Oh dear, here we go again. I’m out doing distance again.
I played a very small part in helping Mike Barrio develop a new distance line and I received the final version a couple of days ago. As luck would have it I got home quite early and the weather was perfect to go out and give it a bash. I lined it onto my Angel and went out to see how it cast.
First impressions are that it a very soft and limp line, which is fine by me, thats how I like my fishing lines. How is stands up to the strain of constant distance we will have to see. I hope it lasts longer than the MED, I used to get through five or six of those a year when I was practicing several hours a week. One of the things that impressed me with the first version Mike sent me was the very positive turnover at all distances, this got lost somewhat in later versions but Mike has got it back in the final one, the positive turnover is a definite plus in my book. I am not sure of the final configuration but I would guess the rear taper is very long judging by the loop stability at all distances. My very best effective carry with the MED is 83′ so I was astonished to find I was carrying nearly 93′ of the Barrio Outcast, and carrying it very effectively.
I should explain what I mean by effective carry. In distance casting there is a very fine line between carry that is fully under control and carry that is not under control. A distance backcast has to be under full control for distance casting. One foot too much carry and you lose control and the cast suffers.
The backcast was into a slight breeze, so even more impressive.
After a few exploratory casts I started to open up and quickly got to the high one teens, then one twenty and I finally maxed out at 125′. Not bad for a first cast, well bloody good, actually.
This afternoon I decided to have a head to head with two other rods, a TCR with the MED and the Echo UD with a 90′ DT on it. I didn’t have time to switch lines and rods but the Outcast consistantly outcast both other lines by quite a margin. Distances were down a bit from yesterday, my best was only 121′, but neither of the other lines went past 119′ and were very inconsistent, often not going over 115′. The Outcast turnover was the key, I think. The other lines tended to pile whereas the Outcast turned over cleanly nearly every time.
The weather looks set fair for the weekend, I intend to mix and match rods and lines and see what happens.
Mike is hoping to have the line available in a month or so.
Since I have started to try and teach myself left handed fly casting I have been pondering what is the single most important aspect of fly casting that is key to producing the perfect fly cast. For the life of me I cannot say that this or that is the most important because ‘this’ always depends on ‘that’ being right as well.
I have said for years that a good, dynamic, back cast is the key to a good cast, and so it is, but, what do you have to do to create the perfect back cast? Ooh, let’s see, perfect pickup or set up from the forward cast (and how do I set that up unless I have made the perfect back cast in the first place?), timing, power application, tracking, correct casting angle for amount of line/power, keeping everything in tension. Cor, look at that, I have just written the Five Essentials, and that’s the crux of the matter. Take one of them away and you have fucked up, to put it bluntly. There is just no way around it, all the elements of the Five Essentials have to be melded together to produce the perfect overhead cast, and most other casts for that matter.
Before I heard of the Five Essentials my only option was trial and error as a way of trying to sort out (m)any casting problems I had. I fished for twenty five years before I got around to having my first proper lesson. That’s an awful lot of trial and error. If I had bothered to take a few fly casting lesson’s in year one I would have had the tools to work out my problems properly. This is exactly what the Essentials are, they are your tools of the trade.
Once you have the tools you can set about building your cast. The only other thing you need is eyes. You use those to watch your loops, or your hand, or the rod tip. For Gods sake look at something, don’t just stare vacantly into space as I see a lot of casters do. If you have a problem seeing your back cast open up your stance a bit so that you can glance back without having to contort your neck or twist your body (that can ruin your tracking as you turn forward again). Learn to read your fly line. Is the loop too open, is it tailing, is the fly leg waving around, are the rod leg and fly leg in plane, are there waves running down the rod leg as the loop moves away from you. Even when the line has hit the ground, or water, you can still read it. Is it straight, has it curved, did it turn over fully or did it land in a heap. All of these things will lead back to one, or more, of the Five Essentials not being performed properly.
I think I have just answered my own question and created the Sixth Essential.
Use Your Bloody Eyes.
Some Essential reading http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/adjustmentsonthefly.shtml
Or, if you are less picky http://michaelheritage.wordpress.com/2009/02/