years. we can consider him to be the ‘father of modern fly lines’, “What Bruce doesn’t know about flylines, probably isn’t worth knowing. In fact some of what Bruce *does* know about flylines you probably wouldn’t want to know either.”
“The primary purpose of the front taper of the fly line is to allow proper delivery of the fly and leader. The taper from the belly of the line to the tip acts to reduce the mass of the line. As the loop of any fly line travels through the air, the mass of the moving part of the line decreases because that part becomes shorter. In tapered lines it decreases even more because the line becomes smaller towards the tip. This increases acceleration, resulting in greater wind resistance and greater energy dissipation, and therefore a more delicate delivery.
Obviously, heavy and wind resistant flies offer more resistance to the fly line than light, small flies. Lines with long front tapers have less mass in the front section of the line than lines with shorter front tapers. Less mass means earlier acceleration, earlier dissipation of energy, and a more gentle, less powerful delivery which will effectively deliver small, light flies, like most trout flies. Lines with short front tapers dissipate energy less efficiently, resulting in a more powerful “turnover”, suitable for the heavier, wind resistant flies usually used for bass or saltwater fishing.
It should be mentioned that the tapered leaders tied to the end of fly lines continue the dissipation of casting energy. If you have ever cast a line without a leader, you probably noticed it did not cast well. Lines are designed to be cast with leaders. A properly designed line will have just the right amount of energy left at the end of the cast to turn over the leader and deliver the fly. If a line is cast without a leader, it will ‘kick’ and be most difficult to cast. Lines are designed to be cast with a particular leader commonly used with that size type of line. A light fly line will be overpowered by a heavy saltwater leader; the line will not have enough energy to turn it over properly. By the same token, a light trout leader won’t be able to handle the large amount of energy a heavy saltwater line passes to it, and the line will ‘kick.’ Casting a level line with no front taper demonstrates very clearly how tapering effects the way a line casts. Even with the correct tapered leader, level lines ‘kick’ when casting because thy have so much undissipated energy left when the line straightens. To avoid the kick the caster must modify his or her casting stroke to reduce the amount of casting energy by slowing the line and by casting with a larger, more wind-resistant loop.
Level lines turn over very abruptly and land on the water forcefully because the energy dissipates poorly because the tip is just plain heavy without the line taper. Sinking lines are said to ‘hinge’ when cast; there is a significant change in the density where the floating and sinking parts of the line join. If cast correctly, a properly designed sinking-tip line does not ‘hinge’ but rather ‘kicks’ just as the level line does. The tip of a sinking line is very heavy and dissipates energy poorly. To compound the problem, lines with very high density tips are very small in diameter and offer less wind resistance even when the do finally accelerate. The key to casting these lines effectively is the same for level lines, namely to open the casting loop and slow the line down as much as possible.
The ability of the caster is important to consider. Lines with longer, more delicate tapers require good loop control and may be difficult for an inexperienced caster to use. There are lines on the market specifically geared toward beginning casters, lines with shorter tapers that dissipate energy less quickly during the cast. Most novices cast with relatively wide, open loops that are quite wind-resistant. If a line with a long, delicate taper is cast with this kind of loop, too much energy is dissipated and the line and leader will not straighten. With a shorter, more powerful taper, effective deliveries can be made even with less than perfect technique.
Instructors may often overlook the fly line a student is casting with. Ask the student what line it is they are using. This may be especially important when dealing with advanced or intermediate casters.
For example, many intermediate casters attempting to cast a line to 75 or 85 feet are simply unaware that in the case of a Weight Forward line, they must learn to control and understand what “overhang” is, and how it will affect their ability to control the line for longer casts. Overhang is simply the position of the rod tip in relation to the distance between the running line and the end of the rear taper. While experienced casters can control lots of overhang the intermediate caster should not attempt to cast with more than 2 or 3 feet of overhang outside of the rod tip. It is highly recommended that an approximate overhang point be marked with a permanent magic marker allowing the student/ caster a consistent “pick up” point that will promote greater efficiency when learning to cast a longer line. Again we turn to “Modern Fly lines” for a detailed description of why understanding “overhang” is critical.
