View Full Version : Newbie Rod Setup Question / Balancing

05-21-2008, 09:23 PM
Hey guys. I setup a new rod for my wife this afternoon. The rod is a 5 WT Temple Fork medium action and has 5 WT line as suggested while we were at LRO this weekend. Then I tied on a 3X 7.5' tapered leader. I didn't add any additional tippet to the end of that. Seemed it would be too long if I did.

Now, I worked with casting this setup and finally got some decent casts, but you have to be quick and right on with your timing to get a decent cast. After an hour or so it felt ok, but not great.

My wife struggled with it and I figured my own actions may be causing my problems. In class we learned that if a line and leader aren't balanced, you will have all sorts of problems. Any idea where I should adjust the setup to make it work a little better for my wife.

It seems that fly weight may matter; we where using a small trout fly I brought back from LRO class. The bream didn't seem to care. They loved the fly. But the rod is a beast right now and hard to handle. It almost seems like the leader is causing my problems. If you ever get enough line weight out the end of the rod, the casting is a little easier. Maybe my leader is just too long.

Any suggestions appreciated.

05-21-2008, 10:59 PM
I am not clear on your question about balance regarding the line and leader. Usually when balance is mentioned in reference to a fly rod it is speaking of the way the rod lays in your hand with the reel attached. If the reel is too large or heavey it tends to feel a bit awkward, the same can be true if too small or light of a reel in relation to the rod is used.

Usually when it comes to the line and leader the issue is having enough line extended through the guides to provide sufficient weight for the rod to load during your cast. A 5 weight rod can cast the leader you have as well as leaders that are considerably longer.

I would suggest that if you live near a fly shop or are close enough to get back to LRO, they could take a look at what you have and make some helpful suggestions. It very likely is as simple as keeping your wrist in position so the rod loads properly or correcting the tempo of your casting stroke so it will load right.


05-22-2008, 12:23 AM
My first question would be, are you used to casting a rod of that wt. and length? If for instance, you've been using a shorter, lighter rod, it's going to feel considerably different, and you'll just need some time to get used to it.

My second question is which specific line are you using?

in general, if the rod is longer (like 9ft) and you're using a weight forward line, it's not going to load too well up close. basically, this means that it may feel like a broomstick until you get a sufficient amount of line out.

05-22-2008, 07:50 AM

The leader shouldn't have any affect, it will have to be with the fly line itself or the caster:eek:
It sounds as if ya'll are fairly new to the sport, a heavier line may help load the rod better, all manufacturers of lines have one that is at least a half size heavier & can help in loading the rod which is what it takes to make a cast.
As Trevor stated, the 1st 30' of the line is basically where the weight is & if you are making shorter cast, you may not be loading the rod.
Mike brought up a good point as well, may help in having someone look at your casting.
BTW, i had to get a friend to teach my wife:eek: she wouldn't listen to me & i teach classes:confused:


05-22-2008, 07:57 AM
Yes, we are new. But I am a little past new. My wife and I took the class at LRO last weekend. I hit the hoola hoop nearly every time right out of the gate. I was really there to pick up some distance techniques; and I did :) Chuck Kline is great.

This line feels so much different from everything we used at LRO. I will get the line specs and reply right back.

But yes, it is the caster I guess. My wife tried the rod with a demo reel at LRO and it was perfect. Get home with new line and reel and it is much different. Tougher to say the least.

05-22-2008, 08:18 AM
Here are the specs on the setup guys. Thanks for the help here. I just want my wife to stick with this; is why I am asking for the help. I want to make sure ole' hubby hasn't screwed up.

The rod: TFO 5WT 8' 6" 4PC CFR I would say it has medium fast action.

The line: Cortland 555 High Floating w/ Dyna-Tip WF 5 F

I guess she should have gone with a slower action rod. I let her pick out the rod and she insisted after casting them that she liked this one the best. I wish I knew what was on that demo reel that we used at LRO; I bet it was a heavier line.

05-22-2008, 12:12 PM
mmmm, you know, that's an excellent fly line. I use it myself on a 9ft 5wt winston and it casts like a dream.

LRO used to (and may still) use Scientific Anglers GPX line on their demos, which is in fact a heavier line. I believe it is apprx one half a size heavier than stated. in other words, you were probably casting a 5.5wt line. call them and daniel can confirm that for you.

05-22-2008, 07:00 PM
please don't take this the wrong way....but the line is not on backwards is it? I speak from experience, so I'm really not making fun. I changed some line out one day and spooled a WF running line out:redface: grabbed the wrong tag end and didn't check... Just a thought.

I have cast that same rod, with that line...cast like a dream and I'm no expert.

05-22-2008, 07:53 PM
please don't take this the wrong way....but the line is not on backwards is it? I speak from experience, so I'm really not making fun. I changed some line out one day and spooled a WF running line out:redface: grabbed the wrong tag end and didn't check... Just a thought.

I have cast that same rod, with that line...cast like a dream and I'm no expert.

:eek: , surely not

The Cortland line shouldn't have any trouble loading that rod, the 555 series has always been a little heavier than a standard 5 weight.


05-22-2008, 08:51 PM
I am new guys, I think it is just me with an unfamiliar rod.

This afternoon I took out the new Winston. :biggrin: It casts like a dream and I set the leader up on it just like the TFO. It will just shoot line like nothing I have ever seen. Amazing... So easy to feel that rod load.

