August 3rd, 1998
Shoot More, and Shoot More Often!
"Hey, JC, I just read a neat thing about the drag on reels."
All right, you and I know that is true; the
above is taken from a section of 'chat' from our chat-room on
here. The angler was indeed an old timer. He just never had
read about it!
My point? Justification for sometimes going
into some of the basics in this column. But, not this time. At least,
not about reels and drags. This time I am going to hit on a thing
about trying to cast a long line that you may not have read.
Now, you need to follow this pretty close.
You take a six weight rod and line. That means that the rod is
'balanced' with the line out about thirty feet, OK? So how can
you cast a line that is only fifteen feet long? You just use the top
part of the rod; in other words, you balance the rod to the amount
of line in the air. Ok, so how do you cast a line that is fifty feet
long? Right, you put a bit more thrust into the cast forcing the
rod to 'load' farther down the shaft and the rod takes the strain
and produces the cast. You 'balance' the rod with the extra
amount of line by forcing the rod to bend deeper Fine. So far,
"OK, what did ya find out?"
"That if a big fish gets you down into your backing,
you should loosen the drag wheel. Because when the diameter of the
reels spool gets small the drag increases all by itself in direct proportion."
"Well, geese, I thought you knew that? You have
been fishing for years. This the first time ya ever heard that?"
"Yup, don't know how I missed it, but, it was
news to me. And, you know, it's true! But, of course, you need
to tighten it back up when you get him in close."
Let's say, now you need to cast a line out
about eighty, or ninety feet. That is three times the amount of
line the rod was rated for, correct? Yes, it is correct! You
would have a devil of a time effectively casting that much 'line
in the air.' You balance the rod to 'the exact amount of line the
rod will effectively handle.' I have heard various names to the
exact length of line a rod would control, such as the 'sweet-spot,
etc.' That may be forty feet! Perhaps, fifty feet. Maybe fifty-six
feet! That is for you to determine. And the particular fly line here
plays a significant role as well. Each line you use may be different.
Just because the front part weighs 'so much,' how much does the
rest of the line after that weigh? A weight-forward and a
double-taper are quite different.
The answer? Easy. You get into the air the
amount of line the rod will handle and 'shoot' the rest. Yes, out
to eighty or ninety feet if need be. If you attempt to 'over-load'
the rod with too much line in the air you will disable the rods
ability to 'return-to-round' and the rod will actually lose power.
The result will actually be a shorter cast.
So there you have it. Like the NRA boys
say, "Shoot more, and Shoot more often."
Till next week, remember ...