Practice leader

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Fishunter, Jan 8, 2005.

  1. Fishunter Member

    Posts: 47
    Centralia, Washington
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    I've heard of practice leader being used on grass for spey casting practice. Can anyone tell me how and what material to make this leader out of?
    One more question: Is it a good thing for a beginner or to teach a beginner on grass?
  2. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,976
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +644 / 0
    Are you talikng about a "grass leader"?

    Grass Leaders are very helpful in grabbing at the grass and creating a drag resistence on the line to assist the loading phase of the Spey casting stroke. Grass leaders also help in single handed roll casting practise, when you cant use water.

    I am hoping the Spey Meisters will weigh in here with a full description.

    No matter how much I work on my own spey casting on the grass, I still feel the best work is done on water.
  3. windtickler Member

    Posts: 508
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    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I'm sure Aaron from river run could hook you up with one, and Gawesworth has instructions in the back of his spey book. It's basically a series of 20 blood knots 6-8" apart and with 1/4-1/2" tails on the knots.

    Be aware, though, I spent 3 hours casting on the grass at the last clave, and once I finally "got" it, I'd learned so many bad habits that I'm still undoing them. For instance you don't really have to do an effective lift on grass, you can just slide into the anchor by combining the lift and they flick. It feels so cool on the grass, but try that with a sinking tip and a bunny leech. And grass casting can kill your timing.

    Find some water. Then you can practice with a fly on the end. :thumb:
  4. Fishunter Member

    Posts: 47
    Centralia, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Does it really throw your timing off that much? What if a guy concentrated on a slower lift when practicing with a gass leader?
  5. Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Posts: 1,945
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +109 / 0
    There's probably no real substitute for water for spey casting practice, but here are a few other substitutes:

    For practice in picking the fly out of the water and launching it with a D-loop, try a plastic hair curler/dryer tube. It has about the right combination of weight, air resistance and stickiness.

    For practice in throwing consistent D-loops behind one, without overpowering so that the fly is plucked from the water prematurely and thrown into an overhead backcast, try a big lead sinker. I use a one-lb. round lead ball with a brass eyelet screwed into it. Try to make the sinker hop in place without being jerked from its position.

    I think grass leaders work better with extention stubs around one inch. Much longer and they're too flexible to grab the grass.