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it was Chris Kowaleski's post that got me on this subject, i am talking about flyfishing for gills and chinks here ,not fishing 2 weight rigs with 2lb tippets for the lady trout on clear streams,

i have seen people that are trying to figure out why they can not cast with the fly rod they bought at walmart for fourty bucks.

 i have posted my views on this on this site several times,most people i know that fish gills with fly rods are not packing $100 dollar rods let alone $250 dollar ones.

 the fly rod has to load to cast, in an open stream where you can back cast that is not hard to do in most cases.

 but in a boat fishing cover we have a problem,this requires the roll cast and to fish under trees where full extension of the rod is not possible ,one must generate line speed with half the rod arc and sometimes a fourth of the rod arc.

 here is where the heavy line comes into play,being able to load the rod quickly ,using a violent short cast with my left thumb pushing the handle just above my right hand,like a two handed   tennis  stroke,you can make a 30 foot cast and keep a tight  low roll.

  we are talking about combat fly fishing here, it takes a different approach,but one thing is always true the right line can make a cheep rod cast great.

  has anyone here tried to over line their rods,if not you are missing out it can make a big difference in your casting .

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Hey David.......For a beginner one of Cabelas combo or Bass Pro outfits are probably the best deal. I agree that fast rods are not the best to learn on. However the length is IMO a function of where one fishes and the strength of the individual. Shorter rods are easier to manage and require less strength to swing. I fish some local small creeks with a lot of tree canopy and I can swing a 6' rod all day and not feel tired. Yesterday I fished a 9' 5wt for 3 hours and I did feel some tiredness. (is that a word?)  I have started my grand daughter on a 6.5' glass rod and I think it will work well for her. She is 12. I definitely get tired when swinging my 9' 7 or 9wt rods when I go to Florida when blind casting for speckled trout. It is no problem when chasing carp because the casts are shorter and much fewer per hour. I have bought 2 of the combos and they were decent rigs. My 2wt was combo also and I did not like it at all until I over lined it 2 line wts then the rod came alive. It is also a 6' rod. I love my short rods on medium to small creeks. Large rivers and on open water a longer rod does work better. If I had to give up one of my 5wts it would be the long one and it is a better rod but it gets much less use than my short rods.


Yes the lines are much better today. I don't know if they will last any longer but they sure shoot  and cast much better. I just trashed a 9wt SA salt water taper that was 20 years old but it must be said that is was in storage much of that time. I only used it when I went to the salt. I bought a new 9wt rig this spring and it has a wulff TT line on it and it is a rocket. It shoots like crazy and makes me feel like a good caster which I am not. On a good cast on it I can get out there approaching 100'. I believe the line is over 100' and there is only a couple of wraps still left on the reel Plus a 9' rod and a 9' leader. Wished I could cast my 5wt like that on occasion. Don't need that most of the time but once in a while it would be handy.

that is the problem here Ray, i have spent a 150 dollars on a two weight only to have it cast the rated line like sewing thread.

  the average guy is not going to spend $200 dollars to beat the brush with a fly rod,and unless he does the research  ie (BIG BLUEGILL forum) he will never pursue the sport of fly fishing,or if he does not for long.

 none of my go to rods cost more then 50 bucks,but cast as well if not better then any of the premium rods i own,not because i am a super fly rodder but because of the line.

 i have been overloading fly rods for over 30 yrs now and have never broke one because of the line weight ,having said i would not  recommend stringing up  a 3 wt with a 10 weight line. not only would that be a folly the line would drag on the eyes.

you can take a 7' Eagle Claw featherweight fly rod that you can buy at wallmart for 25 bucks put a 15 dollar  eagle claw brave reel on it and line it up with 10 wt dbl taper floating  fly line  for 15 to 40 bucks on ebay and you are set to go for less thean a hundred dollars. that eagle claw rof is one tuff son of a gun,i own four and bushwack with them all the time.

combat fly fishing may not be for everyone,but here in Louisiana where i fish if you want to catch big ole biguns they are in the trees.






 take your roll of 10 or 11  wt double taper  floating fly line ,un-roll it  stretch it out put the two ends together and cut the line in the middle. you now have two l 50 ft long fly lines  spool one on the reel and roll the other one up and put it in a cool dark place.

  if taken care of a premium fly line will last for years.



I sure can't argue the point of over lining by several lines. I have never heard of anyone doing that before now however. ..I am curious as to what line you put on the 7' Eagle Claw. I also have one and I know it will handle a WF 6 with no problem. I was intending to use it for carp and the short casts normally required. For $30 it did a great job of casting. I have not had it in the water yet though.


