Presentation is Key to Catching Fish!

Presentation is Key to Catching Fish!

Watch as our friends over at Redington show us how to properly present your fly to the fish.

A key to your success on the water will depend on your presentation. One false move could end your day with little or no fish.

This video will help you understand where and how to present your fly in a manner that will fool the fish. Enjoy, and share the love!




Here is a little help on getting to know more about fly line from our friends over at Fly Fishing Basics.

Fly lines are confusing. You may have browsed through your local fly shop and noticed a wall of all sorts of different lines hanging nicely in their little boxes. Weight forward, double taper, sink-tip, and so on and so forth.

What does all of that mean and which one of those fly lines will work best for you when learning the fly fishing basics and how to fly fish? I’ll try to shed some light on that topic for you.

fly line

The fly line is one of the most important pieces of gear in fly fishing. That line is where the whole concept of fly casting and presenting your fly to the fish all comes together.

Fly Line Tapers

There are fly line tapers applied to every type of line on the market today.  These will usually consist of one of three different types of tapers.  Those are weight forward, double taper.  These specific tapers to the fly line help facilitate the fly cast and help make your fly fishing life just a little bit easier.  Want to cast further?  There’s a taper for that.  Plan on casting to spooky trout in a small spring creek?  There’s a taper for that.  These tapers combine with other specific fly line characteristics to allow you to target pretty much any type of fish in any condition.  Here is a great resource from Scientific Anglers to help explain this.

Weight Forward

This fly line is probably the most common taper on a fly line today.  As mentioned earlier, imagine a piece of string that slowly tapers to a thicker portion at the end.  With a weight forward fly line, you will have the end attached to your backing.  From there the first 50′-60′ of line is pretty much a consistent diameter with no taper at all and is called your running line.  In the last 30 feet is where the taper starts and contains the bulk of the weight of the fly line, called the belly.  This will then taper back to a thin line in the last 5′-7′ feet to allow you to attach your leader more easily, called the tip.

Fly Line Tapers Weight ForwardMany different varieties and tapers of weight forward fly lines exist and fly line companies are always trying to hit the sweet spot with them.  You can have very aggressive weight-forward lines where the bulk is in the last 20 feet or even more moderate tapers that extend past further than that 30 foot mark.  Each taper design allows for different situations.  The more aggressive taper gives you more power and thus helps make further distances easier.  More moderate tapers allow more delicate presentations but less distance.

Double Taper

The Double Taper fly line is another common option you’ll find.  Take that string from the earlier example and now imagine it starting out attached to the backing as being a consistent diameter, like the weight forward taper.  However, instead of that lasting the majority of the fly line, the double taper will begin its taper after the first few feet of line.  The bulk of the weight is pretty much centered in the middle of the line.  This will then taper back to the original starting diameter to allow you to attach your leader.  The beginning taper on the end of the fly line will mirror the ending taper.

Fly Line Tapers Double TaperThere are two advantages to this type of fly line taper.  One is that you can easily reverse your line if one of the ends gets damaged.  The second, and biggest, advantage is that this taper allows for a more subtle presentation.  You won’t get the same distance from this fly line, but if you are targeting spooking fish, then this is the line for you.


Fly Line Tapers Level TaperLevel fly lines are an interesting type and not very commonly used.  Imagine that same string again.  Now attached that string to your backing.  This time you have no taper on the line and that is all.  It’s a pretty boring line in comparison.  These lines are budget fly lines and don’t provide any significant advantage other than they are usually less expensive.

So you can see the importance of the fly line. Without this, you wouldn’t be able to effectively present your fly to a fish. Try casting a fly attached to a regular piece of monofilament and you’ll see just how difficult it can be.

A typical commercial fly line that you can purchase today falls in the length range of 80′-90′. This length, in combination with your fly line backing, will cover you in any situation you find yourself.

Learning to cast your entire fly line is a feat that takes practice. Starting out, though, lean towards perfecting your casting in that sweet spot and you’ll go far. This fly line is probably the most common taper on a fly line today.

On a cast, the line unrolls toward the target in a loop form. The larger the loop, the more energy is thrown in a direction that is not at the target. When fishermen overload a fly rod with a line heavier than the manufacturer calls for, they cause the rod to flex more deeply, which creates larger loops on longer casts.

Overloading the rod wastes casting energy by not directing it at the target. If you switch to a lighter line, you may not have enough weight outside the rod tip to cause the rod to load or flex properly if you hold the normal amount of line outside the rod during casting.

fly line selection

But if you extend this lighter line about 10 feet or a little more outside the rod than you normally would for this cast under calm conditions, you can cast a greater distance into the wind.

By extending the additional amount of lighter line outside the rod, you cause it to flex as if you were false casting the normal length of the recommended line size. Since the rod is now flexing properly, it will deliver tight loops, but the lighter line is thinner. This means that there will be less air resistance encountered on the cast.

If you are forced to cast a longer distance into the wind, switch to one size lighter line and extend a little more line outside the rod tip than you normally would. This means, of course, that you need to be able to handle a longer line during false casting. But the line that is lighter than the rod calls for will let you cast farther into the breeze.

