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Old 04-09-2012, 02:02 PM
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You're right on, silvercreek - especially with the part about how hopeless it would seem to a beginner if we tried to explain ALL of that to them at first.

I'm no certified casting instructor, but I can cast. I learned how to cast years ago while trying to cast deer hair bass bugs on glass rods in the ever present West Texas wind. If you do that, you either give up or you figure out how to get the line and fly out to where the fish are. If you choose to attempt the latter, then you will find out what makes the fly do what you want it to do. You can get away with bad technique like a rotational 10 - 2 stroke when you're casting short distances in calm winds with a small trout fly on the leader. But when you have less than ideal casting conditions, you have to throw tight lops with high line speed to make it work.

The only casting video that I watched in the old VHS tape days that produced good results was one of Lefty Kreh's. I wish I could remember which one it was. He basically said to forget about 10 - 2, and then he demonstrated moving the rod tip in a more linear back and forth motion. This jived with what I had adapted to by trial and error and feel already, so naturally I decided that old Lefty was pretty smart.

Whenever I teach someone to CAST, I try to get them to focus on what the rod tip needs to do since the line WILL move in the exact same direction, path, and speed as the rod tip. That takes the focus off of the caster's arm and wrist and puts it on something that they can see better. Every person is built differently and moves a little differently. Allowing a person to find a motion that feels natural to him or her while accomplishing the goal of moving the rod tip (and the line) in the right path seems to work better for most people. If they can get the line to go up and back, wait until it straightens out, and then move it forward out over the water (not down into the water) then they are well on their way to a fin day on the water.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:03 PM
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I meant to say a fun day on the water.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Beginner: Different technique for slow rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Chris M View Post
As I stated above, 10-2 is only for a certain length of line. You cannot tell me that during a 20ft cast and a 40ft cast the rod travels the same distance and makes a proper loop. You could do both from 10-2 but you would have to add extra power to the 40ft stroke and cause a closed loop. Different length casts have to have different length strokes. Therefore it cannot possibly be the same "time" on a clock face. Clocks or for telling the time, not for casting. If he wants to become a better caster, he will forget about times on a clock and move the rod in a straight line path of the distance required to unroll the length of line he is casting. What time is it if he casts with his rod at 45 degrees or totally sidearm. The rod tip does not care what direction it is pointing as long as the 5 principles of casting are being followed.
20' cast to a 40' cast is not that much. 20' cast to 60' or 80', yes. But not 20-40. We're talking small streams, not the Green, Lee's Ferry etc. and a glass 4wt. 7'6" rod. Hell, most people can cast 20' with just the tip. But who am I to argue, right?
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Beginner: Different technique for slow rod?

The original poster stated he was fishing a small stream buy wanted to learn to cast properly. Based on results I see from many fly anglers each year, most cannot cast 40ft unless there is no wind and 50 might as well be a mile. That is almost always because nobody ever showed them how to do it correctly. Just because a particular stream does not require long casts with tight loops is not a reason not to learn to cast properly. One never knows when an opportunity to fish in another place arises and being able to cast will come in handy. The improper cast that allows anglers to get by on small streams holds them back when they come fishing in open water. Had they learned proper technique to begin with, add the extra distance is much easier than trying to break a lifetime habit of wrist casting from 10-2. I meet lots of people each year who have fly fished for years and cannot come close to reaching 40ft. If 10-2 works fine for you, that's great. It does not, however, have anything to do with a proper casting stroke.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:48 AM
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Default Re: Beginner: Different technique for slow rod?

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Originally Posted by Capt Chris M View Post
Had they learned proper technique to begin with, add the extra distance is much easier than trying to break a lifetime habit of wrist casting from 10-2.
Chris, so you're telling me that the 10-2 is nothing but wrist casting? Interesting.
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Beginner: Different technique for slow rod?

All wrist casting is not 10-2 and not all casting from 10-2 is with the wrist. However, most people who think of 10-2 in their head cast with their wrist and the rod tip travels in a convex arc resulting in a wide or no loop. The reel remains fixed and the tip moves like a windshield wiper. Just as important as where the rod stops is the direction it took to get there. We could both stop the rod at the exact same point on a clock face, say 2 o'clock, and get very different results. For example,

Click the image to open in full size.

in drawing A, the rod tip moves from 10-2 in a straight line and forms a tight loop. In B, the rod tip stops in the same position in the front and back cast but the tip is travelling around in a circle to get there and the reel is barely moving. The tip of the rod is also travelling slightly down at the stop after having gone around in an arc resulting the the line travelling down as well and a very poor or no loop.
Drawing C is for a short cast and shows 11-1, which is NOT 10-2. Drawing D shows the path for a lot of fishing casts, slightly up on the back and slightly down on the front so that the loop unrolls a couple feet above the surface not 8-10 ft above the surface as it would in drawing A. Drawing E is a 10-2 proper cast for a longer length of line and does not fit on the same clock as the cast in drawing A. Casts of a different lengths could still be from 10-2 but would require different sized clocks as the length of the stroke would be longer or shorter. The longer stoke in E does not fit inside A so how is a student to know what size clock to use. Using a clock does not help the student visualize a straight line path of the rod tip which the half to have to make a tight loop. One can make a stop at 10 and a stop at 2 10 different times and get 10 different sized loops.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Beginner: Different technique for slow rod?

