Casting Poppers

When I'm casting saltwater streamers, my leader turns over fine. But when I switch to a popping bug, the leader tends to tangle on the cast, and often the bug will fall back on itself. What am I doing wrong?

Q: When I'm casting saltwater streamers, my leader turns over fine. But when I switch to a popping bug, the leader tends to tangle on the cast, and often the bug will fall back on itself. What am I doing wrong?

- Jim Lentz, Ocean City, Marylan

Most saltwater streamers offer little resistance, so your leader turns over well. However, popping bugs are air-resistant and complicate the cast. The first remedy is to try casting smaller or sleeker bugs. Most of the time a slightly smaller popping bug still offers about the same attractive commotion as a larger one.

The real problem with casting may be that your leader is too long. By shortening the midsection of the leader (but leave the butt and tippet alone), you'll be amazed at how much better you can turn the popper over especially on windy days. In addition, with popping bugs I rarely use a tippet longer than 18 inches. This also reduces the chances of the bug falling back on itself.

-Lefty