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Simplejack

How far should I be able to cast?

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I have a Okuma Cascade Fly Fishing Combo 5/6 SA Air Cel Trout Weight and was wondering how far should I be able to cast during normal fishing? I'm still learning how to cast and was needing to know if I am casting as far as I should be able to or if I'm falling short.
When I'm out casting, I feel like I need more rod to get more distance or at least a heavier action rod?

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You need to cast as far as the fish are....

 

There are guys who can cast a fly line without a rod, so the issue usually isn't a need for "more rod", it is usually how you use what you've got.

 

There are so many variables that it is nearly impossible to tell you how far you should be able to cast. If you fish brook trout streams it will be quite different than if you are flats fishing for bonefish, or casting big ugly stuff for pike on a big lake. Best to get someone who actually knows what they are doing to show you.

 

I would say if you can consistently put your fly in a hula-hoop sized target at about 40 feet, you're off to a good start. That's guessing about a 7-1/2 foot leader, a 9 foot rod, and 25-30 feet of line to work with. Use a shorter leader, and practice practice practice.

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for most stream/trout fishing, 40-50 feet is plenty. As a warmwater fisherman, it's generally recommended that you be able to cast 80 feet, but that's more to encourage you to learn to build the higher line speeds necessary for casting BIG flies and teaching to cover more water more efficiently.

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Really depends on the water you are fishing. There are streams that I Czech nymph where I am only casting maybe 6-10 feet and drifting maybe 15 ft. The area I live is mostly roll casting areas so I may only need to cast 25' or so.

 

I think that a lot of your issue may be that you are not letting the line pause on the back cast before moving your arm forwards. Also try to slim up how far back and forward you are letting your arm move. 10 oclock and 2 oclock are a normal number but some times (pending on weight of flies) 1 oclock and 11 oclock work for me. Try not to move your wrist as much as well. Lock your arm.

 

If you are not letting the line straighten out on the back and forward cast you are creating a lag that can really hinder distance and presentation.

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Learn the mechanics of proper casting, your rod is fine. As has been said, there are those who can cast the whole line (90 feet,) with their hands. You would be better off getting a couple of casting lessons than a new rod.

 

Buying a new rod is NOT going to make you a better caster. If that were the case, you should be able to cast twice as far simply by buying a rod that costs twice as much. If one can cast 50' (which is usually enough,) with a $90 rod, then one should be able to cast 100 feet with a rod costing twice that, and 200 feet, with a rod costing 4 times that. There are rods selling for more than 8 times as much, which would mean, that you can then cast 400 feet simply by buying an $800.00 fly rod. Since the world record cast is less than 250', this math just doesn't work out.

 

This article should give you some relevant information and perspective.

 

Take every opportunity you can to learn from competent instructors,I do. After more than 50 years with a fly rod, I still attend casting clinics whenever I can, and try to learn something. One thing I have learned, is that I can still cast the necessary distance with my less expensive (MUCH less expensive,) rods.

 

As in most things the skill must be developed before you can even begin to take advantage of the equipment.

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And its been said but only cast where the fish are. Its a frequently discussed topic in Uk on why women catch bigger fish or the only fish when fishing the same pools as men (salmon fishing) its often down to the fact that women cast within their ability and fish the cast well and carefully. Men are more prone to casting as far as they can and being too quick to move down stream.

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Most of the comments above about technique rather than buying a new rod are right on. But here is some additional info...

 

For trout fishing on western streams...

 

Most beginning fly fishermen (yes, it is mostly males) on western streams try to cast much too far. They end up slapping the line around, putting all the fish down, and catching nothing. Good quality presentation, especially with dry flies, is much more important than distance. I fish the Madison in MT (where I live half the year) almost daily in the summer and rarely have to cast much more than 35' to cover all the water I need. The vast majority of the fish I catch are less than 25' away. Accuracy counts, however, because fish are often in feeding lanes they will not move out of.

 

Trout fishing on western lakes...

 

This usually requires longer casts than fishing rivers if you are fishing dry. On Hebgen Lake in MT, when fishing dries for the big gulpers, you are often out 60' or more - often with 15-18' 6x leaders. And you get ONE shot that has to be right on the money. Multiple casts always put the fish down. It is, however, the least forgiving lake I know. On others I rarely go over 40'.

 

 

For steelhead fishing on big western rivers...

 

The farther the better. On Oregon's Deschutes, for example, the spey casters throwing it over a 100' have a huge advantage because water coverage matters and feeding lanes do not.

 

So it matters what kind of fishing you are doing.

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Sounds like a lot of good info here,and I wouldnt be much help beyond that.Ive only been fly fishin for about 3 years and if I get 50 feet out with a four weight Im doin good.A decent quality line can help and cleaning a dirty line doesnt hurt.Occasionally the wind dies down and I hear music in my head,I might get 60 feet out.

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ok cool. Thanks for the helpful info. I'm getting the fly out to about 50+ feet from where I am standing. I just wasn't sure if my setup is capable of casting out to 100' or if 60' is pretty much maxed out for this setup.

