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Discussion Starter #1
I have never really experimented with this. I like 2 lines; the Wulff Bermuda taper and the SA Grand slam. The Wulff has the weight in the rear end of the taper and the SA GS has the weight in the front of the taper.

If each of these lines say in an 8wt were cast on the same 8wt rod, into a 15mph head wind, with the same power / rod stroke / loop size.....which line would travel further?

anyone know the answer?

Or is another more linear taper best?

I am going to Hawaii for bonefish and i hear the wind is always blowing 15mph to 25mph in your face. I am good with throwing into the wind, just curious how taper effects this.
 

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If you're dealing with trade winds out there, like I was, you're not going to be looking at long reach casts. All of my shots were 20-40 feet because of visibility and wind...plus depth as the tide rose. So casting distance wasn't the challenge for me...it was seeing the fish and learning how to feed them.

Which island? Guide?
 

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Go to your local bay/lake where you can wade and cast and try the lines. One thing for certain, the heavier lines in the same taper will cut the wind better than lighter. So the heaviest head weight would carry farther on average. A fly cast is a bit like a golf swing, can be highly variable in execution, so go with the line that will make the cast you want more often.
 

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I think the permit line I have on my 8wt for wading here locally would have been good for those bones in trade wind conditions. Like I said earlier...its not about finesse when those winds are howling. It really depends on the conditions.
 

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Years ago Scientific Anglers made a line called Wind Master that was very good at cutting through a stiff headwind (pic of the taper below). I've found over the years that the most important things in the wind are a long rear taper and a relatively small diameter. These days I keep a Cortland Bonefish line on one of my #9's for use on windy days. Nice long rear taper, short belly, relatively small diameter, and good visibility compared to the Liquid Crystal Clear lines I use most of the time.

 

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Years ago Scientific Anglers made a line called Wind Master that was very good at cutting through a stiff headwind (pic of the taper below). I've found over the years that the most important things in the wind are a long rear taper and a relatively small diameter. These days I keep a Cortland Bonefish line on one of my #9's for use on windy days. Nice long rear taper, short belly, relatively small diameter, and good visibility compared to the Liquid Crystal Clear lines I use most of the time.

I remember those Windmaster lines... cast like dogshit in calm conditions but once it got windy they were like a laser.
 

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Years ago Scientific Anglers made a line called Wind Master that was very good at cutting through a stiff headwind (pic of the taper below). I've found over the years that the most important things in the wind are a long rear taper and a relatively small diameter. These days I keep a Cortland Bonefish line on one of my #9's for use on windy days. Nice long rear taper, short belly, relatively small diameter, and good visibility compared to the Liquid Crystal Clear lines I use most of the time.

Now SA calls this Titan taper, a very good line for wind.
 

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Fly Fishing Shaman
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What size flies are you throwing at those bones?

One thing to noticed about the BTT is it doesn't really throw razor tight loops. Also, it's heavier than the Grand Slam, (i.e... for an 8wt, it's 245g for a BTT vs 235g for the GS (both of which are more of the weight of a standard 9wt line) vs 210g (normal 8wt in normal conditions)). So trying to punch it in the winds with a very heavy line to look at distance shots can, in-effect, cause the rod to be over powered or even collapse on the shoot, especially dragging along a big heavy fly. WHat you are really doing with those lines is trying to convert an 8wt rod into a 9wt rod, but the 8wt rod doesn't have the backbone to handle punching that heavier line into the winds. Ok if you have a stiff 8wt and just using those lines to general purpose fishing at normal distances in normal conditions, but not so much if things, distances and conditions changes. And with rods that are not so stiff, if you sneeze wrong, you can overpower the whole thing and you'll wonder why your casting is starting to fall apart.

Also, there is a fine line between over powering and getting the right line speed to still be effective and keep the loop together. The Titan is 280grains in the 8wt (more like a 10wt line). Nothing presentation for a Titan, but chucking heavy or bigger flies in strong winds can work, tho not that great for distances and crashes on the water. Even tho you'll see wave action to mask the disturbance of a heavy crashing line, it's not a line that I would pick for big bones. They got big for a reason. ;)

In high winds, where the BTT will not do as well is the weight is further back in the head. On the shoot, as soon as it's starts to roll over the taper, the loop will start to open up and the winds will work to bash the loop down. You may get most of the line rolled out heading straight into the wind, but you may not get the leader to unroll out. When casting it on the lawn, practicing casting into the wind, cast it, lay the rod out and walk out and look at the results. Same with the Grand Slam line.

