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Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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  #16  
Old 08-05-2004, 01:20 PM
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Third Principle

Juro,
According to Lefty's DVD on flycasting, he refers to a couple of other incorrect tehcniques that affects the loop size:
1. Raising the elbow above the imaginary shelf will open the loop.
2. Rotating the wrist will open the loop.

The number one reason for an open loop is his third principle, a long speed up before the stop.

While he doesn't state it, IMHO a double haul not in concert with the speed up and stop would also open the loop. My speed up is a little wrist with a stop. If my double haul is not during that part of the cast, my loop definitely opens up.

Simms
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  #17  
Old 08-05-2004, 01:42 PM
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Sean -

Thanks for the reply. As you might have guessed I have my perspectives on this but I want to get my thoughts crystal clear in preparation to add my single hand instructor certification to my recent spey cert. I've learned almost as much from listening as I have from doing so these discussions are valuable.

Are you interpreting "length of stroke" as only the finish to the cast? If so we are on the same page, albeit indirectly.

Perhaps the disconnect is that I do not interpret the stroke as having two separate parts. I see it as all one continuous power stroke, beginning to end, and lengthening it does not affect the size of the loop per se. Lengthening it does add momentum, power and results in extra distance but the shape of the loop strikes me as being a function of position that the rod is stopped (unloaded) relative to the path of the line coming forward past it.

For instance, if you made a very abrupt stroke and the path was circular like an analog gauge, the loop would still be very open. If you made a very long power stroke in a straight path and stopped the rod tip just a tiny bit underneath that path as you let the line zip by, the loop would be very tight.

Another example is a pumpkin in a wheelbarrow. If you pushed it a very short way into a wall, the pumpkin would not fly out any higher with a longer push into the same wall (initial vector). Certainly the acceleration and momentum would affect it's flight speed and duration. But to change it's initial vector would likely require playing around and rolling it down different hills and having it hit different walls the pumpkin could be made to fly in a variety of directions - hill angle relative to wall angle and shape / rod stop relative to line path (per Bruce Richards explanations).

However if you are saying that only that final part is the "power stroke" and not the whole casting stroke, then I see it. A short finish usually means a stop position closer to the line path, hence a tigher loop.
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Old 08-05-2004, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimS
The number one reason for an open loop is his third principle, a long speed up before the stop.
Simms
Jim -

Clearly there is an interpretation issue here. Tournament casters display some of the tightest possible loops of any casters anywhere - yet they strive for the longest "speed up" before the stop possible.

I also find some of the most powerful and tight loops with good shape for long casts to come from applying the longest stroke possible provided the stop is correct.

In the text I have read from Lefty, he is consistently advocating long strokes.

Wouldn't this be contradictory if in fact your #1 reason was true?

thanks, great discussion
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  #19  
Old 08-05-2004, 01:58 PM
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Juro,

You obviously have dissected the cast more than I have that is certainly apparent. I believe Lefty does consider there to be two separate parts to the cast with the second being the final acceleration. To your point, I was thinking if I ever keep my rod tip travelling in a constant plane or if it is always traveling around some type of circle i.e. the analog clock. Wouldn't keeping it in line cause a tailing loop by causing the line to crash into itself (I guess that is a really tight loop ). I think it is always travelling around a short circle during the final acceleration. I will have to think about it some more when I am not sitting in a cubicle with people looking at me for making strange arm movements .

Sean
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Old 08-05-2004, 02:03 PM
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Jims,

I have not seen Lefty's video but in person the point about the Dble haul has certainly been mentioned. I believe the line Lefty uses is "A Monkey Hoeing Cabbage" (add Virginian drawl) to describe the long untimed hauls that he sees from most casters. He advocates a short 6" or so haul timed exactly with the speed up and stop.

Sean
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  #21  
Old 08-05-2004, 02:29 PM
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Tailing loops are a study in and of themselves.

For the most part, stopping the rod at or above the path that the line is coming forward will result in a tailing loop. Stopping the rod under the path of the line coming forward generally will not.

A concave path means the line coming forward took a dip and is going to dip as it unravels. A very early hit causes the rod tip to bend deep too early and it recoils upward on the latter half of the cast, thus the line coming forward is aimed lower than the stopping force of the rod and tails. A slow creep to a hard hit late has a low-speed low-flying line coming forward with a stop force much higher in altitude, thus tails. The root cause appears to be that the stopping force occurs above the path of the line coming forward.

