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The Tongariro Roll Cast

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    Posted: 10 Jun 2007 at 11:22pm
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Originally posted by Rainbow Rainbow wrote:

Hi Chris
First time for me too and quite frankly I was gob smacked by the power of the INTERNET.   
 
Since these articles I have written two more on the TRC, which the Fishing News considers too technical.   As I am contracted to this mag I can not have them published out side the Fairfax stable.    I shall give them to the DOC guys for the Target Taupo mag but other than that these article would never see the printing press.
 
Would not bother me with any other material but these two are too valuable to fester away on my hard drive out of reach from the anglers who could benefit from them.   So I might as well stick them on the Fishing Web.
 
The Trouble Shooting one is self explanatory while the D-Loop article still needs diagrams.
 
I hope you guys enjoy them.
 
Cheers Rainbow 
 

28 March 2005

 

The Editor

NZ Fishing News

PO Box 12965

Penrose

Auckland

 

Troubleshooting the Tongariro Roll Cast

By Herb Spannagl

 

All through last winter I have had countless people come up to me and express anything from curiosity to downright determination to learn the Tongariro Roll Cast.   On more than one occasion I have had a video camera pointed at me from behind bushes.   Such has been the interest that at the risk of a bit of self-delusion I strongly suspect most Tongariro anglers would love to master this elegant cast.   

 

Those who have tried it will have very quickly found out that what looks effortless and elegant when performed well is anything but, when you start off or are someway along the frustrating road to perfection.   Although my two previous articles about the TRC have been liberally peppered with diagrams, several club instruction days have shown me that what appeared to me quite logical, failed to make a meaningful connection with many of my pupils.     

 

There is an easy explanation for this.   During the overhead cast the rod tip moves backwards and forwards along a straight track and in a single plane.   Most beginners can grasp those two requirements.    With the TRC the rod tip goes all over the place and at different speeds while it executes several distinctive manoeuvres.   Trying to memorise these movements and to link them with precision timing and measured force quickly scrambles a beginner’s mind.    The initial effort is such a guaranteed mess that only the doggedly determined continue with the self-punishment.   

 

Looking back at my own painful beginnings I must say that whatever mastery of overhead casting I possessed was barely helpful while learning the TRC.    I would go as far as calling it unhelpful, because I constantly got tempted to revert back to overhead casting when I should have boxed on.    So instead forcing myself to put in the requisite on stream hard yards to learn to cope with varying conditions I slipped back to what I knew best.   A good friend of mine suffers from the same dilemma, which has definitely slowed down his progress.

  

It might be old hat but in my view people don’t succeed with the TRC because:

  • They are too self conscious to seek help
  • They do not systematically practice the basics
  • They fail to commit to using this cast for on stream fishing

 

Regarding the last point I have now become firmly convinced that once the basic technique has been learned during the initial practice further progress can only be achieved through on stream fishing.    The reason for this unconventional advice is that this cast totally relies on the caster to make the necessary anchorage calculations for the variable casting situations prior to each cast in order to adjust the final delivery-casting stroke.    

 

However, despite all the best efforts most beginners and intermediates will be dogged by “mystery” problems, which make the end result less than satisfactory.   Let me highlight some of the more obvious ones and suggest appropriate remedies.

 

Forward Cast Collapses 

Cause:   The most common reason is a premature start of the forward cast.    Not all loose line lying on the water has bellied into the D-Loop.   Removing the remaining slack wastes a great part of the forward stroke (which is shorter than in an overhead cast) and this fails to load the rod.   

Remedy: Watch for the indicator to move towards you before you start the forward cast.   This is the sign that the D-Loop has fully bellied out behind you and that the rod will load on the forward stroke.

 

D-Loop Sticking To The Water

Cause a):  D-Loop formed with same slow speed.  

Remedy:   Form a dynamic D-Loop by accelerating the slack line on the water rearwards and upwards.

Cause b):  Waiting too long with the forward cast which causes too much of the lower leg of the D-Loop to make contact with the water.   

Remedy:   Start forward cast as soon as the indicator moves towards you.

Cause c):  Anchor planted too far out.

Remedy: Either pull anchor closer or apply more power and/or execute the cast with a higher rod stroke, which lifts more D-Loop line off the water at the start of the forward cast.