With the Grand Slam line, the main part of the weight in the head is about 3-10ft from the end of the line. So the thinner part of the head will be pulling that along and you'll notice that the top leg of the loop will lay down closer to the main running line of the loop. That will help tighten up the loop and penetrate more into the wind. Then the last roll over, tho not being graceful, will throw all that energy in one shot into the leader and sling it out there in front of the line (and whatever is tied onto it). Whereas the Triangle Taper of the BTT will disperse the energy over a longer distance, tho constantly going down in diameter throughout the taper, might run out of gas when it hits the leader, in a head-on high wind scenario. I might get a lot of boos and hisses for making that comment, but try it out in a head-on high wind condition and you'll see what I mean.

I remember the Wind Master as Tailer mentioned. Like Steve mentioned, the Titan is the next gen of Windmaster lines. However, it was lighter that the Titan, with a much longer head. Good to carry more line in the air, but a fine balance between a little heavy on the weight and too much weight. Again, you are trying to force an 8wt into what it doesn't want to do. As Tailer also mentioned, you'd be better off using a 9wt bonefish line (long and thin to cut the wind) on a 9wt rod and will allow you to throw those slightly larger bonefish flies for those big bones without blowing up the water when it lands. It will also help you to achieve some good distances.

With that setup, casting in the wind, practice throwing your back cast up higher (going back and stretching it out with the winds) and your front cast down lower, going into the winds. Reduce the number of false cast you make. I'd be slow water hauling, then one false cast or so to straighten things up, then shoot it. Be more involve with tip casting to help tighten that loop up. That will dramatically help to cut the wind.

With all that being said, you might say... Why "razor tight? Think of a bullet shape piercing the wind when casting straight into it. But in the opposite direction with your back cast, where you are now casting "with" the wind, you want to open up your loop and allow the wind to drag it back further like a kite. So a cast into the wind scenario is tight tip style casting going low and straight into the wind and the back cast is shooting up higher with more of a open style of loop cast (purposely opening up your back cast loop) with longer delays to all that loop, to fully straighten up behind you before you start your movement going forward. The opposite is true casting "with" the wind. Whereas low tight loops on your back cast and high wide open lofty loops on your front casts and shoots, going "with" the winds.

So do this experiment.... Try taking your 9wt rod out somewhere to cast and grab both the 8wt BTT and the 8wt Grand Slam lines to try. Now with that 9wt rod, really aerialize the whole head out of each of those lines (again, they are both the weight of a standard 9wt line) through the tip top guide and then really punch it out with a tight loop and using all your distance casting skills to do so. Remember, you are merely throwing bonefish flies that are scaled up a bit to catch those big bones attention, not throwing big heavy redfish or striper flies. Then see how that works for you or not. I'd be interested in hearing the results of that experiment.

Interestingly enough, if you can get perpendicular to the wind to your target, where the winds are coming from your left side (be it you are casting right handed), you could throw a 6wt in 25mph winds, all day long. And if the winds are on your right shoulder, then just simply back cast to your target. But nevertheless, my advise is to bring both the 8wt and the 9wt. If you luck up and get calm conditions, then break out the 8 and if the winds are howling, grab the 9!

I hope I didn't loose anyone with this explanation.

Good luck.

Ted Haas
 

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Just coming back to this thread to strongly recommend using a local guide who can get you out to those pancake flats. The DIY stuff you can walk into will be awesome, but those pancake flats are the unique experience you really want. Catch them on an incoming tide with someone who knows them and its game on...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just coming back to this thread to strongly recommend using a local guide who can get you out to those pancake flats. The DIY stuff you can walk into will be awesome, but those pancake flats are the unique experience you really want. Catch them on an incoming tide with someone who knows them and its game on...


Totally agree on the advice. This was more of a "science" question. I was thinking about it because i knew i would be facing wind. I should have left the Hawaii statement out as it was more of a universal... "what taper travels further into the wind" . We need one of those european tournament casters on this forum as they probably have the ultra science answer.
 

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Ah ha! I get excited every time someone talks about Hawaiian bones. *lol*
 

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Unfortunately no. Maui and Lanai are pretty awesome but when I was there I didn't get any fishing time in. Kauai is on my list if we ever make it back...
 

