You are on the water and suddenly casting rather well. Damn, is it possible that those lessons Jonas gave me work (of course they do)? Now you spot a red cruising into your field of vision 50’ out, and you false cast a bit (most anglers overcook that one). The fly line is behaving, and you go for the delivery. It looks good until the dreaded tailing loop enters, and the leader lands in a sorry pile. The red shakes its head and departs. Have you been there? Of course, a negative answer is a blatant lie. From time to time all casters will cast a tailing loop.
This is the likeliest scenario. When you are false casting, with the same line length, all is good. You will have a certain casting arc (see below). The rod tip is traveling in a straight line between the stops because of the rod’s bend. You use more power for the delivery for the same arc and the rod tip dips. You can wind up with a tailing loop for several reasons, but they all have the rod tip path dipping.
There are two ways to prevent this dip and the subsequent tail. First, don´t put that extra power in – just cast as you have been doing and shoot the line. Second, if you put in more power just open the casting arc a wee bit.
The definition of a tailing loop from FFI’s website.
Technical consultant: Bruce Richards