I have attended a Lefty Kreh two day weekend casting class three times over the past 20 years. I also attended the two day classes with Ed Jaworowski three times in the 1990's. Ed is the only person that Lefty has taught in detail over a period of many years.
My understanding is the concept of longer stroke is the total length of travel your casting hand travels. The cast begins with a slow steady acceleration (acceleration is the constant increase in velocity over time or distance),,,,the main reason for the long stroke is to remove any SLACK in the line,,,,,this is setting up the cast for the short very quick acceleration that is defined as the SPEED-UP-AND-STOP. In my experience only 5% of the rod acceleration occurs over 95% of the rod stroke. The final very quick S-U-A-S contributes 95% of the acceleration.
I believe Lefty teaches this style because very few FF can make a perfect back cast with a short stroke. Watch Steve Rajeff or other tournament casters make a relatively short rod stroke over their shoulder and bang out a very straight backcast. They then are set up for the forward cast very fast burst of speed to a stop. These people are the olympic class athletes of fly casting. Lefty teaches a style that he clearly states is not the only or best way to cast however, it is smooth and works very efficiently for FF without the strength and timing of the tournament casters.
I have never understood the concept of straight line path of the rod tip that has been written and discussed for years. The rod is flexed with loading by the casters hand/arm (the line contributes only 5-10% of the loading bend), when we complete the cast, the rod must flex to unloaded (straight) position and onward to flex forward away from the initial bend. The rod tip cannot follow a straight line path?? If you watch the Lefty method of following a shelf for your rod hand/reel over a long stroke,,,,the rod tip starts very low and moves over the top of an arc and then will be pointing anywhere from 10:00 to horizontal at the forward cast completion. This is a large arc and not anywhere close to a straight line path of the rod tip.
In my experience the best casters appear to be in slow motion up until the very short quick S-U-A-S and short 4" haul. It is all about efficiecy and not power. The shorter the S-U-A-S travel the tighter the loop, minimize the wrist rotation at the S-U-A-S for this to happen. The forward push down with the thumb occurs after the loop has formed at the rod tip.
In one class we had a discussion with Ed Jaworowski on the generally know fact that a stiff fast rod cannot cast short distances. He proceeded to demonstrate casting a dry fly with a Sage 890-3 RPLX with just the 10ft leader extended from rod tip. What happened to the line loading the rod and stiff rod does not work at short distances?
Last edited by FKrow; 08-05-2004 at 08:40 PM.