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View Full Version : Wind Knots.....help


foureyes
01-20-2010, 02:23 PM
Hey everyone, got a question for you guys.

Now I'm pretty new to fly fishing so I'm not sure if this is a problem with my gear or a problem with my technique. Here is what happens....

When on the river I notice that about 70% of the "wind knots" I get are due to the junction where the line meets the leader. No matter how closely I clip the extra line that sticks out from this knot there is still enough to grab the leader/tippet when I'm casting to cause a knot. Now, I didn't tie this knot ( i think its called a "nail knot"), I had the guy at the fly shop do it for me. I have been tempted to put a little super glue on the knot to perhaps make it a little smoother and possibly not tangle as often.

I feel that I have pretty decent casting technique for a newbie. I took several quick lessons, and was told that I had the hang of it......if that means anything.

Is this something you guys see often? Do you think iy is a poor knot that needs to be re-tied? Is it poor technnique?

I just found it odd that almost all of my knots are hung on that junction in the line.

Thanks in advance,
Foureyes

Hugh Hartsell
01-20-2010, 03:57 PM
Foureyes,
You may have a little bit of a problem with the Knot and a whole lot with the technique. If you would get someone to watch you cast from a side angle they could tell you if your backcast is dropping down and causing a loop to form when you start forward. This is almost always the problem and it usually comes from allowing the wrist to flex backward and forward as you are making your casting stroke. This wrist flexing is almost always the problem when I take new flyfishermen out on the stream. The way to correct this problem is to hold the rod grip firmly and do not allow the backstroke to come any farther back than the ear or the side of the head. The same applies to the forward stroke and it should not go any farther forward than the 10:00 oclock position until you are making your final casting stroke. You will commonly hear this referred to as 10;00 oclock-12:00 oclock. Some instructors will teach 10:00 oclock-2:00 oclock. This last scenario will cause the wrist to go back far enough to allow the end of the line to drop a little and can give you some problems with wind knots. Unless your fishing tailwaters, you don't really need to take the backcast back that far. You'll have less trouble with the line dropping if you keep the casting stroke to the 10:00 OCLOCK-12:00 OCLOCK positions. Remember, hold onto that rod grip firmly, and do not allow the wrist to flex. Good luck.
Hugh

jeffnles1
01-20-2010, 04:47 PM
Hugh,
That was one of the best descriptions of the casting stroke I've ever read.

The only thing I would add may be to be sure the line is fully extended on the back stroke before starting the front stroke. Rushing the front stroke was the biggest obstical I had to overcome when learning to cast. I kept getting that little "whip crack" and ended up with a lot of wind knots and other forms of train wrecks with a wad of line piled up in front of me.

Unfortunately, I had to learn by trial and error and finally by fishing with some guys and watching what they were doing. I'm still no great caster and will probably never be able to chunk out a full fly line with my 4wt but within reasonable (less than 60 feet) fishing casts, I've become accurate enough to get the fly where I need it and rarely get the wind knots.

I wish I had read your post 4 or 5 years ago, it would have saved me a lot of frustrtion.

Now, any ideas on keeping flies out of the trees? :smile:

Jeff

Hugh Hartsell
01-20-2010, 06:02 PM
Jeff and others,
You may have problems like you described and that foureyes described when you are first beginning at this sport and it is always good to get someone to critique your cast from all directions to see just what is happening. It is a good idea to start off with short cast and work on this until you get the feel of the rod. This part is not to hard to master. Slowly work on more distance and get the feel of the rod until you get that mastered. If you try to start off with longer cast, it is going to complicate things and it will soon frustrate you. This thing that we are talking about is the most serious aspect of flyfishing and I highly recommend that you get a friend to help with this flycasting "hump in the road" that we all have to go through. If you can't find a friend to help I highly advise you to get a fly casting instructor to work with you for a few hours. It may save a broken rod and you will have a lot more hair in your head at the end of the day.
Hugh

Kent
01-21-2010, 11:06 AM
The dreaded tailing loop.....

http://www.flyfishga.com/images/tailing.gif

As Lefty says, they're called wind knots "even though we get `em on a dead-calm day in the fall". And everybody gets `em, even the pros. Here's Tim Rajeff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp36L6ttbxE&feature=related), one of the best casters in the world, admitting to his and offering a possible cause and solution.

And here's a complete explanation (http://www.sexyloops.com/flycasting/tailingloops.shtml) of the tailing loop.

flyman
01-21-2010, 12:11 PM
Very good information, I'm always impressed how much knowledge there is on this board. Tim's explanation in that video was great. The analogy of flicking paint off of a paint brush was a great one! I always tried to explain it like throwing a dart or baseball. Your casting hand creeps forward, applies the power, and then makes an abrupt stop. One other simple thing to try, make your backcast slightly higher than your forward cast.:smile:

MadisonBoats
01-21-2010, 01:19 PM
Excellent posts from Hugh, Kent, and others! It is wonderful to see experienced fisherman take the time to help someone new in the sport!

Foureyes,
It sounds like your cast is off.

Items I would focus on are:


-Correct tippet x being mated to your leader.
-Mend your tippet and leader with a straightener.
-Cheap or inferior tippets will be more trouble than they are worth.
-Before you fish; extend your line out and wrap in around a pole to stretch it. This will help release any memory areas or tension.


