Often wrongly referred to as wind knots in the leader, tailing loops are a common problem that affect many anglers as they progress from beginner to intermediate. A tailing loop is where the top of the fly line crosses the bottom of it twice when casting, resulting in an inefficient or failed cast, knots in the leader and tangles in the line.
Causes – Tailing loops are caused by a concave path or U-shaped dip of the rod tip.
The most common causes are:
- Inappropriate application of power – a concave rod tip path can occur when applying too much power too early in the cast, creating a ‘power spike’.
- Casting stroke and rod arc are too small – it’s important to match the size of the casting stroke/arc to the amount of flex in the rod to maintain a straight-line path of the rod tip.
- Creeping forward (or backward) – creep can occur when we subconsciously start moving the rod tip in the opposite direction too early, resulting in reducing your casting stroke.
- Ensure the casting stroke and arc are sufficient for the amount of line being cast – think short line, short stroke. With a longer line, everything increases: arc, power, pause and stroke.
- Start slow and concentrate on accelerating smoothly throughout the casting stroke to a crisp, positive stop – think smooooth!
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