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Guest AnthonyR

fly gear

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Anthony you have a great many questions; I appreciate your hunger and thirst for knowledge. It occurs to me to try to answer each one of your queries in detail as you post; it's not practical though and I'm concerned about overwhelming you with too much information. I'm also concerned when I communicate with any beginner that I not ever state or even imply that you have to have expensive gear to have a good time.

Just a few answers if I may please. The quality of the rod will in time make a difference for you. There is a decided and easily discernable difference between a $50 rod and a $350 rod. Yes, a good fly caster can cast either rod well but he/she will be able to cast the $350 rod better. Is a $700 rod twice as good as a $350 rod? There isn't nearly the difference here that there is between the $50 rod and even a $200 rod. There are lots of measures of "good" but it will be some time before any beginner will be able to tell the subtle differences. When you do get the line to load the rod it's like hearing music for the first time Anthony; you'll love it. I'm anxious for you to have that experience. If possible, try to hook up with an experienced caster. Seeing it done well and having a mentor are invaluable. Of course, that may not be possible.

Trying to learn to cast on your own is darn difficult. Here is a web page that might give you some assistance. http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/sxyloops.shtml The name is suggestive but the site is serious. It has some animated graphics that may help you. If you can't connect with a mentor I would STRONGLY recommend a casting video. Joan Wulff and Lefty Kreh each have marvelous DVD's and VHS videos for both beginners and advanced casters. "Joan Wulff's Dynamics of Fly Casting: From Solid Basics to Advanced Techniques" "Lefty Kreh on Fly Casting" These two titles are available on Amazon.com as are others.

The quality of the reel may also make a difference for you some day. As I have communicated more and more with Carp anglers across the country it appears that Carp, like Salmon, are not equally "hot" and "willing" in every setting. There is no attempt at humor here Anthony. By "willing" I mean the fish's willingness to move aggressively to the fly. By "hot" I mean how hard the fish fights. Here in Washington, our Silver Salmon are decreasingly "hot" and "willing" as they move farther away from the ocean. The Carp I chase are somewhat like those Salmon. Many are very "hot" but many are often not very "willing." That said, I'm amazed when I read about someone being able to subdue a 15 or even 20 pound Carp on a 6 weight. That's a recipe for a warranty claim on the rod on many waters here in Washington. However I recognize nothing is universally true. Fishing for large Carp with a click drag reel, vs. a disk drag reel, is not practical in A FEW settings here. In much of our water, where the fish aren't as hot, you could fish for Carp for your whole life with a click drag reel and be completely fine.

As to leaders, a tapered leader will turn over more effectively. Until you can get the line to load the rod you won't be able to tell the difference though. Keep practicing, that day is in your near future.

It makes me smile that you are a sponge for knowledge. I'm very pleased that the members on this forum have all responded to you positively and patiently. While I haven't met any of them personally I am nevertheless proud of them for the way they have responded. Those kind of responses, in particular the tone, wouldn't be true on all forums.

As to attaching your leader to your line, there are lots of ways to do this. A simple way to start might be for you to buy a "nail knot tool". I believe they are about $6. You can tie a 20-30# butt section on the line and then fasten your tapered leaders to the butt section with a blood knot. Yes, knots make a definite difference and yes you can use super glue. You can also use Knot Sense by Loon Products as well as other commercial knot glues for some of your connections.

Are Carp noise shy, vibration shy, "thump" shy, splash shy, shadow shy, movement shy,--yes, definitely. Are Carp leader shy? Not particularly. That doesn't mean that you can attach a 2/0 hook to the end of a 36 inch, 20# leader and expect success but there are definitely other things more pressing for you to worry about than the diameter of the leader. Smooth, accurate casting to feeding fish will pay big dividends.

All of this said, don't get overwhelmed please. Keep on being a sponge for knowledge, keep trying, keep learning. Use the gear you have and ENJOY THE HECK OUT OF IT!! When you have the skills and the wherewithall to move on then do so. Get out there and fish!

Good luck Anthony. I very anxious for you to catch your first "WGS" on a fly.

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Guest AnthonyR

Thanks a lot for all the information. Today I hope to catct my first fish on the fly rod, a bluegill. Not much but its a start. The water also holds 15-25 LB carp. Hopefully a 5LB tapered leader can handle them If I catch one.

