Most common casting problems you see - Page 2 - Fly Fishing Forum
Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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  #16  
Old 05-27-2004, 10:10 AM
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So far it seems we have:

1) Not stopping the rod at 10 and/or 2 (stroke too open, loss of power, open loop / Sean, BigDave, etc)

2) not waiting for the backcast to extend (timing, loss of power / Bigdave, striblue, etc)

3) elbow not in line (tip travel not in a straight line, tailing loop, line collision / Striblue, Frenchcreek)

4) stopping a spey cast too short or too high (tailing loop, line collision, loss of power / Fred)

5) over-thinking (soloflyfisher, Rimouskis)

6) creep forward before making the forward cast (loss of power / DbleHaul, Juro)

We can assume these traits are common to moderately experienced casters, since thatís what we see most often.


So I am going to stop this right here and ask for the above, what advice or methods (tricks) would you offer to these people to correct the 6 observations, if they asked?

I'll start with creep. One of my favorite metaphors for correcting creep is the batting champion metaphor. Consider Barry Bonds waiting on a change up. Not high inside heat, nor a low fastball - but a change-up, a pitch designed to make you think it's fast when it's really slow. Provided he isn't fooled, which he rarely is, he must feel like he has time to check his watch, tie his showlaces, and think about his investment options by the time that ball finally comes into range to be swatted out into San Francisco Bay.

If his bat moves forward, his stroke is shortened and he becomes a slap-hitter instead of a home run slugger. Likewise, if the rod does not "stay home" until the backcast loads it, the full amount of available energy is not leveraged into the cast.

This is essentially timing and rod position. I ask the question "did you see A River Runs Through It?". Have never gotten a "no" yet from someone with a flyrod in their hand. Well in that movie, the preacher sets the metronome for a four count... click, wait, click, wait. He instructs the boys to stroke only on the alternate beat. I then ask the caster to cast, calling out a four count with two strokes (one on every other count), called out loud. Then I tell him to extend the line, pointing out that the longer the line, the longer the wait. It usually results in their longest cast ever.

Seems to work pretty well, until the pod comes over the flat when a whole 'nuther kind of patience is necessary
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  #17  
Old 05-27-2004, 10:48 AM
soloflyfisher soloflyfisher is offline
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Rather than using the 10 o'clock to 2 o'clock analogy, I sometimes just tell beginners to try to stop their rod straight up on their backcast. If you tell people to stop at 2 o'clock they seem to drift to 3 or 4 o'clock. If you tell them to try to slam on the brakes as soon as the rod is straight up over their head, they then tend to stop right about where they should stop.
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  #18  
Old 05-27-2004, 10:55 AM
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That's an interesting approach I would not have thought of.

With beginners (which is another topic) I do advise to align the thumb with the forearm and rod, bend the elbow to bring the rod back and stop the forearm at vertical while allowing the wrist to flick the rod tip to 2pm. This is the only allowable wrist action (for the backcast)*. This method is only for the basic low-power "trout" cast intro.

But I have to wonder, with your technique how do you get different people to drift past vertical consistently to 2 o'clock if teaching a group to stop at vertical?

*and a complementary wrist flick at the end of the forward cast after extending at the elbow similar to hammering a nail for a picture hanger - stopping the hammer so it would not go thru a freshly plastered wall.
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  #19  
Old 05-27-2004, 12:18 PM
soloflyfisher soloflyfisher is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by juro
But I have to wonder, with your technique how do you get different people to drift past vertical consistently to 2 o'clock if teaching a group to stop at vertical?
Juro,

I've never done any formal instruction of a group . . . just taught a few friends one-on-one, so I'm not sure how this would work with a group or whether it would work for everyone. What I've noticed though, is that just about every beginner I've tried to teach seems to have had a natural tendency to drop the rod back too far on the backcast. (I think they are trying to use the rod to throw with, and therefore they want to start with a big wind up, just like they'd do if they were throwing a baseball--emulate Barry Bonds when he's hitting, not when he's throwing, I guess!) Anyway, in my experience, using the 2 o'clock analogy hasn't worked well, since the tendency to drift back seems to be so strong in beginners that they have trouble stopping firmly once the rod gets behind their head. So one day I just said to a friend I was teaching, "try to stop the rod as soon as it's straight up" . . . and voila! he started casting well almost instantly. In actuality he was stopping his forearm straight up but breaking his wrist slightly to get the rod close to the 2 o'clock position. Maybe why the straight up analogy worked better for him than the 2 o'clock analogy is that he was judging which way the rod was pointing by his forearm position, not by the rod's actual direction --- and when his forearm was straight up, his rod was actually pointing close to the correct 2 o'clock given a bit of wrist bend. Not sure this would work for everyone . . . but I've found that the "straight up" instruction has worked well with other friends too.
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  #20  
Old 05-27-2004, 12:51 PM
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Tailing loops bug the hell out of me. They seem to often result from trying to hard on the final forward cast. I know pretty much why they happen, just can't seem to break out of the mode sometimes.