Why Lefty himself says that the only cause of a tailing loop is when the rod stops at or above the path of the line before the stop was done.

I am beginning to believe very strongly that (a) the straightest and longest possible path that the line can acclerate over combined with (b) the most sudden possible stop underneath and to the inside of that line path = the tightest loop and most efficient cast possible. This is consistent with what many 'experts' have said, I should look up the actual articles and post the references here for anyone interested.

I have found these principles to be of very high value to think about for personal and instructional purposes.
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  #22  
Old 08-05-2004, 06:57 PM
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Tight Loops

Juro et al,

IMHO tight loops have nothing to do with a short speed up and stop. If the vector of a long stroke is consistent, back and forward with an abrupt stop, and...insuring the rod is slightly lowered with a thumb tuck on the forward stroke, a tight loop will be formed. This is not distance. Distance is a combination of a tight loop, and stored energy in the lever with an abrupt stop. Released stored energy can be maximized by a short speed up and haul before the stop.

Lefty is my hero, but I believe he addresses the beginning/intermediate caster in his techniques with some ideas for advanced casters. I think we are out of that box in our discussions.

Simms
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  #23  
Old 08-05-2004, 07:37 PM
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I have attended a Lefty Kreh two day weekend casting class three times over the past 20 years. I also attended the two day classes with Ed Jaworowski three times in the 1990's. Ed is the only person that Lefty has taught in detail over a period of many years.

My understanding is the concept of longer stroke is the total length of travel your casting hand travels. The cast begins with a slow steady acceleration (acceleration is the constant increase in velocity over time or distance),,,,the main reason for the long stroke is to remove any SLACK in the line,,,,,this is setting up the cast for the short very quick acceleration that is defined as the SPEED-UP-AND-STOP. In my experience only 5% of the rod acceleration occurs over 95% of the rod stroke. The final very quick S-U-A-S contributes 95% of the acceleration.

I believe Lefty teaches this style because very few FF can make a perfect back cast with a short stroke. Watch Steve Rajeff or other tournament casters make a relatively short rod stroke over their shoulder and bang out a very straight backcast. They then are set up for the forward cast very fast burst of speed to a stop. These people are the olympic class athletes of fly casting. Lefty teaches a style that he clearly states is not the only or best way to cast however, it is smooth and works very efficiently for FF without the strength and timing of the tournament casters.

I have never understood the concept of straight line path of the rod tip that has been written and discussed for years. The rod is flexed with loading by the casters hand/arm (the line contributes only 5-10% of the loading bend), when we complete the cast, the rod must flex to unloaded (straight) position and onward to flex forward away from the initial bend. The rod tip cannot follow a straight line path?? If you watch the Lefty method of following a shelf for your rod hand/reel over a long stroke,,,,the rod tip starts very low and moves over the top of an arc and then will be pointing anywhere from 10:00 to horizontal at the forward cast completion. This is a large arc and not anywhere close to a straight line path of the rod tip.

In my experience the best casters appear to be in slow motion up until the very short quick S-U-A-S and short 4" haul. It is all about efficiecy and not power. The shorter the S-U-A-S travel the tighter the loop, minimize the wrist rotation at the S-U-A-S for this to happen. The forward push down with the thumb occurs after the loop has formed at the rod tip.

In one class we had a discussion with Ed Jaworowski on the generally know fact that a stiff fast rod cannot cast short distances. He proceeded to demonstrate casting a dry fly with a Sage 890-3 RPLX with just the 10ft leader extended from rod tip. What happened to the line loading the rod and stiff rod does not work at short distances?

Regards,
Fred Krow

Last edited by FKrow; 08-05-2004 at 07:40 PM.
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  #24  
Old 08-06-2004, 06:28 AM
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Fred - Great discussion.

I have to wonder though - if only 5% of the acceleration occured over 95% of the stroke, I would have to question whether there would be adequate tension in the line by the time it reached the power snap/tuck/SUAS especially if the caster is aerilializing a lot of line. Lack of tension (from acceleration) would let a long aerialized line fall (gravity), causing problems.

