Great stuff bonehead.
Lefty's insights are among the most influential in all of fly casting. The elbow moving on a shelf metaphor is fantastic and I've borrowed it many times to help extend someone's casting stroke.
However I feel a little less attached to the casting foot forward / back position as I find both to have merit in certain situations.
I've found that casting foot forward can be useful at times to reduce the 'hooking' of the rod tip you mentioned (horizontal circle with rod tip) by restricting the arm movement and shoulder rotation.
Jero's question is not about distance technique but general foot position, and the fact that he mentioned that he casts better with the casting foot forward probably indicates that his cast is losing less energy that way because of better tracking and alignment.
But since you do mention distance casting I've found that both the long stroke open method and the ultra-efficient rigid closed method produce about the same overall distance for me, but one is a little more comfortable - the open stance, but the closed stance is more intriguing and teaches one the value of alignment and just how much energy we waste when casting inefficiently.
When I am fishing and need to reach I tend to go for the long stroke open cast, but when I am practicing casting I tend to work on my loop alignment and efficiency and am always surprised at what good physics can do to reduce the amount of effort I need to bomb casts that zip the drag at the backing knot.
In my way of lookin at it, either approach will work as long as it produces the line in flight properly.
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