Texas Fishing Forum

Fly rod distance?

Posted By: sowhntr

Fly rod distance? - 08/24/19 11:12 PM

What type of distance should I expect out of my 8 foot 5wt setup? I am only getting about 30 feet. I am sure it is my casting technique. I am green, but I am loving it. I was given the setup from my mother in law when my father in law passed. I have taken it to broken bow twice, creede Colorado and yellow stone. I have only caught four trout with it. I plan on learning and catching more.
Posted By: karstopo

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/25/19 01:37 AM

How do you measure it? Is it your feet to where the fly lands or something different?

30 feet is enough to fish, but it would be nice to push it out another 20 feet and make the fly land where you want it.
Posted By: RexW

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/25/19 04:58 AM

Getting some casting help from an experienced instructor will shorten the learning curve.

Couple of questions for you. With your current 30 ft cast is the line laying out straight or does it have a lot of slack in it? Do you know how to shoot line?

An 8 foot rod is shorter than most 5wt rods and the shorter length will make longer distance casting more challenging than a longer rod. I'm sure other folks will have differing opinions, but here's my opinion. A beginner with an 8 foot 5 wt that does not know how to shoot line, a 30 to 35 foot cast from your toes to the fly with the line landing with minimal slack is pretty good. Learn to shoot line and 45 to 50 is doable. If you want to go longer than that, then learn to haul.

Personal opinion, forget about worrying about how far you are casting and focus on minimizing slack and how accurate the cast is. An accurate 30 ft cast is way more useful than a 70 foot cast that nobody knows where it is going to land.

Local fly fishing clubs are great sources of useful information and help for people who are getting started with fly fishing.

Good luck!
Posted By: Jim Ford

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/25/19 03:01 PM

It's not easy to diagnose casting issues from a post. If you don't have access to an instructor, or a good caster, have someone video you casting (preferably from the side at a bit of a distance) and send the video to someone capable of evaluating your technique.
Posted By: sowhntr

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/25/19 08:47 PM

Thank you guys for the info!

The 30 foot would be from the tip of my rod when it is horizontal at the end of my cast, not from my body position/feet. It just seemed like there was some nice breaks just out of reach. My main issues was I am not in waders. I was getting the shot the line down. I was staring to get a nice straight line with no slack on the water. My line is probably 10 years old as well. I will have my new backing and float line in the mail this evening.

I would like to have 40-50 foot in the pocket if I needed it, was making sure that the setup was capable.
Posted By: RonL

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/25/19 09:23 PM

Do you know what line and weight is actually on the reel ! If nit being 10 yrs old i would replace it and get the weight forward line . It helps casting because the front part of the line is heavier and helps longer cast .
Posted By: sowhntr

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 03:13 AM

I didn’t know the weight of the old line, but I put my new backing and float line on today. I walked out in the front yard let some line out and roll casted. Pulled a little more line and shot it. I hit my truck at 38 feet 5 foot high. I am pumped

It’s nothing fancy but it’s a custom built rod from dans fly shop in lake city. we set our vacation again for creede next year and I can’t wait. !
Posted By: karstopo

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 03:35 AM

Groovy! Fly line makes such a difference. No telling what that old line was. My first setup was purchased off STP as a combo with line. I really thought I was truly terrible at casting, but eventually realized the line that came with the set up wasn’t really even fly line, but more of a prop like in a movie set. Steve Rajeff couldn’t have cast that line.
Posted By: Bones72

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 03:40 AM

I find line on a fly rod is like arrows to an archery hunter. You can have the sweetest bow in the world with all the newest bells and whistles but if your arrow is not spined right or is not perfectly straight you ain't hitting a thing. The same scenario rings true with fly fishing. If the line is not good doesn't matter if the rod is the newest $1500 dollar Sage wonder rod it ain't gonna cast worth a hoot..
Posted By: RexW

