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Level line type, Furled line and length of, Lake fishing JMT

Level line type, Furled line and length of, Lake fishing JMT

Postby Lancelot2u » Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:10 pm

Hi All, So I am new to Tenkara. I ordered a Sato pole for a John Muir Trail hike this summer, currently set up with 3.5 level line. I am planning on going solo from Mt. Whitney to Happy Isles, then from Happy Isles to Saddlebag to Lundy lake where a couple of friends will come fish for the weekend and pick me up. At least that is the plan.

I have watched the videos, practiced in the park, then hauled my Tenkara rig to the top of Mt. Woodson and back to cast in Poway lake when I returned in the afternoon.

I barely have any time on the rig, but I do not want to wait until I am 12K feet up with no support to ask my questions. I will double check that my level line is the same length as my pole this afternoon, but I believe it is 1 foot longer than the pole at 14 feet. So that aside, unless the wind is at my back, I am having issues. I have practiced for about 3 hours, I have fished for 35 years which seems to be of little help with this new technique.

I live on top of a bluff 1/2 mile from the ocean, so at the park there is a steady afternoon breeze of 3-5 mph. At the park, unless the wind is at my back, good luck. No go on the casts. The line just blows right back at me and coils up like a spring at my feet.

At Poway lake, the breeze was even less, and I could get my line out, but it was also coiling up and blowing back at me, resulting in a cast of less than 6 feet. The wind was not blowing hard enough to even ripple the surface where I was standing. Mind you I have roughly 4' of 2# test on the end of the level line.

I would like to be able to extend the Sato to its full length, cast my line into an Alpine lake as far as possible, without wading, if possilbe. I am bringing only flip flops to wade, which can be very difficult in the mucky bottoms of the Eastern Sierras, not to mention stirring up a bunch silt which the fish will simply avoid due to disturbance.

Advice on the level line vs. furled line, lengths, and best bet set up is appreciated! I don't get to fish much before going, and wind is always an issue in the Sierras. Willing to practice in the park prior to that.

Will a weight forward furled line help with the wind?

Thanks!
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Re: Level line type, Furled line and length of, Lake fishing

Postby craigthor » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:44 pm

I'd look to a furled line it weighs a bit more and should cut the wind better.
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Re: Level line type, Furled line and length of, Lake fishing

Postby farmer » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:28 pm

I have tried 12 and 15 foot furled fluorocarbon lines. I've had no problems casting these in windy situations. You might also look into a titanium line. I have not personally tried one but reviewers indicate they excel in windy conditions.
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Re: Level line type, Furled line and length of, Lake fishing

Postby tsegelke » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:42 pm

Are you using the 10 and 12 casting stroke, or a 10 and 2?
You may want to try a cast that is parallel to the ground to help cut the wind?
You need to slow down significantly when the line is longer than the rod. Are you allowing for the line to extend behind you on the back cast so you can use the full leverage of the rod to cast full length ahead of you?

Without seeing your cast, I feel like I am left with ideas for your to think about while casting to try and fix it next practice time.

I hope this helps.
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Re: Level line type, Furled line and length of, Lake fishing

Postby dwalker » Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:07 am

Lancelot2u wrote:Hi All, So I am new to Tenkara. I ordered a Sato pole for a John Muir Trail hike this summer, currently set up with 3.5 level line.
.... I will double check that my level line is the same length as my pole this afternoon, but I believe it is 1 foot longer than the pole at 14 feet.
..... Mind you I have roughly 4' of 2# test on the end of the level line.
......


First are you stretching the level line to remove the coil memory from the line being on the spool before casting the line? It takes a little while to get the knack for it. My line used to look like a long slinky before I learned to stretch the line properly.

I would recommend you get some casting practice on the lee side of some building out of the wind. Starting with your 14 ft line. It might help sort out the difference between problems with your casting stroke and problems caused by the wind. Don't think of the back cast as being back. But more up and back at 45˚. Then 45˚ forward and down.

I found it helpful to try casting a long line for a little while. Say 5 to 6 meters and maybe size 4.5 level line. I found a little time practicing with a longer heavier line;
a) helped me to learn to sense the weight of the line when it fully extended up and back before I started the forward cast. Once you learn to sense it you will more readily sense it with a shorter lighter line.
b) it helped learning to put a small pause at the end of the back stroke to allow the line time to extend before starting the forward cast. Stop close to straight up, 12:00. You'll feel a slight tug of the line and that will tell you without looking, that the rod tip is flexed backwards and ready to help propel the line forward due to the spring in the rod flex.
c) it helped me to slow down the rhythm of the cast. And that you need to make a definite, though not abrupt, stop at the end of the forward cast. Stopping at 2 o'clock or 60˚ from vertical. No more that 2:30 or 75˚
d) it helped learning you need to put just a little more zip into the back cast than the forward cast, and
e) it helped teach that casting is more about getting the timing right than trying to force the cast with strength.
I found that after 30 minutes practicing with a long line, when I went back to casting a shorter lighter line, my timing was better, and I my casting of the shorter line was improved. Even if my casting of the longer line was still pretty poor.

Lastly, why such light weight tippet? 5x tippet is generally 4.5 - 4.7 # test which ought to be fine. I don't think the light weight tippet is what is causing you trouble. But generally with lighter weight tippet, to get it to roll out fully, you need more line speed. And that is a skill that takes time to develop. And a heavier tippet will add a bit more forward weight to the line. However, no need to worry about the tippet rolling out fully until you can get the level line to lay out fully first.

I think you will find a furled line is easier to cast than a level line. At least until your casting skill improves.

My 2 cents.

D
Tenkara is fundamental fishing fun
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Re: Level line type, Furled line and length of, Lake fishing

Postby Lancelot2u » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:31 pm

@dwalker,

Just got back from a trip up to Henninger flats in LA. Took my backpack loaded with a bunch of bad food decisions and crap I didn't need weighing in at 44 pounds. Never again. Took my pole up though in spite of no water. Funny thing is, this group of ultralight backpackers, 3 people had experience with Tenkara. When I rigged up the pole and started some dry land drills...

1) apparently I need to practice with a wrist brace, I have some bad habits from too many years of Western Fishing.
2) No, I did not stretch my line, was not aware I was supposed to
3) I was making large sweeping motions that had a guy laughing as I told him I was new at it. He showed me the back casting with some ticking motion at 10 and 12 to whip the line backwards. He tossed the same line I was have trouble with like it was a dart. Truly amazing.
4) I was not stopping at 10, therefore, it was landing at my feet
5) Back casting was not stopping at 12, so my line was sweeping in a large circle
6) I need to practice! And yes, I am still trying to strong arm the line. Not zen by any means.
7) 2 pound tippet, that's just what I have used in the Sierras for years. It is a fun catch, especially when the fish is a bit larger. Fish tend to bite the flies I toss more often on the 2# test than the 4# in the calm beaver ponds where they are skittish.

Thank you for your thoughful answer. I will be printing this out and practicing again at the park when I get back to San Diego.

Lance
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