In two-handed overhead casting, there is no double haul so tension in the straight line coming forward is critical. I accelerate more throughout the cast to get the distance I need fishing these rods in tough conditions like surf, very tight loop by stopping abruptly.

In spey casting, lack of tension in the beginning of the forward cast can result in the d-loop falling downward or the anchor becoming excessive and killing the cast. This is particularly true with long belly spey lines, so there is a correlation with line length and early acceleration. Extended belly line technique relies upon early acceleration in order to make the casting effort reasonable.

However I get your point, there is lead before speed and it would be interesting to know what ratios actually are, and the effect of more acceleration prior to the snap, etc. I sure don't know what these are in any specific terms but it would be a great physics exercise.

What I do know is that extending the stroke when done right puts a deeper bend into the rod and increases the length of line that is under tension coming forward. This makes the casting motion feel stable and smoother, and casting is definitely all about feel. The line has more momentum with a longer stroke and good pre-loading acceleration.

As far as straight line path of the rod tip, I stay focused on the line being pulled into a very straight vector under tension following the rod tip, which BTW is moving straight. It's easy to see and adjust the line's path but it's hard to watch the tip of the rod. I assume when the line travels in a very straight line and the top half of the loop is very straight then the rod tip must be moving correctly.

You're right it is kind of odd to think of the rod tip as traveling in a straight line but if you think about it, it must be in order to lead the line straight. The directed length of straight line under tension becomes the top half of the loop, and we know this has to be straight for a good cast. The rod tip needs to travel in a straight line to create a straight cast. The rod tip deflects in a way throughout the casting stroke that the tip draws a line straight enough to pull the line under tension in a straight path. The tuck of the thumb and lowering of the hand as it comes forward helps keep this all in line.

Of course there is a semi-circular "tuck" of the tip at the end of the stroke, which has a lot to do with the loop size. But even when the rod is bent hard during the majority of the cast the rod tip should keep the line moving straight, and to do that it has to be moving in a straight path (see below).

I really like Cathy Beck's metaphor of taping a pencil on the tip of the rod drawing a straight line on a white wall, which is mostly used to talk about the casting plane but can be applied to the straight path as well.
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  #25  
Old 08-06-2004, 09:43 AM
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Juro,


Nice graphic illustration however, you have a large arc of the casting hand at the end of the cast, and the rod length appears to become shorter in lenght at the end of the cast.

Lefty's style is for the rod hand to travel on a "shelf" or in a straight line path over the complete casting stroke. Your diagram will not illustrate that motion.

Most casters do have a defined arc to their 1:00 o'clock to 10:00 o'clock stroke but that sort of rotates about the elbow as center of arc (radius) and is a short stroke style.

__________________________________________________ __

"Lack of tension (from acceleration) would let a long aerialized line fall (gravity), causing problems. "

If the single hand caster waits until they feel the line tug on the rod,,,it is too late, the loop unrolls and the line immediately begins falling to the ground. Lefty and Ed teach the cast must begin while the line is not completely unrolled (horizontal candy cane shape) this is one of the reasons for the very slow acceleration,,,,if we acclelerate with too much velocity, the familiar crack will occur with the leader tippet (this is breaking the sound barrier at the instant of reversal.

The initial acceleration must be enough to maintain the line in a level straight line path over the 95% travel until the S_U_A_S,,,if the acceleration is too high the rod will be loaded (bent) and when you come to the final short S_U_A_S there is nothing left, the rod cannot take additional significant loading for the reversal and unloading motion.

____________________________

"In spey casting, lack of tension in the beginning of the forward cast can result in the d-loop falling downward or the anchor becoming excessive and killing the cast. This is particularly true with long belly spey lines, so there is a correlation with line length and early acceleration. Extended belly line technique relies upon early acceleration in order to make the casting effort reasonable."

In my initial two handed rod experience, I applied the identical rod path accleration as above (naturally, it is muscle memory, etc.). My casting was o'k for distance and required some fine adjustment for the D-loop formation and follow through to the forward cast. I found it easy to make the D-loop with the quick S_U_A_S in a slight upward arc at the end of the line pick up,,,,I then drop the rod down to the forward cast "shelf" this is only 3"-4" and does not open the D-Loop. The lack of tension at the begining of the forward cast is not a proplem if the D-loop is dynamic or formed with good velocity,,,,,it is ready to begin the forward cast and maintain velocity,,,,if you begin the forward cast as the line is unrolling into the D-loop (right near the end of formation) and not when the loop has slowed down or become almost stationary.

