Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Leading lower hand (2-hand overhead)
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:47 AM
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juro juro is offline
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Keith -

Nice suggestion starting a new thread into which we can really dig.

Originally Posted by SpeySteel
"5 - Use mostly your upper hand and less bottom hand. The bottom hand is used mostly just at the very end of your forward stroke. This accelerates the rod tip just enough at the very end of the forward stroke to initiate some energy into the line (kind of like the double haul does with a single hand). " This is a quote from the atlantis thread, i've pulled it out of there so as avoid confusion and i think it deserves more thought. But, it is a sample i've selected and not a direct critisism of the author of the quote.
I agree, I also "mostly" use the upper hand until the end. Although in past discussions I recall Andrew mentioned leading with the butt, and I think all three of us do in fact lead to get things started deep within the blank.

But we must also account for style, for instance no one can question Speysteels results (per video clips). He's thrown shooting heads well over 150ft with a single backcast, as have I. However I still do agree and am sure he will too that leading with the butt is an effective technique in loading the rod deeply.

Originally Posted by myfishcasting
I don't agree at all with using your upper hand to control the forward stroke. The right hand and arm should move forward following the leading left hand. The left hand should pull the rod around the right hand on the final phases of the cast.
I don't disagree, however I have a question. Can you describe where the leading left hand pull begins, where it ends, and what amount of rotation the hands should experience 'around' each other in the final phases?

I ask because one of the biggest problems I see with people learning to overhead cast with two-hands is the large circular rotational finish robbing the cast of it's potential. In any case, this symptom has a lot to do with executing the push/pull technique you mentioned.

This is basic lever/fulcrum mechanics and it makes more effective use of the now compressed rod. using the right hand to deliver the stop shortens the effecive rod length and the left hand becomes a sloppy mess.
Q: If my upper hand is up as far as it will go on the rod and I lever it with the bottom, hasn't that indeed shortened the effective length of the rod?

Speysteel also stated that the bottom hand is operative in the stop as well. In thinking about how I stop the rod I distinctly use a balance of the two hands acting in unison to stop the rod. The path of travel of the upper hand should not exceed the ratio of relative path of travel of the lower hand or turbulence and shock waves would result. I don't power it with the upper hand, I don't lever it with the bottom - I use both in concert.

Pulling down with the left from a leading left hand promotes the feeling of driving the power down through the body and aids stability in the stop. The left hand leads until extended and the right hand stays high during the forward stroke. this aids the now compressing rod top to stay in plane with the line. Then a gently accelerating downward stroke towards the body around an equally extending right creates a very stable fulrum around which the rod can work.

As the left hand hits the body the right hand should be fully extended out in front and around top of the head height on the stop. This motion stops the rod at 10 o'clock if its done correctly.
Music to the ears.

Your grip length will affect this stop position, and the best way to adjust it is to place your left hand on the rod low down, hand around the butt nearing the butt cap. Position the rod 3" to to the left of you right armpit looking down at a extended right hand. Then slide your right hand along the forward part of the grip until the rod is between the 11 o'clock and 10 o'clock positions. This is your grip for this cast. Slower actioned rods that tend to overstroke are better set up with an 11'clock grip setting and faster actioned euro style rods with faster tip snaps can be set closer to the mark.
I didn't quite follow your 3" from armpit positioning; how does that work? Any pics?

During the actual cast, pulling the rod under the right armpit and extended right arm will promote good tracking, and minimise line speed loss and energy loss caused by directional changes made during the stroke. Adopting the vee grip with your upper hand will also aid great tracking, although it might feel weird to those not adept with grip initially.
hear hear! I am a 2-hand vee grip addict so much that it feels funny to cast thumbs up with single handers lately

I agree that this may not be the way its done, but this method was derived from the wide arc pendulum casting style on tournament surf rods. It makes effective use of the body and arms and allows the rod to move through the longest in plane stroke without overpowering the rod.

If you examine my avatar, this is the effect of a leading left hand during a full tournament pendulum style cast. The rod is compressed at this stage right down through the butt. This is where the power of all rods is hidden, and a tip first compression delivers less power. This cast is about to unleash 5oz of lead over 250 yards, and to finish all it requires is a pull left around the right hand fulcrum point.
Although this is not a flycast, it demonstrates the principle effectively.
I would comment that a key difference is the degree of freedom a terminal object like a lead weight provides to arm placement, in other words with the arms so outstretched as in the avatar a fly cast would be hard to track straight where a conventional cast is all about the moment of release the fly cast involves a long continuous tracking effort.

Your comment - "longest in-plane stroke without over-powering the rod" says it all as far as distance is concerned!

Great analysis!
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Last edited by juro; 02-11-2005 at 07:49 AM.
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