As far as clocks and drift go, from what I've heard...

Other than trying to get someone off the ground with casting I think Lefty's got it right. There ain't no clocks in flyfishing. The stopping points are to be abrupt, to unload the rod, preceded with the smooth acceleration of the rod, to load the rod. At the risk of mis-representing Roberts, for distance casting, rod drift, after unloading on the backcast, is a means of providing a longer stroke through which to accelerate and more deeply load the rod. So I'm not sure why drift is nessacerily a problem.
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  #21  
Old 05-27-2004, 01:27 PM
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Some science might help

Most adults have an aversion to passive learning situations and a penchant for active or hands-on learning experiences. But, a little theory on flycasting might be helpful in order to conceptualize the connectivity between the flyline, rod and line/rod hands before the "hands on."

This is even helpful to intermediate casters:
!. The flyrod is a flexible lever or spring that loads and unloads on both the back and forward strokes. If a definite stop does not occur at the end of the stroke (both back and forward casts) then the energy developed in bending this flexible lever is inefficiently dissipated.
2. The flyline is the weighted mass that loads the rod. It travels from the tip of the rod in a lazy "S" configuration on both the back and forward stroke. The fly attached via the leader to the flyline merely goes along for the ride.
3. The rod hand is an extension of the rod. As the fulcrum to the rod, a little arm/wrist movement translates to feet at the end of the rod.
4. The line hand plays an equally important role. It is the tensioning device on the flyline for controlling the loading and unloading of the rod.

Once those principles are understood, then the art of flycasting can begin.

Simms
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  #22  
Old 05-27-2004, 01:40 PM
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The few people I have taught to cast I have them visualize punching their thumb (assuming you cast with your thumb on top of the cork) towards the sky when stopping the rod on the backcast. This seems to help get them to stop the rod high.

I also like to get beginners to spend a lot of time just practicing the backcast and nothing else. This it what I spend the majority of my time on when I am practicing and it has really helped improve my distance. When I first started casting I had no idea how important the backcast is to being a successful caster. Every newbie should have this point driven home before they even pick up a rod.

-sean
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  #23  
Old 05-27-2004, 02:15 PM
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Solo -

Thanks for the explanation, I see your point clearly!

Fred -

Drift backward after the release of line into the backcast is good... I think what people are saying is that drift forward before the forward stroke is bad. At least that's what I am saying.

If the forearm stops vertically and the wrist snaps to 2pm, then the arm is not positioned to make a big stroke forward. The drift back increases the stroke length for the forward stroke, which increases load in the rod, which increases power in the loop, etc - so to your point the drift back after the stop on the backcast is definitely a good way of increasing distance provided the travel forward keeps the tip of the rod in the same line 180 to the back cast and has a gradual acceleration to a snapping stop in front.

I've learned the hard way (repeat hard way!) that hitting the power too early in the forward stroke -and/or- having any kind of deviation from the straight path results in tailing loops, twohanded or singlehanded.

Simms -

Great description! Just a bit of clarification - what is the "lazy S"? I see a "C" or sideways "U".

Thumbs up Sean
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  #24  
Old 05-27-2004, 03:43 PM
fredaevans fredaevans is offline
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This one took me back 50 years!!

Quote:
Originally posted by FrenchCreek
Lok at the elbow!
An "overactive" one will almost always wreck the cast, it causes many problems and "fixing" the elbow can greatly enhance the "solutions" we all try to convey to casters we try to help.
Taught to cast by an elderly gentleman neighbor (Mr. Coles); that was his main point for a 10-12 year old (really) learning how to cast. His 'tool' was a roll of newspaper under the elbow; instant feed back if the roll fell out from under your arm. Not good.
:hehe:

As timing/distance improved then you could drop the paper as you had to move the arm forward and back for double hauling, etc.
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  #25  
Old 05-27-2004, 06:26 PM
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Drift

Juro

I agree that on overhead casting, allot of people will drift the rod forward prior to making the forward cast. My cure for this has always been to close my stance. Just like a batter can close his stance. With the closed stance it is easy to look over your shoulder and see what the rod is doing. for those that want to learn to drift the rod farther to the rear for a longer stroke this is an easy way to learn to do it.