That is a well thought out post Chris. I hope it gets some reads. You may want to consider doing a copy and placing this into its own thread.

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Old 04-10-2012, 04:42 PM
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Good post, Chris. As you say, every new caster (and 99%) of experienced casters I know think of your drawing B when somebody mentions 10 - 2. The obvious reason is because the hands on a clock rotate around a fixed point in the center of a circle.

Your other illustrations of good technique can work with a 10-2 analogy, but I think using clock face terminology would require the visual illustration to make sure that the student caster didn't misinterpret what was meant by the clock face talk. Without an illustration, everybody hears "10-2" and thinks of your drawing B. That's why it's been such a bad analogy through the years.

Great drawings.
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Old 04-10-2012, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Beginner: Different technique for slow rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Chris M View Post

Click the image to open in full size.

Drawing E is a 10-2 proper cast for a longer length of line and does not fit on the same clock as the cast in drawing A. Casts of a different lengths could still be from 10-2 but would require different sized clocks as the length of the stroke would be longer or shorter. The longer stoke in E does not fit inside A so how is a student to know what size clock to use. Using a clock does not help the student visualize a straight line path of the rod tip which the half to have to make a tight loop. One can make a stop at 10 and a stop at 2 10 different times and get 10 different sized loops.

Chris,

I agree with what you are trying to portray but I find your drawings misleading in the following way.

I interpret the clock face with 10 and 2 o'clock to be separated by 4 hours out of the 12 hours or 120 degrees of the 360 degrees in a circle. I will confine my statements to illustration E only but the the same principle can be applies to the other drawings.

The rod that you say is pointing to 10 o'clock and at 2 o'clock do not have the rod butts in the center of the clock face and therefore, the rod tips really do not point at 10 and 2. The butt rotation is NOT 120 degrees between the two rods. Place the butts together and move them to the clock center and the angle formed by the rods is much less. The 10 o'clock rod tip would move to 11 and the 2 o'clock rod tip to 1 o'clock. That is why I said there is confusion about what the clock face represents. There is the stroke path which is the movement of the rod and reel from the rear position to the forward position and there is the rod butt rotation which is the degrees of rotation on the clock face.

I actually think the stroke path and rod butt rotation you have drawn for "E" would probably produce a tight loop BUT the angle of rod butt rotation is NOT from 10 to 2 as I explained above. If you look at my previous post, I said that I tell my students to go from 10 to 12, which is 60 degrees and the same 60 degrees is the rod butt rotation you have drawn for a rod butt rotation from11 to 1.

---------- Post added at 05:02 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:42 PM ----------

In the illustration below we can see that depending on how far we are casting, we need to adjust both the stroke length of the rod and the convexity of the stroke path to compensate for the greater rod shortening on the longer stroke. Notice the up/down motion of the elbow and the flexion/extension at the elbow that causes the rod handle to follow a convex path.

Click the image to open in full size.



In this high speed stop motion study, we see the actual bending of the rod and the stroke path of the hand, elbow, and shoulder. This compact overhead stroke is the foundation stroke that the FFF suggests as a beginning stroke. It is the same stroke that forms the basis for the teaching and casting of Mel Krieger, Gary and Jason Borger. This stroke is identical to the prior drawing.


Click the image to open in full size.

The stop motion photo comes from the Henry's Fork Lodge owned by Nelson Ishiyama. Nelson and I are college buddies, and he is the editor of Mel Krieger's book, The Essence of Flycasting.

This is also the foundation cast that the Rajeff brothers use as their fishing casts. As a youth, Steve Rajeff was taught by Mel Krieger.


The Secret to an Easy Cast | The Henry's Fork Fly Fishing Lodge


Think of the elbow as the center of a circle and the forearm as the radius of the circle. As the elbow bends and unbends, the hand automatically follows the arc of the circumference in a convex path. The same thing happens at the shoulder joint so we have two convex motions added together to create an automatic convex rod tip path. Now choose a rod of the correct flexibility and your body anatomy automatically compensates for the rod shortening.

How remarkable is that? I happen to think that this correlation of body anatomy and stroke is the reason that some fly fishers seem to find a rod that just fits their casting stroke.


It is the basic casting stroke that Gary Borger taught me and it is the basic cast that Jason Borger recommends in his book, Nature of Flycasting.

Here's Jason demonstrating the start and stop points of the "foundation cast".

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Examine the series of photos and illustrations in the casting blog by Gary Borger. Note that the casting stroke drawing of Gary Borger and the stop motion photo above from the Henry's Fork Lodge are identical in their starting and stopping position.

Gary Borger Blog Archive Casting From the Shoulder

The take away point is that rod butt rotation does NOT require you to bend your wrist. The shoulder and elbow joints are designed to move the hand in an arc as I described in a previous post and this will result in rod butt rotation without any wrist flexion.

This simple foundation stroke is what I teach beginners. It is a simple motion that automatically adjusts for shortening for the rod chord length as the rod flexes.
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Old 04-10-2012, 06:21 PM
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Default Re: Beginner: Different technique for slow rod?

So in Silvers diagram, what is the 1 + 3 in maroon/brown colored rod. To me- it's 10 and 2. When I say 10 to 2, I don't see the clock arc. I'm talking you're stopping at those points. Take the 11, 12, and 1 and throw them the hell away.
Even in Chris' diagram, isn't A 10 to 2?
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