Monday, April 16, 2007

Make your mark

Your guide has just seen a sign. "Fish at 11 o'clock...moving west...50 feet...cast!" If you have your wits about you, you'll find the clock and compass positions, estimate the distance and throw. If you don't you can be frozen, wondering which way is west and how far is 50 feet. Here's an easy step that will help you learn to gauge distance on any type of water. Mark your fly line with a permanent marker at the 30 and 60 foot measurements. These marks will be visible to you every time you fish. You will become very familiar with that first mark because so much fishing happens within the 30 foot range. These marks not only help you calculate line distance out but also distance in. When you are gaining line on a fish you'll be glad to see these measurements coming back onto the reel. Go ahead, make your mark.

4 comments:

powderseeker said...

That's nice and simple. :-)

Topher Browne said...

Cool, stuff.

Scientific Anglers used to make a two-tone Ultra 2 fly line: running line and WF head were two different colors (Rio makes one now called the WindCutter II).

IMHO, all fly lines should be made this way! Unless you have an exceedingly long rear taper (i.e. S.A. "Expert"), most modern WF lines cast best with around 3' of overhang (running line beyond the tip of the rod). With a two-tone fly line, it's easy to dial in the right overhang for each and every cast (at least the longer ones).

With a mono-tone fly line (i.e. one color), it's a great idea to mark your fly line to make it easier to locate the critical head/running line junction. Use 3M Electrical Tape to place a temporary mark at the end of the rear taper. See how you like it (you might hate it). If it works for you, remove the tape, and use a Sharpie pen to permanently mark the spot.

Watch Steve Rajeff next time he casts a single-handed rod. He spends several moments dialing in the right amount of overhang before moving on to other critical components such as trajectory and the quality of the rear loop. A fly line that is marked at the end of the rear taper can make you cast like Steve, too. With a little practice.

El Pescador said...

Great insight Topher. Your comments shed light on another aspect of line marking - for casting/loading purposes. Understanding front and rear tapers and proper load zones for all line types could help every caster. I'll give the tape marks a try. Hopefully manufacturers will take your advice and start color coding as the norm....because we'd all love to cast like Steve Rajeff!

jared said...

I've taken to marking the "sweet hauling spot" on my super sinking line...the taper between the lead head and the running line isn't distinct enough to feel at night. So I put a little pliobond bump @ the spot so I can feel when to haul.