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 10:27 AM

Congrats!
Posted By: RexW

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 10:27 AM

Congrats!
Posted By: John Stockman

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 12:04 PM

I'm still pretty new to fly fishing. I'll reiterate what others have said. Line is the single most important component in your setup. Overline with quality line and learn the double haul. You'll be amazed. I sling bigger bugs for bass but when I'm the zone with my 8 and 9wts I can almost cast all my line out. Tried trout fishing, my hat is off to you guys that are successful.
Posted By: Bones72

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 12:30 PM

Trout fishing is a little different; its all about a dead drift if in a river/stream. Line management becomes important and that where a descent rod can help with line management and protecting fragile tippets.
Posted By: karstopo

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 01:25 PM

I think fishing for cold water trout can mean many things and be done in a variety of ways, not just drifts with dries and nymphs. Trout in a lot of places get hit really hard by fishing and have seen plenty of offerings making it all the more tricky to fool them. Try hitting some overlooked or seldom fished private water and they are as dumb as any other fish, that’s my experience anyhow.
Posted By: Bones72

Re: Fly rod distance? - 08/27/19 02:55 PM

Or pick on them dumb species in the higher elevations. Truly wild brookies and cutthroat don't pass up much in the infertile waters with short feeding seasons. Or just crash the hatch. No telling how many fish on "technical waters" I've brought to and throwing stuff that was not what the majority of fish were supposed to be feeding on. Tossing a #12 or #10 stimulator during the trico spinner fall or swinging a rusty Slumpbuster during a BWO hatch. Noticed I said were supposed to be feeding on. When tricos are out grasshoppers usually are too. When BWOs hatch its usually in the spring when there is highwater and crawfish are being washed around the banks (fall BWOs are a little more difficult). Why eat a size #20 or smaller no see-um fly when they could eat a big mac sized meal. For anyone heading to Colorado, especially the Colorado Springs area I'd be more than willing to point you in the direction of some good small stream fishing close to town; almost unbelievably close and or give some pointers on what worked for me on some of the more well known waters.
Posted By: fshng84

Re: Fly rod distance? - 09/10/19 12:29 AM

Originally Posted by sowhntr
What type of distance should I expect out of my 8 foot 5wt setup? I am only getting about 30 feet. I am sure it is my casting technique. I am green, but I am loving it. I was given the setup from my mother in law when my father in law passed. I have taken it to broken bow twice, creede Colorado and yellow stone. I have only caught four trout with it. I plan on learning and catching more.


Great question! Don't an 8 foot in a 5 weight. But, do one in a 4 weight. Able to get 50 feet plus with a double haul cast,... even caught a fish while doing the demo! Fun stuff!

Fly Casting Demo... Redington Pursuit 8 ft 4wt! Casting 50 feet or so? #flyfishing
Posted By: Jim Ford

Re: Fly rod distance? - 09/10/19 01:12 AM

Originally Posted by John Stockman
I'm still pretty new to fly fishing. I'll reiterate what others have said. Line is the single most important component in your setup. Overline with quality line and learn the double haul. You'll be amazed. I sling bigger bugs for bass but when I'm the zone with my 8 and 9wts I can almost cast all my line out. Tried trout fishing, my hat is off to you guys that are successful.


The OP stated that he received the setup as a package deal; there's a good chance that the rod is pretty soft. If that's the case, overlining would be a huge mistake. I realize that overlining is all the fad now; I have seen people post that they automatically overline every rod in their quiver. With all due respect, overlining is for fast rods, and not all fast rods (and definitely not all new casters) should overline. Indeed, overlining could greatly lengthen his learning curve. Let him learn the basics and go from there. I'm sure that he will receive many suggestions to overline, but that may be detrimental to his rod and to his casting education. Someone who is right there with him, watching him cast, and able to evaluate his skill and equipment, should be the person to determine whether overlining would be beneficial.
Posted By: Glitchmo

Re: Fly rod distance? - 09/10/19 01:50 PM

Originally Posted by Jim Ford
Originally Posted by John Stockman
I'm still pretty new to fly fishing. I'll reiterate what others have said. Line is the single most important component in your setup. Overline with quality line and learn the double haul. You'll be amazed. I sling bigger bugs for bass but when I'm the zone with my 8 and 9wts I can almost cast all my line out. Tried trout fishing, my hat is off to you guys that are successful.


