Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Leading lower hand (2-hand overhead)
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:36 AM
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myfishcasting myfishcasting is offline
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Location: Jersey, Channel Islands, UK (Saltwater)
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Originally Posted by juro
Keith -

Nice suggestion starting a new thread into which we can really dig.
I figured some might like to dig in, but i moved it as too much information can actually hold back those trying to learn.

Originally Posted by juro
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.
Yes style has many effects, some good and some bad. I don't doubt for 1 second that some very good casters peruse these messages and a 150ft 1 shot cast is, well,

Originally Posted by juro
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.
Forgive me if i stumble here, as whilst i can cast single handed, i understand two handed mechanics a little better.
Ok. if we refer to single handed for the moment, good casters tend to pull (Fixed Elbow) and then push. We have the luxury of a pull/push and then another pull.
Let me try to explain.
Back cast is complete, right hand has drifted up and left hand has to follow. The left hand is now in front of the right ( Agreed ?), ok. So why change it ?
We have to change the motions of the hands to keep the continually compressing rod in plane with the line, The line will try to follow the rod top at all times ( i:e low back cast, low loop, etc ) Keeping the rod in plane allows more energy to be stored in the blank and the line. You know that anyway.
We have a fixed elbow and a left hand under the rod. We now start the 1st pull phase of the cast. And pull down with the right elbow.
As the left hand is now nearing a vertical line with the upper right hand, but still in front, both arms are extended (Push Phase). Because the left hand is out in front more it will reach extension first. This ends the (left hand push phase). The right hand should still have 6" or so to travel and we push right and pull left at the same speed as before.
Does this make sense ?
Well if it does, the right push combined with the starting to pull left accelerates the rod tip more without speeding up the arms. This increases rod top speed and line speed, but we still have a 6-8" pull back to the body which accelerates the rod tip yet again, giving even more line speed. But this time the right hand is a fulcrum around which the rod travels and compression in the blank is maximised.

Originally Posted by juro
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?
Ok, scenario:
We have a steel pivot point, an iron bar, and a 100lb weight. The bar is 14 foot long. And the bar is under the weight and positioned on the centre of pivot.
Where would you hold the bar to lift the weight ?
At the other end of the bar, or at the pivot point ?

Ok, i don't need you to answer that, but it makes sense right. Left hand around right fulcrum point maximises energy put in.
So if i grab the bar at the pivot point, i now only have 7 foot of bar to do the job, and nowhere to lever the bar around. This is the same as effectively shortening the rod. The same effect can be seen by guys who grab thier flyrods between the grip and stripping ring when playing big fish. Rod gets shorter.

Originally Posted by juro
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.
yes both together works, indeed it does. However, go back to our bar and pivot and place one hand near the pivot (right hand) and then push left on the end of the bar. Its harder to do, because your focused energy is split. Better two hands on the end of the bar, or a finishing pull left around a fixed fulcrum right.
btw: The right arm doesn't actually need to be locked solid. Just firm enough to bring the rod all the way around to the 10 o'clock stop without it collapsing.

Originally Posted by juro
I didn't quite follow your 3" from armpit positioning; how does that work? Any pics?
I'm gonna get some, explaining this is hard in words.
Ok the 3" bit.
I've found the best grip length is one that places the rod top out at 10 o'clock with that firm right hand extension and the left hand should be tucked under the right armpit. However in practice its rare to have everything working to tight tolerances and i advocate a 3" leeway to allow for a slightly more bent right arm, heavier clothing, waders, vest etc.
In actual practical casting you will find that casting with a leading right foot and leading left hand that the rod butt will finish directly over your right foot. if you look down on completion of the forward cast your rod handle will be masking your right foot. Ok, so whats the difference ?
Under your right armpit is a deeper socket and you'll adjust you grip length to suit. However, if you follow the above practical scenario, and then pull into the right side of your chest, the stroke is shortened because your grip length is too long. I hope that helps. It produced slightly elliptical tracking, but not that bad that energy is lost too much. It helps keep a heavy fly away from your head too.

However, straight right, and rod cap and hand directly in line under the right forearm on the finish has produced the best results so far.

Originally Posted by juro
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 hated this grip at the beginning, but soon found out why its a popular and productive tournament grip. I can't pick up a rod now without adopting it, yet i cast thumb on top for 20 years.

Originally Posted by juro
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!
Again, forgive any mistakes. Its difficult to explain what i'm doing in a way that makes sense to instructors and more so people trying to understand for the first time. I had no formal 2 handed training at all on the fly rods, but i am a Tournament Casting Instructor on the surf rods and cast to national level, so 2 handed mechanics sort of make sense. I'm trying to find a happy medium between what i know works and transcribe it to another medium. Not quite there yet, but i'm learning.

Last edited by myfishcasting; 02-11-2005 at 09:55 AM.
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