For those of you interested, here's a link to a great article on going for distance with a single handed fly rod, by Al Kyte and Gary Moran.
In it the strokes of a group of tournament distance casters and a group of well regarded good casters were compared with slo motion cameras casting the same rod and same line. The same amount of line out beyond the tip for all casters - no shooting line into the false casts allowed by either group - just a pick up, two false casts and shoot forward.
This was the first actual scientific test conducted like this I believe. It is a pdf file.