Originally Posted by turbineblade
Hi - I was fortunate to get to watch (and meet) Lefty this weekend at a fly tie festival in MD.
1. Lefty advocates a thumb on top position, and to always have the thumb facing the target on the other side of the rod grip.
2. He also advocates the "eblow on the shelf" technique, which would seem to eliminate arm-position factors from messing up your cast.
Here's my problems with these 2:
- Thumb on top and pointing directly away on all casts kills my wrists.
Particularly on a more "side arm" cast, the thumb in this position feels VERY unnatural to me, and after 3 hours of it my wrist was sore...far more so than I've ever experienced before.
- The elbow on the shelf, when wading the larger streams that I fish (ones that you wade up to your stomach or chest) results in hitting yourself with the fly occasionally and/or *barely being able to clear the water behind you on the backcast. And yes, I end up backcast abruptly and at an upward angle.
From what I can tell, these two things are not compatible with how I fish
For grip, I prefer a "v-grip" and/or index finger on top.
I almost never have my thumb in the position described above....most likely because it feels uncomfortable!
For my elbow, I frequently must cast with my arm outward, and I nearly always have to raise the elbow on the forward cast to clear my skull with warm water flies.
Anyone else find this?
No disrespect to Lefty -- he's a great guy and excellent caster.
Your observations are pretty much spot on. I suggest you keep casting the way you are.
Since Steve Rajeff, one of if not the best caster in the world, uses the elbow forward style, you might do better to improve the style you are using than to learn a new style. I think it is not the style of casting but the mastery of the style that determines the distance you can cast.
"This is the arm style of people who have most influenced casting in California, including Jimmy Green, Mel Krieger and Steve and Tim Rajeff."
Both the Elbow Forward style of Steve Rajeff and the Low Elbow style of Lefty Kreh are described by Al Kyte in Casting Clinic
Lefty Kreh claims his style is easier on the body, however, studies have shown this is not the case. There are fewer injuries of the elbow and wrist with the overhead style compared to the sidearm low elbow style.
"A team of researchers is studying the biomechanics of fly-casting at Montana State University, Bozeman (MSU)…..
A study looking at pain ratings in relationship to casting style found no significant difference between casting style and shoulder pain." However,
Elbow pain was significantly less in casters who used multiple casting styles.
Elbow pain was significantly less for the overhead style compared with the elliptical style.
Wrist pain was significantly less for those who used the overhead style instead of either the elliptical or sidearm styles.
Wrist pain was significantly less for those who used multiple styles.
In the survey of the fly fishing instructors, those reporting use of the V-style grip indicated significantly less shoulder pain (i.e., less than 3 on an 8-point Likert scale where 0 = no pain and 7 = worst pain).4 13% of the finger-on-top, 19% of the 3-point, and 7% of the thumb-on-top users reported shoulder pain with a severity of 4 or greater.4 As noted earlier, there appears to be some discrepancy in the terminology, so respondents may have been confused as to whether they use the finger-on-top or 3-point grip.