Talking about the big gills being in the trees.  Reelfoot lake in western TN is also full of Cypress trees and the gills are down in the tree roots there. At least in the spring which is the only time I have fished the lake. The locals use a cane pole with a small tube jig to drop the jig right down into the roots. We used to use UL spinning and cast a real small bobber with an ice fishing jig tipped with a grub about 18" under it and cast right into the roots. We lost a lot of terminal tackle but we caught a lot of nice gills too. I never fly fished the lake since my fishin buds didn't use fly rods. I would really like to get back over there with a fly rod.. I would like to fish the pads too. I bet they are full of gills and bass.

i use 10 and 11 wt DT F orvis wonder line on my 7' eagle claw featherlight rods,that is the yellow eagle claw, i use a wide arbor  reels.they  will just hold half a spool of 11 weight.

  the line is ORVIS  GENERATION 3 WONDERLINE,i buy mine on E-BAY and present have 5 rolls on the shelf.

  the leader is never longer than 4 ft. and most of the time i use a 3ft. leader.i always use fluorocarbon and tie a two or thee section leader.

 i have 16 fly rods and 12 are 61/2 and 7 footers ,i just ordered two blanks from BATSON ENTERPRISES ,they are spinning rod one piece blanks ,

 just finished one rod and it cast  11 weight like a missile.


Thanks for the reply shooter.....With such short leaders I am surprised you use multi section leaders. Since you are using floro material I am assuming you are using mostly sinking flies?

 yes i do fish nymphs most of the time but i also love to fish top water, a four foot leader is as long as i get in the trees .

  remember  i am fishing gills not trout,the gill is like the honey badger he don;t care he is gona eat,a three foot leader is not going to spook him.


a number of fly fisherman  fish the gill and the chinkapin like they fish trout,

 the trout is like an Orkid  you can take a trout out of the water for a few minutes and it will likely can through the gill on the bottom of  a hot boat for a few minutes and pick him up,and he likely will fin you and the last thing you will see is his tail wave on his way to the water.


hey Ray,yes i tie two and three section leaders ,i use a two section furled leader most of the time with 6lb. fluorocarbon,this leader is always 3 ft in length,i will add a 4 lb. tippet to this leader if i am fishing small nymphs or top water ,i never get my leader longer then four ft..

 as for a tapered leader in three and four ft lengths,i can tell it does make a difference in a roll cast,it is like continuing the  taper of the fly line.

   Ray i have found that a short section of 4lb floro  makes a huge difference fishing top water  in the number of fish i catch,the rest of the leader is treated to float,but the last foot is 4lb floro un treated  always.



It is my understanding the line rating is for 30 ft. on line on a cast.  When warm water fishing I am either in a boat or standing on the banks of a farm pond in most cases.  Bream nor bass seem to be as easily spooked as trout, or at least that their reputation.  Many of my cast for bream are less than 30 ft. so a over lined wt. line works well with the rod. 

As for the status of having a fast rod, there are also many fisherman who pay large amounts of money for bamboo and fiberglass rods that are not particularly fast but recall days past.  But the truth is not many companies are out there making rods for bream fisherman.  Someone came out with a rod so labeled a couple of years back but it was too heavy and too expensive for my taste.

I don't fish trout so I can not comment on that part but I do agree with what you are saying.  If you have 30' of line out of the rod tip and you are using a 9' rod and a 9' leader you are casting about 45'. If you are only making a cast of 30' then it would be great to over line your rod. The rod needs to be loaded to some degree in order to feel the cast. A line with a short heavy head would work well for you. With a double haul it should still make longer casts by shooting a lot of line. Long casts are not needed to catch BG but sometimes you need longer casts to reach the spot you think is holding fish. The problem is that there are few if any short heavy head lines in the lighter lines. You have to get into at least the 7wts to get the short heavy tapers. ....One thing that can be done is to take a regular WF taper and shorten the front taper which will make the line more front loaded. It will also lessen the presentation softness somewhat. It is all a compromise. I have an old 5wt WF line that I cut the front taper off of and I like how it fishes better now than the original configuration.

Ok Ray , that was one of my secrets  that I thought yall would make fun of me for, cutting off part of the front taper , but hey I'm fishing for bluegill not trout, and with the extra weight of my porcupine quills  it helps with a gental short rod load in confined spaces, so gental that you dont fling the cricket off the hook,bluegill love crickets.   LOFR

Jesse i fish orvis wonderline in 10 &11 wt on the rods i use for fishing the trees,this line is 90 ft. in legnth, that is two 40'6" lines per roll.

 i use wide arbor reels nothing smaller than a 5/6 rated reel as they will hold 40' of line,the 11 weight is tight and must be rolled up very even to fit a 6wt wide arbor.

and yes you are right there is a place for fast rods,i can tell you you will wear yourself out trying to fish where i do with a slow rod no matter how long the rod is.

  the fact is one must generate line speed to cast a fly rod,it is a matter of physics ,if you wish to go there,angles and arcs,with a low overhead (ie:limbs) and a short stroke (ie:more limbs) the short fast roll cast is the only way you are going to cast is these conditions.

  my rods are not about status, they are about a system i have spent years and a lot  of money figuring out , and i can assure you if you take one of the featherlight  eagle claw fly rods   together with the right line  leader and reel ,and you too have a good close quarters combat fly fishing rig.


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