Yes, I believe the terminology, descriptions and some of the generalizations drawn are confusing. Take this sentence:
In the elbow forward stye, the elbow moves down and not forward during the cast, but this is what the FFF calls this style of casting because this is the starting position of the elbow relative to the "elbow up and to the side style"
How would you describe the position of Steve's elbow at the start of his forward cast here - taken from the video you posted? "Up and to the side" or " Forward"?
How would you describe the position of Joan Wulff’s elbow here? "Up and to the side" or "forward?
It looks to me that, most casters would say that if Joan were not to move her elbow forward, she would have to complete her forward cast with her elbow behind her head.
Neither looks anything like these 2 illustrations or the time lapse below to me.
There is no question that for accuracy competitions, the “elbow forward” method as illustrated above is by far the best method of casting to use for that purpose.
For sit down fishing from kayaks, canoes or float tubes, for surf casting, and casting long distances, it may not be the best to use, as Al said about float tubing. And, indeed, people like Joan Wulff, Tim and Steve Rajeff do not use that style either in all fishing situations.
However, Al Kyte also prefaces his discussion of “elbow forward style” with this:
I start a beginning class with what I call the “el-
He is talking about starting beginning classes.
His description of the “elbow out the to side” starts with this
“In its simplest form, the upper arm acts like a rotisserie without going anywhere….."
But few things in dynamic motions such as casting exist in simplest form. I use that "out to the side" style or an in close pull , but my upper arm is certainly going somewhere - on long casts, it's going back as far as it will go as fast as it will go there without yanking itself out of its socket. Is that something I would teach ? No. Has it ever once hurt my arm in the last 55 years of doing it? No. Have I ever had any injury whatsoever due to flycasting? No. Am I a wild, crazy man? Yes .
Not all people all the same, so what may be the best method for Al may not be the best method for Turbine or me or Guest #1.
Steve Rajeff outweighs me by probably 100 pounds and most of it fast twitch muscle. I am down myself 40 lbs from the prime weight of my youth and that was all muscle. There is no way I can cast the way he does and even remotely approach the distance I get or the endurance I have with my own styles and techniques of casting.
Much saltwater fly fishing is more closely related to distance casting than to freshwater fly fishing. Since I fish primarily the salt now, I have more in common with the above picture of Joan's closing cast than any of the other pictures in the video it came from.
So I tend to take some of the dogma I hear and read concerning casting with a grain or two of salt. As the old saying goes, different strokes for different folks. I would encourage others to play with their casting, and not to subscribe exclusively to any one style or technique that you may have seen, been taught or otherwise acquired.
So, Turbine, lets see a video of your casting style.