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Fly Tying

Hatchet Jack

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Posts posted by Hatchet Jack

  1. You know, that reminds me of the chap that wanted to turn his canoe into an ultralight airplane too.

    (seems there were these fur-bearing trout, way up in his nearby mountain lakes?)


    Honestly, you might be better off keeping the 8' Eagle Claw for its original purpose, save some $$$,

    buy a genuine switch rod blank and go from there. Sure, you can cast the Eagle Claw as a switch rod,

    but you could also pound nails with a frozen mudhen.

  2. I've come up with an aid for my Magic Tool that helps me build composite loops.

    In this video I am using the large clip with my platen.

    The same platen can be used with the Magnum Magic Tool to build larger(longer) composite loops.


    Using the Magnum Magic Tool version with the platen.


    The platen is made with a laminated piece of self-healing matte cutter.

    It has a slot for the smaller Magic Tool Clip and uses an an additional O-ring to hold the Magic Tool.

    I got the idea by watching Jerry French. I tie smaller (shorter) composite loops for trout and bass so this really helps me out.





    I like too how you use a fine wire brush to unmarry the turkey feather barbules.

  3. Jack,

    with one of the RIO or Airflo switch lines in the proper grain weight a switch rod is actually a

    very good tool for over hand casting given you have enough room behind you for a back cast.


    Yes! Rio's OutBoundShort works a hoot on my switch rod. Even with dead cats & wet socks.



    H Jack,

    Any fly rod can be used to Spey cast or traditional overhead cast.

    By convention, a overhead cast is where the line is in the air entirely on back cast and forward cast.

    Many will false cast where the line is not released for forward cast and cycled several times back and forward in the air.

    Regards, FK

    That's what happens. A roll cast to get some line out, then the backcast to shoot line backwards, then

    forwards for the shoot, and she's out of the gate, gone. Depending on the size of fly, it might take

    a cycle or two to get it all done.


    Thanks gents for expanding on the definition of overhead casting, all makes sense now.

  4. Also, am I mistaken that it takes less effort to two hand cast farther than a one handed cast, once you develop the technique?

    Well yes, in a manner of speaking.

    The 'work' is divided in two plus the biggest gain IMHO is from the switch

    rod length's (~11' versus the typical 9'). I find it's not much effort at all to cast

    out a medium sized fly about 60-80', compared to DH-ing all day long.


    Things to ponder:

    Wind & using a trailing rope (life-line)

    Water temps

    Keeping your kit on the paddleboard


    Not sure what part of the country you're in, but sustained winds and cold

    water don't seem conducive to paddleboard use throughout a fishing season.


    Very nice efficient SBS, thanks Adam!

    That said, could you possibly post up a photo of that fly going through the water?

    I'm jonesing to see what it looks like wet and how much it 'compresses' when so.

  6. Of the various baskets I've tried, this one comes the closest to actually working:




    I made a thick foam insert which is velcroed into the basket's bottom,

    and through this are plastic 'fingers' which poke up & separate the line coils.


    Because the basket can hang lower (and to the side if desired) than most,

    it lets one have a more natural stripping hand movement which is far more comfortable.

  7. LOL!

    It's how new knots are discovered.

    If someone ever invents a 100% tangle-free fly line, they'll be richer than Croesus.


    No seriously, when it all starts to cascade into a snarling furball from Hell

    I get it all untangled, then sit down for a few minutes and take a break.

    Otherwise, one ends up wiping their arse with a hoop and it gets

    worse & worse on the next casts.

  8. I have the Magic Tool Regular & Magnum, and the Magic Tool Stacker.

    Very well made, very expensive.


    The table clips work but in some ways, a block of foam with slit & a credit card works better for folding some feathers.

    The venerable bulldog clip works too, but one cannot see the material through the jaws and the jaws don't hold material as well as the Magic Tool clips.


    I choked on the Tool Stacker cost but am glad I got it, as it's pretty handy.


    All in all, if you've the money, go for it.




    "...due to their shorter length, switch rods are better suited to overhead casts. Overhead casting would normally

    require a slightly lighter line (or shooting head) than used for traditional "change of direction" two-handed work..."



    I've always wondered just what is meant by "overhead casting".

    Seems to me, all fly casting is overhead, so what is the difference here?


    (I do it with my switch rods, and whatever I'm doing, it seems

    to do the job as on a good day, the fly is going out 70 - 85 feet.)


    Maybe some of the experts here could elucidate?

  10. This is just a snapshot from a video. I will try to get better pictures from the vice sometime.




    As far as casting these flies, I break it down into 5 steps.


    1. Finish figure 8!!--Important for not only this fish, but sets up the whole casting proceedure.

    2. Make a roll or flip cast towards your next target shooting a little line out.

    3. Pick up fly and make your first back cast. By doing it this way, coming straight out of the figure 8, you will have a short line~10ft of fly line or so~this combined with the water still soaked in the fly should load your rod well enough to shoot more line on your back cast.

    4. False cast shooting more line-the water will be working its way off the fly from the first back cast so the rod should still be fairly balanced.

    5. Back cast, when fly line/leader is completely straight, do a strong haul and shoot your cast. If you do this too early you lose your power, and will kink your articulated/game changer style fly. Too late and your fly hits the water, which usually is followed by some ninja dance move to avoid a couple 6/0 hooks.


    Doing it this way gets your fly back in the water quickly--you tend to catch more fish that way. But more importantly this less time spent casting and that the fly is in the air the less time for things to go wrong. For me, it is about shooting line, by the time I have the whole head of the fly line out, it is time to let go, keeping 50 feet of fly line and a big bulky heavy fly in the air is not sustainable.


    I like the your write-up, especially the Ninja Dance part.

    What's a hoot too is to hear a Clouser go zizzling past your ear, oh about half an inch out.

  11. If you find you are "crowding the head", start your first thread wraps rearward, one hook eye space back from hook eye. Tell yourself you cannot wrap there until you're ready to lash down the hackle and form thread wraps for the head. That helped me initially, long ago.


    And yes, that wee bit of bare hackle stem is the ticket, eh?

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