Fly lines do need to be looked after, they pick up grim over time so it’s a good idea to give them a clean every now and again in warm water with a mild soap.

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Once you’ve picked out your fly rod, choosing a fly reel is your next step. You’ll often hear that the fly reel is not a very important aspect of the fly fishing gear. I would have to disagree. I feel that a quality fly reel is essential for when you hook into that fish of a lifetime and all that stands between you and that monster of a fish is your gear.

A fly reel is a thing of beauty. Put one on a table in front of an angler and they will invariably pick it up, feel it, turn it, listen to the click, adjust the drag, and, in essence, study it. The longer they handle it, the better they like it. You can literally test the perceived quality of reels by the length of time anglers hold them.

Fly Reel Selection

Reels are the jewels of the sport, and a great fly reel is something that is treasured as such. There are hundreds of fly reels out there. Which one is the right one for you? Which one will not only strike your fancy but do the job you need it to do?

There are a number of factors to consider, but there are a few simple things to know about reels that will help you make the right choice. Let’s take them one at a time, simplify them, and then come up with a simple rule.

fly reel

The main key point to choosing a fly reel is to pick one that can hold the necessary amount of backing and fly line for the weight of rod that you are fishing with. If you purchased a 5 weight fly rod, make sure you are choosing a fly reel that will accommodate fly line weights from 4-6.

Most fly reels will be available in different models to accommodate a range of fly line weights. Just make sure that you find yours within that range. By choosing the correct size of the fly reel, you will make sure that it holds an adequate amount of backing for that time when the fish you hook makes the run of his life.

Redington Fly Reel

Most reels today are made of machined bar-stock aluminium. What this means is a solid piece of aluminium is literally carved by a machine into the shape of the reel. The result is a beautifully smooth and sculptured work of art.

There are composite material reels out there as well as cast reels, formed by liquid metal poured into molds but the highest quality reels are machined aluminium.

As silly as this sound, the sound or click made when line goes out or comes in is part of the wonderful aesthetic of a great fly reel. A good fly reel, when rotated, has a pleasing smooth click. If it sounds “tinny” or erratic and doesn’t bring a smile to your face, walk away.flyreel4

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Perhaps the most common question asked between fly anglers is, “What rod are you fishing?” Fly rods are the focal point of a fly angler’s arsenal the rock stars of your fishing gear. Successful fly fishers won’t simply know the brand and name of the rod they are fishing; they will know why their rod makes them more likely to catch fish. And though modern-day fly rods are packed with a variety of different technologies, understanding them doesn’t have to be difficult. Usually, the first thing a new fly fisherman does is to look for a new fly rod. The problem is that there is so much information out there and so many different types and sizes of rods that a beginner can get confused and frustrated very quickly.  Basically, a fly rod has three functions:

  • Casting – the fly rod allows for the fly line to be cast with power and accuracy. A good fly rod, in combination with good fly casting skills, also allows the fly and fly line to be placed on the water in such a way so as to not spook the fish.
  • Line Control – Once you have your fly out on the water and it is happily floating away, the next function of a fly rod is to provide for line control. A fly rod allows you to have control over the line that is out on the water.
  • Striking and Landing Fish – a fly rod is used to both set the hook on a fish and to fight and land the fish. The fly rod needs to be flexible and strong enough to bend, sometimes under great pressure, without breaking or snapping.

Consider your budget, and then buy the best rod you can afford.  You should spend approximately twice as much on your rod as your reel.  Your fly rod should help you develop your skills. Fly Rod We run an instruction-oriented service and commonly encounter anglers who are fighting their gear, often because the fly rod was under-prioritized in the equipment acquisition process.  Beginners and experts alike benefit from a high quality fly rod.  This is your physical connection to the sport. Choose a fly rod with a medium, medium-fast, or fast action.  Don’t choose a slow action rod or an ultra-fast rod for your all-arounder.  Rods with medium, medium-fast, or fast actions are toward the middle of the action spectrum:  not too stiff, not too soft.  Medium-fast rods, are universally easy to cast and a joy to fish. If you are going to fish a lot on larger, windy rivers, choose a fast action rod.  If you are going to primarily fish smaller rivers, let’s say 20-50 feet across, choose a medium action rod, which flexes more deeply with less line in use.  As long as you stay away from the extremes, you can’t go wrong with a medium, medium-fast, or fast-action rod. Longer rods are better roll casters, better casters with long leaders, better for line mending and steering your fly through long drifts, and generally better for nymphing.  However, longer rods are harder to cast in the wind and tend to be heavier than their shorter equivalents. Fly Rod on Rock Longer rods are better shock absorbers for protecting tippet, but offer less leverage on heavy fish. Shorter rods cut nicely through the wind and have a lovely weightlessness, but are limited when it comes to casting long leaders and working with nymphing rigs.  Shorter rods are generally better pure casters, but not as adept at line mending and roll casting. Short rods offer superior leverage for turning, lifting and landing heavy fish (like tarpon). Higher line weight fly rods offer more power and are superior for casting larger flies in the wind. They are also generally superior for landing heavy fish. Lower line weight fly rods offer greater touch and stealth.  They offer advantages in catching spooky fish and are generally less fatiguing to cast.

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