The OP stated that he received the setup as a package deal; there's a good chance that the rod is pretty soft. If that's the case, overlining would be a huge mistake. I realize that overlining is all the fad now; I have seen people post that they automatically overline every rod in their quiver. With all due respect, overlining is for fast rods, and not all fast rods (and definitely not all new casters) should overline. Indeed, overlining could greatly lengthen his learning curve. Let him learn the basics and go from there. I'm sure that he will receive many suggestions to overline, but that may be detrimental to his rod and to his casting education. Someone who is right there with him, watching him cast, and able to evaluate his skill and equipment, should be the person to determine whether overlining would be beneficial.


Agree. The speed with which some folks on this board leap to overlining as a solution to every problem with casting is perplexing.
Posted By: Glitchmo

Re: Fly rod distance? - 09/10/19 01:54 PM

To the OP -- 40 feet from your feet to the fly is more than enough for most 5 weight fishing.

Another convenient measure -- the head (heavier part of a weight forward fly line) of the line is usually marked by a color change, and is usually in the ballpark of 40 feet of fly line. If you can cast the whole head plus a leader that will be closer to 50 feet, and you're in good shape. But, don't fall into the trap of distance distance distance; accuracy is probably more important.
Posted By: Osbornfishing

Re: Fly rod distance? - 09/10/19 07:52 PM

A new line will make a big difference. If you are going to fish in local lakes, I prefer an 8'6" or 9' rod for 6-8 weight line. But I catch carp, buffalo, hybrids, largemouth, and stripers. I have found that a fly rod is like a lot of other sports equipment and the best rod and line for one angler may be different for another. If you are after distance then keep the line clean and conditioned, but I agree with others that accuracy is more important. My last state record on a fly required a 10' cast.
Posted By: FlyFX

Re: Fly rod distance? - 10/12/19 01:48 PM

most can get past the backing knot with proper technique and ideal conditions
your mileage may vary
realistically 40 - 50' is practical and as mentioned accuracy is the key -- which will come with lots of practice
Posted By: L. C. Clower

Re: Fly rod distance? - 10/28/19 07:41 PM

You didn't post your location.
Somewhere nearby should be a club or a fly shop that offers some freebie lessons.
Failing that, get a video, keep a rod rigged up in your garage and work on what the video shows you 5-10 minutes a day.
Kill two birds with one stone, take some guide trips, most fly fishing guides can scoot you up the learning curve.
Posted By: JCG57

Re: Fly rod distance? - 10/31/19 12:15 AM

I remember reading somewhere that if you reach the point where you can cast all the fly line off your reel, you are in the top 5-10% of distance casters. To get there you will need the double haul, and that just takes practice. You will know when you have it figured out when you can feel the load you create on your rod tip pulling hard at the fly line you are holding while false casting and the entire casting motion just feels like it is in a good rhythm. Having said that, distance casting vs. shorter, accurate, subtle casts reminds me of the Mark Twain quote: "As a form of gratification, fornication is highly overrated relative to defecation."
Posted By: hook-line&sinker

Re: Fly rod distance? - 11/12/19 01:29 AM

I will warn you that the pursuit of distance without the benefit of good technique can really wreck your casting arm.. don't ask me how I know this....
Posted By: DarrellSimpson

Re: Fly rod distance? - 11/12/19 01:39 AM

I fish with a 20 year old 7 wt that I always struggled with distance . I ended up putting the next weight up line on and fixed my troubles . I only did this per a instructors advice since my particular rod wasn't " loading " quite right with 7 wt line .
People like instructors and guides can be a wealth of advice and knowledge .
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