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Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby JDP1292 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:31 pm

Hey all-

one of the biggest problems I've had when fishing tenkara is getting a good drag free drift with just the tippet and fly in the water... it seems whenever I try to do this, The line "sags" back toward me and pulls the fly unnaturally through the water at too quick of a pace...

Can anyone help me/does this make sense? if not I will try to clarify..
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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby jd_smith » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:41 pm

We could use more info i.e. rod length, type of water, type of line, length of line the flies and so. That would give us a better picture of what you're experiencing. And a better foundation for recommendations.

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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby JDP1292 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:45 pm

Ok, 12' iwana, water: small spring fed creeks, usually no more than 10 feet across, length of line: usually around 14-15' plus tippet, its some of Chris Stewart's orange level line, flies: usually either sekasa kebari's or some small western style beadhead nymphs (i.e. prince nymph, gold hare's ear, pink squirrel)..

I just feel like I'm getting a more drag free drift when I have more line on the water... which is the opposite of what should be happening.
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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:22 pm

If it were me, I would be using shorter line. If the creek is only 10 feet wide, and you have a 12' rod, I see no need for 15' line + tippet.

Try a 9' line with 3' tippet and see if that helps.

You can still stay far enough off the creek to not spook fish and use that 12' length of the rod to your advantage.

In Utah this year I used my Ito on smaller waters at 13' and with it about 9' High Vis Level Line 3.5# and about 2' 5X tippet. Worked nicely for me.

I would think you can precisely cast using the shorter line and if your level line is lite, like 3.5#, you can hold it off water without it coming back at you too much and only have fly and maybe a little tippet in water and you let it drift.

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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby JDP1292 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:33 pm

hmm okay. I guess I fish a longer line because I feel like I need it to reach certain spots without spooking fish, I'm used to Western fly fishing where I can reach spots from 40' away.

I'll have to try using a shorter line..
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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:46 pm

JDP1292 wrote:hmm okay. I guess I fish a longer line because I feel like I need it to reach certain spots without spooking fish, I'm used to Western fly fishing where I can reach spots from 40' away.

I'll have to try using a shorter line..


If they are that spooky and you have to stay super far away, then a lighter line and whatever length line you need can work but if you are using a 4# or 4.5#, that may be harder to keep off the water. Using a 3# or 3.5# should be easier to hold off the water.

I have never had to cast 40' with a Tenkara Rod on a small creek so I guess I am not familiar with that need. I normally get down on the knees and sneak as close as I can get and cast maybe 15' to 30' ranges on my smaller creek. Normally about the max casting I am doing is 25', maybe 30' away, but I think trying to hold a 40' cast of line off the water would be rather hard.

Not sure if Daniel casts 40' and holds all that line off the water but maybe he can chime in.

I hold about 25' to 30' off the water using 3.5# fairly well though.

TJ

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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby JDP1292 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:51 pm

When I was saying 40' I mean thats the max i do with my western gear.. not with tenkara gear.. guess I'll just have to work on being sneaky and ninja-y!!
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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby erik.ostrander » Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:36 pm

No matter what line you use it will always want to go underneath the tip of the rod. Just simple physics. A shorter line simply puts the fly closer to the tip of the rod. You get better drifts with short line because you can't get distance.

Every body of water will require you to anchor some line/tippet. Determining how much line/tippet to anchor is up to you and your skill level. It's always a balance between drag from the river and drag from you.

Holding 25-30 feet of line off the water is pretty damn good, and I'd like to see it!
On faster water we commonly use around 18 feet or so of line with 2-4 feet of tippet. The last couple of feet or so of line are always on the water, no matter what. If there is no wind and we are using 3.5 weight line, then there are a couple of feet. If there's a light breeze and we're using 4.5 weight, then there's a couple of feet. And, if there's a strong wind we will usually anchor the line with several feet of line on the water, or intentionally pull the fly. If the water is slower then there is inherently more line on the water.

The slower the water the more line you have to keep on it. If the water is fast then you can keep more line of the water since the speed of the river will match the natural pulling effect the line has on your fly.

Don't get caught up in what "should" be happening. The only thing that "should" be happening is catching fish. Experiment, try things out, find out what works for you, find out what works from other people, etc . . . There is no wrong way to fish.
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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby TJ @ Tenkara USA » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:36 pm

erik.ostrander wrote:Holding 25-30 feet of line off the water is pretty damn good, and I'd like to see it!


Not 25' to 30' line, a total cast of me to fly of 25' to 30' away which means my line is much shorter. ;)

I am not into that long line stuff. About the most I do is 15' line and 4' tippet. Maybe one day will play with 18' line but not the norm for me.

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Re: Getting drag free drift- line "pulling" fly

Postby pechelman » Thu Oct 11, 2012 2:05 pm

erik.ostrander wrote: If the water is fast then you can keep more line of the water since the speed of the river will match the natural pulling effect the line has on your fly.


exactly what i was going to chime in with / use what the river gives you to your advantage.

cast more directly upstream, finish with your rod tip a little lower, and as the fly\line drift back toward you, raise your rod to remove slack., and the bowing in your line pulling your flies back toward you, will be in the correct direction. I prefer to blend the raising of the rod tip into the end of the casting stroke to remove slack. Seems to produce a softer\faster\fly first presentation and keeps things taught. (i also seem to catch more fish this way)
You'll be getting shorter drifts fishing nearly directly upstream but they'll be right in the seam you want them to be moving at the rate you want them to. (whatever that may be)

similarly, you can do the same by casting quartering up, and doing a sort of tenkara reach cast where you turn the rod slightly more perpendicular to the current flow as the flies begin to land on the water, and then follow the flies back in, raising the tip as the flies drift down. sort of like cz nymphing on a "long" line. The bow in your line will slightly be pulling the flies toward you, unless you can get your rod perfectly perpendicular, but anchoring a tad more line as erik notes is a good technique.

on slower water, dont be afraid to let more line on the water to unload your rod
itll also let your flies get down a bit more as well and impart more of a swimming\horiz movement vs more of a vertical\jigging motion with traditional tenkara. This subtle difference in presenation has made the difference for me between catching and not in slow\still water.

similarly, fish downstream and just balance the pull in your fly from the line by the rate at which you lower your rod...or not, and develop a bit of swing.
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