Quick Tips — The Fly Rod Quick-Dip

by | Sep 23, 2018 | 15 comments

Some things in fly fishing are obvious right away. The concepts of casting and drifting a fly are intuitive for most anglers after just a bit of instruction and a few trips of experience. Advanced techniques are later pored over in conversations, books, articles and videos. We want to learn. But helpful friends and fly fishing authors probably make too many assumptions (myself included). And a lot of what we take for granted or think is obvious has become second nature only after fishing for a long, long time.

So in this new Quick Tips series on Troutbitten, I’ll focus on the small things that make a big difference — the type of things that some new anglers figure out for themselves but that many veteran anglers may very well have missed.

Backbone of the fishery.

Dip it

Standing in the water, ready for the next cast, the line behind our rod-hand is either tight to the reel or there is some slack. Maybe there’s five feet of line hanging in a loop between the spool and the trigger finger on the rod. Or perhaps there’s just twelve inches of slack line, like this . . .

Now let’s say we want that slack line gone — we want it out through the guides and beyond the rod tip. Sure, we can shoot it on the next cast, but let’s eliminate the extra step.

If we’d rather have that twelve inches of line out past the rod tip, let’s do this:

Dip the rod tip in the water. Do it swiftly. Drag the tip through the current and let go of the line with the trigger finger. The extra line is sucked through the guides and into the water. The slack is taken by the force of the current and by a tension created with the swishing rod tip and the line in the water.

I do this all the time.

Fishing with my young sons is wonderful, because it gives me a fresh perspective. When Aiden asked me the other day why I draw lines in the water with my rod, my answer was simple at first, but it became more complicated. Soon enough, I realized I’d lost his attention but was still answering the question out loud for myself, because I’d never much considered it before.

Standing bank-side or belt-deep in the flow, I guess I draw my rod tip through the water for other reasons too.

Here’s the rest of my answer to Aiden . . .

Tangles

When the line tangles around the end of the rod, when there are a few loops of line over the first few feet of the rod, a quick flip-and-dip usually solves the problem.

This trouble happens often with long leader mono rigs, and it happens with fly line too. Many times we elevate the rod tip while tying on a new fly or changing rigs. The slack line tends to loop around the tip, and we notice it before we cast. Flip, dip, swoosh, and the loops are out.

Now that I’m aware of the rod tip dip, I can’t help noticing that I do it dozens of times on every trip. It’s a good habit that I never gave much thought. I now notice other fishermen doing the same, but I also see many anglers struggling with other ways to undo the loops around their rod tip. And I see them false casting more times than needed to throw some extra slack.

The water is there, just waiting to be a line-grabber and help you out with a little drag (for a change). Let it help.

Fish hard, friends.

 

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

 

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Tracking the Flies

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: Tracking the Flies

Regardless of the leader choice, angle of delivery, or distance in the cast, every tight liner must choose whether to lead, track or guide the flies downstream. So the question here is how do you fish these rigs, not how they are put together.

Good tracking is about letting the flies be more affected by the current than our tippet. Instead of bossing the flies around and leading them downstream, we simply track their progress in the water.

Tracking is the counterpoint to leading. Instead of controlling the speed and position of the nymphs through the drift, we let the flies find their own way . . .

Thoughts on Rod Tip Recovery

Thoughts on Rod Tip Recovery

Rod tip recovery is the defining characteristic of a quality fly rod versus a mediocre one.

Cast the rod and watch it flex. Now see how long it takes for the rod tip to stop shaking. Watch for a complete stop, all the way to a standstill — not just the big motions, but the minor shuddering at the end too.

Good rods recover quickly. They may be fast or slow. They may be built for power or subtly, but they recover quickly. They return to their original form in short order.

Here’s why . . .

Habits: Keep It On the Reel

Habits: Keep It On the Reel

Bad habits start easily enough, but they’re ingrained when an angler chooses not to make a change, instead staying with what is comfortable and convenient. We all do this at times. Instead of learning a better way, we do what is easier. In fishing, that happens a lot.

All line and leader not being used should be on the reel. Always. Yes, always, as in ALL the time.

