Tip of the Day: Casting Bigger Flies

Tip of the Day: Casting Bigger Flies
Turning over big junk on a small line

This past winter, I called my buddy Nate Koenigknecht, guide and rod junkie at C.F. Burkheimer, and asked him for some line advice.  I told him I wanted to turn over a 12 inch leech with my 8134 (13'4" 8 wt), and asked if he thought the rod could handle a 700 grain line.  After he finished laughing, he gave me some keen advice.  His words have resulted in a simplification of my tackle bag — a rare occurrence for a Spey fiend.

Instead of upping the grain of the head, Nate suggested I up the grain of the tip.  In his words, the head (in this case a 570 compact Skagit) is plenty heavy to turn over a big fly, even an absurdly large snake-fly.  But the tip (in this case a ten foot section of T-14) doesn't have the mass to unstick that large fly from the river.  In the fight between fly and tip, the fly wins.

So, Nate suggested I build up a tip made of Rio's T-17 material, eight feet or so would be sufficient.  He also suggested, I smooth out my casting stroke: less punch on the forward stroke and a more sustained loading as I came through the D-loop.

Turning over big junk on a small line


I was skeptical.  But he was right.  My next trip to the river, my 8134 turned over every ridiculous concoction I tried, the 12 inch leech and then some.


As a result, my tackle bag has been simplified.  Instead of switching up in head size when I want to throw a heavier or 'stickier' fly — a cumbersome move when midstream — I now switch up in tip mass.  On my 6 and 7 weights, I go from T-11 to T-14, and on my 8 and 9 weights, I go from T-14 to T-17.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Fly Fishing for Taimen in Mongolia

Finding giant Mongolia taimen and a state of enlightenment.

Breaking the Surface

Breaking the Surface

Attack of the Bass continues as Breaking the Surface attacks bass with fly and lure 12:30pm ET Sunday, April 17th.

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the world. Worldwide

5 Best Trout Fishing Spots in the World

Ross Purnell, Editor

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the...

American River California United States

American River California

MIchael Wier - March 23, 2017

American River California

Best Panfish Flies Flies

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris

Best Panfish Flies

See More Trending Articles

More Flies

Perhaps the most important aspect of hunting big trout in big water is the mental game. Flies

Flies and Strategies for Big Tailwater Browns

Blane Chocklett

Perhaps the most important aspect of hunting big trout in big water is the mental game.

Flies

Big Flies for (Really) Big Fish

Ross Purnell, Editor - October 31, 2017

"What kind of fly do you use to catch something like that!?" Big Flies, big fish!

 The BC Hopper A highly visible and buoyant strike indicator. Photo: Charlie Meyers and John Flies

BC Hopper - Copper - Dropper

Charlie Meyers and John Barr - August 30, 2016

The BC Hopper A highly visible and buoyant strike indicator. Photo: Charlie Meyers and John

Fly fishers need to exhibit 'situational awareness' and fish nymphs designed to trigger a strike when trout are keyed on a particular food item. Flies

Using Nymphs to Trigger Strikes

George Daniel - June 18, 2018

Fly fishers need to exhibit 'situational awareness' and fish nymphs designed to trigger a...

See More Flies

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now