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Old 05-28-2013, 02:14 PM
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Default Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Last week I was on a guided fishing trip on the White River in Arkansas. Our guide (excellent) had some comments on my casting technique, or lack there of. Here is a summary of what he observed;

A. I use too much force
B. But I don't have enough power
C. The fly makes a swishing sound, which it shouldn't do
D. The line doesn't have enough speed.
E. I don't load the rod
F. I jerk the rod too much

Also

G. I stop too early in the forward cast
H. I have too stiff wrists [I thought wrist movements should be as small as possible...]
I. The backcast leaves a lot to be desired (unspecified what...)


Can all these observations really all be simultaneously true? For instance, can A. and B. both be true at the same time? Likewise for C. and D.? Etc. etc.

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.

A part for casting problems, I would love to go back to Arkansas again some time. Great week of fishing.
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Old 05-28-2013, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Sounds like a real fun guy.

Power has to do with speed. It's all about how quickly you accelerate through the cast.
That's more coordination than muscle.

Try watching your back-cast to see it open before beginning the forward cast. You're rushing it.
That should go for a long way to take care of C through F
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeter View Post
Last week I was on a guided fishing trip on the White River in Arkansas. Our guide (excellent) had some comments on my casting technique, or lack there of. Here is a summary of what he observed;

A. I use too much force
B. But I don't have enough power
C. The fly makes a swishing sound, which it shouldn't do
D. The line doesn't have enough speed.
E. I don't load the rod
F. I jerk the rod too much

Also

G. I stop too early in the forward cast
H. I have too stiff wrists [I thought wrist movements should be as small as possible...]
I. The backcast leaves a lot to be desired (unspecified what...)


Can all these observations really all be simultaneously true?
In a word, "yes."

Now, I'm not a casting instructor, or a self-taught expert by any means, so take this with whatever grain of salt you like. What I am is a semi-expert on my own casting issues. And I've had every problem you listed there, except possibly 'B,' as I am not precisely sure what 'power' means.

A. "too much force." I think of this as 'muscling' the cast, or 'putting some shoulder into it.' Bottom line, accelerating too fast for the length of the stroke. Faster action rods seem to allow you to get away with this a little better than slower action rods, but over accelerating is not good for your casting, and your most common issue will likely be tailing loops.

B. not sure what he meant by that.

C. "The swish." This occurs in my cast when I don't allow the line to fully unroll during a stroke (forward/back). I believe the end the flyline is still in a C-shape when I start moving my rod in the other direction, stealing line speed, but momentarily increasing the speed of the leader, causing said 'swish.'

D. "Lack of line speed." I had this problem for a long time as a new caster, and sometimes I still do. My best 'trick' for dealing with this issue is to go back to the 'flicking paint on a wall' tactic. To flick paint, your wrist needs to twitch slightly forward or back as the forearm reaches its stop point. I know, it sounds crazy, but that flick is where a lot of your line speed comes from if you're not hauling. Think that also takes care of 'H.'

E. "Not loading the rod." Another issue of mine. Part of the problem is that each rod or weight rod has different actions, depending on the manufacturers' design philosophy. I.e., faster action rods load quickly, requiring the caster to react faster to begin the opposite stroke. Slower action rods give the caster more time, but if they are used to a faster cadence, then many casters start the opposite stroke before the rod has fully loaded. There's more than one way to deal with this, but the easiest is probably to just watch your line as it carries behind you. Wait for the fly line to unfurl behind you before starting your forward cast. The rod should be about fully loaded at that point, maximizing your line speed.

F,G. both of these are the same issue as A., over-acceleration.

Again, I'm no expert, but having dealt with these same issues for my entire fly casting career to this point, I feel that I might comment on your experience. the bottom line I believe is that you and I need to focus on lengthening our casting strokes, accelerate more smoothly during a stroke, and finish each with a flick of paint.

By the way, the White in AR is one of the places I dream about visiting. Please post a pic or two if you have any, just to satisfy my greed.

