Casting Distance/Popper Rigging

Discussion in 'Jigging and Popping' started by Uncle Russ, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    To all: In getting ready for the next trip (52-hour Big-E on 9/1), I have been going over in my mind what I learned offshore of Venice. I now have extreme confidence in my knots and leader connections, and a much less inflated idea of how much drag I need to fish. (I am aware more drag will be called for on a party boat than on that private charter). But I also developed some questions as a result of that trip.

    First, casting distance: I knew I was not very skilled before the trip. Typically, with 65 pound PE line, a popping rod between 7 and 8 feet, and either a Stella 8,000 or 20,000, I am able to cast only about 50-60 meters. I think I saw at least one reference to someone using the OTI 7 1/2 foot 50# rod to get up to 90 meters. That is impressive. Having watched a couple of videos of folks casting poppers, I think two of my faults may be: (1) following through too far with the rod tip, instead of stopping at about 10 o'clock, and (2) not gradually accellerating into the power snap at the end.

    Two questions in this regard: Using the class of tackle I mentioned, and a safe, overhead cast with only about 3 feet of line hanging off the horizontal rod at the start, what would be a reasonable distance for a relative novice to achieve with a 4 ounce popper?

    Also, do you think on one of the popping rods mentioned, the 8,000 with a smaller spool diameter or the 20,000 with a larger one would be best for acheiving distance. (I have noticed very little difference using my questionable technique.)

    My last question regards popper rigging: So far I have been blessed with not getting hit by any toothy critters. Due to popping limitations on the Venice trip, I have only caught one blackfin and one huge skipjack on surface lures. But I do know some folks rig their poppers on a short wire bite leader. I now know that you do not need a great length of leader or fluorocarbon when popping due to the agitation of the water that presumably hides the connection to the lure. And from what I could tell, the main trick to catching a yellow fin on a popper is (a) finding the damned things and (2) getting something that floats in front of them with a hook in it. It would seem to me that under those circumstances, lure action would not be all that big a deal and a 6-9 inch wire bite leader might be great insurance. Do you see any negatives for using such a leader?
    Thanks as always for your help.

    Russ
     
  2. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    i throw poppers farther when I dont try so hard. rare back and load rod, then slowly ease it up with a POP when you release... aim HIGH into the air and watch it soar...... i learned this by going to the pond and spending several hours practicing. good pair of gloves is essential to keeping the skin on your fingers...lol
     

  3. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Skeeter: I use the Blue Fever Short Pump LR gloves because they have Kevlar in the palms. I find that it is hard to hold the line on the glove-portion of the index-finger (they don't have material over the finger tips, but you cannot hold the line there with a heavy lure). so I don't feel I have the control for releasing the line as I would like to.

    Perhaps I should also pose the question: how do you "load" the rod on a big popping setup? I know how with a fly rod that uses the weight of the line, or on a bay rod, but do you whip the lure back in a short "back cast" or do you just let it hang there and slowly accellerate? (The latter is what I have seen some Japanese anglers do.

    Russ
     
  4. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    rare it back, and when it gets to the point of no flex- then you sling it loaded all the way to the point of where you are letting go to send it soaring. start easy, until you get a "feel" of that load point.

    I loved the under armor live release gloves = they were sensitive, and strong enough to wrap the braid around my hand several times and lift the blackfin over the railing of the Big E... they are that stretchy type material that breathes, and they washed in the washer machine with no problems... they are like wearing no gloves at all, yet they give you protection(not from knives or fins though)

    AND if I woulda had them on when that little bastage Bluefish BIT the shiet out of me- i Probably wouldnt have BLED all over myself!!! That little MF was meaner than my moms chihuahua!!!!
     
  5. gman

    gman Senior Member

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    where do you get the under armour gloves??? i cant find them
     
  6. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    Hey Russ!

    One part of this casting technique is to "pull" the handle (left hand if you're a right-handed caster) even more than you throw with your other hand during the cast.

    This pulling action (from the bottom or handle of the rod) helps me better load the rod.

    I also feel better balanced because I feel I stay centered rather than lunging forward with the cast.

    I feel I get more distance with a faster cast rather than a harder cast. Make sense?

    When boxing or any kind of martial arts, you're taught to relax the muscles so that you are quicker. This quickness is where power comes from and you don't get as tired as quickly.

    Hope that helps!
     
  7. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    gman: I can't find it either but am certainly interested. I do see that the 2007 Melton catalog has a Blue Fever "Release" glove, but I doubt it is the same one described above.

