J. Castwell
March 16th, 1998


Ok, get down on your knees," I said with a sly leer. "Aw. jeeze," was her reply! "Nope, I mean it. If you are going to learn how to cast from a float tube, this is your chance to learn."

But, I am getting ahead of myself here. This conversation took place at one of my casting schools here in Washington. The students were learning how to cast and one of the topics was "float-tubes.' At the end of our daily school we lay out about a dozen fly rods. All nine foot, six weights. All with the same lines, but by different manufacturers. We have a ten footer along as a float tube rod; just to prove a point.

The ones that wish to learn how to cast from a tube are asked to get down on their knees and cast with any rod they have selected. They find they MUST pitch a tight loop from that position. Any remnants of a big, sloppy, open loop just will not work.

Once they have the idea in place that a nine foot rod must be punched crisply to produce a tight loop, I hand them the ten foot, six weight fly rod. Remember, these are new casters. New potential fly-rod buyers. But, they have already formed the notion that in a float tube you NEED a longer rod to keep the line off the water behind you.

Please try this. Please! Go to your local fly shop and ask to try two fly rods. Both the same line weight. One a nine footer and the other a ten footer.


That's right, kneel down. Wear old pants, whatever; just do it. You will find that you can keep the line off the ground behind you MUCH easier with a nine foot rod than a ten foot rod.

One of the things that grinds my grates is the fly shop guy who, after selling you a float tube, purrs, "and now you will be wanting a longer fly rod to use with it!" Bull Pucky!

Don't forget what keeps them in business. YOU!

They will not be thrilled to let you try two rods of the same size but of different lengths. They will know you might know a little bit about the game. Big deal. A longer fly rod is harder to stop, period! Stopping the rod forms the loop. A shorter fly rod will form a tighter loop than a long one. Period.

Don't be fooled. ~ JC

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