 

Anchor Not Lifting Out Of The Water

Cause a):  The most obvious is that not enough power has been applied to the forward cast for the variable amount of anchorage.

Remedies: Apply more power, reduce anchorage by either pulling anchor closer or reduce the size and/or weight of fly.

Cause b): The forward cast has been conducted with an arching rod stroke ending in a descending rod tip.   In other words the energy has been directed downwards.

Remedy:   Execute the forward cast with a rising rod tip.

 

Forward Casting Loop Too Open

Cause:  Forward cast has been directed downwards with descending rod tip.

Remedy: Accelerate with rising rod tip and stop rod at 11o’clock.

 

D-Loop Hitting Body

Cause: Wind blowing line towards the casting hand.

Remedy:  Reach downwind across the body during the forward cast.

 

D-Loop Not Forming Fully In A Tailwind

Cause: Insufficient force applied during D-Loop formation has partly concertinaed the D-Loop.   A vertical D-Loop is also more exposed to the brunt of the wind.

Remedies:   Apply extra force and form D-Loop low and more horizontally to get under the wind.

 

Fly Hitting Rod and Angler

Cause: Anchor is placed inside of the rod tip.

Remedy:  Always place anchor and line outside of rod tip when fishing upstream.    In a fast current the anchor must be planted well outside to allow for the drift while executing line slipping and D-loop forming.

 

Indicator Popping

Causes: Anchor did not hold due to insufficient anchorage, forward cast on too high a plane and/or too much force applied on the forward cast.

Remedies:  Leave more line on the water when planting anchor (Don’t pull indicator so close).   Drop power back or conduct forward cast with a low rod stroke with the elbow moving just above hip level, which also leave more line in contact with the water.

 

Line Runs Along The Water Or Collapses During Forward Cast

Cause:   Trashing forward cast downwards.

Remedy:  Stop rising rod tip at 11o’clock.

 

Low And Tired D-Loop

Cause:   Dropping the rod tip during backstroke D-Loop formation.

Remedy:   Finish with a rising rod tip towards the 1 O’clock forward cast launching position.

 

Poor Distance

Cause a):  The most prominent one is a shallow and non-energetic D-Loop.   

Remedy:  Apply more power back and up and then wait for the D-Loop to fully form.  Best sign is indicator moving towards you.   

Cause b):  With short belly lines some thin running line is outside the tip ring during D-Loop formation.   This thin line has insufficient mass to adequately transfer the rod energy to the line.

Remedy:   Make sure that some of the belly of the line is still inside the tip ring before firing.   This is easier with “Long Belly lines”.   

  

Leader Not Turning Over

Cause: Not enough power to finish the forward cast.

Remedy: Not needed as this “fault” produces a slack leader, which allows the nymphs to sink quickly.   Many overhead casters would “kill” for this.

 

Line And Leader Tangles

Cause:   D-loop is not 180 degrees opposite the target.

Remedy:   Plant indicator (anchor) sufficiently upstream so that it has time to drift into a position as near as possible to be in a straight line with the D-Loop and slightly upstream of the target.    This gives you time to slip line and generate the D-Loop.

 

By stating the above line-up of problems, many of which you probably did not even know existed, I am running the risk of frightening you off learning the TRC.    This is not the purpose of this article.    Use it as an aid to remedy only the problems you have as you progress.    Chances are you will only have one or two at a time and as you solve these others will often remedy themselves.     In a future article I shall discuss the finer details of the D-Loop and why anchorage is so variable.    
 

30 April 2007

 

The Editor

NZ Fishing News

PO Box 12 965

Penrose

Auckland

 

FINE TUNING THE TONGARIRO ROLL CAST

(The Importance of the D-loop)

Herb Spannagl

 

This article would not have been possible without extensive reference to Dana Sturn’s important research work (speypages.com) on the dynamics of the D-Loop as used in Spey casting.   I am hugely indebted to Dana not only for his dedicated promotion of Spey casting but also for the generous help and inspiration he has so freely given to me.

 

If you have been lucky enough to have seen a good Tongariro Roll Cast on the water chances are the thing that impressed you most was the distance the caster achieved and the ease with which it was done.    When watching this cast all eyes are on what happens in front of the caster, even the caster’s own eyes are focussed in this direction.    Yet the most important prerequisite for such an impressive forward cast happens behind the caster’s back.    It is the formation of the D-loop that is the equivalent of the back cast in the conventional overhead cast.  

