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Your (and my) observations on leader-twisting flies

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Ok, so you do the floor test, the bathtub test, and AH...

all is well. Your fly lands "upright" according to your



Then you tie that fly on a leader and do "field testing."

This means hoisting it out onto the neighborhood pond with

an acutal flyrod.


And the son-of-a gun twist your leader. So much so that when it

lands on the water, it does a respectable imitation of a cocktail

blender. Even with a hefty level leader of, say, 8 lbs. test.


Of course, this doesn't happen with every cast, but DOES happen

regularly even on a day so calm the pond looks like the top of

a billiard table.


And the bilateral symmetry of "Mr. Fly" seems perfect.

Same length, size,number, and quality of appendages on

both L and R sides of your fly. No weird obvious



In my experience, all of these contribute:

* Anything with paired wings

* Rubber leggies, no matter how slinky or how few

* Feather wings, cupped or bowed (cupped seems worse)

* Snazzy split tails


What's your take? Can you tie a floater that does NOT twist?

Tell me how and win a 2-day all-expenses-paid trip to Portsmouth Ohio.

A 3-day trip if you reply as a practising aeronautical enginner.

No math please. And if you tell me to refine my cast to fix the

problem, I will send you to Portsmouth for life.


I'm desperate, I tell ya. Grin.

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As far as wings go, I have the same problems!


The least twisty in my hands are: Reelwings, CDC, deer hair and polypropylene. Lloyd Gonzales has a great idea using polypropylene and a wing burner just for the tips


The most twisty seem to be stiff materials like Hemingways wings.


I think its partly a function of the style of tying as well. I like parachutes so the hackle's flat to the water surface. With an upright wing you then have materials horizontal and vertical.


Anyway, Portsmouth UK is a nice place. Good sea fishing, close to chalk streams, I'd be happy to be sent there!


Simon (dentist when I'm between tying flies)

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Jeeez....I thought we were talking about Portsmouth Ohio. I already had my tackle packed.

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I'd charge extra for a fly that I could get to whizz and whirr on the water in the strike zone without having to strip it!!


Seriously though, that happens. However, you may be storing the twists in the line outside of the reel that is laying on the ground or in the bottom of your boat. To remove or reduce the stored twists in the line during the cast, you should have out only the amount of line that you are casting and cast to that extent.

So, when you make a cast and the line stretches out over the water with the other end dead-ending in your spool, the line and fly will untwist as the line and fly descend to the water's surface. If there is line on the ground, some of the twisting/untwisting will store up in your line on the ground, which also contributes to tangled loops of line on your next cast.

I'm not saying you have to cast your entire fly line but cast what you strip off the reel.



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I gotta say my best panfish flies are those that twist. Throw it out there and the movement drives the fish nuts. Pain in the rear w/ the leader, but fun.

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