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Anthony I would add that there are other ways to attach a mono butt section or a full tapered leader to a fly line. You can put a kevlar loop or a line-leader loop on your fly line and then tie a perfection end loop in your leader. The perfection end loop is an easy and useful knot to learn. A loop to loop connection is very simple to change out. Keep your loops small so they go through the guides easily. Some of the leader loops are heat shrink and some of them need to be whip finished and glued with a low viscosity, water proof, cyanoacrylate bonding agent (Super Glue is a C/A glue but there are several other brands and methods of application available) Use the fluid type not the gel type.

The loops may not be readily available where you live. If not, you can purchase them on line from Kaufmann Streamborn Flies or Cabelas for example.

Is there a fly fishing club somewhere in your area?

Don't worry about your "2006 totals" and don't get overwhelmed with gear information. Get out there and keep trying. You can do it.

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Guest AnthonyR
Anthony I would add that there are other ways to attach a mono butt section or a full tapered leader to a fly line.  You can put a kevlar loop or a line-leader loop on your fly line and then tie a perfection end loop in your leader.  The perfection end loop is an easy and useful knot to learn.  A loop to loop connection is very simple to change out.  Keep your loops small so they go through the guides easily.  Some of the leader loops are heat shrink and some of them need to be whip finished and glued with a low viscosity, water proof, cyanoacrylate bonding agent (Super Glue is a C/A glue but there are several other brands and methods of application available)  Use the fluid type not the gel type.

The loops may not be readily available where you live.  If not, you can purchase them on line from Kaufmann Streamborn Flies or Cabelas for example. 

Is there a fly fishing club somewhere in your area? 

Don't worry about your "2006 totals" and don't get overwhelmed with gear information.  Get out there and keep trying.  You can do it.

Theres no fly fishing club, but there are a few tackle shops around plus, kmart has basic fly line. And they are building a Bass pro shop near me.

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Guest AnthonyR

Well, I just got back from fishing with the fly rod for the first time. I didnt get those 20LB carp, but they showed a mild interest in the fly. I did catch 5 bluegill, from 8 - 12 OZ. THey really put up a fight on a fly rod with 5LB tippet. They were reluctantly biting one fly so I switched to a bright colorful one and they liked it much more.

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Dude, bluegill are awesome on a flyrod! What kind of fly did you use? If you really want to have fun, tie on a little cork popper, and fish em' topwater.

I have some bluegill in my pond, but whenever a bunch of them gather in a school, like if they're feeding, the bass come and eat them. :D It's pretty cool to watch.

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Guest AnthonyR
Dude, bluegill are awesome on a flyrod! What kind of fly did you use? If you really want to have fun, tie on a little cork popper, and fish em' topwater.

I have some bluegill in my pond, but whenever a bunch of them gather in a school, like if they're feeding, the bass come and eat them. :D  It's pretty cool to watch.

I dont know exactly what kind of flies they were, but they were simple dry flies. I'll post a picture of them as well as a picture of a bluegill once i get the camera workin. That must be cool to see them get eaten. In this pond, there are no bass. Just carp and bluegill. It's very strange to go from 65 LB PP to 5LB mono.

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Theres no fly fishing club, but there are a few tackle shops around plus, kmart has basic fly line. And they are building a Bass pro shop near me.

Bass Pro, yes, you'll love it! There are none in this part of the country, however I had the chance to visit one when I was in Orlando on business. I got there as it was opening; just walking in the door you start to go into sensory overload. The one I visited had a full fly shop in it. I was only in the store for 4 hours; I know that sounds like a long time but I could have easily spent twice that long. You'll see more gear than you can imagine. If you haven't been in a fly fishing shop before even that small part of the store will make your eyes open wide. (in a good way of course) Next thing you know you'll want to start tying flies Anthony and then you'll REALLY be hooked.

Again, don't let all the "gear and stuff" get you down. Keep fishing.

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Anthony,

Bass Pro Shops' fly shop is called White River Outfitters and if yours is half as good as the one here in Harrisburg, Pa. you'll be in for a real treat. Every Saturday and Thursday they have casting demonstrations where they give 1 on 1 teaching. They even have free fly tying classes where they teach the basics. Their job in part is to help you to become more proficient at fly fishing. This in turn makes you a more regular customer. A very good trade off for both parties. I like the advice of keep fishing as that is the best way to learn and to know what you really need help with. Keep at it! Soon enough you will be telling us of your first fly rod carp. :D Tight lines!

