chironomid rod?

I'm wondering if certain rod traits lend themselves well to casting long leaders and indicators or is it up to the
caster to make the necessary adjustments to their casting stroke. I am very focused on learning this technique
for stillwaters but I find that I have a hell of a time casting these setups. I'm thinking this may be due at least
partially to my fast action rods. Yesterday I was using a z 490 for this purpose and I had a hell of a time not
tangling. This has always been a.problem. I know I'm supposed to open my loops but my z axis and xp rods I
love and fish seem to not excel at this. I'm considering picking up a rod with a more moderate action....thinking
Perhaps this may help me in this area? Or am I just in need of some casting tuning?

What rods do you like for bobbers/long leaders and why?

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
I use a Sage 590 LL for my chronie rod. I want a big loop when casting to keep from snarling with the indicator or the fly. The LL (light line) is a moderate action rod, maybe even a light moderate.


Indi "Ira" Jones
You should have asked this question while we were out fishing, I could have showed you my long leader casting technique. My favorite rod to throw for mids is not that St. Croix, but my GLX 4 weight. 9' or more is a must and I'm very tempted to start playing around with switch rods.

Sage has a new line of Czech nymphing rods and at 11' in a 3 wt 4wt or 5wt I think woud be great chironomid rods. I haven't tried one yet but in the spring I will.


Active Member
Yep, a longer rod should help in turning over long leaders if using a floating line or if your using fast sink full sinking lines. I played around with an Echo 11' four weight last spring. It was a heavy and fast to my liking but it cast like a canon. I can totally see trying the Sage Czech rods this spring.
I have used sage 4wt XP's in both 9 and 10'. The 10' was better but it hurt my old (arthritic) wrist and I sold it off. The 9' is quite adequate. Slow rods have merrit.

As the posters above observe, there is a technique to casting a long leader and bobber. Slide up to someone who is fishing in 20' of water and just watch. It is not a speed event nor is casting for distance necessary.

The first problem is to get the leader out of the water. It can take a few "false" casts to get the fly up to the surface and out of the water. Make the swings slow-ish and dramatic and watch for the fly to free itself. Now, you can lob it out a ways and let it sink. You really don't need to pitch it a mile.

If you fish naked (no indicator), you may want to get it out a little further. You are going to have a slow twist retreive. With a bobber, it can be closer. Don't throw it out where you cant see the indicator and don't pick up too soon. You will get takes darn near under you, especially in deep water.

Thanks for all the responses. Lots of good info. Ira I wish I would have said something. I was admiring how well you cast a long leader.

I'm picturing maybe a 10' 4wt would be a good bobber dunker. Most 10' rods I have come across seem to be
on the fast side...perhaps throwing a 5 wt line would help.

Jerry, I did score a 9' 4 wt xp on the auction site recently that should arrive any day now but if that rod is anything like my other xps I fear I may encounter the same problem


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
9' Loomis GLX or Sage RPL 4wts work for me. As long as I'm fishing out of a craft that allows me to stand up, I haven't found casting long leaders with a 9' rod to be an issue.
That's a good point stonefish. The majority of my fishing is done from a pontoon or a raft where I am sitting while casting. I'm sure the ability to stand would make things much easier
Another vote for GLX 9' 4wt when I'm fishing a floater. And yes, standing makes a huge difference. I limit my leaders to around 15' when I'm fishing out of my watermaster but go up to 25' when I have a seat in Ira's boat. In water less than 10' I've been doing more chironomid work with my 5wt lined with an intermediate. Long cast, let it sit for 30 sec or so then a hand twist retrieve.


Active Member
Last year I setup 2 rods for different depths, a slow action with a 15' leader and a fast action with a 20 leader. I noticed that my hookup ratio to takedowns was horrible with the slower action rod, where the fast action was much better. I think the fast action rods can pick up line quicker which helps with hooksets. Casting a 15-20' leader is a pain no matter what action/length rod you use.
I agree with Plecop, a fast rod will improve hookups. And yes, overlining an xp does slow it down. I have evolved to Rio indicator lines, the heavy front end allows me some control with a shorter amount of line out. The dang welded loops don't last though.

I have a lot of XP's, from 2 to 6wt. The beauty is that they all feel the same. I can fish my 2wt at 3' and get a quick lift on those quick little brookies. I do over line the 2wts to 3wt and it slows the cast and gives me some weight in the wind. I have overlined 5wt XP's with good results as well. The stiff tips seem to give that little extra millisecond on the lift that helps some days. Overlining seems to give you the speed on the lift(take) but slows down the action. I have all fast rods so that is where I live all the time.



Active Member
Metcalf you make a good point - getting the line and fly moving and almost out of the water is key with indi - double weighted mids and even 1 spit shot . i have had to explain this to everyone i've taught to indi fish . once it is almost out of the water just a flick of the wrist will cast just fine . cant do that with all that junk still under water . long slow sweep to get the leader and flies up and then "flick" -

I use older orvis full flex rods 9'3" 5wt and a 9'6" 6 wt. and they are great for throwing large loops with the long leaders and everything attached . also i cut off all the welded loops for this kind of fishing . i feel they give a hinge from the line to leader when throwing so much weight or junk on the leader . longer rods also help in setting the hook because you have to pull the "elbow" straight to get the hook set.