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The Fly Cast Discuss fly casting with the expert, ask for help, learn to cast farther, increase your accuracy, troubleshoot your cast.


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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2013, 01:49 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

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Originally Posted by bpeter View Post
Thanks for all helpful replies!

It seems that everyone agree that, indeed, one person can produce these casting errors in a single cast.

I will take slow, careful steps with this, try one thing at a time. Although I don't have the rod in question to practice with (it was the guide's rod) I have similar issues with my 10' 7wt rod. First step will be to try to feel the load of the rod and then go on from there.

---------- Post added at 12:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:39 AM ----------



Most of the time he would say "FISH" (often followed by "You missed it!"). I can't remember him saying "hit it".
------------------------------

You will learn far more from members in this Forum than from the guide you have described. Enjoy yourself.
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Last edited by imxer; 05-30-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:19 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

RangerRich,

That was a very good post and analysis, especially from someone who's not an instructor. You are obviously very observant and in tune with your own casting.

Cab, I agree with you, too, that nearly all new casters have poor backcasts - largely because they are concentrating on getting the line out in front of them. The backcast should mirror the forward cast as Silver pointed out. To achieve this, it too must be accelerated to a hard stop, just like the forward cast. It helps enormously to watch it while false casting.
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Old 07-16-2013, 01:05 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

It's not about how much power you apply, it is about WHERE you apply that power.

As with most activities (and especially sports), a cast using 100% force can easily be surpassed by a cast using strategically placed 50% force.
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Old 07-16-2013, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

I belong to a casting club and we have coached many less experienced fishers. I agree with the excellent responses so far - and although the importance of the back-cast has been reviewed, I find it helps to point out that the back-cast MUST be as firm and straight as the forecast because it is the same line of the same length and weight that must go behind as what goes in front. Casters have an image of what is needed to move the line forward (even though they sometimes use too much energy) but they don't picture or use the same energy on the back-cast.
As well, they usually wait for the line in front of them to straighten, but they don’t wait the same length of time on the back-cast. I think this comes from years of throwing baseballs, footballs, sticks, paper into the trash, … where a slow and weak ‘back-cast’ is followed by a strong ‘throw’ with too much wrist compared to what is needed for fly casting. New fly casters have to overcome 20 or 30 years of muscle memory that is not appropriate to fly casting. In fly casting the energy and the wait time must be equal in both directions.
In order to help with feeling the load of the rod on the back-cast, I suggest holding the rod handle near the blank so that you can put your index finger on the blank about an inch from the handle – and not straight along it, but with a little bit of a downward curve. This is a little tiring after about 10 minutes as your finger is not as strong as your thumb, but your finger will detect the flex (load) of the rod better, and the forecast should begin as soon as you have that sense. After learning the feel you can go back to thumb-on-top style.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Not, I see Force as ones preconceptions of the fly cast and Power as the cast you let define itself.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Who was your guide? The White River has a very strong set generally and I suspect he knew exactly what he was talking about.

And what you describe sounds accurate; like a lot of men when they are starting out, you're trying to force things by strength of arms, but you're misapplying power.

Here are some concepts to help you practice and work this out.

(1) Do you play golf? Since the advent of the graphite shaft, we have been told to swing easy and let the club do the work. Just like a fly rod, the shaft of a golf club actually flexes as you come through the downstroke. If you come through too fast and hard, the shaft will remain flexed when the clubhead strikes the ball, thus pushing the ball off to the right. If the clubhead comes through at that open angle, due to the flexed shaft, and you stroke it hard enough, you can impart side spin to the ball and thus slice it.

The solution is to time your swing so the clubhead can square back up. In order to do that you must unload the graphite shaft, letting it spring back straight as it comes through. Done correctly the spring effect will add clubhead speed and thus drive the ball further.

Fly rods are like extra flexible graphite shafts; they bend and in order to deliver the fly they must *unbend*, ideally as the rod is passing by your head. It sounds like you are stroking the rod in a swishing motion (thus the sound he referenced) with what seems like a lot of force, but you are never allowing the rod shaft to unload and direct that force to your advantage. What loops you are throwing are probably wide open as a result; the tip of the rod is never unloading in the tight arc necessary to make a nice tight loop.