It is all about timing and smooth acceleration,,,,,each rod is different and each line taper length will require adjustment of the accleration & timing. This is something many casters struggle with,,,,they learn one method by rote and cannot fine tune the acceleration when changing rods/lines.

______________________________________

Rod tip in straight line path??? Try this with a single handed rod, make a back cast with Lefty's long reach to almost horizontal,,,,the S_U_A_S is the short snap at the final end of the rearward arm extension. Now on the forward stroke you can wave the rod tip all over the map,,,,up/down,,,side to side,,,,,and into the very short quick S_U_A_S in the direction you want the line to travel. The line will unroll very nicely toward the target,,,despite the crazy path it follows prior to the S_U_A_S !!! I believe the straight line tip etc. is for eliminating SLACK in the line,,,,,,if you just accelerate to just a stop (and not a short quick S_U_A_S) the straight line tip is more important.

Lefty will make a long cast with his arm almost horizontal on the backcast and finish the forward cast again almost horizontal,,,,,,the rod comes over his shoulder at 90 degrees to the water. Now this is a very large arc and breaks all the conventional rules of casting etc. He also developed a "stab cast" for windy conditions,,,,,the forward cast is completed pointing directly at the target like in fencing,,,the tight small loop and line speed are amazing. I beleive this will work only if you use the technique of S_U_A_S and not just a stop with follow thru.

__________________________________

I suspect we are on the same page however, you load the rod earlier in the long acceleration stroke and do not use the quick burst of acceleration at the very end. It is probably more comong to most casters than the style of Lefty and Ed Jaworowski.

I have stated several time to both Lefty and Ed that the keystone to their style is the S_U_A_S concept and it is not understood by most fly fishermen. I sometimes just sit and watch other FF cast and rarely see good efficient form, dropping backcasts and punching the rod on the forward cast is the most common.


Regards,
Fred

Last edited by FKrow; 08-06-2004 at 09:50 AM.
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  #26  
Old 08-06-2004, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FKrow
Juro,


Nice graphic illustration however, you have a large arc of the casting hand at the end of the cast, and the rod length appears to become shorter in lenght at the end of the cast.
The point was to see if the rod tip could travel in a straight path. You don't contest that so I guess you agree there. I just drew this up freehand when I should've been working, sorry about the lack of accuracy.

BTW I stop the rod very close to the line path in real life, just didn't draw it well

Quote:
Lefty's style is for the rod hand to travel on a "shelf" or in a straight line path over the complete casting stroke. Your diagram will not illustrate that motion.
Not true - he advocates ELBOW on the shelf, not rod hand. Rod hand has to have a change in level to stop / unload beneath the path of the moving line.

Quote:
Most casters do have a defined arc to their 1:00 o'clock to 10:00 o'clock stroke but that sort of rotates about the elbow as center of arc (radius) and is a short stroke style.
arc about elbow vertex == big open loop

Not sure what point you are making about most casters (good thing or bad?) but I know Lefty says "there are no clocks" in casting. I am of the school that there should be no arc in the stroke at all until the final tuck, which is a small power arc that creates the bottom half of the loop.

The elbow bends but it does so only to accomodate the linear motion of the line made possible by the forearm and hand loading/unloading the rod, with the elbow as Lefty says "on the shelf", like a cam / piston.

Quote:
"Lack of tension (from acceleration) would let a long aerialized line fall (gravity), causing problems. "

If the single hand caster waits until they feel the line tug on the rod,,,it is too late, the loop unrolls and the line immediately begins falling to the ground. Lefty and Ed teach the cast must begin while the line is not completely unrolled (horizontal candy cane shape) this is one of the reasons for the very slow acceleration,,,,if we acclelerate with too much velocity, the familiar crack will occur with the leader tippet (this is breaking the sound barrier at the instant of reversal.
You misunderstood. You are talking about direction reversal, I am talking about acceleration of the stroke after reversal has occurred.

If you are familiar with the term "creep" this is a perfect example of lack of tension/accel. after reversal allowing gravity to pull the line downward, particularly when a lot of line is in the air. This is common with new casters I have taught.