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Guest AnthonyR

Well, Ive been practicing my casting whenever I can(I was out in the blizzard today in my backyard) and I have one main problem with my casting so far. EVerything works okay with the backcast, but 99% of the time, I cant get the line out straight in front of me. It bunches up. Aside from loosing casting distance, it also puts the flie right next to the line(despite a 6 foot leader), which I would imagine might scare some fish. Once in a while, if I watch my backcast and time it perfectly, the line shoots out perfectly straight, but I can tell what im doing wrong.

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Eventually, you'll learn to feel the slight pull when your backcast straightens out. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Just practice all the time.

In fact, that still happens to me some times. :D

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Guest catdaddy
Eventually, you'll learn to feel the slight pull when your backcast straightens out. It took me a while to get the hang of it. Just practice all the time.

In fact, that still happens to me some times.  :D

try a fly with an open bead chain for eyes like a crazy charlie

the open beads whistle as you cast which helps your timing

btw, you don't need a fly to practice and if you use one, you might consider pinching the hook closed and or wearing eye protection.

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Guest AnthonyR

thanks for the site Mr. P! I am learning how to cast better. Before, I was bringing the rod forward before the loop was completely unfurled. With about 15 feet of line, 80% of the time I can cast smoothly. I just have to work on stopping the rod sooner so the line doesnt make a bullwhip noise as it breaks the sound barrier against the ground.

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thanks for the site Mr. P! I am learning how to cast better. Before, I was bringing the rod forward before the loop was completely unfurled. With about 15 feet of line, 80% of the time I can cast smoothly. I just have to work on stopping the rod sooner so the line doesnt make a bullwhip noise as it breaks the sound barrier against the ground.

Good job continuing your practicing Anthony. It's also good that you took the time to go to the Internet casting site. Excellent job on the self-evaluation! You definitely don't want to be swishing the rod; you want to learn to start and stop your backcast and your forward cast.

When I started teaching casting in the 70's I used to give my students a little 36 page booklet titled "To cast a fly, a step-by-step guide for the modern angler". It was published by Scientific Anglers. It's long since out of print and I only have one copy left. I Googled the title and came up with some hits for used copies. They ranged in price from $5-8. It's a great little booklet that illustrates and explains the dynamics of casting.

As to practicing off the water here are a few tips. The grass is never the same as the water because the water helps initially load the rod. Still, the lawn casting will help you a great deal. If you can do it on the lawn you definitely can do it on the water. Currently when I teach casting I will have my advanced-beginners and intermediate students sit in a lawn chair and then cast. It helps encourage them to straighten out the backcast. If they are intermediate casters I have them sit down right on the grass. When you can cast sitting on the lawn then standing up becomes so much easier.

Use a leader on your line when you practice. I was told when I first started that it was hard on the line to not use a leader. I don't know why but it's probably because I was whipping the line and snapping it so darn much. It may or may not damage the line to not use a leader but more importantly you fish with a leader so simulate what you will actually be doing. As to having something on the end of the leader, don't use a fly. You can't snag yourself then. Also the fly won't snag in the grass as you retreive line. If you would rather use a fly cut the shank at the bend with a pair of wire cutters. Even a cut fly will snag in the grass against the eye. In my classes I have my students tie a 1- 1 1/2 inch piece of antron on the end of the leader. It's just yarn made from artificial material. Its used for fly tying and other things of course. You could buy something similar at any fabric store or drug store. White is a good color against the lawn. For targets I have three foot sections of nylon rope that are easy to transport and store. I place them in a circle for my students to fire away at. Sometimes, when I'm lawn casting myself, I'll put out five or six rope-circle-targets placed at different distances and directions. I'll work to change direction and distance with a minimum of false casting.

Distance:

The first time you see someone double haul and smoothly lay the line out a long way, you will be intoxicated. Beware of this. In time you will learn to do it. Don't let the perceived need for extreme distance get you down in the meantime. Learn to make consistent, smooth, straight, casts in the 30-50 foot range. This will reward you with fish. Distance, and casting the line into the wind, will come later.

Be persistent in your efforts and patient with yourself. Keep practicing, keep fishing, keep enjoying.

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