Originally Posted by winstonwt
What I was getting at here was that with the line on the water you get resistance in the tip better than sliding across the lawn, therefore I can feel the difference in different rods when casting them.
Here's the thing. The original post was:
Originally Posted by saucebox11
Does the type of line really make a big difference when casting? I have this full sinking line that casts like a dream, barely have to even try to get it out there and then there is this floating line i have that is like a full time job to cast it out. what would cause that?
A full sinking line is actually MORE difficult to cast on water because you need to strip enough of it in so you can lift it from the water. So I took your post to include SINKING lines which was the original post, but I see that you must have meant a floating line.
I will agree 100% that you get better loading with a FLOATING off of the water. That is a benefit in loading for the backcast.
However, the proximity of convenience of a lawn, in my opinion, is a real benefit. The more convenient a location is, the more often a person will practice, even if it is just for 15 minutes on the back yard.
If you teach them on water, you do give them the benefit of an easier backcast, BUT you have not taught them how they can use ropes, targets, hula hoops, etc, to practice at home. The placement of rope lines to form a casting lane and targets is easily duplicated at home. This is a real advantage for a beginner.
Finally, if loading off the grass is an issue, it is very simple to make a "grass" leader that will simulate the extra loading that water gives you. An instructor can make different grass leaders that have different degrees of resistance so he/she can fine tune the resistance of the grass leader to a pickup.
The grass leader (the original article is on the Summer 1998 issue of The Loop by Al Buhr) is used to simulate water for the practicing of roll and spey casts on grass but it can certainly be used for the pickup and lay down cast. Floyd Dean wrote about roll casting with a grass leader back in 2002.
The Roll Cast
"It's best to practice this cast on water because the water creates the friction and drag necessary for a good roll cast. The friction of the water on the line in the roll cast helps load, (bend) the rod. Learning how to load the rod is important for your future development in casting expertise. If water is not available, it is possible to learn this on grass using a grass leader. This was developed by Al Buhr in Oregon for practicing Spey casting.
Take a spool of monofiliment, 15 to 30 lb. test. Make a cut at 15". This will be your butt section. Now, tie a blood knot. Move down the leader seven inches. Make another cut and tie another blood knot. After you have done this about 15 - 20 times you will end up with about a 9' grass leader with a blood knot every 6 inches. Leave fifteen inches on the end for a tippet and tie on a piece of yarn. Trim the stubs at about 1/2" or less. (You have to tailor the length of the stubs to the length of the grass. The longer the grass the shorter the stubs should be. )The stubs will cause drag on the grass. They will also resemble barbed wire. This leader can be dangerous so be sure to wear eye protection! This is the formula for a Spey rod. You can make the leader longer or shorter according to your needs."
Jason Borger's 2001 book, The Nature of Fly Casting
, includes a section on grass leaders
Here is a previous discussion from 2011 about grass leaders.
You wrote, "To properly cast a fly rod you need water to properly load the rod for your backcast, casting on the grass or in the parking lot will not work."
I have no problem properly loading a fly rod off of grass. I think anyone that has fly casted of any length of time can do so without difficulty.
However, for teaching beginners, here's the bottom line for me. Almost all beginners will have a worse backcast than a forward cast, even when there is water present. So water will help the loading for the backcast. I completely agree with you on that. So if water is nearby, practice on water. But if water is not nearby, a lawn is fine.
The advantage is that if I can teach the beginner a good back cast off of grass, he/she will have an even better back cast off of water.