Quote:
The initial acceleration must be enough to maintain the line in a level straight line path over the 95% travel until the S_U_A_S,,,if the acceleration is too high the rod will be loaded (bent) and when you come to the final short S_U_A_S there is nothing left, the rod cannot take additional significant loading for the reversal and unloading motion.
Again the 95% seems a bit regimented and I have to wonder if the rod is completely loaded at the time of the stop then why would you need to burst it more?

Quote:
"In spey casting, lack of tension in the beginning of the forward cast can result in the d-loop falling downward or the anchor becoming excessive and killing the cast. This is particularly true with long belly spey lines, so there is a correlation with line length and early acceleration. Extended belly line technique relies upon early acceleration in order to make the casting effort reasonable."

In my initial two handed rod experience, I applied the identical rod path accleration as above (naturally, it is muscle memory, etc.). My casting was o'k for distance and required some fine adjustment for the D-loop formation and follow through to the forward cast. I found it easy to make the D-loop with the quick S_U_A_S in a slight upward arc at the end of the line pick up,,,,I then drop the rod down to the forward cast "shelf" this is only 3"-4" and does not open the D-Loop. The lack of tension at the begining of the forward cast is not a proplem if the D-loop is dynamic or formed with good velocity,,,,,it is ready to begin the forward cast and maintain velocity,,,,if you begin the forward cast as the line is unrolling into the D-loop (right near the end of formation) and not when the loop has slowed down or become almost stationary.
I am not sure I follow your point on this one but I have some spey casting experience (FFF certified instructor) and would summarize my point as this:

It sometimes takes more than 5% acceleration over the first 95% of the stroke to effectively and efficiently cast, and spey casting an extended belly spey line (over 100ft head section plus running line) is a perfect example. Sometimes steadfast rules do not apply.

Quote:
Rod tip in straight line path??? Try this with a single handed rod, make a back cast with Lefty's long reach to almost horizontal,,,,the S_U_A_S is the short snap at the final end of the rearward arm extension. Now on the forward stroke you can wave the rod tip all over the map,,,,up/down,,,side to side,,,,,and into the very short quick S_U_A_S in the direction you want the line to travel. The line will unroll very nicely toward the target,,,despite the crazy path it follows prior to the S_U_A_S !!! I believe the straight line tip etc. is for eliminating SLACK in the line,,,,,,if you just accelerate to just a stop (and not a short quick S_U_A_S) the straight line tip is more important.
OK - I went outside and tried what you said. It failed miserably. Maybe I just don't have the knack but when I moved the rod all over the place the path of the line followed and the final SUAS couldn't save it.

Straight line path? Yes, as I mentioned above I focus on straight line path because it's easier to see than the path of the rod tip.

Quote:
Lefty will make a long cast with his arm almost horizontal on the backcast and finish the forward cast again almost horizontal,,,,,,the rod comes over his shoulder at 90 degrees to the water. Now this is a very large arc and breaks all the conventional rules of casting etc. He also developed a "stab cast" for windy conditions,,,,,the forward cast is completed pointing directly at the target like in fencing,,,the tight small loop and line speed are amazing. I beleive this will work only if you use the technique of S_U_A_S and not just a stop with follow thru.
Lefty is super-human when it comes to casting and can fish circles around us all too. I am literally blown away when I watch him do his thing up on the casting pool.

But this thread is about starting caster's teaching and videos, not what casting Gods can do.

Quote:
I suspect we are on the same page however, you load the rod earlier in the long acceleration stroke and do not use the quick burst of acceleration at the very end. It is probably more comong to most casters than the style of Lefty and Ed Jaworowski.
Again, not true. I have a wicked final acceleration and very hard abrupt stop from all the two-handed casting and fishing in saltwater coastal conditions.

But I also have found that an extended stroke does more than just pull slack it increases momentum, and that a cast can accelerate over more than just the last 5% of the stroke.

