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Fly patterns spinning on retrieve

Having problem with most of my bigger patterns spinning on the retrieve.

Not sure if its my flies which easily could be, or my leader set up or knots?

Any suggestions??


  • darnhardheadsdarnhardheads Posts: 59 Deckhand
    In my experience it is usually caused by too much material or too heavy tippet.
  • Permit RatPermit Rat Posts: 2,283 Captain
    My vote is for too heavy a tippet, especially if you false cast a lot. False casting twists your fly line and if your tippet is too stiff, it might be strong enough to overpower the fly as it tries to untwist in the water, after the pressure (from casting) is released.

    Back in the days, even before my time (imagine that) I remember being told that this was actually a technique used with larger fan wing dry flies. These patterns tend to twist a leader severely and aid in causing windknots. But leaders back then were gut and rather stiff. Fresh water fishermen are want to false cast a lot, as they often have to "measure" a cast for pinpoint accuracy. Combine those two and there was a serious recipe for line twist. Some trout fishermen took this to the next level and actually sped up their false casting, intentionally trying to put as much twist as possible. The fan wing fly would land on the water, sit there and un-twist, giving a life-like action to it that big trout in low light conditions (night) went nuts over.

    Not sure that I am correct in your situation, but that is where I got my reason for the possible cause.

    Edit: Remember that line twist can be a cumulative thing as well. Back in the 70's, when we had a lot more shots of tarpon on the flats than we generally do today, our fly lines would eventually twist when retrieved and piled loosely on the deck. Over time, this would become a real concern if not taken care of. First, your distance could be hampered, since a line twist will not go through the guides and secondly, if you hooked a fish, a line twist could actually jam in the first stripping guide, causing a pop-off.....OR, it might cause the rod to be jerked out of an unsuspecting angler's hands. I have witnessed both scenarios.
  • JWTJWT Posts: 726 Officer
    I remember bream bugs that were designed to twist the leader so they would "unwind" on the water. As i remember the line twist was not worth the possible benefit. That said, false casting does create line twist. working shorelines which involve a lot of casting, throwing the whole line once & a while & rotating the rod a dozen times or so to counter the twist works well to de-twist things. On the other hand, Some flies are just not that aerodynamic:shrug
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,385 Captain
    My guess is that your fly is over dressed/ your hooks too light. I regularly fish smaller flies on 40lb, tied sparse(ish) on heavy hooks. Without a photo all anyone can do is guess.
  • waterfowlstockerwaterfowlstocker Posts: 14 Greenhorn
    thanks, I was just using a clouser minnow with dumbell eyes and couldn't believe the twisting it was doing. I did have a heavy leader on the fly and it was sitting on my spool for awhile and was coiled up.
  • agm984agm984 Posts: 10 Greenhorn
    Are you using a extruded leader? I have seen the same thing when using leaders by rio/sa. I switched and started tying my own leaders with maxima line using a 40-30-20-tippet step down and have had good luck so far. Almost impossible to wind knot and doesn't spin fly at all.
  • Carl BlackledgeCarl Blackledge Posts: 674 Officer
    thanks, I was just using a clouser minnow with dumbell eyes and couldn't believe the twisting it was doing. I did have a heavy leader on the fly and it was sitting on my spool for awhile and was coiled up.


    Since the other guys are guessing, I will too.

    Your twisting problem could be a lot of different things and even a combination of lots of little things working against you. I would check the leader to fly knot and make sure it isn't tied on crooked, the dumbbell eyes on the Closer could also be crooked, your retrieving stroke could be wacky, so could your roll casting method,

    My suggestion would be buy a factory fly, tie on a simple new straight piece of leader and retie the fly with a simple loop knot. The above should give you some kind of bench mark to work with. Good luck

    Carl Blackledge
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