 

Yesterday I was fishing a river for steelhead and trout and I don't have waders. Very shallow close to me and gets deeper 30+ feet out, but the river is pretty far across and probably pointless fishing the location I was, but it was close by and I only had 2 hours to fish, so I didn't want to travel too far. Right now I mostly go out just to practice and that's why I was wondering about what kind of distance my setup is capable of doing.

Would be nice to fish with someone who knows what they are doing, but I don't really know anyone who fly fishes, so I get most my info from asking people and watching Youtube videos.

I might ask some of the people at Cabela's if they might be able to take me out back and show me a couple tips.

 

I mentioned possibly needing a different rod because watching my rod tip, it seems to be really floppy and not being able to keep my line as high off the ground to get more distance. I'm sure I am probably doing something wrong or I was just maxed out?

 

My goals when I go out are no knots or snags and straight lay in the water. biggrin.png

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Someone else asked the question, "How far can you cast?" All of my rods are 5 weight or less, with one 5 weight strung with #7 line for bass flies.

 

I'll answer the same thing here I did there. I practice in my front yard. I know the distance from my drive to the far side of the lawn is 60 feet. I CAN cast the fly line to that edge, with the leader and fly landing beyond. Since I usually use 6 to 10 feet of mono for a leader, I CAN cast about 70 feet.

But I cannot vouch for accuracy when whipping it out that far. I can hit just about anything in my yard, including the far side with a relatively accurate drop ... say paper plate at 50 to 60 feet ... cup saucer at 40 feet ... in the cup at 30 feet.

The #7 lined rod is more accurate in the neighbors yard, so over 60 feet. I will add that I am more accurate with the "flimsier" or "floppier" rods that have some bend in them, as you stated, so that's not a problem, I'd think.

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Someone else asked the question, "How far can you cast?"

http://www.flytyingforum.com/index.php?showtopic=72911&hl=%22how+far+can+you+cast%22

 

Hears the topic that i asked last year about casting. Its got lots of good reply's that made me a better fly fisherman. At the beginning i was just going for distance, but i soon found out from everyone heat that accuracy is way more important than distance.

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A 5 weight, is better suited to smaller flies, and Steelhead flies tend to be quite large. Casting an very large fly on a five weight can be a problem. In the hands of a better than average caster, I would say your 5 weight should cast the full line (90'.) Load it up with a large Steelhead pattern, and maybe 50 feet is as much as the line could handle.

 

From your location info, I would say there have to be dozens of fly shops, and clubs near you. I would also guess that there are fly fishing gatherings taking place quite often. Seek the fly shops out, most of them will give you good advise and help with your casting. Cabelas can be hit or miss on expertise.

 

Don't just sit in front of a computer watching videos, go out and find some other fishermen. Look up the fly shops, and get into one or 5 and get lined up for some help. The best way to find out what you may be doing wrong, and improve is to get some face to face instructions. A good instructor will spot your faults, in a few minutes, and give you the proper corrective steps to take. Then it takes practice.

 

Rather than a better 5 weight, you may want to find a decent 8 weight rod. The Steelhead in your neck of the woods can get pretty good size. There are plenty of decent rods around for less than $100. I have OLD rods that I built from Sage, Winston, and Loomis blanks, the blanks often cost more that $200 (25 or 30 years ago,) The shop I worked for started their own line of rods selling for under $60.00. Every one of us in the shop tested these rods, and we could cast them as far as all the more expensive rods we had.

 

Since then, I look for the cheapest rod I can find. The most important thing for me is the no fault warranty. If I break it, I can get it replace for a small service charge at any time. The most expensive rod I have purchase over the last 25 years, has been less than $150, and that one I got only because I couldn't find the lower priced (Cabela's,) model in the line size I wanted.

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On a good day, when the stars are perfectly aligned, I can boom out 80 feet or a little more but can I hook a fish at that distance? Not very often. In the real world, where I fish, a long cast for me is 50'. I would guess that I cast 30-35' more often than any other distance. I also catch fish with no fly line out when the chance presents itself. When bass fishing, I sometimes have about 8" of leader beyond my rod tip. I drag a "Whacky Fly" round and round in circles in holes in the pads or hydrilla. Strikes are explosive. BTW, I use a stout 9wt rod and 50# leader for this"fly fishing." I've caught Snook this way too.

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all good avice above, you said you did not have waders, was that with you or at all? that would be my next puchase if you don't. I learned to fly fish from my dad who "hunted' trout , he would carefully wade as close as he could so as to limit how far he had to cast. less drag, better hook set, less disturbance to other fish near by. I have faithfully stuck to that for 40 years now and it works. Yes I can boom out 80-90 foot cast if needed, but that is usually when I am swinging a streamer on a very large river and the hook set is mostly done by the fish. Most of my casts will be 25-35 feet on most days. as was said above I would spend my time on being accurate more than distance. I know when I am guiding soem one I would much rather have someoen who can throw 30 feet into a cup than a 80 hero cast.

 

steve

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