    Tom: Thanks. I know about the left-hand pull (in theory), but I don't know to what extent I am executing it. I definitely am not staying relaxed, however. Nor was I relaxed as a youngster, doing martial arts in the lat 1950's in San Antonio. Of course, we performed those arts using baseball bats and tire tools.

    I do appreciate the advice. I am going to have to do some practicing. What's funny is I get about the same distance, give or take a few yards with all popping rods--700XH, 700H, and OTI prototypes. I do a little better with the 8 footer as you might expect and the 7 1/2 footers. I don't do well at all with the Calstars although I know many do. In any case, I know it is my own difficulties, so I have something to work on.

    Russ
     
  8. Snagged

    Snagged Senior Member

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  9. Ragman

    Ragman Moderator

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    UncleRuss- next time we're close to the same area, let's plan to get together for a practice session.

    Until then, get a video camera (just like I did with my golf swing) and video yourself casting different rods. Make sure to i.d. each different rod you're casting for later viewing.

    I found that seeing my technique on video (what I was actually doing) was a lot different than what I felt I was doing! LOL
     
  10. etan

    etan Senior Member

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    As far as the wire I have never had a bite off on topwater at the floaters. I've had an occasional breakoff after I did something stupid but that was fisherman failure!
     
  11. SkeeterRonnie

    SkeeterRonnie Senior Member

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    heres the gloves... Under Armour ColdGear Release Gloves

    after reading a little more, I also use my whole body to turn(along with my left hand to pull the handle) when I cast. like throwing a punch, you use your whole bodies force to "PUSH" the lure out-after you load the rod. Martial arts taught me a lot about short,fat, bald men- my sensei could floor me in a matter of nanoseconds.. I would hate to see what woulda happened without him pulling his moves to not hurt me.... Jiu Jitsu. I just wish I had stuck with it= the weapons training was unbelievable!
     
  12. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Well put, Snagged, and I found the debates consisted only of words of one syllable.

    Tom: I will definitely take you up on your offer.

    Thank, etan. I kind of got the impression that toothy critters are not that common far out, on the surface at least. I guess if you are closer inshore you have more chance of getting into 'cuda and kings.

    Russ
     
  13. stickbom

    stickbom Member

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    Hi Russ, here's some simple tips which has worked pretty well for me.

    1. Casting Dropper length- (Rods 7'-8'6") Lure will be at my stripper guide, (Rods 9' and up) Lure will be at the guide before stripper. Longer droppers means you get to load the rod better and achieve better casting distance.
    2. You do not need fancy & bulky gloves. I'm using a pair of cycling gloves called "Incline" by Fox. It has outlasted many designer fishing gloves which costs more than twice the price of my Incline.
    3. Leader type- Stick to soft leaders like Jinkai and Momoi Diamond if you can't get premium Japanese stuff like Sunline Dai Riki and Varivas. Stiff, hard surface leaders (popular with anglers who troll a lot) and FC have a habit of causing your braided line to get caught on your guides if you're using wind on system.
    4. Leader length- 2-3 wraps around the spool and my lure at the desired dropper length for casting is the ideal set up for me. Too long a leader will shorten your casting distance dramatically.
    5. Try not to "snap" or "jerk" your rod when casting. Instead, accelerate into the cast using your arms and torso. I prefer to cast in a wide, overhead arc as it reduces wind knots and more importantly, doesn't hit anyone standing beside you!

    Here's some photos/vid clips of my buddies honing their casting skills to perfection before their offshore trip. Hope this helps.

    Brunei trip- Prep Phase
     

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  14. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Thanks, Stickbom. Great pictures and advice. I definitely have not been accellerating, but have been jerking. I also think I am following through too far (instead of stopping the rod at 10 or 11 o'clock).

    I worry, especially on a party boat about keeping more than say, 3 feet of line out for the cast due to safety concerns, but I suppose I will have to just be watchful at all times anyway.

    I will be popping primarily with a new Souls 9 foot rod that I bought from Randy (Can hardly wait--I'll get it tomorrow.) I chose the more difficult casting HH version of this rod instead of the H version, for its ability to fight larger fish--but at nine feet, I am hopeful it, along with everyone's advice, will improve my distance.

    A couple of questions:

    (1) What is your approximate maximum casting distance with a popping rod?

    (2) Do you start the cast with the rod behind you and parallel to the ground?

    (3) At what point do you stop the rod--10 or 11 o'clock?

    (4) What do you think of the practice of many of us in the Gulf of Mexico area who only use a very short mono leader (3 feet, instead of a windon?)