Quote:
I have stated several time to both Lefty and Ed that the keystone to their style is the S_U_A_S concept and it is not understood by most fly fishermen. I sometimes just sit and watch other FF cast and rarely see good efficient form, dropping backcasts and punching the rod on the forward cast is the most common.
That's great that you have that command of casting under the belt. We should compare notes someday. Are you going to be at the Denver Trade Show next month?
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  #27  
Old 08-06-2004, 12:47 PM
FKrow FKrow is offline
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Juro,
Yes, I have been too dogmatic on the 95% and 5% concept, my emphasis is probably from trying to teach other FF the Lefty Kreh style. I am interpreting a distance (rod path) vs. acceleration curve (graph) in Ed's book"The Cast".

You certainly know the dynamics of casting and can explain it much clearer than my ramblings.

Creep,,,I thought this was a term where the rod completes the back cast and the line is unrolling,,,,then the caster moves the rod an additional amount toward the rear and introduces slack into the line? This is the same as a long haul then moving the line hand upward toward the reel,,,,additional slack is introduced into the line unrolling and it is now difficult to make an efficient forward cast.

Not true - he advocates ELBOW on the shelf, not rod hand. Rod hand has to have a change in level to stop / unload beneath the path of the moving line.

I will check this again,,,,my understanding is the rod hand on the shelf however, I will review my books and videos tonight. The rod is tucked under the line path with the thumb pressure "just a frogs hair" after the stop.


No, I will not attend the Denver Trade Show, perhaps we can hook up on one of your east coast seminars or at one of the NE shows in the winter.

Regards,
Fred
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  #28  
Old 08-06-2004, 01:21 PM
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Juro,

I found a short Lefty video on flyshop.com and you are correct he uses the shelf example with the elbow.

I am sensitive to the hand droping at the end of the rod stroke due to a weekend seminar with Mark Sedotti last year. My problem at that time was dumping the cast at the very end, the last few yards of line would drop down, not so much lack of momentum but more of direction,,,,,Mark stood back and stated that I was droping my hand at the completion of the forward cast,,,,,I concentrated on a level path of the rod/reel and the problem went away.

I realize this is not exactly what was happening however, Mark made a suggestion that corrected a problem I could not visualize.

Regards,
Fred
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  #29  
Old 08-06-2004, 02:29 PM
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Fred -

I didn't realize you were in new england! I sure hope we can hook up, maybe at the Marlboro and Wilmington shows, the Forum has a booth at Wilmington MA (Shriner's Auditorium). If you fish the cape much I am guiding or fishing down in Chatham frequently from May through October, maybe we can chase some stripers this season.

Thanks for the engaging discussion on this topic, and thanks to your enthusiasm you can bet I will study Lefty's writings on casting as much as possible.

best,
Juro
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  #30  
Old 08-06-2004, 03:24 PM
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I would summarize as follows, feel free to post your versions:
  • from the start position, the rod/line must always be accelerating toward the stop for effective casting
  • the first part of this acceleration is gradual to keep tension in the line and keep as much line as possible, optimally all of it moving in a straight vector to the target
  • once the loaded rod is approaching the end of it's stroke (the stop point), a burst of instantaneous speed is applied immediately followed by a hard stop, tucking the rod just under the path of the moving line
  • this sends the line zipping past the rod tip in a tight loop
The flycast - a thing of beauty indeed.

Also:

I agree with the experts who say that extending the stroke (Lefty's rule#4 - giving the cast "help") adds stored potential energy in the lever, increases momentum in the moving line by allowing more acceleration to occur on the way to the final power snap. It sure makes my casts more powerful in wind and distance situations.

Stopping the rod close to the path of the moving line contributes to loop tightness, as does the amount of rod deflection (or lack thereof). A long final burst often causes the loop to open because it causes a large deflection of the rod tip while it's trying to stop. I think this is what Lefty's rule is referring to.

I've also found that stopping high directs any deflection in a more horizontal manner, cancelling out the potential opening effect. Sometime you can see a little zig in the loop from that, but not a zag (vertical expansion, open loop) as does happen when the rod tip deflects downward.

But IMHO the root cause of loop shape is the stop position of the rod relative to accelerated line's path (per Bruce Richards, SA).

Fred/Sean/Jim's descriptions of Lefty's technique reinforces the fact that the final burst of speed is of great influence to the cast, so much so that one can go very casual on the rest of the cast and still get a great cast from a good burst/stop (SUAS).

Thanks to all who have participated, my understanding and ability to describe these characteristics have been enhanced as a result of this exchange.
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