By Captain Paul Darby (QRRFISH1), Shalimar, FL
By this time if you're still reading this, you
pretty much should have figured out that I don't
seem to follow anybody's train of thought. So
this installment won't be any exception.
Making better decisions is based upon information
you can understand and verify in a real world way.
I'm pretty sure when I say fly rods are tapered,
it's not going to come as a shock to anybody. On
the other hand, how much consideration have you
given to that fact? Fishing rods are tapered for
a reason; it makes them far more interesting to
fish with. Of course along with the choices, come
all the complexities of understanding what works
for each individual in a given set of circumstances.
Now I've talked about reducing friction to make
lifting the line off the water easier. However
there's more to the story than just getting the
line in the air easier.
There's a very different feel and a completely
different dynamic involved, depending on how you
put the line in the air and it will greatly effect
the decisions you make thru the entire process of
presenting the line on both the back and forward
stroke. The harder it is to put the line in the air,
the harder you're going to recourse the steps in the
other direction. Folks it's just human nature.
Remember the line is moving from a liquid medium to
a far less dense air medium. Line moves much easier
thru the air than it does thru the water. In the
process of putting the line in the air you have less
than a second to make all the decisions involved in
calculating the exact amount of stroke pressure, length
of stroke, loop size and direction.
Now if you add to that, the signals your getting from
the grip depending on the decisions you made as to how
you're going put the line in the air, it's easy to see
how things get complicated real quick. If for example,
you try and lift twenty-five feet of line off the water
without the benefit of drawing the line with the line
hand, to reduce friction, the effect will feel as if
the line is much heavier, because the mechanical advantage
of the lever is working against you.
With so little time to sort it all out, you may and most
do, fall back on instinct to judge the amount of stroke
pressure to apply to recourse the line in the other
direction. Also it is likely that you will overload
the rod, causing the rod to bend more deeply.
The greater bend in the rod will set an energy path for
the line to follow that becomes a large arching loop.
Large loops are in most situations, simply put:
inefficient. There are of course no absolutes, and
my opinions are as subjective as anybody else's. What
I would suggest is take a rod to the water. Lay out 25
feet of line water. Now, without drawing the line with
the off hand, just draw the line off the water several
times. Pay special attention to the flex of the rod
and the feel in the grip. When you think you have a good
idea of the feel and the look of the rod under a water
load, fix the line to a stationary object. Park your
car on the leader, tie it around a rock, have your
buddies girlfriend hold the tippet for you. (I especially
like the latter one.) At that point lift the rod to about
45 degrees till you see and feel the same resistance as
you saw and felt when you were drawing the line off the
water. Study the line path and the rod curve it will
show you a lot about the effective power zones in your
blank. If on the other hand you're studying the wrong
curves, find a rock to tie the line to.
Next, repeat the same process, but this time draw the
line off the water with the off hand to relieve some
of the load on the rod, and again pay special attention
to the flex and the grip pressure. The difference you
should see in the curve or load in the rod may give
you opening insights into understanding and learning
to use the power zones of the rod you're using.
On a side note, this is also a good way to judge
that next purchase of a rod your considering. If
you're satisfied with a particular rod action because
it just suits you well and you know what that action
looks and feels like in a static test, have the salesmen
hold the line while you look and feel for the action
your considering. This of course does two important
things, one it will give you a clear sight picture
of the rods taper and power zones, but it also gets
that pesky salesman about 20 feet away from you while
you consider the price. ~ Capt. Paul
Have a question? Email me!
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