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How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby GregM » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:59 pm

I'm using and Amago, 15' of either #4 HiViz or #4.5 TenkaraUSA, around 6' of 5x mono, and a big fuzzy hopper. I can get the level line to lay out pretty well, but often my hopper doesn't go much further, or is blown back.

If the wind is zero, or at my back I can get it done. And I can do fine with a small beadhead.

It's the light, big, high profile fly into the wind that gives me a problem.

Am I simply up against physics and aerodynamics, or is there a technique that will punch that hopper (or a Sprout) or out there another 6'?

Is mass on the end of the tippet the only answer?

[I know, I know...6' of tippet is too long ... it's not Tenkata ... etc. etc. But it is what I want to learn.]
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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby erik.ostrander » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:47 pm

When you find out let me know. Usually you have to shorten tippet when the wind goes up. I use John's furled fluoro lines when the wind picks up.
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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby jd_smith » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:50 pm

Greg, I think you know the answer already. If it were me I would cut down the leader at least a couple of feet. Why do you feel that you need 6' of tippet for top water fishing? Are you casting into calm water such as a lake? Or is it to get more reach or is it to remain extra stealthy? I don't feel 6' is necessary for anything other than nymphing deeper pools. Others may disagree on that one though.

Casting low might be an option. Or casting in between gusts might work well. One thing that I would seriously recommend for pushing a bushy fly like your hopper into the wind would be to construct a tapered tippet. Start with about 3 feet of 3x and then say about 1.5 foot of 4x and then about 1.5 feet of 5x. The larger tippet will allow more energy in the cast to transfer from the line into the tippet allowing more punch at the end of the line. The formula I just gave was completely on the fly and may need to be tweaked a bit to get the right turnover, but a heavier tapered tippet should give you improved results, and with the right formula you probably can get your 6' tippet to turn over well. I wouldn't go any heavier than 5x at the fly connection though. Also try a smaller fly with less mass.

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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby narcodog » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:29 am

In a big wind I open my cast, slow it down and use a furled leader with about three feet of 5X tippet. I will also cast more side arm if I have the space. I also use the same technique if I am casting heavy or beaded nymphs.
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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby GregM » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:59 pm

JD,
You asked - "Why do you feel that you need 6' of tippet for top water fishing?"

Stealth. The river is wide, low, and clear. Big boys are hanging out in 6" of water along the edges. It's obvious I'm spooking the fish with 2' of tippet. I'm already crawling around on knee pads. I need some reach.

I can always go shorter. But, here, I'm fishing for insights and answers...

Also, Chris S. and John V. over on FAOL both suggested trying tapered lines as well.


So as a starting point I decided to try a tapered leader/tippet to get a better transfer to the fly. I joined a 10' chunk (and I do mean Chunk) of 25# mono and a 10' 4X Umpqua Tapered Leader. I have about 19' total: 10' of "level", one knot, then 9' tapering to 4X. (The 25# mono has a diameter of .020 and the butt of the tapered line was .021. I cut off about a foot of the butt to get .020 for a good match. Let me know if there is a Taper with a smaller butt closer to a #4.5)

In the driveway, with a wind, it does better than a #4 line with 6' of 5x tippet. Real word testing begins on tomorrow.

Note: This is a "Light Fly on a Windy Day" rig. It is a beast. I much prefer a rational tradition setup, with this being "in the quiver" for those few occasions when nothing else seems to work.

[Full Disclosure: I have been fishing for a total of 1 year. All of it tenkara. So if it sounds like I don't know what I'm doing you're right. But I am having fun.]

Thanks All for a direction. Physics is hard to overcome, but applied science gives one a fighting chance.
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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:17 pm

GregM wrote:
[Full Disclosure: I have been fishing for a total of 1 year. All of it tenkara. So if it sounds like I don't know what I'm doing you're right. But I am having fun.]



Love that disclosure.

I think no matter how long someone has done something, they still can have new questions and experiences every time they hit the water and fish.

The way I look at it, I will be a beginner the rest of my life. :lol:

I have come a very long way since I started 2+ years ago but find I read or experience or do something new to me every trip.

So, bottom line like you said, "but I am having fun", and that is all that counts.

Keep on enjoying the trip.

I have no long tippet advise as I have found my tippets have gotten shorter this year compared to last. The shorter tipp length has made my casting better carrying over the fly and anywhere from 2' to 3' is about what I run these days.

I think the advise about tappered tippet and leader makes sense to me.

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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby Tenkara Elevated » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:24 am

Greg, might I suggest tying a kebari in a hopper color and cast from another angle. I would switch to a heavier level line in a non spooking color if you truly feel that is an issue. I like P-line halo in 17 lb when casting into the wind for big spooky trout. Note this was only on my Amago, a simple 15 lb halo would work for an Iwana. As for the six foot leader if you were to make the changes I suggest you would not need such a long tippets. I only use long tippets in certain lake situations. So my suggestions are switch to a kebari in the color of your choice, heavier non spooking level line and cast from another angle even if that is up or down stream. If you have any questions feel free to ask?
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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby erik.ostrander » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:52 am

I've fished big water in high wind to spooky fish on top with big flies many times. Fish so spooky that a knot spooks them. Wind so high it blows the boat upstream. I feel your pain :(

My solution is to let the wind do the work for you. If the wind is blowing down stream, then fish down. If it's blowing up then up. To the side . . . you get the point. Sometimes fighting the wind doesn't help anyone.

If the only presentation is against the wind then try a level furled line with a loop on the end and put a western leader on it. I have a line that is ~ 12-16' of John's furled fluoro (depending on how far I need to cast) combined with a western tapered leader 9' 4x ( I use Rio Powerflex, also depending on how spooky the fish are). Casts pretty good and is the ultimate in stealth - so good I have to use a big fly or I have absolutely no idea where the fly is! If you get a knot or the line breaks, then put on a new leader if the fish are knot shy.
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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby GregM » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:52 pm

I'm OK with wind. There is a lot of it around here, so one has to learn to cope. I use it when I can.

My original post was really an appeal for technique, tips and tricks, and a sanity check. The tapered line concept came out as a very interesting alternative. And I appreciate that. I've got "The Beast" coiled up in my leader wallet, for that occasion where nothing else works and I'm to stubborn to quit. I'll keep looking for better configurations - like furled + a western leader. It's one tool.

Someone else mentioned that Wind is the true test of casting form. "It will uncover all your faults." So I'm working on that as well - LEARNING to cast in the wind. I've seen it done. I just need to get better.

Thanks all for your comments.
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Re: How Should I Cast Long Tippet Into The Wind?

Postby johnlaudenslager » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:36 pm

GregM - I read somewhere you live in Salida. I live 50 mi downriver, so we share conditions. I have tenkared here three years. You and others talk of casting long. I started with #3 and 3.5 lines about as long as my 11' Iwana, and 4'-6' tippet. I tried lines up to twice rod length. Unless I have fooled myself, casting those lengths was not so much problem. What was a problem was controlling my fly after it landed with that much line in the wind. You know our wind. 10-15 most days. When wind drags the line the fly comes up and moves fast, the opposite of what I want.

I have settled on a #3 line 2/3 the length of the rod, plus 4'-6' of tippet, plus a bead head fly.

Am I stuck in some weird wrong place?

Are you still interested in casting long on our river?

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