*Focus on walking out your cast. Start with about 40-50% of your cast and false cast out to your full cast distance by releasing line with your free hand and maintaining tension on the line already extended.

**The final drop of the cast should feel relaxed and not like you are having to pull any power in to the cast.

***Practice casting at home without a fly if you can find a good spot. Practice makes perfect.

jeffnles1
01-21-2010, 04:06 PM
Hugh,
Thanks,
I hit that wall a couple years ago and got some good tips when I started fly fishing with some other guys. I just really liked your write up and wish it would have been available 5 or so years back when I started fly fishing. It would have saved me some learning curve.

Then on the other hand, the sense of accomplishment of finally figuring it out and turning into a reasonably decent fly caster is kind of good too :smile:

I just liked the way you explained it.

Jeff

Jeff and others,
You may have problems like you described and that foureyes described when you are first beginning at this sport and it is always good to get someone to critique your cast from all directions to see just what is happening. It is a good idea to start off with short cast and work on this until you get the feel of the rod. This part is not to hard to master. Slowly work on more distance and get the feel of the rod until you get that mastered. If you try to start off with longer cast, it is going to complicate things and it will soon frustrate you. This thing that we are talking about is the most serious aspect of flyfishing and I highly recommend that you get a friend to help with this flycasting "hump in the road" that we all have to go through. If you can't find a friend to help I highly advise you to get a fly casting instructor to work with you for a few hours. It may save a broken rod and you will have a lot more hair in your head at the end of the day.
Hugh

kentuckytroutbum
01-22-2010, 12:01 PM
foureyes-

You got some outstanding advice here. Listen to everything thats being said. I feel your pain, I've been fly fishing for a number of years, and my casting technique still needs improvement. (My apologies to Hugh in that he continues to try and help Barbara & me with our cast). But I want to share something with you that might help and is in addition to what's been said.

Last october, I was in Roatan chasing bonefish on the flats. The first day it was slow, and my guide showed me something that I want to say. He told me to envision the rod as if it was a flat leaf-type spring. He told me to feel when the rod loaded up on the backcast & forward cast. When you start your backcast, you can feel the rod tip flex or load up when it pulls the line off of the water, and you can see the tip flex from the load. Let the line go backwards until you can feel the line stretch out and it will tug on the rod. At that moment start your forward cast and come forward to the 10:00 position. It may not seem like much, but it made a world of difference in my cast. Now if only I could do it everytime!

jeffnles1
01-22-2010, 04:54 PM
KYtroutbum,
Agreed. It's one of the easiest concepts to understand and one of the hardest for me to do. My biggest problem in casting is to not rush the front cast. I know what I should do and about 80% of the time I do it, the other 20% is when I'll run into problems. Over the past couple years, I've gotten better. It's when I am in the middle of a bunch of rising fish and get excited and start rushing things...

Great thread.

Jeff

Mundele
01-24-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks so much for the info. I also suffer from the tailing loop problem. I'm (mostly) self taught and I think that my problem is applying power too early in the cast. I need to go get the fly rod out in the yard and practice some I think.

A "casting critique" session at TroutFest would be awesome. There may already be one on the schedule, but if not it'd be a great addition.

--Matt

tlshealy
01-24-2010, 02:15 PM
I am a relative newbie to this sport and had the same problems with wind knots, the first thing I did was to get rid of the nail knot, cortland makes loop tips for your fly line so you can use loop to loop connections instead of a nail knot. This also makes changing your leader much easier. That eliminated 75% of my wind knot troubles, for the other 25%, follow the good casting advise from the previous posts.
Tad

Kytroutbum
01-24-2010, 02:16 PM
KYtroutbum,
Agreed. It's one of the easiest concepts to understand and one of the hardest for me to do. My biggest problem in casting is to not rush the front cast. I know what I should do and about 80% of the time I do it, the other 20% is when I'll run into problems. Over the past couple years, I've gotten better. It's when I am in the middle of a bunch of rising fish and get excited and start rushing things...

Great thread.

Jeff

Not big deal but just a note because we been confused a couple times before-Kytroutbum and Kentuckytroutbum are two difference people.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

jeffnles1
01-24-2010, 04:17 PM
Not big deal but just a note because we been confused a couple times before-Kytroutbum and Kentuckytroutbum are two difference people.

Randall Sale
the Kytroutbum

:smile: Sorry 'bout confusing the names.

I'm from Kentucky and, according to my wife, I'm a general purpose bum who doesn't restrict his "bumness" to trout.

Jeff

Jack Hise
01-25-2010, 11:06 AM
Another culprit can be trying to lift and cast too much line, I've marked my lines where I feel comfortable to make a cast and have greatly reduced windknots and tangles.

Maurer
01-29-2010, 05:51 AM
One of my biggest problems with tailing loops was always trying to force my final cast too much. Your final forward cast should not take any more force than your back cast. What also helped me a bunch was to cast with an open stance so that I could see my back cast out of the corner of my eye. And lastly I video tape myself casting in the yard. It is amazing what you will see and sometimes it takes seeing it to understand what is wrong. Oh yeah and just fish more, it will come:smile:

Yeah and don't forget we have some great casting pros headed this way for http://www.troutfest.org (http://www.troutfest.org/)