 

You may be familiar with the time tested fly casting tenet that without a good back cast it is impossible to make a good forward cast.    The same rule applies to roll or Spey casting where the important functions of the conventional back cast are carried out by the D-loop.   In fact chances are that if something has gone wrong with the forward cast the problems can often be traced back to a poorly managed D-loop.

 

So why is a well-formed D-loop so important?

  • It provides the dynamic resistance or line momentum against which to load the rod.  
  • Its alignment signals the direction of the forward cast.
  • Its position in relation to the rod tip track largely determines the shape of the forward casting loop.

 

Lets see in more detail what these points actually mean.  

  • Because gravity never sleeps the conventional back cast and the D-loop need to be dynamic, in other words they need to be energised in order to stay aloft.   Since the caster projects this line energy rearward it provides resistance when he/she tries to move the line forward.   This resistance is absorbed and stored by the flexible fly rod as a bend and given up when straightening on the forward delivery.    Up to a point, the deeper and livelier the D-loop the more effortless the forward cast will be.
  • The most efficient forward cast has its preceding back cast moving along a single straight track even though both move in opposite directions.   The ideal separation is 180 degrees.    The same principle applies to the D-loop.   It too has to be 180 degrees opposite the delivery cast for maximum efficiency.    In the Tongariro Roll Cast the direction of the forward cast is largely determined by the directional placement of the anchor against which the caster lines up the D-loop, ideally in the same straight line.    This D-loop alignment is made infinitely easier if the caster turns to face the direction of the anchor placement in order to move the rod along the same plane as the straight fly line extending from the indicator.    The D-loop then follows where the rod tip goes.   During this set-up manoeuvre a smart caster allows some lead margin to compensate for any oncoming drift.
  • With the Tongariro Roll Cast the size or depth of the D-loop is directly governed by how much slack line has been slipped onto the water surface during line folding and by how much of that line can be kept aloft in the D-loop.  Whilst you can slip a large amount of line onto the water surface by repeated slipping, there is only so much that can be converted into an energetic D-loop.
  • To transform all of this slack line into an airborne D-loop requires force, which is applied by a rearward and upward moving rod tip.   (See diagrams for D and V-loops).   These diagrams show that a round upward stroke produces a round D-loop while a straighter rising stroke creates a more desirable V-loop.
  • The shape and in particular the position of the D-loop also governs the shape of the forward casting loop.    As a general rule the more dynamic the D-loop is the deeper it can be formed without “grounding” onto the water surface.   Although the D-loop takes its name from the letter D, this is not a good example, since a very dynamic loop, we all strive to create, resembles a V on its side.     The deeper this line V is, the more momentum it has and the more resistance it provides for rod loading.    This leaves the placement or tilt of the V for consideration.    The narrowest forward loops are achieved when the tip of the V is closest of the straight track of the rod tip during the forward casting stroke.    To achieve that placement the D-loop has to be projected not only rearwards but also upwards.   On the other hand a low V-point has to be pulled up onto the rod tip track by the rod tip, which wastes energy and inevitably produces a round and open forward loop.     As the accompanying photo shows, prior to rod loading when the rod is straight and near the one o’clock starting position the top leg of the V may look somewhat steep.     However, this leg will flatten out as the rod shortens during loading.    Good casters also lower the rod butt during the first half of the casting stroke but raise it thereafter (Swoop) in order to ensure that the rod tip tracks on as straight a path as possible.     

 

The anchor forms the open end of the lower leg of the V while the rod tip connects the upper leg.   In the previous paragraphs I emphasised the importance of angle of the upper leg now we need to look more closely at its lower equivalent.    Generally speaking with the Tongariro Roll Cast the terminal rig and the large indicator provide enough anchorage to allow the formation of a large V-loop without the anchor failing to hold.  This then allows the lower leg of the V-loop to completely lift from the water surface during loop formation and rod loading.    When this happens only a small portion of the casting energy is needed to lift the anchor, the rest is used to propel the line.   

