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Q: What sort of casting distance is "respectable" for me to be reaching when I am trying for distance?

I've been fly-fishing for like 14 years along with a group of buddies (many of whom have been at it for much longer) and we recently asked a pro to give us some tips on improving our technique. He met us one evening in a field in Vancouver and proceeded to cast a single handed 8wt. rod loaded with a matching 8 wt. line until he literally had the entire fly line in the air. And he did so effortlessly. And by the way, it wasn't his rod... he hadn't even brought a rod with him that evening... he did that with one of my friends' rods.

I didn't get out a measuring tape and measure the distance he was achieving but I think it was easily 120' or more.

Although I have a number of single handed fly rods I find that more and more I am heading out into the rivers and into the ocean with my switch rods. On more than one occasion I have measured-out the distance I can cast with my 7/8 switch rod and it's only about 70' - 75' and that's pretty much all I can attain. That rod is 11' in length.

Suddenly I feel like my casting ability sucks.

Q: What would be respectable with that kind of set-up?

Distance matters to me as I pursue Coho in the ocean on the East Coast of Vancouver Island every fall (like right now) and it's almost always the case that the Coho are hanging out there "at distance."
 

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Better than the ?~50 feet? of fly line that I manage to get out there with my 9 foot rods :p

I'm interested in what the pro told you, or perhaps you hadn't asked him what a good distance would be with your set-up at the time. I imagine that with a longer rod (i.e. spey), you should theoretically be able to get more line out, secondary to the longer lever arm of the rod.

I'm guessing that, at the end of the day, checking out some vids on YouTube, or taking some more of those lessons, is probably your best bet, but maybe you will have to swap back over to a single-hander to get the distance you're looking for.

Gl :cheers:
 

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I'm interested in what the pro told you, or perhaps you hadn't asked him what a good distance would be with your set-up at the time.
He gave me one very good tip with regard to keeping the rod tip high on the final forward stroke... which helps the leader to roll-out properly. He didn't comment on the distance I am able to cast, however that may have been simply because he didn't want to sound negative. All of his recommendations were framed in a positive way.
 

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:2cents:
He was a pro and the reason he can get it out that far without tirering(sp??) is that he has cast an awful lot.
There is only 1 way to improve your cast...........Practice, practise, practise, fish, fish, fish and maybe do a double haul.

I seem to be stuck at the maximum of 80 to 85 feet.

It will come with more time & practise as I keep trying to improve mine as well.

Don't give up:peace:
 

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I didn't get out a measuring tape and measure the distance he was achieving but I think it was easily 120' or more.
Having the ability to do that is a great thing to have in the bag with a single hander.
But really how often do you need to cast that far, except perhaps occasionally on the beach where you fight the wind on occasion.

Having the ability to cast into your backing is different than the need to.

I do understand the frustration though.
Chucking 90' isn't always enough particularly when fishing alongside a spey guy who's bombing it out there.

Go see Courteny at Nile Creek Fly Shop, That's in Bowser; right near you.
Take a lesson or two, and the pointers are free.

It's easier to learn to cast well than to put band aids on in order to fix a bad cast:2cents:

And as Mcallagan said: Practice, Practice, Practice; But practice the correct things.
 

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I can cast about 80' with my 6 or 7 wt.
Seldom need more than that.
A lot depends on the fly and leader.
Dry fly on a relatively short leader is easy.
Choronomid, swivel, split shot, strike indicator on a 20 foot leader requires a bit more skill.
Big weighted stone nymph your not really casting so much as lobbing.
 

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Question! Do the fish care? All that is really needed, is to get the fly to them. The rest is just for bragging rights, unless you are into casting competitions.
Distance matters to me as I pursue Coho in the ocean on the East Coast of Vancouver Island every fall (like right now) and it's almost always the case that the Coho are hanging out there "at distance."
If you had troubled to read his post you would have noted that he is fishing for coho that are beyond his reach.
 

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I don't know exactly how far I can cast with my single handers (5 through 8 weights), but I can get it out to the backing if standing in a park. On the water is a different story as I don't fish with a stripping basket, and the line on the water creates friction. It's never been an issue for me though.
 

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Eighty feet is respectable; but is that productive? The closer you work the more often your line will be on the water, instead of in the air. Where are the fish? Stealth and accuracy catch far more fish than distance. The boys on Team Canada seldom cast further than twenty feet. I challenge you to compete with any of them sometime. I did; and when I went to Fernie, I found out in short order who the masters are.

That aside, fishing close (within 20 to 50) allows you to see what is going on at the end of your line. I know when I present my fly I like to see how the fish react to it. The last thing I want to do is fish all day with a fly that is spooking the fish, or is not sparking any interest. Fishing beyond your vision, is fishing blind; and I personally want to see what is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Eighty feet is respectable; but is that productive? The closer you work the more often your line will be on the water, instead of in the air.
You make a good point, but what I find - more often than not - is that the Coho seem to hold just outside of my casting reach. On a good tide at first light they can be in so close that you risk breaking your fly on the rocks on the beach behind you during your back cast. Generally speaking however they only stay in close like that for the first few minutes after daybreak and then they move out.

Sometimes the conditions seem to play in your favour, such as when there is a slight chop on the water and a bit of wind... with conditions like that they may hold in close.

I can't help but feel that if I could cast further that I would be into more Coho more often when pursuing them in the salt chuck.

I'll be going out tomorrow in fact so I will get a chance to see if my recent practice sessions have helped when I am casting in a "real world scenario" complete with wind and sea weed etc.
 

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You hear this complaint often. Most times I see this (with almost any species): Once a a few fly lines start smacking the water over the heads of the fish, they will move away from the surface disturbance. In moving water this handled by casting upstream of where the fish are holding and letting the fly drift back to them. In lakes, the fish are often at a depth that the line doesn't spook them (but I have watched fish in 12' of crystal clear water shoot out of the way as soon as a line hits the surface). If you see a school moving, try to cast ahead of them rather than on top of them.

I am pretty skeptical of many of the anglers who claim casting distances of 80+ feet, at least under real fishing conditions. Bear in mind a well, the deeper you wade to reach your quarry the shorter your casts will become. You lose about 10' of casting distance for every foot deeper your body is in the water. It is unbeatable physics caused by the lowering of your rod tip height from the water surface.
 

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Yeah I love hearing guys estimate the length of their casts or the distance fish run. Most guys casting 50-60 feet think they're tossing 80.
are you shooting a lot of line? Shoot more and have less in the air above you. You could also just bring a ladder... ;)
 

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I wanna know how you measure a cast?! Is it from your reel to your fly? Or from your rod tip to where your leader begins? Or some other combination? There can be over 20 ft of variance in just how guys are measuring it, and you know how guys are.....
All I know is that under ideal conditions, I can cast a well balanced setup, pretty much right to the backing.
 

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Salt chucking is not my forte Mic, so my advice maybe all wet. (sorry about the pun, but it worked so well)

My question is why is your fly touching down behind you. When I teach fly casting, I am always trying to get my students to throw their line high on the back cast. It is a trick I learned fro Dave Whitlock. Adjust your casting stroke from the traditional 10 & 2, to 9 & 1. This changes the line travel from level, to down and out, on the power stroke, this is also know as the wind cutter cast. The mantra I have my students chant as they work at this one is; throw it high, push it down. This might help you on the back cast.

As for the light problem, I encounter that on the Thompson; once the light hits the water, the fish are down. Other than dawn and dusk, one option is overcast days.
 
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