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Fly keeps hitting me in the back when practicing casting

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11 replies to this topic

#1 SpokaneDude


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Posted 04 September 2019 - 02:57 PM

I have a brand new Echo Ion 9' 6 wt; I was practicing casting with a Buck Tail that had been de-barbed (hook cut at curve)... so, I loaded up my WF6F Rio Bass Freshwater line, with a furled leader (6' Moonlit Big Hog) and 4' of fluorocarbon tippet. So on the 2nd cast, and every one thereafter, the fly hits me in the upper right side of my back.

What am I doing wrong? Was hoping to fish with it tomorrow in my inflatable pontoon boat on a local lake... obviously I need help!

Thanks in advance.. SpokaneDude

#2 RickZieger


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Posted 04 September 2019 - 03:11 PM

I think you might be starting the forward cast to soon.

Turn sideways and cast the line back and forth in front of you.

This way you can see the line straighten out in back of you.





#3 mikechell



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Posted 04 September 2019 - 04:22 PM

Or you're starting it too late !

Either can result in the fly coming forward too low.  Can't emphasize enough ... COUNT.  If it takes 2 seconds for the line to straighten out in front of you, it will take the exact same amount of time behind you.


The most common mistake I see ( and make myself ) is insufficient power on the back cast.  Pick up the line, then snap the rod to vertical ... imparting as much energy to the line as possible.  This will keep the line and fly running out straight behind you.  Failure to "launch" the line rearward allows it to drop before reaching full extension.

Barbed hooks rule!
My definition of work: Doing something in which effort exceeds gain.
Ex-Marine ... quondam fidelis

#4 tidewaterfly


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Posted 04 September 2019 - 04:44 PM

A few more thoughts in addition to what's already been said. Make sure the leader is not too long and or tippet too light. You did not say what the tippet was, except that it is fluoro.  Since you're using a bass line, a tippet of 10 lb test or more is what you should be using unless the fly is overly large.  A 10 ' leader length with a streamer on a 6 wt, might be longer than you need or that will effectively transfer the energy of the fly line with the fly you're using. (Turn over)


Be sure you are stopping the rod on the back cast. If you are letting it drift down instead of a stop, the rod tip will drop, and the line will drop too following the rod tip and be on a lower plane, which can result in the fly hitting you in the back when you make the forward cast. 


Also, and this should not be an issue, but mentioning it anyway, what size fly are you using? A 6 wt, can probably cast a rather large fly. I've cast flies that were tied on 2/0 hooks with mine, although distance was hindered. At the time, distance was not a big factor as I was casting to fish that had surfaced within 30 feet of my position. Not ideal, but I was able to make it work. Generally, a streamer on a size 2 hook might be the maximum size fly you should be attempting with a 6 wt, particularly with distance. Of course, flies can vary greatly with regard to air resistance or weight for any given size depending on the materials used to tie it. 

#5 SpokaneDude


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Posted 04 September 2019 - 05:27 PM

The size of the hook is a 6, but I did notice that the wind was at my back while I was practicing... I should have noticed that right away, but was not paying attention... hopefully tomorrow will be different...


Thanks everybody... you all have been of great help... I truly appreciate it...



#6 vicente


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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:13 PM

Wind behind definitely doesn't help, I believe the Rio bass taper is also a shooting head style line if I remember right, they don't tend to do very well if you get to much line in the air once the head clears the tip of your rod you should be shooting it.

#7 Poopdeck


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Posted 04 September 2019 - 08:53 PM

My best guess based on hitting my own self is your rod tip is not staying on an even plane. The rod tip needs to move on a level straight plane. The only way your line is going to work it's way behind you, assuming no massive winds and your not stepping into it, is if your rod tip is moving in an arc on the transition from back to forward. That's my simple interpretation based on physics, which I have not a single clue about, but it makes sense to me.

#8 Bill_729


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Posted 04 September 2019 - 10:59 PM

I can't see how it could hurt to cast just a slight bit off to the right side.  That way, it the fly does come at you like a speeding bullet it will miss you.  I think I should have followed this advise when I first started, but I was "afraid of doing it wrong".   I have "ducked" more than once, just in case. I think that there's a reason that whenever you see paintings involving fly-fishers, that they are always wearing a hat!   Good luck on your trip! 


Using barbless hooks, or hooks made barbless with a tool, will mitigate your risk. The fish will appreciate it too!  

: )

><===)'>      --8888o-------------------------------------------------------------------


#9 tjm


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Posted 05 September 2019 - 03:18 AM

With wind it may help to learn the "Belgian" cast. It can twist the line over time but it keeps the leader tight throughout the cast.

In the case of a "tailwind" I'd keep the back cast lower and shorter and fling the forward cast up and long, letting the wind carry it.

I would also say that the leader you describe may be too long for windy bass fishing. With a rig like yours I might use 3' of 15# mono knotted to 3' of 8# tippet, for 6' overall leader length.  And I tend to agree with Mike in that you are likely starting forward a bit late letting the line drop before it moves forward. You may be simply trying to cast too far for the line speed you are developing, something that plagues me. So much so that I marked some lines with a "stop casting and fish distance".

#10 Dave G.

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Posted 05 September 2019 - 05:16 AM

Wind at your back is equal to a weak back cast, you need to over power the wind before you're back to square one. What I do with wind at my back is a low side cast, where the line is maybe 4 ft off the water, make a huge fifference actually in any wind. If you were roll casting or spey casting that wind would have been your best friend lol !

John 7:38 ESV  is about "Rivers of Living Water"

#11 flytire


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Posted 05 September 2019 - 10:46 AM

casting lessons cured my bad habits

Respect someones else's ideas. We are all different people. Your way is not the only way.

Never argue with a self proclaimed expert

#12 denduke


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Posted 05 September 2019 - 11:07 PM

Could be simple as basic fault and problem. Dont brake the wrist; common for beginners. Not saying you beginner but like was said bad habits can sneak up on people. Fly casting uses the arm. Breaking the wrist looses control/energy. Flycasting is line speed, loading the rod requiring a balanced setup, slack management, timing. Flycasting 101. Throwing this out for possible corrections. Bass bugging sometimes requires side arm cast when you push the balance parameters with big bugs, wind, etc. Nothing like getting hit in the head with half a chicken. Ive been told some guides in Caribbean can cast all their line with a broom handle. Tight loops!