Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Part 3

As I have mentioned before, there is always a the urge to go out and  buy the best rod for what you see the job to be,  in my case pure distance, because there is always the nagging worry that the rod you are using is not up to it. I was never that convinced that my casting ability was capable of using a  ‘cannon’ to it’s full advantage anyway. For instance the thought of buying a TCR worried me, especially when I read the hyped up  posts about them being so fast etc etc.

 I decided to take a pragmatic approach, I would buy a rod that I thought was one or two steps better than the one I had and learn to cast it as far as I could before going on to an even better one. I’m not sure this was the best approach. I am quite sure that if I went back to some of them now I could cast them a lot further than I could back then.

 Ok, I had cast my original rod, which , to be honest was a bit of a noodle (a Hornet Pinfire 6/7)  To 100ft and it was time to upgrade so I bought an Orvis T3 five weight and an Rio wind cutter line. My aim was to hit 100′ consistently, in fact I had decided that I would not buy another rod until I could hit 100′ ten out of ten casts. My personal best distances went up a bit, 104′ then 108′ but I could not get consistency. I heard about a new line and bought one, an SA Mastery XXD. It was the line all the distance guys were using so it made sense. I didn’t get on with it to start with but I gradually got better.

 One day I made my ten out of ten and set about deciding on my new rod. I still didn’t think I was good enough for a TCR so I finally bought the most expensive rod I had bought to date, a Sage XP. Anyone who knows me will know I hate choice, I will agonise for days and weeks and then I guarantee I will make the wrong choice, luckily the XP was one of my better decisions. It has turned into a classic. The hue and cry when Sage announced it’s replacement with the Z-axis recently says a lot for it’s popularity. I have to admit I was a bit puzzled by it at first, it was supposed to be a fast rod, but it never felt like it in my hands, nevertheless it launched a long line when you got it right, which I was beginning to, now and then.

 At this stage my casting was a bit frustrating, one day I could go out and blast 110′ plus’s until the cows came home, the next I couldn’t have hit 100′ if my life had depended on it but my occasional PB’s were getting better. It’s a funny thing but you don’t improve by inches, you improve by feet. I could be stuck on a particular distance for weeks or even months and then all of the sudden I would put another 3- 4- 5 feet on or sometimes, but rarely more and all of the sudden the previous distance you had been stuck at was a peice of p, I mean easy. I found, much later, when I was really casting well,  that if I expected to hit a mid one twenty I would usually do it so perhaps a lot of the mental side of casting is about expectations.

 I seem to remember setting 115′ as my distance for the XP. I hit that and there seemed to be more there so I kept going. Then on one cast I just watched the line go, and go and go, bloody hell, it’s still going. I think I was a bit slack jawed when it eventually hit the ground. I dropped the rod and ran up to the tag which was miles passed the end of the tape, I pulled the tape to the tag and discovered I had just made my first 120′ cast, whoo hoo.

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March 20, 2009 - Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized

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