 

The reverse happens when some of the lower leg remains in contact with the water.   Lifting it prior to pulling the anchor robs so much casting energy that in severe cases the anchor does not come out at all or limply lifts but collapses in a heap of lose line soon after.   The salient point in this discussion is that anchorage is infinitely variable and needs to be assessed when stetting up for every cast.   Too little and the anchor wont hold, too much and distance will be shortened.   Only time on the water under a variety of fishing conditions can Picture is by Kim Turia   provide the experience to make the right assessments.  

 

Come to think of it, anchorage is such a complex issue that it really deserves an article of its own.    In the meantime work on changing your round and listless D-loop into a sharply pointed, sizzling V shape to get those “rat snout” looking forward loops.  

 
This picture by Kim Turia shows a vey sharp, deep and above all dynamic V-loop formation.   Note how the lower V leg has been lifted completely off the water.  Now the rod can be loaded against the loop's rearward momentum with a forward stroke and a simultaneous left hand haul . 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote mike555 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2007 at 12:04pm
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I note you reccomend the Rio Accelerator line. I need a new line as old one is now a sinker so good timing to buy a new one that is good for roll casting.
Will this line work well for overhead casting as well?
I reckon I am only 40/60 roll cast vs overhead cast. My priority is usability and float for mending but want to be able to do both casts.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Barbary B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jun 2007 at 1:04pm
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Herb - any thoughts on the Maori roll cast? I have watched in awe at some of the effortless roll casting practised by the local people around the Waiatanuhi and Hinemaiaia rivers. Often with old fibreglass rods! They just seem to pick the line up from down river and send a rolling loop across the surface of the river in one easy motion.

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Have not seen the Maori Roll Cast as practiced there.    From what you describe it sounds like a sort of dynamic roll more like a Switch Cast.   Neither of these rivers are very wide so can probably be covered with the standard roll.    I fish neither very much; the Hine because of the snags and the Waitahanui because of the local tangata whenua who have discovered that "might is right".    I go fishing to have fun not egro.
 
Re Rio Accelerator line.   I have no experience with any Rio lines so cant comment on this one.    I always use long belly lines as these allow longer distance mending which to me is more important than a few more meters of distance.   LBLs are also quite good for roll casting and overhead casting with weight.   
 
Rainbow 
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That is essentially what it is Herb... Barbary... it's not a hard cast to master... study some of the Spey and TRC info and take note of the info regarding forming the D loop and anchor... that's the point they raise the rod and make their next upstream pitch. Herb is right... its best suited ot close work and in their case... when fishing to a short drift area.

www.clarkreid.co.nz   FFF Certified Casting Instructor / Umpqua Designer Tier
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Tore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2007 at 2:45pm
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I think the best way to learn this is to learn the basics of the "modern" speycast first. From what I can see there is nothing new about this cast, just a few well known techniques mixed together.
Basically, again from what I can see from the clips, part one is to get the heavy nymphs to the surface. Part two is a basic modern spey cast (also called switch cast or underhand cast), and to do this before the nymphs sinks again.
 
To me it's a perfect example of how you can adapt to the situation if your arsenal of basic techniques is well maintained. Well done, Herb!!
This clip shows another range of examples of the same thing: http://youtube.com/watch?v=0QhDavr24xA
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Chris Dore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2007 at 11:25pm
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Between that and another trick castng clip Tore, Ive messed up dozens of leaders and endured countless tangles trying t emulate them. Impressive stuff!
 
Chris
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Originally posted by Tore Tore wrote:

Basically, again from what I can see from the clips, part one is to get the heavy nymphs to the surface. Part two is a basic modern spey cast (also called switch cast or underhand cast), and to do this before the nymphs sinks again.
 
 
 
Hi Tore
 
The sole purpose of the set-up prior to forming the D-Loop is to lay the line and leader out in the direction of the new target.    Nothing to do with lifting the heavy nymphs.    They sink to the bottom and stay there until they are lifted by the forward cast, which is (like in all Spey casting) the standard Switch cast.
 
I draw a distinction between fishing casts and what I call circus casts.   The latter http://youtube.com/watch?v=0QhDavr24xA are very impressive for the impressionable and are usually seen at Game Fairs etc. to entertain/baffle the onlookers.     Most of them have little relevance to practical fishing at least not for our style of upstream fishing.    The best that can be said about these casting acrobats is that they have a wonderful control of their tackle.
 
