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wet line friction

Questions and Answers about the basics of flyfishing for newbies and the old timers that just can't remember
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wet line friction

Postby BlueHeron » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:06 pm

this seems basic, but I haven't seen anytning written about it:
I've been practicing casting in the yard this summer. (and have had some good guidance, thanks OMC and cutter) I put on a hookless fly - to give a more realistic feel
After a while I seem to be able lay out a fair bit of line. But then I take it on the water. The line that slid so smoothly through my hand when dry seems to have a lot more friction when wet, and the cast comes up way short.
try making a big loop with my fingers, but still can really feel the drag and see the results :(
Do I need to treat the line?
wear a glove?
Does this happen to anyone else?

thanks for the input.
fall is coming - gotta get the skills up!
Dave
the bus came by and I got on
that's when it all began

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Re: wet line friction

Postby wgmiller » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:26 pm

Ironic timing of the topic. I too was working on my "double haul" in the back yard and was exceeding 60 feet with a "sacrificial fly" on the leader, sans hook. Things were going great until this past weekend when I took it to the water with a #2 Clouser and much like you, fell short. The wet line and the wet fly certainly changed the game a bit! I've never had formal casting lessons and I have no doubt that the time is near. I won't have time before my OBX trip in a few weeks, but it'll have to happen at some point.

I've been reading Lefty's book, "Fly Fishing in salt water" and he recommends that an angler should be able to make 100' casts (as a general rule). Yikes! :shock:

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Re: wet line friction

Postby mb82 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:34 am

I know the feeling about the whole "but I can cast a mile in the backyard" thing. Personally I think for me it is because my backyard does not have a whole lot of wind and whenever I am fishing the wind always seems to pick up so that does not help.

As far as Lefty's comment I seem to remember hearing that he said that not because we all need to be bombing out 100ft every cast but because if you can cast 100ft then when you need to make that 60ft cast to a target you have the confidence that you can.
Jeff G
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Re: wet line friction

Postby wgmiller » Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:08 am

I think you're right on with your assessment of Lefty's comment. It gives you another "tool in the toolbox" if you need to make a longer cast. I have to believe that being able to cast that distance with a heavy fly on the line is a work in progress and takes quite some time to master.

In reading through his book, he also said that any extra line laying in the water will reduce your cast as well. The surface tension of the line on the water just adds that much more friction. Just another reason to use a stripping basket I suppose!

As far as the line goes, I know I clean and treat my line after every fishing trip. Perhaps a bit anal, but I like knowing that my next trip out I'll be fishing with a clean line.

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Re: wet line friction

Postby 9ft4wt » Fri Aug 07, 2009 1:43 pm

Are you using line friction as being synonymous with the tension that occurs when the line is floating on the surface of the water?

If you are just talking about the line itself not running as smoothly through the guides because it is wet, then ignore the rest of this. Someone with more experience, knowledge and understanding of casting then I will have to address that cause I haven't got a clue.

If you do mean surface tension then I have a suspicion that what you are experiencing is more the result of that tension than it is increased friction because the line is wet.

As a couple of people have already pointed out casting in your backyard is different than casting on the water. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t practice in your yard – practice as much as you can – it just means that you have to adapt what you have learned in the yard to the water.

And the biggest difference between the yard and the water is the surface tension of the water grapping the fly line (I assume you are using a floating line). On the water that tension is going to provide resistance to picking up your line and it is going to load your rod faster and deeper than the pickup you get on the grass. It doesn’t change the mechanics of what you learned on the grass but it changes the feel and timing.

All kinds of things come into play here, the action of your rod, how much slack you have on the water, the size of the fly, where you are starting your cast, etc. And if you are throwing a sinker or intermediate that adds other things the equation.

In addition, that surface tension also is grapping your line (I assume you are not using a stripping basket) as you strip it in. This tension is increased even more if there is any current pulling the line at your feet. This makes it a little harder to both feed out and to shoot the line.

All of these things are combining to give you a different feel when you are casting. Keep at it. If you have been working with Cutter, he is going to make sure your mechanics are good. You just need to get use to doing it on water.

Of course, I could be way off on all of this. wouldn't be the first time I ran on a topic of which I was totally ignorant.

9ft4wt

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Re: wet line friction

Postby BlueHeron » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:48 pm

Thanks all
"on the water" for me is usually from a boat, so don't think it's surface tension on the water. Of course there is sometimes a sudden surge in "deck friction"- my foot on the line, but otherwise I don't think it is that much harder to "lift" the line off the boat deck than off the yard. It really feels like there is drag as the line runs over my index finger as it goes through my left hand. Maybe my hand position is wrong. When I first started - I would just release the line on the cast - but quickly got rid of that bad habit. Perhaps there's more to how I postion the hand with the line running through it.
My "coaches" have plenty to critique in my timing, my rod posion, wrist action, elbow flying........ haven't really thought about the left hand. Maybe need to watch and learn, or ask.
Dave
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Re: wet line friction

Postby Cutter » Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:56 pm

"on the water" usually means a DOGFISHHEAD in hand. The added equipment strains the dexterity and limits the casting ability. In addition, the inability of your usual Capt to put you within a country mile of fish does not encourage accurate or long casting. :oops:
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