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I DIY off the flats next to the AF base, most days it was calm. I did not find that I was making real long cast's since when wading I could not see the fish until they were within 60'. I was using a BVK with Rio Bonefish taper, and a crazy charlie. You will see a lot of HUGE bone fish, this pic is of one of the smaller fish that I saw.
Bone Fish.JPG
 

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We need one of those european tournament casters on this forum as they probably have the ultra science answer.
I don't know what other explanation you need, but maybe a simplified version of what I mentioned above. But with fly casting in very windy places for over 28 years, as well as recent personal conversations with Steve Rajeff personally and Paul Arden on the subject, both will give you near the same answer which is basically, you need a more true to weight (for reasons I explained above) long thin bonefish line like an SA or an SA Expert Distance line (which they only make the ED up to an 8wt) which has a longer head (40ft+/-) than both your GS and Your BTT and a thinner diameter to help cut thru the winds, with your standard size bonefish fly, especially if you want a stealthy bonefish style landing/presentation with your fly line. You are basically aerializing more line, getting more of that head out, with the shortest amount of false cast as possible, before you shoot it (and shooting it in the wind as I described). If you want to throw a slightly heavier fly and want more casting authority in that wind, then use a 9wt with a 9wt bonefish line, if you want any kind of distance in headwinds. If I was flying all the way to Hawaii for a bonefish of a lifetime, I'd invest in a Amp bonefish line. Otherwise, ask some of those guides out there in Hawaii and see what they recommend and then book one for a day or so. If you are sticking with what you have, then again, try out that 8wt Grand Slam you have on a 9wt and that may just may work for what you need there in a high wind situation, practicing casting about 3-4ft above your target and allowing the line to settle down on the water instead of crashing down and blowing up your fish.

So to reduce the number of false cast, shoot a bit of line on each leg of the cast to quickly get more line out there. But you need to be mindful to pinch your line on each "shoot" (after you shoot, which comes after your rod stop on each leg) on each leg to create that "stop" on the fly line after you shoot, to start the unrolling process and then wait for each loop to fully unroll out before starting you next casting leg. You can also "drift your rod hand back towards the loop once you pinch the line to help it unroll out and create more travel distance between each stroke. But then keep your hand out there instead of creaping it back (which might cause tailing loops), so you reach maximum travel distance to achieve the maximum distance cast with the most energy in the shortest amount of strokes. And at that point, it is critical to keeping your rod tip tracking straight. That will dramatically reduce the number of false cast you make.

Sorry, I'm not saying you don't know how to distance cast. It's just for others to read if they have an interest in that subject, to add to the scenario.

That was a subject that Paul Arden and I recently had in a private conversation on that very subject of wind casting to spooky fish. and he's about as European/ fly casting competition as there is out there. ;)

As some of the older guys out there may remember, Cortland use to have a line called a "Rocket Taper" which was just a longer, thinner and stiffer version of a bonefish line, made just for cutting winds on wide open flats. They discontinued it since not many were sold. But it took almost airing out 50ft of head and a bit of running line to get an extra fast rod to load up in the wind, but then she'd slice it like butter. Today, the cheat version is the Titans since they have all this weight fwd and took very little out of the head to load up and shoot. Great for windy days hauling large, bushy and heavy flies. But crashes on the water. But that's ok for jacks, pelagics and fish that aren't spooky at all. Just not great for weary big bones.

Ted Haas
 

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Ted - thank you for the excellent explanation - it makes total sense what you are saying once you really think about it
 

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You will see a lot of HUGE bone fish, this pic is of one of the smaller fish that I saw.
Thats about the size of the one I broke off on a long run. Now you've got me REALLY wanting to go back...
 

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Cool place. I was standing on a rock so I had a little better view, you could see 10-14lb bones flooding into the flats from the Pearl Harbor Channel as submarines were heading down the channel!
 

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Cool place. I was standing on a rock so I had a little better view, you could see 10-14lb bones flooding into the flats from the Pearl Harbor Channel as submarines were heading down the channel!
It was a sad day for me, 2 weeks after I got out of the Navy, to learn that the fast attack sub that I was on was re-assigned to Pearl Harbor, when I had the option of signing on for another term. And I'd heard about the fishing back then from others in-the-know. :(
 
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