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When you read a typical speal in a fly rod cataloge about this or that flyrod they will usually say that this or that rod can cast "for ever" and still make a "delicate" presentation. But I have had some contrasting experiences. The first time I fished the South Fork of the Snake, my friend who grew up in Idaho Falls and was acting as my guide kept telling me to "slap" the big salmon fly hard on the water next to the bank. So I made a less delicate cast. He said harder so I slapped it harder and sure enough the fish began to hammer it. When I was fishing hoppers on Huntington Res. a couple of years ago I found that if I made a "delicate" presentation and the hopper just sat there the very small fish would hit it but they were so small they couldn't get it in their mouths. But when I slapped it hard enough to make a splash on the water the bigger fish slammed it. Even when fishing a very small Uinta stream I have found that the fish hit a stimulator harder and faster when it hits the water hard. So my question is: Is the highly touted concept of a "delicate" presentation over rated?
 

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You kind of answered your own question.
When fishing big bugs like hoppers, the splash will attract fish that are looking for hoppers to fall into the water.
The fish are geared up for the sound and the ripples in the water.
Now other times, when only small may flies and other insects are in a hatch, you will need to be stealth and this is when the delicate presentation will benefet you.
When I fish a size 22 Griffith's Gnat or a sizs 20 BWO, or other very small dries, I like to use a double tappered line and 2# tipit. This set up will spook less fish.
So it all depends on what you are fishing with and what the fish want.
Both methods will work in the right conditions.
 

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It doesn't hurt to be able to do both. Mayflies don't cause much of a plop. Delicate presentation is probably more useful than the plop technique.
 

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Another way of looking at it -
Terrestrial bugs like hoppers, ants, beatles - all come from the land to the water. So they usually land with a plop. Adult stoneflies will do it too, as they fall off the willows into the water like you'll fish on the South Fork Snake or Big Hole during their famous hatches. So land to water - make a plop.

Aquatic bugs like caddis, mayflies, and midges, are already in the water, and they rise to the surface - so they are not landing - so no plop. That is where the delicate presentation comes.
 

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For dries I throw with a 1wt and it will roll over and land soft (even with my casting) which is good when you are trying to be stealthy. When you throw the meat (hoppers, beatles, crickets, samonflies, or streamers) you want to make it know that dinner has arrived. It depends on the situation but I say you can always slap down some meat even with a "delicate" rod.
 

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orvis1 said:
For dries I throw with a 1wt and it will roll over and land soft (even with my casting) which is good when you are trying to be stealthy. When you throw the meat (hoppers, beatles, crickets, samonflies, or streamers) you want to make it know that dinner has arrived. It depends on the situation but I say you can always slap down some meat even with a "delicate" rod.
It really doesn't matter what rod you are using. It's all about the casting stroke. You can slap flies down on the surface with a 1 wt just as easily as you can delicately present it.

I think the rod companies are really reaching when it comes to marketing these rods. They get pretty caught up in telling you what this rod will allow you to do.

That being said, I think it's really interesting that some of the rod companies are kind of reverting back to producing "fishable" rods as opposed to fast, broomstick type rods. Look at the new Sage Z-Axis. Still fast, but slower than an XP.
 
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