Wind Knots

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by atdwash, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. atdwash

    atdwash New Member

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    I thought my double haul was coming along nicely. I'm getting it out there a bit and have landed a few fish. But after a dozen casts, it looks like I'm fishing with a rosary.

    Anyone know the primary reason for wind knots?

    Does one WK compromise the integrity of your tippet to the point that you would need to re-tie? If that's the case, I'm in real trouble.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    The most common cause of "wind knots" (they should be called casting knots) is the application of power too quickly or to excess on the lay cast. This is the most common cause of the dreaded tailing loop which, in turn, is the most common cause of the overhand (or multiple overhand) knot in the leader. Yes, a single overhand knot in your leader reduces its effective breaking strength, probably by about half.

    It's easy to do when double hauling because one tends to want to put every last ounce of effort into the shooting cast. Just remember that sometimes less is more and a little delicacy and concentration on timing is better than brute force.
     
  3. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    Try starting your final haul just a fraction of a second later, past the 12 O'Clock position, and not to abruptly. When you haul, you give additional load to the rod, which causes the tip to drop out of its travel plane if done too early or forcefully. The result, as pointed out by Preston, is a tailing loop, which will weave you a "casting" knot, and leave you a weakened line.
     
  4. atdwash

    atdwash New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    Can you explain exactly what a tailing loop is and what it looks like (so I can more easily recognize, and try to avoid it)?

    I have always made it a point to keep my loops tight. Is this incorrect? I have a buddy that hardly ever gets casting knots, but his loops are wide and loose, which is something that I have always tried to avoid.

    Thanks for the advice thus far. I will try to wait a fraction longer on the haul and find better timing. I try to adhere to the "less is more" philosophy, but easier said than done. I guess I will just have to spend more time on the water and continue to practice.

    Just in case you want to dole out any more advice for the newbies: another problem I am having is that I will occasionally launch a birds nest out of my stripping basket into my first eyelet. What are the best ways to avoid that?

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  5. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    To further Preston's comments, many casters try to 'punch' the rod when casting for distance. On your delivery cast, do exactly (well, almost) what you did on your false casts. There's a tendency to give it that final heave-ho on the delivery cast, and that punching move will pop the tip down too soon, and the tip will recover up in to the path of the line.

    Also, sometimes tipping your rod tip down on the delivery cast will get the tip out of the way (I forget to do this sometimes, and get line collision). You still speed up and stop the rod tip in the same arc during your casting stroke, just give the tip a little movement down when you extend your arm on the delivery cast.

    What line are you using? Not all lines like tight loops. If you're using a shooting head or sink tip, you should consider opening up your loops.

    Wait longer on your backcast, too. It's amazing how impatient folks are on their backcasts; you need to let that unroll before coming forward, and when airing out a long cast, it's going to take a little longer than normal . . .

    What kind of stripping basket are you using? You'll find your line clumps/tangles less with a hard basket with cones or similar in the bottom than the line will in the mesh stripping baskets.

    Man, there are so many things it could be. You might want to hit up one of the folks at the local shop to watch a couple of your casts and comment, or better yet, arrange for a couple of casting lessons. Lessons are incredibly inexpensive, and will get you up the learning curve a lot more quickly than can us folks here. :beer2:
     
  6. Peter Pancho

    Peter Pancho Active Member

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    going with a minimum 8lb test solved my problem in the wind,etc.
     
  7. Ron Crawford

    Ron Crawford ===

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    Here's a thought process that heled me with the same problem.

    Mentally picture your backcast about halfway into it's backward flight. It will look like a reversed letter C. Imagine that C as if it were a hard plastic pipe with your line threaded through it. If you cast and pull on that line at that point you are going to pull the line through that C shaped piece of pipe. the line is going to be racing through that reversed C and when the fly shoots through it will want to whip downward and then forward makign a circle back on the rest of the line which can cause it to wrap around and make a wind knot. The way to make this not happen is to begin your forward cast and the exact second the backcast reached a straight flat line behind you. Not a second before, or after. If you begin your forward cast at that instant the line will simply pull forward and there will be no reverse C whip effect. ** easier said than done - I know **

    OK that was just a long winded way of saying that you should wait a bit longer before you begin you forward cast. But here's what I do --- Actually turn your head and LOOK at your backcast every time. Most of us are fixated on looking forward and just judging by feel about the backcast. As soon as I started actually watching the loop behind me I realized I was casting too soon. Just try it for 30 minutes one day (look back at EVERY backcast) and you will be suprised how much improvement you can make.
     
  8. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    The timing of this is important. Finish your normal cast delivery with your normal hard stop, and THEN drop the rod tip a couple inches AT THE ROD TIP, not at your hand. Wait a half second to allow the loop to form, and then just lightly move the tip down a little. I always taught to use the "one and" counting method to count off seconds but only count to "one". So cast, "one" drop. Keep things tight, do not introduce any slack. Not having that hard stop before the tip will open things up, which is not necessarily bad as Richard said.

    Also if using an intermediate or sinktip line, shorten your leader to 4 feet. if using a 10 lb tippet no taper is needed, but if you like something finer like 6 you might go 50%/50%, using 13 and 6. Harder to bugger things up with a four foot leader and the fish don't care.
     
  9. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

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    You are welcome atdwash; we've all been there. Having been there, we all look back at the struggle and see how we could have advanced years faster than we did, IF we had simply taken a couple of lessons. As Richard mentioned, it will take you up the learning curve fast. A licensed instructor will take a look at your cast and tell you what is wrong and how to fix it faster than it takes to write this. Even when you get to the point that you are regularly casting out a very respectful 70-80 feet of line, a lesson once a year will help you get to 90 ft by the end of the year. Normal charge is about $35/hour.

    Stripping basket blues is a song we all sing. Stretching your line before starting helps a great deal. Some lines tangle in the basket more than others. If fly fishers could solve tangling problems, casting with a 2-handed beach rod we regularly could be throwing 150+ ft casts. :eek:
     
  10. Philster

    Philster Active Member

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    Okay this trick was taught to me personally by, ready, ready, HUGE gratuitous name drop here for full attribution and impact... LEFTY KREH!

    The problem with stripping baskets, and even the apron in a float tube or deck of a boat (where he showed me this) is that we strip with teh rod at about waist or at most "tit high" as he put it. we make a pile of line in the basket, and when we go to cast what's the first thing we do? lift the reel ear high and a little behind our head generally! We are pulling line from the bottom of the pile, which disturbs things and can even make a knot in the pile before we begin casting. Your first couple of strips should NOT be into the main pile but off to the right side of the pile for righties. So when you go to cast you are not disturbing the pile and making a birds nest! Two or three long strips out of the basket, the rest inside. If you have stretched your line and it's not freezing cold out, you should have fewer tangles in your running line.

    I do this automatically at this point since I learned it about 25 years ago. There, you just got one of the lessons I used to teach on guided trips for free... Next week, how to turn down a Cantina girl without starting a bar fight!
     
  11. atdwash

    atdwash New Member

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    Now why would I want to turn down a cantina girl?

    Thanks for all the advice guys. I will get on those suggestions ASAP. Any recommendations for which shops have the best instructors?

    Here is a pic of my homemade stripping basket. I just guessed on the design, but maybe you can see something amiss.
     
  12. herl

    herl Member

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    The basket looks good.. but maybe a bit too small. Unless you are a size 14.

    Nice trick Philster (er.. Lefty)! I'll have to give that a try.
     

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