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Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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Old 05-28-2007, 12:18 PM
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feet and shoulder stance

Im in a bit of a confusion regarding optimum foot and shoulder position for casting. Ive heard or read about 3 different opinions:
For right handers:
1-Ive read that the best is a "closed stance", standing sideways with right foot and right shoulder foward in relation to target area. For those who like boxing, a lefties fight position.
2- I took a casting lesson, my instructor who casts pretty good recommended the following: standing in a frontal position, shoulders and feet facing the target.
3- My own personal that I find more comfortable: standing sideways but with left foot and left shoulder foward. I actually cast better with number one option, but it feels kind of strange.

any thoughts or opinions regarding this?
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:42 PM
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They are all good.

Seriously, they all have good points and bad points and whatever works for you is best really.

The opposite foot forward makes room for a long stroke length, which can (provided the tracking remains true) increase overall acceleration which can produce more distance. It makes it easier to watch the backcast and fine tune it's path and timing.

*** It is essential to casting with a hard cross-wind with a single-hander, when casting literally backwards is the best method. ***

However it sometimes promotes "arm" casting and introduces tracking problems with so much freedom of movement along a long path. I find my body gets lazy this way and my arms do more work that my mid-section could be doing. Your results may vary.

In contrast the casting foot forward forces a more fixed and thus controlled stroke path. It sometimes promotes less smoothness in the backcast for those still learning until the caster learns how to apply smooth power to fully extend the line with a more compact motion, better yet to entend the body and arm in a Rajeff-esque way to maximize the back cast extension and then explode into the powerful forward stroke.

I always cast strong foot forward at the casting pool at fly shows

Both have their advantages / disadvantages, that being said while standing on smooth ground I prefer the casting foot forward except when dealing with cross-winds. Among other things I've learned to extend into the backcast and like the increased power up front to finish gained by recoiling the mid-body and rocking into the cast.

At the end of the day it's depends on the rocks at your feet. Learn to cast with your legs any which way and you'll catch more fish.
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Old 06-10-2007, 04:25 AM
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Lefty...

I subscribe to Lefty's logic on this one. If you're right handed your right foot should be back. This, like Juro said, increases the range of motion available to your casting arm while traveling on a level path. The logic goes something like this, as I understand it: The rod and forearm are one. What the elbow does, the thumb does (more or less), what the thumb does the tip of the rod does, and what that does, the line does. If your elbow travels in an arc, so will the line, which wastes energy. However, if you can keep your elbow traveling in a straight line parallel to the ground, you can move your arm as far back and forward as you want, which gives you more room to load the rod.

Of course, if your bend your wrist, you break this arm-rod connection and the whole deal's off.

If, however, you cast 'squared up', like your shooting a basket, then you can only move your arm so far back before you have to turn your body or lift your elbow. This can be difficult to get the hang of without ruining the loop, particularly for longer casts. Placing your dominant foot forward makes this even worse.

Another thing to consider, the last two stances lead to too much shoulder work which looks like rotator cuff problems in the making. Fly casting can be hard on the body, like any repetitive motion. If you depend too much on one joint - shoulder, elbow, or (god forbid) wrist, you'll stress those joints. However, the side arm stance (your #3) lets the caster distribute the casting motions throughout several joints and even encorporate a rocking motion with the body. In a way it distributes the work load easier. I find that I'm working less to cast farther now that I've really begun to focus on proper stance and arm motion.

Bonehead
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:41 AM
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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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