2010 Big Gun Shootout by Richard Traugott
Fly fishing event put together by the Tampa Fly Fishing Club
The big gun shootout is an event hosted by the Tampa Fly Anglers Club every year to test casting skills. It is comprised of 6 stations worth 100 points each, for a max score of 600 points. The nice part is each station is timed, but you can do the stations in any order that you wanted. I used 2 rods during the event, an older 9ft Pro1 8wt w/ Triangle Taper WF8F/S line. The second rod was an 8wt BVK with Rio Bonefish Taper. Everyone at the event was issues a 6ft leader and pink yarn.
Station 1 was the Hanson Cup. Personally I think this was the hardest station of all. It is a cup set in a wood box about 30ft away. Every time you put the fly in the cup it is worth 20 points. You have 30 seconds to put the fly in the cup 5 times. I got to practice it a couple times and put the fly in the cup, but when it came time to make it count… I got a ZERO. Not the best way to start out the competition at all.
Station 2 was called Under the Mangroves. It’s a PVC frame that is about 2ftx3ft, and 2ft deep. You had to put it in the hole, and about 2ft back for it to count. There were distance lines set up at 30,35,40,45, and 50ft. Each distance was 20 points and you had to complete one before moving to the next further distance. I think timing was 90 or 120 seconds. I was very optimistic about this because this is what I had been doing fishing for Snook on the dock lights with good success. I was able to get the 45ft cast but could not convert on the 50ft’er. 80 points for the station.
Station 3 was Accuracy over Distance. Basically it was the same set up as Under the Mangroves but it was a fish with a wooden “V” in front of it. The only thing was that you could only put your leader in the V, and not your fly line. It was a little difficult because the issued leader was only 6ft and a slight cross wind cast. The BVK with the Bonefish taper really helped out with this one. I was able to get the 45ft cast, but ran out of time on the 50ft’er. 80 points
Station 4 had to be my favorite. It was a hula hoop on a PVC frame about chest high. From a distance about 35ft you had to put a loop through the hoop, and you fly had to land at least 20ft from the base of the hoop. So it’s a 50ft cast through a hula hoop! If you fly only made it 10ft through the hoop they would keep running the timer until your cast totaled 20ft. I managed to do it in 14 seconds, not to shabby! That was until I heard that someone else did it in 8 seconds.
Station 5 was the standard Hula Hoops on the ground. There were 3 hula hoops between 30 and 50ft away. They were placed at 9, 12, and 3 O’clock so you had to make at least one cross wind cast. There was a Frisbee in the middle of the hula hoop. If you landed in the hula hoop it was worth 20 points, and the frisbee was worth 25 points. After you made the 3 hula hoops you had to make an off handed cast, or a back handed cast (over opposite shoulder) I was able to get 3 frisbee’s but I got caught on my cross wind cast. 95 points.
Station 6 was the Big Gun. It was a 100ft cast using the same rod as everyone else. A Sage 8wt with SA distance line. You were allowed to have a couple practice cast, but one you were ready you only had 3 chances. A 100ft cast qualifies you for “The Big Gun Shootout” where the top 8 casters go in for the longest cast. I got to practice with the BVK and was able to get it into the backing so I figured that I was a sure thing for the 100ft cast. I made my 3 cast and was only able to managed in the 80ft range. 100ft is a lot farther than you think it is! I would encourage everyone that says then can make a 100ft cast to go out and measure next time you try! Casting into the backing is not 100ft like I thought. Even if I did managed to qualify there was no way I was going to be able to hang with the top 8. Dave Olson won it with a 138ft cast. It was pure art to watch these guys casting and carrying 70+ft of line in the air!
Here is a small clip of all the stations.
SA mastery Distance Taper
Speaking of long distance fly casting, naturally I had to look up what the world record is.
Using special fly line and rod the World Record Stands at 243′ by Steve Rajeff, good lord.
I got this from the American Casting Association website.
1-Hand Fly Distance
|Men||243 feet||Steve Rajeff|
|Senior Men||180 feet||Ed Lanser, Zack Willson|
|Women||125 feet||Pamela Peters|
|Intermediates||151 feet||Dustin Revel|
Here is a video clip of Steve casting using regular fly line and rod indoors. I believe he got 120’+.