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Old 12-28-2006, 09:01 PM
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zimno1 zimno1 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2004
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Default Re: Equipment/tackle assistance please.

you will want a good line! in the surf you may wanna read this thoroughly. Match the length of the fly line's head to your casting ability.
Weight-forward fly lines are designed such that, to make your longest cast, you are intended to get the entire head section (that is, the entire weight-forward section of line, from the tip of the line to the end of the rear taper) just outside the rod tip, and then, after you stop the rod on the final forward cast, release the running line that is trapped in your line hand. The force of the unrolling cast will pull a number of yards of the thin running line with it, allowing you to deliver a fly a significant distance.
If any portion of the head section (which is thicker and heavier than running line) is still inside the rod tip when you stop the rod on the final forward cast, this will, to some degree, impede your cast if you attempt to shoot line on the delivery.
Choosing a line whose head section stays within the parameters of your casting ability will allow you to fulfill your distance potential. Never choose a fly line whose head length exceeds the amount of line you can comfortably hold outside the rod tip while false casting. If you're among the vast majority of fly-fishers, this will be somewhere between 35 and 45 feet of fly line. This number is too important to speculate. To determine the maximum head length for your casting ability, line your rod either with a long-belly taper (any weight-forward floating line whose head section is 40 feet or longer will do), or even a double taper line matched to your rod's line-weight designation. Then, beginning with about 30 feet of line outside the rod tip, simply false cast. Make a few false casts and see how it feels. If you feel you can handle more line in the air comfortably, strip off another foot of line and make a few false casts with that. Repeat this process, not until your cast collapses completely or until your line starts ticking the ground, but just until you feel you've reached the limits of your comfort zone. Next, measure how much fly line you have outside the rod tip. If you were able to hold 38 feet of line outside the rod tip comfortably, but felt that any more may have been pushing it, you should choose a line whose maximum head length is slightly less than 38 feet.
This is not to suggest that a line with an even shorter head may not be a good choice as well; in the hands of a good caster, and depending upon its intended use, it would. What's critical is that a caster who can hold only 38 feet of line in the air comfortably should never choose a fly line whose head length exceeds 38 feet.
Most fly lines marketed under names that imply the line was made specifically to cast distance have very long head sections, usually exceeding 50 feet. To hold 50 feet of fly line in the air comfortably requires exceptional casting ability. The number of casters I know personally who can actually do this--comfortably--I can count on one hand. The vast majority of fly-fishers will perform much better with a head section that is shorter than 50 feet--one they can hold outside the rod tip before making their delivery. A good caster can deliver a fly 80 or more feet using a fly line whose head section is less than 40 feet long. FOR A SINGLE-HANDED ROD, THERE IS NO NEED EVER TO HAVE A LINE WHOSE HEAD SECTION EXCEEDS 50 FEET. Regardless of what the packaging, ad copy, or other sales literature claims the line will do for you, match the fly line's head length to your casting ability.
2. Mark your fly lines for length.
Marking your fly lines for length using waterproof ink will help you to make long casts consistently. For example, if the head of your fly line is 37 feet long, marking the fly line at 37 feet with a single bar around the circumference of the line tells you automatically how much line you need to have outside the rod tip before you can make your longest cast.
3. Use a fairly short overhang.
The amount of running line you hold between the end of the head section and the rod tip as you cast is called "overhang." All weight-forward floating fly lines will tolerate some amount of overhang, but if you try to overhang too much line your cast will simply collapse, as you're demanding a thin running line to turn over a thick head section. It's simply an inefficient transfer of energy. Anyone who has ever cast a shooting-head system has doubtless experienced this collapse. (Keep in mind that a shooting-head system is simply a radical version of a weight-forward line.)
The amount of running line you can comfortably overhang will vary with the design of the line as well as your own casting ability. For most casters, however, I recommend using no more than 3 or 4 feet of overhang with any weight-forward line. This will allow you to deliver a fly a fairly long distance with a short head section and a very modest shoot. For example, imagine you're using a fly line whose head is only 33 feet long, and that you're holding it outside the rod tip with 3 feet of overhang. Assuming that you're using a 9-foot rod with a 9-foot leader, if you can shoot only 6 additional feet of running line on the delivery, you can deliver your fly 60 feet--a very serviceable cast in many saltwater situations.

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