October 15th, 2001

I Don't Know
By James Castwell


Over the years I have accumulated much information. Some of it valuable, most not really. Not a great accomplishment though, just pay normal attention and something will soak in. Occasionally I will attempt to sort bits and pieces out and put them in some order for future reference. It is at these times I realize some just don't fit. Some seem to have one part but not the next part. Some things don't add up. It would seem that after so many years of information gathering, I would possess most of the necessary facts. Alas, it seems I do not. For instance.

If a nine foot rod needs ten guides and an eight foot rod needs nine guides, how many guides go on an eight and a half foot rod? You sure? Why hasn't science got this all figured out for absolutely? If the rod is a slow one and therefore bends a lot more, does it need more guides? Or less? Why? I'm sure I don't know the answer to things like that.

And just what the heck is 'balance'? Does it mean using a five weight line on a five weight rod? That the whole rig then balances nicely? With which line? It will cast differently with a weight-forward than it will with a double-taper, or a level.

Or does it mean that a rod which weighs three and a half ounces should balance with a reel (with line on it) that weights two and a half ounce? Has this not yet been determined yet, in all these years of study, no one had figured it out yet? And, just 'where' should it balance? Right at the hook keeper, one inch back, two inches? Where? I have no idea.

I used to fish with a buddy who had a gorgeous Payne fly rod and used a very heavy automatic reel on it. To him that was balance. To me that was lunacy. Is balance a subjective thing?

Big fights these days about guides with two feet versus those with only one foot. It seems to me some smart guy should be able to settle things like that pretty easy. Which weigh the most? Which offer the least resistance to the fly line? Does one or the other cause any thing good or bad in the castability? And does it matter a darn bit?

Speaking of guides, how about those 'stripping' guides? Does using two of them four inches apart really make any difference? For sure? Does the core of your fly line enter into the decision? How about using three, I see some are going in that direction. Who knows, but the funny thing is, no one seems to know for sure yet.

So there you have a few of them. I won't even get into the little ones like, can a trout smell a dry fly? How salmon can find a creek from thousands of miles out at sea? Why does real Polar Bear hair always work better than any man made material for saltwater streamers? The fish never got to eat any real Polar Bears. Why does a Woolly-Bugger work on Silver salmon in ninety feet of ocean water?

What is the 'social-signal' that tells trout to start rising, and tells them to quit? They do it like someone threw a switch.

Mike Croft art

Looks like I have a lot more to learn. Figured some smart guy would have at least figured this stuff out by now. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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