Thread: More distance
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: More distance

I'm also relatively new to casting (now in my second season), but one of the things that I've picked up from instructors; and that's helped me more than any other single element in casting, is the imortance of the casting stroke itself. By this I mean the acceleration and stop characteristics of both the backcast and the forward cast. I'll lay out what my situation was, in case it turns out to be relevant to your question.

My intial tendency when I started casting was to apply all of the power that I possibly could to the forward cast; sort of a "well, the rest is all preliminary, the last cast is the only important one" type of approach. That turned out to be the wrong approach. By thinking that way, I was applying the maximum power at the start of each cast and the ending was sort of a "whew, that part's over; now let's see how far it goes." So, the front end of each casting stroke was strong and crisp and the back end of each stroke was weaker and loose. The net result; I got a lot of puddles of line lying out about 30 ft. in front of me; but no real distance.

Someone (fortunately for me) observed what I was doing and told me, in a nice way, that I had all of the right elements in my cast; but that I had them reversed!

So began the process of correcting my cast; a process that meant that I had to abandon what seemed intuitive and move towards something that felt awkward and that seemed, at first, to take me backwards. But after a little while of feeling like a complete clutz and wondering if spin fishing wasn't really such a bad alternative, things got a lot better.

Leaving out a whole lot, the net result was a cast where the beginning is a slower motion which accelerates rapidly throughout the cast and comes to a crisp, abrupt stop with a 10:00-1:00 arc and with very little wrist movement. I use this on both the forward and back cast and the results have been gratifying. This motion only comes into play when the rod is fully loaded; at it's maximum forward or backward flex. Now I let the rod do the work. Keeping 60+ feet of line in the air with good tight loops is no longer a problem and, by adding double hauling and shooting line, casts into the backing happen with pretty good regularity during practice sessions [though I have to say that the number of times that I've needed a cast that long in the real life environs of stream-based trout fishing have been so few that they're really not worth mentioning; in my opinion, casts longer than 60 ft. are seldomly needed for trout fishing and I question whether or not you actually have the sensitivity to feel a fish take your fly when you have more than 60 ft. of line out].

I've been long-winded on this post, but I wanted to get in the point about the basic casting stroke before you head into either single or double hauls. The reason; IMO single and double hauls can cover up a lot of casting problems; the extra momentum that you put on the line and the extra load that you put on the rod with hauling will improve your line speed and the shape of your loop, but if there's an underlying problem with your casting stroke, then it will still be there; whether you haul or not.

Good luck. The situation that you describe is definitely one that I recognize and, fortunately, it's one that I'm having a lot of fun working my way out of. I don't think that the learning process ever ends, your casting just continues to get better with every cast.
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