By contrast the TRC is a true fishing cast that fits perfectly into our fishing scene.
 
Rainbow
 
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I have tried many lines for the TRC, including the lightest Spey lines.   These perform well but are a little too thick, too heavy and just a little too awkward.   For the last two years I have used an 8# XXD from SA on my CD ICT test rod and found it a quite good line not only to cast but also for long distance mending.    I recommended it to my mate Bill who duly bought a #9 in Turangi.    Amazing what difference one line weight can make.    Even though he used it on an #8 rod the casting results were remarkable.
 
The next day I went to the same shop to buy a #9 XXD but they only had lesser weights.    Just before I was leaving the owner remembered that he had taken one off a reel the same day a customer bought it but did not like it.
 
This brand new line was now 2nd hand knocked down to $50.    A lucky break but the the really joy came when I cast it .   This line and in this weight is the all time best line I have used for the TRC.  The 62' head drives heavy bombs with authority and depending on the wind mends a cast almost at the same distance.
 
Unfortunately this was the last and by far the best day of a fairly tough week.   After an early  casting session with Chappie Chapman from the  Mainland I finished the trip at a windless and sun drenched the Hydro Pool literally floating on cloud nine.   My word, there is much more to fly fishing than just catching fish.
 
25 more sleeps before I am back there in July.
 
Rainbow
 
 
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Originally posted by Rainbow Rainbow wrote:

Originally posted by Tore Tore wrote:

Basically, again from what I can see from the clips, part one is to get the heavy nymphs to the surface. Part two is a basic modern spey cast (also called switch cast or underhand cast), and to do this before the nymphs sinks again.
 
 
Hi Tore
 
The sole purpose of the set-up prior to forming the D-Loop is to lay the line and leader out in the direction of the new target.    Nothing to do with lifting the heavy nymphs.    They sink to the bottom and stay there until they are lifted by the forward cast, which is (like in all Spey casting) the standard Switch cast.
 
I draw a distinction between fishing casts and what I call circus casts.   The latter http://youtube.com/watch?v=0QhDavr24xA are very impressive for the impressionable and are usually seen at Game Fairs etc. to entertain/baffle the onlookers.     Most of them have little relevance to practical fishing at least not for our style of upstream fishing.    The best that can be said about these casting acrobats is that they have a wonderful control of their tackle.
 
By contrast the TRC is a true fishing cast that fits perfectly into our fishing scene.
 
Rainbow
 
 
Herb, I agree on the 'circus' bit, but I think these guys would outfish both of us on any salmon river. It's just a demonstration of what you can do if you master the basics. The guy who pretty much started it all (Göran Andersson) is always to find at the top of the catch stats.
 
But my point is that if you handle the basics behind a modern speycast (the traditional spey is something completely different), you probably won't need lessons to perform the "TRC".
 
By your reply it sounds like the weight of the nymphs is irrelevant?? If that's the case (which I don't think it is), wouldn't you be just as well off with a basic modern speycast or reverse spey, depending on current direction? (lift off - swing/back cast - forward cast)?
 
It's interesting what you say about the XXD, which is made for long overhead casts. Normally a "delta" tapered line is favoured with switch casting, because you'll have the heaviest section of the line close to your tip top prior to the forward cast. I take it you shoot the line long before the whole belly is "exposed"?
 
Would you mind sending me a PM with your details? I would love to discuss ideas and play around with a few casts next time I'm down there.
 
Cheers  
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Iv tryed just about every line for the TRC and the best by far is the Airflo Ridgeline but its not just the line its the nut behind the but
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Hi Rainbow
 
Have you worked on altering your leaders in order to create a more efficient cast? Secondly what about indicators.....I'm stuck on what to do with indicators next.
 