My setup is ok on the Winston, so tomorrow I will work with the TFO again and see if I can just get used to that new rod. Then...help my wife get used to it. We planned our next trip to Townsend on 06/12 for 3 days. Can't wait!!!!

05-23-2008, 07:19 AM

Don't let your wife cast the Winston:eek: congrat's on that one. Pull about 25' off on the TFO, stand so you can watch the backcast & see if you notice the rod loading, once you familiarize yourself with that, shorten or extend the casting range some.
I've been doing this for 20+ years, i still get out weekly & cast(preferrably on a stream) sometimes it's just out back casting for the enjoyment:smile:


05-23-2008, 08:13 AM
Hutch, My casting style is something like Herbert Hoover's so you might take this for what it's worth. You have a respectable rod and quality line(spooled correctly). Some questions about casting style might be considered. Are there quick stops on the back cast and forward cast? Stand in a door frame and mimic driving a nail behind you and in front of you. Similar to shaking paint off a brush. Is the wrist breaking? Great for throwing a slider. Death to good casting. You can buy Joan Wulff's wristlock or just tie the wrist firmly to the rod. I tried this during my long learning experience and it helped.

It could be the rod. 15 years ago I had an Orvis rod that I could not cast. Orvis took it back. Still don't know if it was the rod or my poor casting that could not reach the full capabilities of the rod. Like to think it was the rod. Orvis makes many fine rods as does TFO. Also fly lines have a lot of different feels to them. The early Cortland 555 was stiff as a wire cable. Maybe the new line is better. I haven't used it. Keep at it. The best fly fisherman/woman is the one having the most fun. It's just fishin'. Sure Knots, Monktrout

05-23-2008, 08:20 AM
Thanks guys, I should know more in a few hours. I will work with the TFO after I get the payroll done and report back to you guys. I do really appreciate all the help. :smile:

05-23-2008, 03:27 PM
Sorry guys. I must be an idiot. Today the problematic rod would shoot and cast line almost as good as the Winston. I must have had too many cold ones the other day.

I sincerely appreciate all the help.

05-23-2008, 03:59 PM
Self admitted new Guy...Sparking up with a Winston, making the wife use the TFO (Not a bad thing...I do it ALL the time)
you are my HERO!

I do agree with Grumpy though...wouldn't let her get ahold of the Winston. Course I'm just jealous...my wife hears Winston and thinks..."Harry":eek:

You are the Man! Glad it worked out for you...**** those Coor's light Backcasts.

05-23-2008, 10:05 PM
There a few DT nuts around LRO....I'm just about betting you problem could be the type of line, DT or Double Taper a level line with no taper. I'm not sure on what LRO has thier rods lined with but I'd be just about certain is WF (Weight Forward) line.

A weight forward line would have some but little effect on rod at short distances this line really takes on it's shooting abilities at longer distances and in windier conditions.

A double taper line can be great for all types of conditions, non of which I've ever cared for, but it is a very common line amongst mountain stream fisherman. The cast's are short and the wind is kept down to a minimum due to all of the vegitation (trees, bushes, mountains). I've made rediculously long cast's in the mountains but can't think of many places where you can even get a good double haul going.

Keeping all of that in mind I would ask what LRO is using in there classes. If it's a double taper line and your casting a weight forward line (or vice versa) this would make a tremendous difference in a fairly new caster.

I'm sure you've heard the term "FEEL" when it comes to a rod. Some say it's the way a rod feels when everything in the rod is right to that particular caster. This is my opinion on that matter, the feel of a rod is when you can actually "feel" the rod load in the pause of your casting stroke and then unload through your casting stroke. Allowing the caster to look at where he/she wants the fly on the water instead of having to watch his fly line unroll, particularly on the back cast. This also allows the person casting to push the rod to the limit on a double haul forcing the rod to work with he/she to increase line speed (for windy conditions) as well as add that extra bit of distance.

Their are a ton of tapers out there for a ton of different uses. The biggest and most widely used taper out there is a wieght forward. Every manufacturor will vary slightly. Something to also remember is that a vast majority of fly lines out there are produced by 3M and then coated with that particular manufactorer's fly line dressing (floatant), boxed and then sold.

A few good ones would be SA Mastery Trout Taper, SA Shark Skin, Orvis Wonderline Gen III (Also manufactured by SA), RIO Grande. Don't forget Wulffe's Triangle Taper and RIO Wind Cutter II, I've heard great things about both of those lines but haven't cast either.

As already mentioned almost all of RIO's lines use one half wieght higher line..So a 5 wt rio would actually be 5.5 wt...This will allow for better feel on some rods and is generally used for faster action rods..I wouldn't reccomend using it on a slow action rod, and as always be careful when it comes to manufacturor's suggested line weights and guidlines when it comes to warranties!

The only other suggestion I know to make is when buying a fly line be sure to get a weight forward line. All lines aren't created equal! Everyone has thier likes and dislikes when it comes to fly lines and it's not something you can have a sales clerk load on your reel and give a go. Once it's on it's pretty much yours. Get on the board and go fishing with a few guys...Try the different rods out and thier lines. There all going to be different and all going to cast differently.

I'm here in Maryville and between my father and I we have an arsenal of fly lines as well as rods that you can cast...So if your ever out this way swing by and I'll let you test em all out! I'd say between the two of us we have around a dozen or better un used fly lines! It's kinda rediculous!