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I've been actively fly fishing since the beginning of last fall and am wondering a few things. I went out today and struck out, but that's another story. While I was not catching fish though I was doing my best to perfect my cast. I use a 6/7wt 9' rod with 6wt line. I just tied on a new 9' leader and was having a tremendous amount of trouble today.



I have practiced for hours in the yard, as well as on the water and did quite well this fall fishing the lights. When fishing the lights though, I only could/had to cast 20-25ft or so to be in the zone. During this time tough I only used a 4' leader or so and had no trouble with it. Today I had the hardest time loading my rod with this 9' leader, but when I did I could turn it over just fine. But once what was an easy task of loading my rod has become all but impossible, wind or no wind. And my loops today were as sloppy as when I started. What gives?



I just got back from the Keys where I taught a dozen scouts how to cast and had them casting 30' just fine, 9' leader and all, with nice tight loops. I was using an 8wt down there though. I know that shouldn't really make a difference, but for some reason I can make repeated, beautiful 30' casts with that 8wt and I struggle to make 25' with my 6wt. Add this longer leader on and I'm happy to make it past the bow of my kayak.



What distance should I expect to achieve without being able how to double haul yet? Should I be happy with 20-30ft casts? Or should I be able to get more than that? What's the max distance you guys can achieve without any hauling?



I'm doing my best to learn the double haul right now, but without being able to keep tight loops with a proper length leader, I know I'm not ready yet.



Would it greatly benefit me to slap some 7wt line on? I'm sorry for babbling, but it seems like every other time I go out with this combo I have forgotten everything I've learned and I'm back to square one and the frustration sets in.:hoppingmad
 

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Unless you are fishing a reallllly leader shy fish, cut that leader down. Longer leader = harder to cast + a heavy fly = even harder to cast. I rarely fish a leader longer than 6ft. (Not that I do it the right/best way) ....but not long ago in the LA marsh, I was fishing a 7ft+ leader in a breeze, and misseda cast on a nice red tailing. My buddy on the pole said, "Cut that sh!t down, we ain't fishin bonefish ya know!" Do you practice without a fly on the line? No fly = really easy to cast :) What's holding you back from double hauling? I can't hardly cast without double hauling. When you double, it will really load the rod and accelerate the line. Make your back cast, as the rod loads, pull down quick hard and smooth as your start pushing on the forward stroke. You'll feel it load the rod more as you pull down. You'll know when you timed it right. If you need some help, lets get on the water and get ya double hauling.(Lord knows I haven't been catching lately :( )

L8, Harry
 

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It never hurts to upsize your line a size, also it's much easier to cast WF (weight forward) line.. I've been flyfishing for 30 years and still fish one line size larger than the rod and almost always fish a WF line (or a double-taper so I can reverse it when it becomes worn). I've only lived down here a year but that's plenty long enough for me to learn that you really have to pick your days due to the seemingly undending days of strong winds down here. That Monday was pretty windy if I recall - I would probably say that would have been your biggest problem.
 
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