Manic
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hey manic,
 
you might have to PM rainbow - I think he got a bee in his bonnet about something a while back and hasnt been posting in here. I think he floats about in the kayak fishing section
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Hi Manic
 
Am guessing Rainbow sets  his leader as required to fish the water, i.e. heavier and longer for deeper and faster water. Smaller indicaters obviously are better - they are indicators not floats. There are a couple of good ways of hitching indicators in. First don't buy the silly ones in the shops in New Zealand with the metal clips. I think Rainbow published an article a few years ago showing how to use a small piece of plastic tubing like the inside of a Bic pen cut to about 5 mm's. A suitable distance away from the end of your fly line on your leader bend the leader in half and push it though the tubing and then out the otherside so that you have a loop which you use to pull through a bit of suitable yarn like polyester rovings I think he called it or glow-bug yarn previously soaked in water proofing spray. Personally I just hitch in a bit of yarn in the way Chappie Chapmans booking "Dancing Rivers" describes. The yarn should be the smallest size that you can just see and hopefully float. Not like casting a budgie on the end of your line like a lot of other Tongariro fishermen.
 
Just reading through previous posts also noticed someone mentioning Rio Accelerator. It works well. Personally I have had floating issues with XXD's which perform well with the TRC. Find Cortland 444SL's fantastic till they crack after a month. Hate Airflow ridgelines in all aspects. The new Sharkskins appear to work well but havn't tried in a Tongariro weight yet. Havn't tried any special spey lines but would guess they might work well for TRC but may be a little awkward for overhead casting.
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Thanks Andrew for the breakdown. I personally fish the ridgelines, but prefer the new Delta tapers to the original products. Totally agree with comments re. the buoyancy of the XXD and cortland cracking issues. I haven't fished the Accelerator single hand, just the original accelerator spey lines which are a little too long in the head for my preferences with a double hander.
 
Also agree with your point re. Spey lines being akward for overhead casting. I find the come through too low when overhead casting, but if balanced well are fun for roll casts on a single handed rod.
 
Is anyone fishing braid or other spectra's in their leaders in big water?
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Yup. Always start the day the spectra way now.
"Look ahead, look astern, look to weather, look to lea
Look down along the coast of High Barbary..."
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Anglers Anonymous Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2008 at 4:00pm
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Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Location: Bay Of Islands
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Points: 12
Hi Manic
 
Didn't realize who you were before when I tried to help with indicators - assumed you were typical Tongariro fisherman who needed help and couldn't get Rainbow to respond. Obviously you already know how to hitch in indicators and don't use the clip on ones. What was the deeper nature of your indicator queory - I probably can't help but am interested anyway? Do you have a superior technique or material?
 
Was unaware of the delta taper but not just the balance of the ridgelines that I had been unhappy with but also the bouyancy - always trying to find the best comprimise between balance, buoyancy and durability. Could be that I am rather lazy and hardly ever clean my lines and I think the ridgelines seem  to collect a little pumice. Have you tried the Sharkskins yet for both spey and overhead?
 
Will start experimenting with braid this year. Was it yourself or someone else that wrote an article in one of the magazines last year on it - may have been F & G? Fished with a guy on the Tonga last year who was using fireline successfully with only one small tangle for the day. Am hoping that the thinner diameter will mean less weight needed in the flies and make life easier.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Manic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2008 at 4:03pm
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Joined: 11 Mar 2008
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Thanks Nick, I'm new to the forum so hadn't seen the other thread so appreciate the link.
 
What types and weights of braid are you using Barnaby B?
 
The Drop Shot Article certainly wasn't aiming to lay claim to everyones already existing idea's on split shot and using braid. However I'm keen to hear how others have improved on my thoughts.
 
I know a number of anglers who are using braid for short line nymphing and see RIO have added braid to their range of tippet materials in the US.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Barbary B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2008 at 5:34pm
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Using 8lb braid - dark green colour tied to tiny barrel swivel, one or two shots clamped above the swivel, then 30 cms 8 or 6 lb flouro onto one or two weighted nymphs. Ususally fish the Hinemaiaia with one nymph and the TT with two. I think the brand of braid was Powerplay from memory - but will check. 

Powerplay is very stiff from a casting perspective- which I like. One thing I have improved on from early attempts is making up the complete rig and storing it in a flasher rig case (couple of bucks from rebel sport) , then attaching the whole lot to the loop on the flyline when at the river. Makes for a quick changeover if light/clarity demands it. I have found though that unless its a brilliant sunny day - you can get away with the braid.
 
Have thought of trying red or pink braid to see if it makes any difference.
"Look ahead, look astern, look to weather, look to lea
Look down along the coast of High Barbary..."
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