But my biggest bug a boo is trying to keep to much line in the air. I have a habit of shooting line on my back cast and sometimes trying to get that extra foot I put to much in the air and everything turns do do. Thats one thing I like about the multi colored lines. When I see the wrong color at the tip I know I am in trouble.
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  #26  
Old 05-27-2004, 07:22 PM
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Great point about watching the backcast. I often start a newbie off by doing side to side "pendulum" motions just to get the accelerate/stop cadence down. But you don't want to do it for long to avoid muscle memory.

For increased visibility of the backcast, an open stance with the opposite foot forward also helps aid the view.

Change of color is being adopted by more line manufacturers in the seasons to come, thankfully! This includes Rio, Wulff, Airflo for starters that I know of, some of whom already had it even for floating and intermediate lines.
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  #27  
Old 05-28-2004, 09:12 AM
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My Mistake...

when referring to a lazy "S" configuration of the flyline on both the back and forward stroke. In fact, before the flyline straightens out on the backcast, it does look like a lazy "S." You are correct on the forward cast configuration appearing to be a sideways "u."

An excellent aid to depict flyline form and to commit to muscle memory is your "boa" or the Fly-O sold by Joan Wulff.

This is a welcome addition to the forum and not readily available elsewhere.

Juro, good Job!

Simms
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  #28  
Old 05-31-2004, 11:34 PM
DickIvers DickIvers is offline
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Here is a frustrating problem that I often encounter in my casting:

My cast hooks to the left instead of going straight out (I'm right handed). In the worst instances the leader will end up 90 deg. to the line. I try to keep rod motion in a straight path as best I can, but that doesn't seem to help. There seems to be too much kinetic energy in the cast which ends up dissipating itself by turning left. To try to stop it I will sometimes place my right foot forward instead of my left. This reduces upper body rotation making the cast somewhat straighter, but its not the total answer.

Any ideas?
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  #29  
Old 05-31-2004, 11:57 PM
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There are a couple things I can offer, passed on to me by the wonderful casters I have known or things I've cooked up myself.

1) push your thumb in the direction you want the line to go. keep it on top, not to the left or right - but right up on top of the hand as you finish the cast. This also helps control tailing loops.

2) practice keeping the hand in plane by standing next to the wall and rotating the arm like a windmill an inch or two off the wall a few times, then make casting motions where your knuckles are but an inch or two away and equidistant the whole time, keeping your thumb on top so you can point it at the target in the end.

3) throw a fly line without a rod for a while. Nothing makes you straighten your stroke like a 10-15ft length of flyline cast with your bare hand. For a real eye-opener, add a haul on the backcast, and forward cast if you can. The backcast haul is easy, but my point is check out the impact that move has on the line speed.

4) Look at your hand when you finish the cast. Do you see your fingernails? You shouldn't unless you turned your hand in a palm up vector during the cast.

5) Cast a short line, about 25-30 ft, perfectly straight using the absolute minimum energy possible that will still carry the loop. Then add line, keeping things perfectly straight as you add only the minimum energy. Then put the whole head out there, and keep things going perfectly straight. Finally, drift back a little and accelerate a little quicker on the forward stroke, hitting it mostly at the end. That should reach about as far as you could ever reach with more effort and less straight-line efficiency. Try to throw the other half of the loop - the half past the wedge and attached to the fly - like a javelin through the air, straight fast and true.

Hope these help.

Juro
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  #30  
Old 06-17-2004, 11:36 AM
LabanTayo LabanTayo is offline
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I will comment on my faults:
1. not letting backcast straighten
2. i get a wobble in the line on the forward cast.'
3. not a tight enough loop
4. tails

I've been fly fishing for 12 years and just recently decided to work on my casting since i never had a need for distance.

Once I started to learn about good casting, my casting has gone to hell. I used to cast a good distance with my old 8 wt, now i have problems with 50 ft. on a new, good rod.
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