Overline my 5wt or step up to a 6wt?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Mike Munro, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. I decided to post this question as a separate thread instead of hijacking the earlier thread about ideal SRC setups (which has a lot of helpful information, mind you), so apologies if this seems redundant.

    Anyhow, like any novice angler I've been having a devil of a time getting decent casting distance on the beaches. I'm using a 5wt with a Rio Grand line at the moment, but I'm wondering if I should consider changing lines to something with a heavier head section (I see Outbound and Airflo are popular choices), or over-line my current rod, or just step up to a 6wt rig altogether. I realize of course that the most helpful option is probably just more practice :p, but anyone care to share their thoughts?
  2. Your current rod is already overlined as the Grand is one full line heavier.
    So you are already fishing a 6 wt line on your 5 wt rod
    Have you tried a true 5 wt line on your rod?
    Also, what rod rod are you fishing? Knowing that might help people offer you line advise
  3. I was under the impression that the Grand was only a half weight heavier. Is it really a full weight? And I'm using a Sage Flight 590-4.
  4. I think you need to use a standard weight forward line with that rod and practice with it. You probably won't achieve the distance you would with a faster 5wt and a shooting head, but for most cutthroat fishing, what you have should be fine, rezzies a different story. Going to a 6wt really isn't necessary or desirable for cutt's, IMO.
  5. Hate to say it but you already answered your own question, it is practice, practice, practice!

    If there's a shop near you where you can get some lessons from a quality instructor, it may well be worth your time. I've always found that it has less to do with learning any particular trick or method, but rather, getting a real understanding of the basic mechanics of casting, and why you do what.

    I've been around many anglers, lifelong fly fishers, who had little to no understanding of the mechanics of the cast. They did fine, mind you, but certainly could have been far more proficient with a little practice and some time spent with someone who could explain the things like hauling, tip control, drift, negative drift, etc...

    I've always been amazed that golfers will spend hours upon hours hitting buckets of balls at the range, oftentimes before or after a full round. Yet getting fly fishers to spend an hour or two lawn casting and practicing the mechanics is like pulling teeth. On the water is not the ideal place to learn to cast. I, for one, enjoy casting, in and of itself, and I am continually working on my cast when I can.

    Anyway, to your initial query, I think of you can find someone to teach you some things it may be time well spent. Maybe try and find an FFF instructor, I'm sure that some of the local shops must have some instruction or casting classes. It's like golf, the best equipment is really only fully utilized by guys who are already so good, it hardly matters. If you gave me the greatest set of irons and woods available, and put me up against Tiger with a set of Kmart starter clubs, I'd still need to be spotted 20, and that's the truth. I haven't seen many, if any instances in which equipment overcame deficiencies in casting mechanics.


  6. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the rod, wind or the oftentimes weighted flies used on the beach.
    I'm using an Echo Carbon 5. Started out with a matching WF floater. Experienced some difficulty with Clousers and windy days but managed. Came across a good deal on a WF 6 floater and already had a spare reel. That's now my goto when wind or weight are involved. It doesn't hurt that the Carbon is a bit on the stiff side and I can feel the weighting better with the heavier line.
    All that being said, whatever you do, practice. Of course, doing it on the beach with a hook on the end can also be constructive, especially if you go with somebody with some experience who can eyeball your casts. Doing that you just need to focus as much on your technique as on the fishing. :confused:
  7. It's grain weight is about 3/4 heavier.
  8. I agree with Dan. I've never taken a lesson and although I can get some line out and catch some fish I know that my casting mechanics are holding back my distance.

    On the Outbound: It's a great line for situations where you're stripping all the way back to the rod and want to get the line back out quickly with only one or two false casts. The double haul and shoot type of cast might be easier for you than trying to aerialize lots of line.
  9. That's sort of what I was getting at. I feel like right now I need to have a lot of line out to make a decent cast, so I was looking for ways to increase distance without false casting a million times, especially on windy days (are there any other kind?)

    Thanks for all the tips, folks. Like Dan and Dennis have said, I know it's all in the practice. I do hope to get in some guide/instruction time in the near future. Until then, if I can get a little help from some different gear I'll take it. I might look for a line with a heavier head in a matched weight and see if that helps any.
  10. Keep what Dan said in the back of your mind while chomping on this. New high end rod: $700+, new line: $100. Added distance: likely < 12" Casting lesson (using what you have): $200. Added distance: > 10' Any fly shop worth it's salt should tell you the same thing. Find a fly fishing club and most likely someone in the club will help you for the price of lunch.
  11. I don't how you are with visual learning. I was struggling with my cast this fall on the beaches, partially with distance and partially just with my mechanics. I was wanting to consistently get my cast out to 60 or 70 feet and not being able to do it.

    Anyway, I found this video online and learned a couple of interesting tricks from it. I kept these in mind the next day I went fishing, and was pretty surprised at how much of a difference it made. This guy talks about the "squeeze." Seems funny maybe, but it helped me a lot.

    Might be worth checking out:
  12. Thanks Jason. Lots of helpful stuff in that video. I saw a guy doing a demo at the Lynwood show (can't remember his name) and he talked about something similar to "elevating the trajectory" that the video demonstrates, which gave me a bit of improvement right away. That "squeeze" technique and lengthening the casting stroke are two more things for me to try...now I can't wait to get back on the water!
  13. fish down wind when you can
    Get Some and Kcahill like this.
  14. Yup. The salmon beach I fish most can fish downwind north or east. When the wind is from the west I can bomb out monster casts by just aiming high and letting he wind carry line.
  15. I fish a Sage Flight 590-4 for Sea Run Cutthroat often. It is a faster stick and I like it with a 40+, sometimes even in a 6wt 40+ if I'm throwing heavier flies. It's easy to pick it up and throw it back out there. Like everyone has said, work on your double haul! The best $30 on fishing I ever spent was for an hour with a casting instructor. It's definitely made the 8 years of fishing since much more enjoyable than the previous.
  16. The video has some really good tricks. You do have to keep from dumping your backcast into the water or ground behind. That being said, I have never figured out why anyone would favor overlining a rod as opposed to practice with their rod. Overlining often reduces the castability of the rod. Regardless of the action of a rod, the manufacturers have weighted that rod. It is true that different companies may have a different idea of the correct line weight for a given product but any reputable company like Sage has tested the blanks and given a knowledgeable line weight to that blank. The caster has to learn to cast that rod with the line he has chosen so if you overline, you may not be getting the performance you want from that rod. Try to get out and practice the skills in the video and keep at it. Very few people have learned to cast over night.
  17. I don't think it is quite that simple. I believe amount of line you have out will determine if you are properly loading the rod. If you are casting a short distance, you would probably be better off increasing the line wt 1, 2, or maybe even 3 wts to properly load the rod. If you are casting all your line, you could benefit from underlining the rod and increasing your distance. This is at least what I was told by a certified caster/instructor a few years back and it seemed to make sense to me.

  18. You're kidding, right? Why would anyone underline a rod? Lines and rods aren't designed or manufactured like that.
  19. Because while the folks that designed my Helios 10' 6 weight did a fantastic job, THEY are not the ones fishing it. I am. And if I prefer the feel of under or over lining MY rod for MY fishing, then I don't give two shits what the designers think.

    I know they designed the TFO TICRX 6 weight rod to throw a 6 wt line....and it will certainly do that, but that rod truly starts to sing, IMO, with a heavy 7 weight line.

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