“A fly line is controlled by the tip of the fly rod, the angler’s last point of contact. The rod tip moves the part of the line that is in the rod tip, and that part of the line moves the rest of the line. For the rod-tip part of the line to move and control the rest of the line effectively, it should have enough mass to move the line connected to it.
A good caster can cast effectively with running line in the tip, however, if the line is kept very straight during the cast. Energy can be transmitted through the straight, small- diameter running line to the head of the line. But it usually desirable to choose a line with a belly that will insure the belly is at least very close to the rod tip during overhead casting, roll casting, or mending.”In closing it is important to note that it is the fly line that delivers the fly to the target. Understanding how fly lines transmit energy to deliver the fly to the target is predicated on a firm understanding of taper design.
as alluded to in yesterday’s post Double Tapered vs Weight Forward Fly Lines – Which is really better?, there’s an enormous amount of let’s say, less than informative information available on the net when it comes to explaining this or that about fly fishing, fly casting and basically fly-anything.
here’s a real gem in the rough in the matter. the poor guy is so lost at attempting to teach us something that he doesn’t know. it would be sad if it wasn’t so funny…. enjoy !
btw, it’s this.
and to get a little more technical, a taper is:
• a gradual narrowing: (click the link at the top of the page for Bruce Richards’ basic explanation of mass, weight distribution and other goodies and how they affect a fly line’s performance).
•diminish or reduce or cause to diminish or reduce in thickness toward one end : the tail tapers to a rounded tip | [ with obj. ] : David asked my dressmaker to taper his trousers.• [ no obj. ] gradually lessen: the impact of the dollar’s depreciation started to taper off .
ORIGIN Old English (denoting any wax candle), dissimilated form (by alteration of p- to t-) of Latinpapyrus (see papyrus), the pith of which was used for candle wicks.
hmm, it turns out that thanks to Mr. DT we found out that the word taper finds it’s origins in candles and we can use it when chit-chatting about trousers so, i guess it aint all bad.
constantly amazed that this subject is still an issue with so many anglers, on so may forums and by so many ‘experts’, i thought it might be of worth to pull up this article and let Mr FlyLine explain it himself.
of further interest we’ll note that the exact same principles of mass (or of more practical use, diameter), tapers and lengths apply equally to leaders. a leader is to be designed as the continuation of the fly line and not an entirely separate entity. what applies to line selection applies to leader selection. the two work hand in hand, so to speak, to enable the fly angler to meet the specific casting/fishing challenge at hand.
“Few fly line subjects have been discussed more than which is the better taper, double taper (DT) or weight forward (WF). The answer is, neither is inherently better, but one may be better than the other for you.
A lot of generalizations are made about these two tapers based on outdated or incorrect information. We’ve all heard that DT lines are more delicate, give better control, roll cast better, etc. In some cases some of these things are true, but not always.
Delicacy of delivery is determined by the mass of the front part of a fly line. This is determined by line diameter (which relates directly to mass), and taper length. A line with a small diameter tip and a long taper has much less mass up front than a line with a large tip and short taper. Don’t be mislead by taper length alone, a line with a long front taper but a large tip diameter will not deliver delicately. A DT and a WF line with the same taper and tip diameter will deliver the same.
For many years most DT and WF lines were made with the same tip diameter and front taper length so there was no difference in how they delivered, although many claimed there was. Today, some of the DT lines are actually designed to be used specifically for spring creek type fishing and do have longer tapers and/or smaller tips.
