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I can honestly say that I cannot ever remember experiencing that DW.
I will also say that you are one talented “reeler” if you can comfortably switch back and forth between LHW and RHW. I started fly fishing as a LHW guy coming from spinning tackle. But I made the switch soon after to RHW and now….. My left hand is a gimp. Actually I can wind with my left hand just fine, but it sure feels uncomfortable doing so.
I’m strictly RHW and it is my dominant hand/arm as well. I think it’s just what you get used to doing, and like Grsdlnr, it’s automatic for me and never seems to cause me a problem. I’ve set up reels LHW and all my children fish LHW. But at this point LHW feels very awkward to me. No right or wrong (left) here though. 😉
I’m also one that allows the fish to put themselves on the reel. And if they don’t, they don’t. Plain and simple. When I started fly fishing I was “taught” to always put the fish on the reel. And I did for a while in the beginning. But once I had enough experience and knowledge to form my own opinions… That practice went by the way side pretty quickly.
Well let me give this a try with another ridiculous analogy….
Pretend that I give you a pencil that is nine-feet long and I take you out to a tall wall that has a black line running along it at the twelve-foot high mark. All I want you to do is trace that line with the pencil while standing on the ground. How successful do you think you’d be? In my case… I’d not be very successful. I’m sure I’d dip here and be too high there. I may be close a lot of the time, but I’d be above or below the mark more than I’d actually be on it.
Well… Welcome to the world of fly rod casting. But to make matters even more difficult, let’s make that pencil very flexible, and cause it to gradually bend more as you move along the wall tracing the line. Now we are really talking!
See the truth behind accurately casting a fly line ultimately comes down to how well the caster is at drawing a line through the air with the rod tip. That may sound strange, but if you think of the rod tip as the “barrel” of a gun, or more accurately the path of the rod tip through the air is the “barrel” of the gun, then it may start to make more sense.
In a cast, the rod tip will scribe an imaginary line through the air, and in turn will “pull” the fly line along that path. That is the “aiming” part. When the rod tip “stops” the trigger is pulled, and the line is “shot” from the path (“barrel”) which has just been scribed by the rod tip. If that path is a straight line, the result is also “straight”, and if the caster is skilled enough to point that barrel in the right spot, the result is a line flying true to the target.
Now think about that rod flex profile you asked about…
I’m sure that you can understand that it would be easier to draw a straight line if the pencil didn’t bend as much.
That’s only part of the story, and I’ve seen very very accurate casters using “curved” casts to hit their target. So don’t think that a straight line trajectory is the only way to be accurate, and we haven’t even touched on the velocity or timing issues associated with flex profiles and accuracy. So again, I’ve provided my thoughts on only part of the story. But in my opinion, it is the main reason why you often hear that a fast (tip flex) rod is very accurate. It is simply “potentially” easier for mere mortals like me to draw a straighter line with.
You will be missed Creek, and like Grsdlnr suggests, perhaps you can find other avenues to continue in the conversation(s).
I am not sure I understand your question correctly, but I’ll take a stab at this one and see what kind of rebuke/correction I get from those smarter than I. (most everyone)
I tend to believe that in the jargon being thrown around to describe a rod (fast, slow, etc) most angler’s are (without probably even knowing it) referring to the recovery speed of the rod. “Recovery speed” being the time it takes for a rod to return to an “unloaded” (straight) state.
The flex profile is though (in large part) what will determine that. Let’s think for just a moment in completely ridiculous terms to illustrate this.
Take a very very stiff “butt” section of a rod. (Let’s say a piece of steel rebar that comprises 99% of the entire rod length.) Now add a “flexible” tip that is the same “thickness” as the rebar to complete the rod. (The final 1% of the rod’s length) This rod’s flex profile is definitely a “tip flex” rod, and it will recover very very quickly from a “loaded” (bent or flexed) position, because all that ever “loaded” (bent) in the first place is the 1% of the rod at the tip. The length of rod that needs to return to a “straight” position is hardly anything. So it might be considered a “fast” rod.
Now take that exact same rod and flip it around. The butt section is now the flexible 1% of the rod, and the “tip” section is as stiff as they come. But getting all the tip (now 99% of the rod’s length) to return to an “unloaded” status (straight in line with the “butt”) takes a heck of a lot more doing and time. (Especially if you consider oscillation (tip bounce) as well.
Yes this is a ridiculous example, and a true rod is much more complex in the flex profile it exhibits, and how that translates to “rod action”. But regardless, I believe the principle is the same. The less a rod “loads” (bends), the faster it can recover (straighten). And the less the length of the material (and/or mass of that material) affected by the loading of the rod, the faster it will recover.
I am also of the “keep it simple” mentality and I’m usually on the water armed with nothing more than my own knowledge, a small box of flies, and one of those small scissor/hemostats. Oh…. and some magnification. (Glasses or “flip downs” on my hat.) With my eyes, they’ve become pretty important gear to carry!
If I’m traveling “heavy” I have a small chest pack that can carry a bit more, including some “non-essentials” like a thermometer (that I rarely use anymore) and a hook hone. (which I’ve used more than the thermometer but still not much.)
I have to admit that I’ve been through my fair share of “toys”. But I will also add that I believe they were very helpful in adding to my knowledge base and experience. The old saying of “you can’t make a withdrawal from an empty bank” certainly applied in my case. So while I don’t study entomology, log my fishing journeys, or seine the stream anymore, (in fact, I really don’t do anything other than just “go fish” now) those “difficult” days on (and off) the water have provided a wealth of information for me to draw on at this stage.
