: Side-arm casting stroke...
05-10-2003, 09:18 PM
I was listening to George Roberts' "10 Steps to Distance and Power" video this evening while putting Perma-Gloss on my current rod project, and got to thinking about the way that I typically get the most distance out of my casts... and it's when I'm casting waaaay off-vertical, in fact the rod is nearly parallel with the plane of the water's surface during the entire cast. For some reason, I'm able to get a lot more line out that way; I think it might be because when I finish my forward casting stroke, the rod tip is actually higher off the water than it is at the conclusion of my back cast. So I'm not saying that this is "proper casting form", but I can shoot in the neighborhood of 95' in this manner. Does anyone have any similar experience, or can someone give me some pointers?
Whaddya think, anybody's gonna bite on that set-up question ??? If you're slingin' 95+' regularly, you don't need any help or suggestions :whoa: ;)
05-12-2003, 10:38 AM
No, seriously, does anyone else find that they can cast longer distances with a side-arm cast than the "normal overhead"? I'm wondering if there's something I'm doing wrong with my overhead cast... :confused:
05-12-2003, 10:55 AM
Gee to think I like it for the ability to keep the line close to the water casting under trees, and to throw a curve into the line by the fly.
Years ago I got a reprint of a series of his articles in On The Water from George Roberts. I don't know if it's in the video, but one picture from it sticks out in memory. It showed a forward cast with the line going up on an ~ 5 degree angle from the horizontal when casting for distance. Just one of those things thats stuck in the memory over the years.
Other than that I can only think of one of Leftys rules that the entire line has to be in motion before you can cast it. Maybe with a vertical stroke your not straightening out the back cast before starting the forward stroke?
05-12-2003, 11:17 AM
I think it is because you are able to get more travel and therefore more load in the rod. When you cast vertically you are limited to more of the 10 and 2 casting style versus when you move to your cast to the side you are able to extend your arm back. I think both Lefty and George agree as does Jarowski, Sedotti etc... that the more distance you obtain in the casting stroke the more load you can achieve and therefore greater distance in the cast. All other things being equal.
Just out of curiousity, are you shooting 95' feet or is your total cast 95' (i.e. 40 feet of line out and shooting an additional 55') either is still impressive.
05-12-2003, 11:39 AM
John - I think you're right about the 5 degree angle idea. For whatever reason, my overhead casts don't get near the distance that the side-arm casts do. It's a little easier for me to watch the back cast when I'm side-arming it, also, which may have some bearing on getting the line straightened, as you mention.
Sean - I should have said "casting" 95', not "shooting" 95', as you point out. Yeah, I wish I could shoot 95'... I'd be a casting instructor, in that case. BTW, I think you're right, also; I can get better range of motion on the side-arm cast, now that I think of it.
The best casts are "canted" to the outside but IMHO not sidearm. It introduces too much turbulence over the length of the total cast.
Even irregularity between the shape of the back cast loop causes resultant turbulence in the forward cast even if the first 70-80 feet is fully energized with good form going forward, the last portion of the cast will telegraph all of the shape transformation that the loop form went thru to get from back to front.
IMHO, the best medicine is to refine the best possible loop form with a comfortable arm angle keeping what I call the "driver" (portion of energized line from tip to wedge) tracking on a vector that is slightly closer to the caster than the "trailer" (the portion of line past the wedge that is coming along for the ride) and exactly 180 degrees from back to front. The less turbulence the better the cast.
Sure in practice throwing a longer side-armish stroke to poke a wedge into a tailwind is good fishing technique, but the best distance casting comes from clean technique in the ideal plane between vertical and horizontal.
Sidearm technique is something you'd consider for placement under obstructions or in some cases to tuck a cast under the wind; although I use line design and double haul energy with a lower directed stroke to achieve the same result. In saltwater I have found no need to resort to it in my experiences, your results may vary.
Maybe I am dense. (My spouse would be the first to agree!)
But I learned to cast standard, sidearm, "to both sides of my body", cross body, face downstream then cast upstream, ad nauseum. I use these casts as conditions change, wind direction is "wrong", to cast under trees, and a variety of other reasons.
But it works, and catches fish! And if I ever need another cast in my game of tricks, I'll work on it.
You gotta be flexible if you wanna have fun!:hehe:
05-12-2003, 08:42 PM
casting on a lawn is one thing, but for all the different situations out on the water, it is good to have a bag of tricks. For me, ultimate distance is not important, because when I am "covering water" I am usually fishing with heads. When acuracy(not spelling) counts. I cast as vertical as possible. What ever. If you can cast 95' and hit your target, I think you don't need to worry unless you were an instructor. When I'm casting to fish, I'm not thinking about my casting. If I miss, or can't get it there, then I think about my casting.
05-12-2003, 08:52 PM
My guess is that when you cast sidearmed you mechanically correct a flaw that is present in your overhead casting.
05-22-2003, 03:05 AM
Flyfisha1: you are trolling for the holy grail of a v.long distance casting with a fly rod.
You found greater distance casting using an "off vertical" forward stroke, which you characterized as side armed. The world's experts agree with you.
The absolute authority and master of single hand casting, Joan
Wulff, uses a position named "off vertical" for making far far casts.
The off vertical positions opens your body to allow a full backstroke followed by a maximum length forward cast. The off vertical position keeps the line from hitting itself as well as offering the physical opportunity to propel the fly line the maximum distance because an open stance gives the caster a far great distance to cast.
I attended a Simon G class two years ago when he announced that "flat is good." Simon meant that keeping the forwared stroke flat, as opposed to vertical, a superior loop form will emerge, and an open stance made the flat stroke easier.
Dr. Way Yin and Mr. Steve Choate, world champions in 2003 in England, both use an open position [named "off vertical'] that gives them maximum forward and aft stroke distance, thus delivering maximum energy to the line. Again, Way and Steve make their casts by opening their body for a maximum cast effort.
It sounds like your observational skills will quickly lead you to expert level skill quickly.
Good luck, Bob P
05-22-2003, 07:43 AM
Thanks for the words of encouragement Bob, I appreciate it. I've never watched any of the world's top casters in action (besides Mel Krieger and Geo. Roberts on video), so only know how to cast from being on the water with others, practicing, and reading up on the subject... it will be a long, long time before I think I reach anything near expert status.
As I had said previously, my casting stroke is waaay off-vertical, nearly to the point of side-arming. When I cast in this fashion, the loop in the line during the forward and back casts is very tight, and this is undoubtedly why I can attain relatively good distance with consistency. When I bring the cast up to nearly vertical (i.e. probably within 15 degrees of vertical), my loops are never as tight and I don't get the same distance as a result. This applies whether I'm double-haulinga, water-hauling, etc.
Now, I will say that I've always been able to throw footballs and baseballs farther and faster when going "side-arm", more than likely because my personal range of motion is better in that range of plane. I realize that throwing a ball may not be synonymous with casting (particularly from what Roberts has to say), but the point I'm trying to make is that I imagine that this "side-arming tendency" has some significant bearing on my casting stroke, and I would also imagine that each person has their own "comfort zone" that they will cast the most effectively within. Also, rod action probably enters into the equation to some extent.
05-22-2003, 12:17 PM
I use the base ball annolgy to demonstrate the difference between a wrist flick, say from short stop to first base, and a throw from out field to home plate, I compare that to a 30 ft (or less) cast with a small fly to 75+ ft cast with a big fly.
In order to obtain that length of stroke, you have to side arm. the back cast anyway. Besides, your loop appears much tighter to some one else who is off to the side watchiing you. :D