(2) Now that you have the concept, how to fix it? Lefty Kreh has a great exercise where he asks his students to lay about thirty feet of line on a grassy lawn, as though they had made a backcast. I suggest you try this. You are going to pull the line off the grass by making a forward stroke, side-armed so you can see the rod bend against the background of the grass. At first, just focus on watching the rod bend (load) and unbend (unload). When the rod unbends, it will throw the line forward.

(Eventually this is a really good exercise for learning the double haul, as you can easily feel and visualize the added force imparted by the hauling stroke).

(3) Once you have the rod bending and unbending on the grass it's time to make that happen in the air, with much less drag. The best way to do this (I've found) is to adopt an open stance; stand so you can easily turn your head and if necessary your hips and shoulders so as to look at your backcast.

At first you're not going to try to do "10 and 2" or any of that nonsense. Just throw the line well up in the air in the backcast. As far up and back as you can make it. With your head turned you'll see the line finish unrolling and begin to fall. As it starts to fall, begin your forward stroke. Hopefully having done the grass exercise and now having all of the backcast line traveling AWAY from your rod, you will have enough force (and enough feel) to begin to sense the loading or bending of the rod.

The idea behind fly casting is simply to bend the rod in both directions and then guide the loop as it unbends in the opposite direction. Once you feel the rod begin to load and unload, it is all downhill. From there you're just refining your control of the basic technique.

Hope this helps!

Zach

Source: I'm a CCI.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:44 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Excellent read Zach, don't think I've ever read a better explanation.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

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Originally Posted by ZachMatthews View Post
At first you're not going to try to do "10 and 2" or any of that nonsense. Just throw the line well up in the air in the backcast. As far up and back as you can make it. With your head turned you'll see the line finish unrolling and begin to fall. As it starts to fall, begin your forward stroke. Hopefully having done the grass exercise and now having all of the backcast line traveling AWAY from your rod, you will have enough force (and enough feel) to begin to sense the loading or bending of the rod.
I too am a CCI, FWIW. I agree with the high backcast concept. Most novices think that since the line must go behind them, they must tip their rod behind them. This just opens up the loop in the backcast and loses engery. I tell students to cast to the clouds behind them. Thus they stop the backcast early enough (correctly) that the line flies Straight behind them. The rod loads, and the forward cast is better.

I will also add, this past winter I learned that Jason Borger did some tests and: if the rod tip travels from the classic 2:00 to 10:00 position in a straight line with good acceleration, the fly line at the firm stop of the forward cast is moving at 53 MPH. I think everyone will agree that should be fast enough to propel the line to the target without additional force, launching your arm forward, or giving the cast that extra oomph. Firmly and smoothly from 10-2 and let the rod do the work.
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Old 07-19-2013, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Thank you all for the excellent answers. I couldn't have wished for a better response!

As I said, the guide was excellent. Never before have I had such excellent fishing. He will be my first choice if I ever get to fish on the White again. Everyone that hears his name will recognize that this man knows more about fly fishing than most do. Perhaps it's a combination of me being relatively new fly fishing and English not being my first language, but, as the question implies, I just found the advice conflicting. I think everyone who wrote here has helped to understand what he meant.

I have spent some time this summer trying to get a feel for the load of the road. I haven't made sensational progress but I'm slowly getting there. I have used the Lefty Kreh method described, but didn't know it was he who popularized it. I will, however, try higher back casts next time! Never tried to cast to the clouds, so to speak. I have attempted the "straight moving rod tip" but probably unsuccesfully. It doesn't help that coordinated movements never came naturally to me. 😀

Thanks to my guide, Davy Wotton, and all of you who contrinute here, for getting me on the right track.

/Peter
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Old 07-21-2013, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeter View Post
We fished 10ft rods with long leaders and short casts. Distance was not the problem. Accuracy, presentation, line not landing too straight, leader landing i a mess, tangles, those were the problems I experienced.
I've only been fly fishing for 3 years now & am still learning, like everyone has said already, timing is key, I used to just pound on the rod to make a 50-60 foot cast, now with better timing it is so much easier to cast 50-60 feet.
I also use a 10' rod, one thing I have found to help me with shorter casts is to use a side cast with the rod almost parallel with the water, not sure why it works, but it does for me.

Good luck!
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