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Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby joshmcnutt » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:49 pm

Hi all. I'm a longtime backpacker who just got into Tenkara this spring. Before that, I'd never fished.

I've recently acquired a relatively long furled line (18'), and I'm finding it difficult to keep this line off the water. I don't really have a problem with this with my shorter furled line (about 12'). How do you keep your longer lines tight and off the water? The only way I've found is to lift my rod up very high over my head, which of course is a terrible solution as it makes for a much more fatigued arm and more difficult hook sets.

Thanks!
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby johnnyv145 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 6:57 pm

Longer rods really help. A long rod like the Amago or Ito would be a good match for an 18-20ft line.
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby joshmcnutt » Fri Aug 02, 2013 7:53 pm

Yeah, that doesn't surprise me. I'm using the Iwana right now.
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby johnnyv145 » Fri Aug 02, 2013 9:07 pm

If you want to fish longer lines with the Iwana, I would switch over to level lines. 3.5 level line should work really nice up to 18ft. Anything longer than that I would use 2.5 level line with that particular rod. At those lengths with a 12' rod, keeping all the line off the water is really tough. Having some line in the water is not really that big of a deal as long as you are keeping the line tight. No slack line sitting on the water.

The line length I use most with my 12-13ft rods is 16 ft. Good reach and still very easy to manage.

John
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby jd_smith » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:39 pm

Also, fishing longer lines and keeping them suspended is easier if you fish them with more of a traditional wet fly presentation, slightly up and across stream or quartering down and across. Many of the videos out of Japan illustrate this.

I find that even with fairly long level lines it is difficult to keep them suspended with an up-stream presentation that immediately starts drifting back toward you.

Aw shucks, I did it again. I am assuming that your fishing moving water. If your fishing still waters I would also make the same suggestions as above of a longer rod and lighter lines.
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby joshmcnutt » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:08 am

Thanks for the tips. I've got some 3.5 level line in my kit, so I'll cut a 16' length of that and give it a shot. And JD, you're right to assume I'm in moving water. I've been fishing the Gunpowder River north of Baltimore lately.
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby GregM » Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:08 am

jd_smith wrote:Also, fishing longer lines and keeping them suspended is easier if you fish them with more of a traditional wet fly presentation, slightly up and across stream or quartering down and across.......

I find that even with fairly long level lines it is difficult to keep them suspended with an up-stream presentation that immediately starts drifting back toward you.


Suspended lines in an upstream presentation are no different than "up and across". It works exactly the same way. What is different is the amount of drift you can expect.

Idealized, a 12' rod cast to a horizontal position and then lifted to vertical will give you 12' of drift. But we don't cast that way, and the sag of the line shortens things as well. So Maybe we get 10' of drift, and often only 8'.

And that will equate to maybe 3 or 4 seconds of drift in a quick moving stream. You did cover 10' of water. It just happened fast.

For an "up and across" cast, if your fly is say 20' feet away and drifts directly downstream from the landing, will give you twice drift as you raise, and then lower your rod.
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby jd_smith » Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:44 pm

GregM wrote:Suspended lines in an upstream presentation are no different than "up and across". It works exactly the same way. What is different is the amount of drift you can expect.

Idealized, a 12' rod cast to a horizontal position and then lifted to vertical will give you 12' of drift. But we don't cast that way, and the sag of the line shortens things as well. So Maybe we get 10' of drift, and often only 8'.

And that will equate to maybe 3 or 4 seconds of drift in a quick moving stream. You did cover 10' of water. It just happened fast.

For an "up and across" cast, if your fly is say 20' feet away and drifts directly downstream from the landing, will give you twice drift as you raise, and then lower your rod.


Greg I'm not trying to disagree with you about getting maximum drift.

The question was "How do you keep your longer lines tight and off the water"?

I think it is easier to do these with up and across and/or across stream casts that drift down and then swing from the other side of the stream and then across. With this technique coupled with stepping down stream after every two or three casts, an angler will cover every bit of the stream, not just certain parts by using straight up and down drifts. The current helps to anchor the fly and aids in keeping the line tight.

Of course there are other techniques to use, and many variables within them. I was simply referencing one.

This is the method in illustration;
Image

Image

Notice in this illustration every step the angler makes down stream covers another few feet of water. This is a perfect example of how this technique is done to cover the entire stream. Using the water current to drift the fly and while keeping the line tight.
Image

And in video;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ggth1FoU6nY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N05apvLcjs

Notice in this very informative video that the teachers very rarely if ever cast directly upstream. Nearly every cast is quartering up or down.http://vimeo.com/22379671

Just yesterday I used this technique very effectively. By mid day, my oldest son and myself, we found for whatever reason that the up and across stream cast and drift just wasn't working any more. When I switched techniques by using a longer line casting across the stream and down, letting my kebari drift and swing in front of the rocks and then giving a couple of twitches, it produced two of the best fish of the day.
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby GregM » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:08 pm

JD,
We're in the same church, in the same pew.
I'm pretty sure we're singing the same song, but maybe different verses...

g.
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Re: Keeping the line off the water with longer lines

Postby OutdoorsBen » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:09 pm

Drop down to a 2.5 and it'll make a world of difference. Of course the 2.5 doesn't cast well in the wind. I recently tried long lining with a 2.5 and it's night and day better than a 3.5.
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