Here’s how, why and what problems arise from doing it any other way . . .

A Simple Slidable Foam Pinch-On Indy

A Simple Slidable Foam Pinch-On Indy

One of the joys of fly fishing is problem solving. There are so many tools available, with seemingly infinite tactics to discover, it seems like any difficult situation on the water can be solved. Perhaps it can. For those anglers who search for answers in tough moments, the prospect of solving a puzzle builds lasting hope into every cast. And after seasons on the water, the game becomes not how many trout we can catch, but how many ways those trout can be caught. Then, when presented with conditions that chase fair-weather fishers off the water, we rise to the moment with a tested solution, perfectly adapted and suited for the variables at hand.

There is not one way. There are a hundred ways. And the best anglers are prepared with all of them.

One of them is the slidable foam pinch on indy . . .

Perfect from the Start

Perfect from the Start

Never underestimate how far away a trout can see upstream. And never underestimate how far away a trout will refuse a fly. It might drift perfectly, right past the trout. But the decision — the refusal, may have already been made with the fly twenty feet upstream.

Here’s more . . .

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: How to Lead the Flies

Tight Line and Euro Nymphing: How to Lead the Flies

Leading does not mean we are dragging the flies downstream. In fact, no matter what method we choose (leading, tracking or guiding), our job is to simply recover the slack that is given to us. We tuck the flies upstream and the river sends them back. It may seem like there is just one way to recover that slack. But there are at least two distinct methods — leading and tracking.

Let’s talk more about leading . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

15 Comments

  1. Wow if only I knew that sooner. Tried “Euro Nymphing” for the first time this weekend and found the braid often got twisted around the rod tip. I did notice once that it untangled in the flow. Now I know that is something to do. I will be keeping that in my box of top tips. Thanks

    Reply
    • Cheers. Yeah that should help.

      What braid, by the way?

      Reply
  2. I’ll try it. I’m new to the long leader game. It catches fish, but the leader tangle on the end of the rod is an unanticipated nuisance. I’ll try it – but it’s hard to tell which direction the line is on the rod.

    Reply
    • You can do it! Ha. Honestly, sometimes you just have to guess. Experience is the best teacher by far.

      Reply
    • Point the rod downstream and shake the tip a little bit. What you describe happens all the time with the mono rig. The above usually works to unwrap line from the tip.

      Reply
  3. Having trouble following what you are trying to describe. A video would better demonstrate this “Quick Tip.” Thank you, and keep up the great work!.

    Reply
    • Les, I totally agree. A video would help. More videos for such things are in the works. I just need more than 24 hours in each day!

      Reply
      • I totally understand, Domenick. Being a bivocational pastor (working a full-time job plus pastoring a country church), I ‘m right there with you . Plus another 24 hours to fish! 🙂

        Reply
  4. wow, that’s a fantastic tip…will definitely try that next time I’m tight-lining (which will be next time I’m fishing)…

    Reply
    • Nice.

      Reply
  5. Tried it today. Worked like a charm. Thanks for the great tip.

    Reply
  6. Great tip! It has been there all along, but I didn’t see it. What a simple and effective way to deal with the issues you mentioned.

    I grew up fly fishing on banks and from John boats for bream and bass. No current! When I moved to PA in ‘74 to start my career, some friends and I started down the path of discovery of trout fishing. It has been quite a journey and I still learn. Many thanks for the tip. Now I need to research and find more of your gems.

    Reply
  7. Hi Domenick, that’s a good idea, I have on small question I am just getting started numph fishing and most people fish with two or three is one effective for a beginner and also I just talked to joe I live in St Marys and read his gas meter for many years he is one special man my friend and I use your setup on our reals it works well the reason I talked to joe is to see how we could get permission to get on the clarion for those bruiser browns he was very helpful, nice talking and I read your web all the time I will be ordering some things from you soon. Thanks,, gary

    Reply
  8. Great tip to deal with my usual tip top wrap! BTW, that’s a heck of a beautiful photo of a sweet brown trout! Hope you get your son on a namer soon!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Recent Posts

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

Pin It on Pinterest