Originally Posted by turbineblade
She is an excellent caster -- great videos. I absolutely cannot muster a decent cast with that elbow in front style -- it makes absolutely no sense to me and feels like the last way I'd ever try to cast a fly rod. Joan's is a very extreme
elbow forward cast it looks like too. To me it's like trying to elbow yourself in the ribs while also attempting to swat flies biting your neck with a jump rope. I can force it for very short casts, but nothing more.
I do see that it can be helpful for beginners with the "phone pick up" explanation (hello? it's for you) where the back cast is essentially straight up-and-down and the forward cast is like handing the phone to someone.
I'm very, very happy with my own style but am very interested in how other people cast and the mechanics of it, etc. It's cool to me.
Lefty Kreh (who casts an obvious elbow to the side style) mentioned last year that in his trips to S.A. and experience with fly fishermen there that NO ONE casted with an elbow in front style unless they were taught to do so by a white ma
. He said they cast a fly rod like they'd throw a spear -- which no one would do with their elbow in front of their forehead.
That is a very strange thing for Lefty to say since natives don't throw a spear sidearm but overhand keeping the elbow forward
with the forearm above
the elbow and not
to the side. Compare the elbow forward illustration below with the video that follows,
Steve Rajeff, one of if not the best caster in the world uses the elbow forward style. He was taught the elbow forward style by Mel Krieger at the Golden Gate Casting Club in San Francisco. Steve is mentioned in Joan Wulff's book HERE
You can see to an interview with Steve Rajeff here in Quicktime:
Steve Rajeff Video Interview with Fly Fish Ohio
Here are a couple of videos showing him using the elbow forward style in instruction and in competition. You can even imagine him throwing a spear instead of casting in the second video.
There is also more than just casting. Some styles are more prone to stress injuries. The low elbow style of fly casting is one of these. Contrary to what Lefty Kreh preaches, it causes more Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI) more than the overhead elbow forward style that I think is better for beginners to learn.
"A team of researchers is studying the biomechanics of fly-casting at Montana State University, Bozeman (MSU)."
"Vary casting styles and favor the overhead style
which is associated with less overall pain than
the elliptical or sidearm styles
Jason Borger of the Fly Casting Institute
also teaches the elbow forward overhead style to minimize RSIs. The Elbow forward casting stroke is biomechanically sound, leading to the fewest joint and muscular injuries.
The elbow forward style is also more accurate since it unrolls the cast directly over the target in a downward direction. The low elbow style unfurls the line sideways across the target.
When fishing streams and especially narrow streams the elbow forward style places the cast in the air above the caster rather than to the side of the caster and therefore can be used in narrower water. The caster and the cast occupy a thin vertical casting space that rather than a short wide casting space as with the low elbow style.
An accomplished caster should be able to cast using all styles. In the open ocean where there it can be windy, a low elbow style can be used and can be the best cast to use. That is not the issue.
Lefty is ignoring the real issue. What is the easiest and best casting stoke to teach beginners? Most beginners will be casting while wading on rivers, or from a boat; and the low elbow sidearm style that sweeps that wider sideways path is not as useful as the elbow forward overhead style that places the cast above the caster.