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Old 09-13-2009, 11:29 PM
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Default Waves in my forward cast?

FirstTimer here! - -
Im having problems with waves in my forward cast. As far as i can tell my backcast is OK, but the forward cast is suffering. any ideas??

thanx all
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

Whiterabbit88-

Welcome to the forum, glad you found us. It's hard to diagnosis without actually seeing your cast-- but there are a couple common problems you may be running into...

-Not waiting for the line to straighten out completely on the back cast. What happens is you may be starting the forward cast while there is still some slack in the backcast because it hasn't fully straightened out. The rod is moving forward with out being under any load (bend) until it takes up the slack. When it takes up the slack and is moving forward the tip suddenly loads and recoils by unloading sending shock waves down the line- all as you're moving the stroke forward. Since the path of the line always follows the rod tip, this sends waves down the fly line.

-Starting the forward cast too fast and slowing down on the forward stroke. Again if you start too fast and slow down on the forward cast, the rod tip takes a sudden bend at the start of the cast, and your stroke can't keep up with the rod's natural tendency to unload. The rod will recoil by unloading (straightening) sending shock waves into the line. The could be a good possibility if you are throwing a "tailing loop" and getting overhand knots in your leader or tippet (called "wind knots")

Some things to try-
open up your stance a bit to be able to watch your back cast-- wait for it to straighten (if you hear "crack the whip sounds" you're not waiting long enough for the line to straighten)

Try "drifting back" with your rod hand before beginning the forward cast. Not by lowering the tip-- but by just sliding your arm back a bit--- this will counteract the tendency many people have (including me) to start too soon and too fast on the forward stroke. See if that helps a bit and let us know.

On the forward stroke, ideally you want a smooth acceleration and then sudden stop, rather than a fast start, slowing to a tentative stop. You also want the rod tip to be moving in the same plane horizontally to get a tight loop, rather than an oval path which will cause a wide loop---- the path of the line follows the tip of the rod.

The best way I've heard the forward cast explained is to imagine you have a big poisonous spider on the top of your rod, and a 10' wall a few feet in front of you. You want to start the forward stroke slowly, accelerate, then stop suddenly to flick the spider over the wall. If you start the forward cast too fast, the spider will drop on your head

Watching some one like Joan Wulff cast is very instructive. Now in her 80's, and all of 90lbs soaking wet, she manages to throw a beautiful line-- using timing and smooth acceleration and sudden stops rather than brute power and strength.

One thing that will probably help enormously is to get some casting lessons- local shops often have classes, offer inexpensive lessons or they may just take you out back for a quick tuneup. There are also groups like the Federation of Fly Fishers that have affiliated clubs all over the country. They have casting clinics, informative meetings, group trips, and are very welcoming to new members. You can do a search here to see if there's a FFF affiliated club near you: http://www.fedflyfishers.org/Default.aspx?tabid=4357

You can also go to the "instruction" link on FFF site to do a search for certified fly casting instructors. The advantage of getting an instructor early in the game is that as you practice you'll be practicing good technique rather than "hard wiring" poor techniques into your practice--- and it's a good idea to get periodic tune ups.

Good luck, and keep asking questions. And let us know where you are-- we have members all over the place on this forum and they may be able to suggest some great local resources near you.

mark
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:47 PM
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Smile Re: Waves in my forward cast?

peregrines,

Thank you VERY much for taking the time to sit down and write that very informative reply. I am definitely going to try the "drift back" on my next practice sestion. Though i do have a question about it: wouldn't that add slack to my backcast? or am i not fully comprehending the description? I have checked out Ed Jeworowski's book 'Troubleshooting the Cast' to further my research. I am fairly conviced that one of my major problems is, like you sugested, i'm starting out to fast/hard on my forward stroke, and "shocking" the rod. I am also inrolled on some casting classes at the local fly shop. Thank you again for the great suggestions!

whiterabbit88
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

whiterabbit88

Sounds like you have some great resources- Ed Jaworski's book is excellent, and I'm sure that the casting lessons at the local shop will get you off to a great start.

Drifting back helps get a longer stroke in your forward cast and helps to get a smoother acceleration--- but the main thing it does is help against the tendency to start cheating forward as the back cast is still unrolling-- after the sudden stop of the rod on the backcast,it should be a slow drift back as you feel the weight of the fly line bending the rod on the back cast, so you're not really introducing slack into the fly line.