Thanks.

R.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

I am no where near in a position to instruct anyone, but it took me a long time to find out what "let the rod do the work" meant. Heck, I've found myself in the middle of some cold water flailing around like a newby, I have to stop and make myself start again. You can't just will the line to go out for more distance.

It's sort of like how I used to teach kids to pitch: every kids wants to be fireballer. I tell them that when they can hit the glove everytime, then you put in more power.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

With a single hander rod, I don't know diddly. With a 2hander 'speed kills' most casts, save for competition casting. Save for 'one-offs' when you're fishing 70-90 feet is all you need.

Are there times/places where more is needed? Yup, but I can count them on the fingers of one hand. Presentation, line control, is what catches fish.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

I find the harder I work while casting (muscling or forcing the rod) the worse my cast tends to be. When I relax and focus on timing I tend to cast better. If I force or muscle the cast it tends to fall apart and, heaven forbid I get the $2 snap and lose a fly. I suspect he was telling you you're trying to force the cast rather than applying power where it should be and letting the rod do the work. Slow down, concentrate on letting the line load the rod before powering forward, you'll likely cast better and feel relaxed doing so.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:24 PM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

I'll try not to be redundant with this; the others have given good feedback already.

Power comes from the rod not from the caster. What the caster contributes is timing and the correct lengths of line to load the rod for specific distances.

Once you have addressed timing issues and of course technique, the rod will deliver the power you require.

I really liked 'Rip Tides' reply, I believe that he, or I would have found a way to help you without telling you all the bad news.

Ard
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Bring your elbow down and tuck it into your casting side and keep it close to your body. This will force you to use the rod instead of your arm to cast.

When you gain the ability to use your rod to load and shoot line from any cast you have mastered the ultimate weapon.

Once you learn to keep the cast "IN" the rod you will be able to use the power, force, delicacy and accuracy you desire.

The cast can be complex and this rule is not a fix all to end all...it just Forces you to use your rod.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

This is a very good Q&A thread for a newbie like me.

My inexperience question is, did you use the guide's 10ft rod or your own?
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: Less force, more power. Contradiction or not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeter View Post
Last week I was on a guided fishing trip on the White River in Arkansas. Our guide (excellent) had some comments on my casting technique, or lack there of. Here is a summary of what he observed;

A. I use too much force
B. But I don't have enough power
C. The fly makes a swishing sound, which it shouldn't do
D. The line doesn't have enough speed.
E. I don't load the rod
F. I jerk the rod too much

Also

G. I stop too early in the forward cast
H. I have too stiff wrists [I thought wrist movements should be as small as possible...]
I. The backcast leaves a lot to be desired (unspecified what...)


Can all these observations really all be simultaneously true? For instance, can A. and B. both be true at the same time? Likewise for C. and D.? Etc. etc.

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.

A part for casting problems, I would love to go back to Arkansas again some time. Great week of fishing.
We can discuss the terminology but basically fly casting is about the casting stroke (the path of the casting hand), the degree (amount) and rate (timing) of acceleration, rod rotation, and a hard stop at the correct stop point that makes the rod tip travel in a straight line.

The hard stop is needed to transfer the energy in the bent fly rod to the fly line and to provide a fixed point of resistance against which the fly line unrolls.

A lot has to go right and this means a lot can go wrong. The capital letters below correlate to your points.

A. He means you are applying the force (acceleration incorrectly either amount or timing) incorrectly and not stopping at the right time with a hard stop.

B. Power is a function of the rod but he means you are inefficient, despite the force you are using. He probably also means you have a wide inefficient casting loop, see D below.

C. Don't know what this means, could be A

D. The line is not going a straight line which means the force you are using to cast is probably pulling the line in a circle. There is a lack of directionality to your cast. When the fly line and rod tip goes in a circle, only a portion of the force is actually directed toward the target.

E, F, G, & H See #A

I. Since a backcast and forward cast should be mirror images, see A-H above.
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