I understand Scotty’s point regarding fooling a fish being the goal, and at one point I even bought it wholesale for a few outings, choosing to “fish” without a hook. But in the end, for me, there is no feeling like “hooking up” and witnessing something as beautiful as these fish we chase up close and personal. I still get that little thrill and a certain reverence watching them swim away as I release them. And I think that is probably one of the reasons I fish. I’m not particularly religious, but I feel a certain “reverence” for nature and natural surroundings. And being immersed in, and experiencing those feelings for a few minutes, hours, or days is certainly one reason why I fish.
But there is also no denying that I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. And the “thrill” still plays a big part of why I fish. (Or ski, or surf, or bike, or sail, or rock climb, or…)
As for the pea sized brain… I never claimed to be smarter than a fish, and the day I do I am probably senile.
I’m a dry fly fisherman,
Here is the short version of my opinion:
Favorite weight is a 3 weight, and I love the 8′-6″ Winston BIIIx 3 weight as a “long” 3 weight rod.
And here is the long version with a little more context:
Once upon a time a young man desired to learn the art (and science) of fly fishing and began researching the subject in depth. He soon learned that the veritable 9′-0″ 5 weight was the defacto “rod to get” and while this young man understood the rationale behind it, he just couldn’t bring himself to purchase that rod. After much soul searching, research, and just being an absolute pain to everyone that could answer any question about fly rods, lines, and flies, he ultimately layed down his hard earned cash for a 7′-9″ Orvis Superfine 3 weight (graphite). And while he has tried every rod weight, length, and action he can get his hands on since that fateful day, he hasn’t strayed far for long, and today the rod by which all others are judged is an 8’6″ Winston BIIIx 3 weight (graphite). Not because it is the best at everything. Simply because it does everything he wants to do with a fly rod using the fly types and sizes he invariably uses. Other rods may have a bit more novelty and “fun factor” built into them, but none of them “perform” better in those “requirements”.
That being said… His favorite rod to fish is also a 3 weight, but it’s only 6′-3″ in length (Bamboo and based on the PHY Midge) and the “one that got away” (sold it but never should have) was a 6′-6″ four weight rod based on the Dickerson 6611. (bamboo)
I have tried and tried to recreate that Dickerson rod myself, and one of three things must be at work here.
One: My memory is over romanticizing the feel of that rod and what it could do.
Two: My rod making skills simply aren’t up to snuff; or
Three: A combination of the two reasons above.
Maybe one day I’ll get it right, and when I do…. I may find that the favorite rod and the “benchmark” rod become one and the same.
Too funny Scotty.
Why don’t you do some field trials and report back. 😉
I think the common perception is that bamboo rods should be paired with “classically” styled reels, (or even vintage reels) simply because of the nature and history of the material.
Speaking for myself, I tend to agree with that perception and typically use a Hardy Perfect, or Bouglé on mine. But that is just a preference. And in reality, I typically prefer “classic” reels even on the most modern rods.
However… I also have a Hatch Finatic that I absolutely love and use on bamboo rods, and it is anything but “classic”. It is also much lighter and pairs with rods that some of the classic reels (The Perfect for example) feel like a ship’s anchor with.
So… aside from aesthetics, which is really only personal opinion, you may find that you like a bamboo rod with a little heavier reel than what you typically use with a graphite or ‘glass rod. A lot will likely depend on how the weight of the rod is distributed though. So my advice is to wait until you have the rod in hand before specifically buying a reel for it. Then try what you already have. Get out and cast it. Once you’ve done that, take the line off (removing weight) and try it again with all the line just coiled up by your side/foot. You could even take the whole reel off and put it in your pants pocket. Does the rod feel better or worse? Next reel the line back on and add some additional weight (lead core line, tape on a lead sinker… whatever) and try it again. You’ll pretty quickly decide what weight range you prefer with the rod, and that will narrow down the available choices pretty quickly. Keep in mind the typical fishing distances you plan on using the rod for and cast those distances when doing this. But try shorter and longer distances as well. You may be surprised at what you find.
Now I will add here that there are those that ascribe to “the lighter the better” philosophy when it comes to reels, and without going into too much detail about it, I’ll just say there is some pretty convincing arguments for it. If nothing else, the fact that it is much easier to “add” weight to a reel than it is to “lose” weight from a reel may convince you to go as light as possible and tweak it from there.
But in the end… Use what you like (and can afford). Certainly I have strong preferences in reels. But I just don’t believe there is a true right or wrong reel to put on any rod.
Very Cool DW! And that rod seems like quite the find!
Great question Scotty.
I think if you are talking “odds” you would be correct in stating that your odds are better in a lighter hatch. Simply because of the numbers involved. Math is math after all.
But odds are only part of the equation.
How wary the fish are in taking the fly is perhaps much more significant. And when the fish are gorging on a heavy hatch and taking advantage of the “bounty” before them, they are less wary and more apt to take a fly. Even a poorly drifted one.
Just my experience with the one “heavy” hatch I’ve fished. And for me….. I’m certainly impressed with the display of such hatches, but I prefer to fish lighter ones for the reasons you mentioned. Plus… I enjoy the challenge of a more wary fish. Guess I’m past the point of just wanting to catch fish. The pursuit of the fish is as much or more of the enjoyment in fly fishing for me.
Ahh, but Scotty, are there big ants, and/or small elephants?
I think you meant “aren’t within” not “are within”.
And I will add that my own weighing of lines would suggest that their chart is correct, and it is the manufacturers you should be suspect of.
Certainly go with what feel you like. It would just be nice to know that you could get that “feel” with a variety of lines without purchasing two or three of a model trying to find the “right” weight. Because even if you know you like the rod with a line that weighs X, you don’t know which line weight X is from manufacturer to manufacturer (or even from model to model within a manufacturers line). And that’s what I take issue with. I don’t care if it says 5 or 2, or even if it matches what is on my rod. I’d just like a standard to be a standard.
And I agree…. Kudos to Orvis. They weigh what they say they weigh.