Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Fly Rod Action

To understand the required action of a fly rod we must first know the fish we target.  That fish is going to require a certain fly to entice a take and that fly dictates will tell a story.

Let's imagine we are chasing some larger trout in a clear moderate flowing river where a size sixteen soft hackle is the go to presentation.  Our first part of the puzzle will be to determine the strongest tippet size possible and weather to choose mono filament or fluorocarbon.  Each has different properties and how much light is available can influence our choice.  In addition we need to observe the depth that the fish are feeding.  I have a basic rule followed that tends to have me using mono at or close to the surface and flouro the deeper I go.

This choice has to do with the ability of light to travel through mono as a fiber optic where flouro is not.  The mono will glow in the darkness of depth.

After choosing the material of my leader and tippet, I now choose the strongest I think will allow my fly to act the most natural possible.  Here is where the relationship between fish and rod action occurs.   The lighter the tippet required the softer the action required.  Having a fast action rod in this situation could prove fatal in a few different respects.

First, when a larger trout makes a fast spurt the tip of the rod will offer too much resistance and place additional stress to the tippet by not bending easily enough as well as springing back to straight too quickly.  By far the better tool would be a medium fast or medium action fly rod.  Second, having to fear bring breaking off a larger fish for release it becomes a longer event when we know that sudden movements cause tippet breakage.  On the other hand when fishing for Stripped Bass with an eighteen pound tipped I want the fast action or even X-Fast.  No worries about tipped strength verses rod action.

I know that fast action fly rods have been the rage dictated by marketing.  Don't be fooled that you need a fast action rod to cast well as learning how to manipulate a fiberglass soft action fly rod will have that soft hackle fly undulating in the current like a mayfly rising to be free.

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