Those new to freshwater dorado fishing are sometimes intimidated by the bigger flies we use for these fish, and are oftentimes unsure about how to cast them. Don’t panic. Those 2/0 streamers that are the all-rounders for the species, and even larger flies, can be as enjoyable to cast as smaller flies with lighter tackle. The key is to fish a balanced rig. With the right balance between rod, line, and leader, casting becomes less daunting. In fact, a well-balanced rig is empowering, helping make you a better caster.
The most common mistake we see is anglers using a tippet or leader material that’s too thin or light for the weight of the fly, plus the wire. Unless you’re looking for small dorado, or using a light or ultralight approach (which by the way can be really cool), you shouldn’t use mono or fluorocarbon that is less than 20-pound test. Except for those special situations when dorado may become leader shy, 30-pound test is the standard.
Another “trick” is to fish a line one size bigger than the rod weight. Most modern, fast-action rod designs cast well with the heavier line. And this kind of setup helps you load the rod more quickly and turnover a larger streamer more effectively.
If you’re unsure of your casting ability, it’s also a good idea to start practicing during the lead up to your trip. You don’t even need water. Lawn casting in your backyard, or at a local park, is great for perfecting your stroke and tightening those loops. Use pliers to pinch off the whole hook bend to prevent accidents or snagging, then tie on the fly. Use your whole arm when casting rods from 7-weight on up. Bring your back-cast skyward, wait for the line to go straight, then punch it forward. And be sure to learn both the double-haul and the strip set. You’ll be on the right track in no time!
by Noel Pollak