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Fishing the fly with a spinning rod and a float. This is an old article.
Fly but no flyrod
A lot of Danes fish the fly in a special way. They use a spinning rod and a bubble float. This rig has the advantage of making you able to fish with a fly, but do so without having to learn to cast with a flyrod -- or even buy one. Many fly fishers also prefer the method if the wind makes casting a fly hard or even impossible.
The method is generally considered the most efficient method for fishing se trout. A bubble float fisher will generally outfish both fly and spin fishers.
I have before dived into the discussion wether this is flyfishing or not. I will leave that. It's fishing with a fly, and that's what matters, because the fly can be the only effective way to catch trout in salt water. I use the bubble float from time to time myself, and I tend to agree with its most avid proselytes: it is a very efficient way to fish. Definetely more efficient than fishing with a lure, and actually more efficient than flyfishing with a fly rod. But not as much fun...
The buble float has to be of the type where the line runs through a tube in the center. This allows to float to slide up the line when the fish takes the fly. The fish won't feel the weight of the float, and the float won't keep the fish from running. The only problem with this rig, is in the landning phase, where the bubble above the leader will mean, that the fish will be landed with all the leader out of the top eye. This is only a really big poblem when your leaders get longer than 3 meters (9-10').
Many Danish fishers use leaders up to 5 meters when fishing bubble floats and a friend of mine uses a complicated construction with monofile line, a piece of intermediate fly line and a thin leader with split shot in front of the bubble. He catches a lot of fish by the way.
An advantage of the bubble method is that you can fish large and heavy flies on long and thin leaders. Flies as the Fair Fly and the Full Metal Jacket can be a pest to cast on a light fly rod. They work very well with a bubble.
Casting the bubble with the long leader can be quite tricky. When casting you don't want to hook yourself with a stray fly and when the bubble lands you want the long leader to stretch in front of the bubble.
Both things can be accomplished with the following method: When you retrieve the bubble and lift it of the water in preparation for the next cast, but leave the fly in the water in front of you. Have approx. 0.5-1 meters (2-3') of line out of the top eye Take the rod slowly the the right (if you're a right hand caster) but increase the speed in order to load the rod. Cast the bubble with a firm bu smooth motion.
The fly will follow the bubble and the leader will lay parallel to the casting line. In order to stretch the leader you brake the casting line by gently pressing your finger against the edge of the spool just before the bubble lands.
The tradition says that you have to retrieve the bubble extremely slowly. Don't follow that tradition. Retrieve as with any other kind of fly fishing: varied and according to the circumstances. Some argue that the bubble will scare the fish. My experience is the opposite: the commotion of the bubble will be more likely to attract fish, that will then see the fly.