Think smoooooth acceleration and sudden stops.

mark
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

I'm fairly new to fly fishing and learned two things that greatly improved my casting. One is that the more line you have out, the longer the pause on the back cast, and the stroke needs to be sped up a bit. The other is not to drop the rod tip too low on the forward cast. This allows the rod to straighten out the line and drop it softly on the water.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

Great post Peregrines!

Rabbit,

Quote:
As far as i can tell my backcast is OK,
Then you are looking at your backcast? If it is OK, then it will form very close to a perfectly straight line when it unrolls like in this picture, though it could be on a slight angle upward, or horizontal and higher up, and the rod tip would then be higher.Click the image to open in full size.

But the drift back that that Peregrines is talking about has already happened in the above picture and the forward stroke has already started.

The drift back happens while the line of the rod leg goes into tension after the loop forms, and is actively tugging on the line in the line hand (or being shot into the backcast) so it cannot add slack.

When the forward stroke starts, very little (or no) rotation will be used initially, and what little slack there is in the backcast (from little waves for instance) will be removed well before the major part of the acceleration takes place. The majority of the acceleration is due to rotation, and this happens as close to the end of the casting stroke as possible.

So, the drift in most cases is back and up with the arm and rod tip. The forward linear motion prior to the rotation starts removing minor slack and keeping (putting in some cases) the line in tension prior to the rotation. Youtube is a great resource for super fly casting videos taken of world class tournament distance casters.

But watch your backcast closely so that you can see exactly what is going on. Then play with your stroke to tighten up the backcast loop and see how to change the backcast trajectory. It will also help you develop the proper lenngth of pause required for that particular amount of line out at that particular line speed.

After a while, you will not need to do this anymore, unless you are in a distance casting tournament. You'll notice that the best casters in the world watch every single backcast when in competition.

Best of luck.

PS: I cannot get enough power into a backcast without resting the butt of the rod on my forearm and hooking my index finger over the right side of the top of the cork.

Cheers,
Jim

Last edited by wjc; 09-16-2009 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Added a PS:
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

Hi whiterabbit88,

Welcome to the forum.

Just for clarification you should not be drifting back as far as the fellow in the picture.

If you are a relative new fly caster you should forget trying to drift purposely. It will come with experience. Concentrate on your smooth speed up and stop.

Frank
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Old 09-17-2009, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

White Rabbit,

Frank's right. Sorry Frank. Thanks for the reality check! Got carried away once again.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:32 AM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

well... i did some casting practice the other day, and tryed the "drift back" on the back cast. still not quite sure what this is i guess?
from re-reading the explenation(s) i understand a little more? like letting the line drift the rod back because when it is completely unrolled the line is pulling on the rod, so i aint gotta do nuthin. also from the pic posted it looks like the caster is allowing his wrist to "break"? is that something i should be allowing to happen? (not as extream as in the pic, but just the slightest bit?)

whiterabbit88
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Old 09-27-2009, 08:32 PM
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Default Re: Waves in my forward cast?

Whiterabbit,

After Peregrines excellent post, I got too carried away. I think you should take Frank's advice and concentrate on starting with no slack when you pick up the line in front of you. Then accelerate smoooothly up and back with your forearm to a dead stop. Squeeze the cork hard when you stop. Don't use your wrist on the backcast.

If you are right handed, you can move your right foot back like a pitcher on the mound. Then you can watch your backcast. If you are accelerating well and coming to a hard stop at between the one and two o'clock position, then your line should extend all the way behind you and the loop should unroll all the way.

If it does not do that, then you will not be able to get a good forward cast. I think you should be practicing and concentratinig on the backcast, and watching it so you know what it's doing.

I shouldn't have put that picture up there. That guy is a world class distance caster and can get away with dropping his rod that low on the backcast. The rest of us cant get away with that low a rod on the backcast.

What I wanted to show was how straight and tight the backcast is, and how there is no slack line in it anywhere. Slack line is a killer of casts. If you accelerate smooooothly to a very hard stop, you will get a sweet tight loop with plenty of power that will yank on your rod tip when it unrolls.

Cheers,
Jim
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