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Well, I hope you don’t work a fly rod like a whip, and some of the fly rods out there aren’t so long. They can be pretty short in fact. And short can be better, in some situations. I fish a variety of short rods, from 7-foot to 8-foot, 4 inches.
Heart-stopping topwater strikes don’t have to be followed by casting fatigue or an aching elbow or wrist. Fly casting, if your mechanics are poor, can cause physical pain. Throw a big ol’ popper into the mix and it can get worse. But that is avoidable—all it takes is some adjustments in both the construction of a popper and in the way you cast it.
False albie. Bonito. Football. Hardhead. Bomber. These are only a few of the nicknames for the little tunny. All around the Florida coastline, from the northern Gulf of Mexico to the Florida-Georgia line, this small member of the tuna family can be caught in good numbers on fly tackle.
I have long used tandem rigs, both in fresh and salt water. If you’ve ever fished topwater poppers and bugs and dealt with half-hearted strikes, it may have been during cold weather or when the surface was flat-calm under a high sun. That’s when a dropper fly can seal the deal for you.
This “current-countering” cast is ideal whether you’re casting from the opposite bank on a narrow creek, or from a stationary boat on bigger water. It helps around docks, and is useful when surf fly fishing, too, where waves or longshore current tends to sweep your fly down the beach too quickly.
Recently, an expert from a national outdoors company came to Tampa to teach fly casting. He used a video camera on a tripod to show casters their mistakes. The novelty was showing casters their errors, hoping they’d be motivated and capable of correcting them.
Since fly line backing can cost only pennies per foot, the function of taking up space is cheaper with backing. Most importantly, backing helps you catch fish. In Florida, we grow fish that require long casts and that run when struck with the hook. They will bring your backing to hand and make you glad that you paid attention to it.
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