    Thanks very much. I have read your posts on other boards, including, I believe, on Caranx, where I have so far been unable to set up an account.

    Russ
     
  15. Sportfisherman

    Sportfisherman Senior Member

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    Hi Mike ,

    The rod used by the white shirted guy seems to be overloaded by the popper from looking at the bend and the rod used by the yellow shirted guy seem to be correctly balanced . What is your opinion , buddy ?

    Jon .
     
  16. stickbom

    stickbom Member

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    Russ you will love the Souls Casting Tuna :) Good investment!

    (1) What is your approximate maximum casting distance with a popping rod?

    Furthest I have launched a plug is about 120m or 131yds. Best casting plug I've ever used was the Carpenter Salty Dog and France Pen.

    (2) Do you start the cast with the rod behind you and parallel to the ground?

    Yes. I do not swing the plug back because of safety reasons

    (3) At what point do you stop the rod--10 or 11 o'clock?

    10 o'clock would be ideal because at 11 the rod might not be fully loaded yet (but this varies from rod to rod)

    (4) What do you think of the practice of many of us in the Gulf of Mexico area who only use a very short mono leader (3 feet, instead of a windon?)

    Hey, as long as it works... why not?! No rules against 3' long leaders! :) Personally, I would use a leader that's slightly longer than the fish I intend to catch just in case it gets tail wrapped. That's the shortest I'd go. If its a full fledge popping trip then having that leader for your finger to grip onto would be great because 1- your fingers hurt less 2- your braid doesn't get damaged/worn off after repeated casts. If popping is not a full time affair, just use a leader thats slightly longer than the fish you intend to catch will do.
     
  17. stickbom

    stickbom Member

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    Hi Mike ,

    The rod used by the white shirted guy seems to be overloaded by the popper from looking at the bend and the rod used by the yellow shirted guy seem to be correctly balanced . What is your opinion , buddy ?

    Jon .

    Jon, that rod may look a little maxed out but I can assure you, it can handle much bigger plugs than that 120g Strike Pro in the photo. That's the beauty of the Ocea GT. It doesn't take superman to load the rod and the carbon slit tape gives it the power to launch your plug to oblivion.
     
  18. Uncle Russ

    Uncle Russ Senior Member

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    Mike: Thanks for the info, although I am deeply depressed by your casting distance. :) I am not going to say how far I can cast with any particular rod at this point, because it would not do justice to any of them. I really need to work on my casting and will definitely hook up with Tom (and whomever else will be willing to help) as soon as I can. I would ask you for a lesson but that that trans-Pacific air fair is brutal!

    That dock you show is a great place to practice from. Just like the deck of a boat--only not moving.

    Russ
     
  19. stickbom

    stickbom Member

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    Hi Russ, don't worry about the casting distance. You will get better distance as time goes by. Here's a tip... don't be afraid to swing really hard with your new rod. Most anglers are too worried about damaging their precious new rods and don't really load their rods hard enough. If the rod is going to break during a cast, then let it do so during 'peace time' :) If you're using the recommended casting weight it should never fail... no matter how hard to push it during the cast.

    In case you're interested to know, the rod that allowed me to hit 120m was the Carpenter Long Reef 86 (PE6) :)

    One last thing, I believe your Casting Tuna has a spigot type ferrule like my Tuna plugging rod so please take care of the male section of the ferrule. Keeping it really clean (yeah don't even bother rubbing wax on it) and free of chips/dents is the best way of ensuring a proper fit everytime.
     
  20. Sportfisherman

    Sportfisherman Senior Member

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    Jon, that rod may look a little maxed out but I can assure you, it can handle much bigger plugs than that 120g Strike Pro in the photo. That's the beauty of the Ocea GT. It doesn't take superman to load the rod and the carbon slit tape gives it the power to launch your plug to oblivion.

    Hi Mike ,

    In 2003 we had 3 Thai anglers all armed with OCEA GT 86HH fishing Komodo , I had Carpenter LR86 then and they found the OCEA GT 86HH has no back bone when compared to Carpenter LR86 , the bend extended from the foregrip and the rod was " saturated " under load by big GT circling underneath the boat . In 2004 these guys came back , all of them have WV80XHs and the OCEA GT 86HH became their spare outfit or not brought at all .

    OCEA GT 86HH is an easy casting rod for novices but in the hand of an expert like you , I think it's hard to beat LR86 which is now revamped to LR88 while the LR89LDC is now LR90-ICBM . Haven't tried these 2 rods yet but I am sure I will do so soon , once the supply of Carpenter rods start to flow again .

    Jon .