Thanks for the reply.
I am what I call an 'intermediate' student of tournament casting (and a member of the British fly casting club), but I am slowly getting really hooked on the subject. Unfortunately I don't know of any books or videos that deal with this subject in real detail.
I like you, am talking about specialist rods and lines (heavy shooting heads 35grm 40-42 feet in length and custom built rods).
I've definately felt the benefit in my day-to-day fishing casts as normal casting with a 6 weight seems to now be in slow motion compared to the reaction time needed to control specialist tackle.
I'm at last getting some semi decent results averaging around the 150 feet mark and a personal best of 53yds 1ft (helped by a lucky gust!!!).
We've got some great casters over here in the club (Sam Davis, Mike Marshall and Carl Hutchinson to name a few) who all hit tremendous distances on a regular basis.
As regards grip I am still experimenting with thumb on top versus vee grip.
There never seems to be enough hours in the working week to practice as much as I would like, but I suppose that's true for all of us.
Give me a shout back if you've got any tips I can try out.
Cheers from England