Anytime a line (or any product for that matter) is designed to do one thing very well it usually has a shortcoming somewhere else. Lines that are designed to be very delicate have little mass in the front to carry larger or heavier flies, and don’t handle windy conditions well. It takes a better caster to throw the kind of loops it takes to make these lines perform their best. And no, DT lines aren’t more “accurate” at normal fishing distances, that is entirely in the realm of the skill of the caster. Good consistent loops and practice are where accuracy come from.
It is very true that DT lines are easier to control and roll cast at longer distances than WF lines. At shorter distances there is no difference. The key to line control and roll casting is that large diameter line belly must be in the rod tip. If small diameter running line is in the tip it is nearly impossible to transmit enough energy through it to the belly to make the line do what you want. What many people don’t consider is that WF lines control and roll cast as well as DT lines at the distances most people fish.
Most WF lines have heads that are 35-40 ft. long. Add a 9 ft. leader and the distance to the fly from the end of the head is 44-49 ft. To that, add the length of the rod since roll cast normally end with the rod parallel to the water and pointed at the target. That is the distance at which DT and WF lines control and roll cast the same. There aren’t many typically trout fishing situations that require roll casts longer than that, and not many casters who can roll cast that far. What this all means is that DT and WF lines work pretty much the same at the distances we fish most of the time.
Certainly if someone fishes a big river that requires a lot of long distance roll casting and mending he or she should consider a DT line or a WF with a long head. Rods longer than 9 ft. are almost a necessity also, roll cast distance and mending performance is directly dependent on rod length.
Everybody knows that WF lines are better for distance than DT lines, but is that really true? Well, yes, but the difference isn’t as big as you might think. Certainly WF lines shoot better because of their small, light running lines. But remember, this benefit starts at 44-49 ft. when the running line is in the rod. If you will be making a lot of long casts it is certainly a little easier to do with a WF line, but don’t think that DT lines won’t shoot, they will, just not as far. With the advent of new slick coatings like AST DTs shoot better than ever.
For most people it probably doesn’t make a lot of difference which taper they use. Most of us fish at distances less then 44-49 ft. which is where WF’s start to shoot better, but lose line control. Most of us don’t have the need, or the ability, to roll cast longer than 45 ft..
So, how do you decide which is right for you? If you do mostly small fly fishing at short to medium range there is no reason not to get a DT line. There is always the budget issue, DT lines are essentially 2 in 1 so are less expensive over time. If you are consistently throwing long casts you will be able to make them with fewer false casts with a WF line, but lose the ability to do long roll casts and mends, if you ever need them, and are able. For most of us it doesn’t make much difference which taper we use most of the time, make your decision based on how much short distance fishing, or long range fishing you do.”
here’s something useful for those trying to make sense of fly line weights.
not exclusive to, but of particular use for the double-hand casters, here’s a quick reference chart that avoids finding a calculator and even worse, finding out what in the heck a Grain is and what it refers to in the real world…
feel free to lift the chart and save it somewhere in your files. hopefully this will prevent a few headaches !
at first look, the fly angler will probably think this of no use or something solely reserved the for the Anal-Angler, but ! what got my attention with this one was:
a lot of the smaller trout reel spools leave very little room for backing and even though it’s almost never i get to see the backing when fighting a trout-type fish i like to have some there just in case ! to make up with this lack of backing space i’ve been using very thin braided line from the luring/spinning industry as it’s incredibly thin for it’s strength. the connection to the fly line is a loop to loop with a loop big enough on the backing end to be able to easily slide a reel or line spool through it to be able to change lines quickly. now, what that leaves me with is a very fine, un-stretching connection connected to a much bigger and softer one. it hasn’t happened yet but i’m pretty sure that if enough force was put on this connection the thinner braid would just cut through in the manner a wire cheese slicer does. not good !
placing a sleeve over the braid as in the video below before making the big loop would keep the cheese slicing from happening and also make it easier to pull the loops apart when changing lines. good !
speaking of cheese, i’m off to have a quick snack and off to try out some new fly lines that came in yesterday. enjoy the day !