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

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

George Daniels Hauling Tuck Cast

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

Rio Technical Trout

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa Ferg Sunglasses

Costa's Todd Barker reveals the features of the new Costa Ferg sunglasses, a best-of-category winner at ICAST 2020.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim. Trout

Temps for Trout: How to Catch Fish that Behave Hot n Cold

Hilary Hutcheson - July 15, 2020

Fish are cold-blooded, so their body temperature reflects that of the water in which they swim.

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. Beginners

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

These tips can save you heartache when fishing is hot. Beginners

How to Remove Wind Knots and Snarls from Leaders and Tippet

Jay Nichols - June 09, 2020

These tips can save you heartache when fishing is hot.

This line control is one of the unique aspects of fly fishing. Beginners

How to Mend, Set the Hook, and Strip Line

Landon Mayer | Illustrations by Joe Mahler - August 11, 2020

This line control is one of the unique aspects of fly fishing.

See More Trending Articles

More Flies

In the current Feb-Mar 2016 issue of Fly Fisherman magazine, contributing editor George Daniel Flies

George Daniel's Streamer Masterpiece

Ross Purnell, Editor - January 19, 2016

In the current Feb-Mar 2016 issue of Fly Fisherman magazine, contributing editor George Daniel

Best Panfish Flies Flies

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris

Best Panfish Flies

From my perspective, any list of the Flies

World's Top 13 Pike Flies

Matt Straw - September 05, 2017

From my perspective, any list of the "Best 13" pike flies on earth has to include something...

 The three best one-day floats on the upper Columbia are from Brilliant to Genelle, Genelle to Gyro Flies

B.C.'s Best Dry-Fly Fishing

Ross Purnell, Editor - January 01, 2016

The three best one-day floats on the upper Columbia are from Brilliant to Genelle, Genelle to...

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