Copyright 1997-2001 BP Ptrs.
1.HISTORY OF THE DOUBLE HAUL
The first documented description of the double haul known to ye olde author was at the 1934 American Casting Association national tournament in St. Louis Missouri. A Portland Oregon man, Marvin K. Hedge, won the fly rod distance event using a technique that was unknown to the other casters. This was the double haul. At that time the average of the three best of five casts was used to determine the winner and Marvin Hedge averaged 136 5/6 feet with a long cast of 147. As were many of the prominent casters of that era, Marvin Hedge was a tackle rep. The longest winning average before that had been 121 2/3 feet in 1928 and the longest long cast had been 124 in 1931 so it seems that the double haul provided an edge but not a huge edge. However, in following years this changed. By 1937 an average of 176 2/3 with a long cast of 183 was recorded in the national championships. One thing to remember is that these were outdoor contests with the wind helping so some differences could be traced to a brisk favoring wind.
Also, these were bamboo rod figures. In the 1997 nationals the men's event was won by Steve Rajeff with a 182 and the women's with a 137 by Alice Gillibert, which was also a new women's record. Biggest change of course has been the graphite rod. The rod for this event is now 9 feet long versus 9'6" in the thirties. We also have nylon running line now. However, the double haul is still the same and still the name of the distance game. Sometime this year (soon) we will have some new scientific stuff in the tips for experienced casters page about the double haul and the effects of different sequences and timing strategies upon that cast.
1.5 BEGINNINGS OF THE DOUBLE HAUL
Marvin Hedge was the first to bring the double haul before the world in the 1934 Nationals, in August at St. Louis. However he had demonstrated and taught the haul to members of the Golden Gate Club in the summer of 1934 during a week's stay there. He received two pairs of shoes from a member who had a shoe store as his honorarium.Herman Hittenberger, who began competitive casting with his father Carl in the early thirties and was the all accuracy champion at the 1936 Nationals, recalls that there were casters using the haul on the back cast and casters using the haul on the forecast but that he never knew of anyone using the double haul until Marvin Hedge showed it to the Golden Gate club in 1934. Herman remembers that Jules Cuinan, who won the American all around championship in 1931, used the haul on forward casts but not a double haul. And Jim Green, who spent the summer of 1937 traveling with Marvin Hedge to European casting competitions and won some of them, recalls that Marvin Hedge recounted that he first saw the double haul being used by a fisherman on a river. Jack Sparks, a casting champion and journalist of the pre war era, has mentioned that the haul was used as early as 1922 in the San Franciso area.
This is all we have been able to find, so far, on the haul and double haul. Anyone with further information is invited to pass it on. Time is flying. Interestingly enough, it was many years before the casting authors of the forties began to include the haul in their dissertations. Field and Stream magazine published a 1941 manual, for beginning and expert casters with no mention of the haul seven years after it had revolutionized casting.
This article can be viewed at http://home.att.net/~slowsnap/history12.htm