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Old 09-08-2010, 05:37 AM
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Default A Couple Of Technique Questions

1./

Depending on who you read or listen to, there are 2 grips, one with thumb on top (most common, I think), and the other with fore-finger on top.

I find with forefinger on top I get better accuracy, feel and overall control. Are there any advantages to the "thumb on top" grip that would make it necessary to stick with that grip and learn it, or is it an entirely personal preference?

2./

I've learned the advantages of retrieving line through the middle finger of the rod hand. I've also learned that pinching the line between that finger from start to completion of the back-cast increases the "feel" of when the rod is loading up, and ready for the start of the forward cast.

Assuming the above is the correct way (also assuming of course, at that time there is no need to double- or single-haul, or for a false cast), when is the correct time to release the line from under that finger?

At the abrupt stop on the forward cast? Just after the stop as the rod is being lowered? Wait 'till the rod is level and line is close to completing turning over?

While I know maybe these questions are possibly getting a little on the anal side, I know from other activities that require repeated motions and techniques (golf and darts), poor habits and techniques are pure hell to change once they're "ingrained" and it's often much easier to learn properly from the start.

As always, thanks in advance for responses and advice.

Jamie.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:31 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

1. - I use the thumb on top for most applications. My accuracy doesn't seem to suffer as I use the thumb nail as the guide.
On occasion I will move the thumb to the side a bit and spread out the forefinger on the opposite side of the thumb so I end up with a 'V', formed by the bottom of the thumb and forefinger, on top. This grip seems to help when I find my back cast sweeping off to the right (I cast right handed mostly)

2 - Most times while casting I'm actually holding the line in the non casting hand and only when the cast is complete and I'm again fishing or retreiving line do I transfer the line over to the rod hand. I've always used the index finger to trap the line. I'm not sure it makes much difference or why it would.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

Like Jackster I use thumb on top...Austrian famous fishermen use forefinger on top...because they cast with short rods,I think this method is not convenient with long and more powerful rods.So use the finger you feel better with.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

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Old 09-08-2010, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

I do finger on top for accuracy, thumb on top for power
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

I used the thumb-on-top grip for years until I watched Gary Borger demonstrate the three-point-grip at an expo in Utah. I watched him effortlessly cast the entire fly line with only a couple of strokes. I was hooked and convinced and have been using the three-point-grip ever since. My wife was there and this grip really changed how she casts and now she's probably tachnically better than I am because of switching to this grip.

Here is the link to an article by Jason Borger in Flyfisherman magazine a while back: The Three-Point Grip | A problem-solving grip that can make you a better caster.

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Old 09-08-2010, 10:58 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

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Originally Posted by kglissmeyer1 View Post
I used the thumb-on-top grip for years until I watched Gary Borger demonstrate the three-point-grip at an expo in Utah. I watched him effortlessly cast the entire fly line with only a couple of strokes. I was hooked and convinced and have been using the three-point-grip ever since. My wife was there and this grip really changed how she casts and now she's probably tachnically better than I am because of switching to this grip.

Here is the link to an article by Jason Borger in Flyfisherman magazine a while back: The Three-Point Grip | A problem-solving grip that can make you a better caster.

Kelly.
Interesting article. I'll have to give that a try.
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:11 PM
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Thumbs up Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

I agree with jbbfly that on heavier-weight longer rods the forefinger-on-top grip is awkward. But I think part of the reason for that is because heavier-weight longer rods also seem to have grips that are thick in the front, like Full or Half-Wells grips. For me it puts strain on the forefinger joint when holding such grips with the forefinger on top.

On the other hand, rod grips that taper down in the front like Cigar variants are comfortable to cast with my forefinger on top. Perhaps not so coincidentally, these grip shapes seem prevalent in lighter-weight shorter rods where the precision of the finger-on-top casting grip pays particular dividends. And, conversely, the heavier-weight longer rods with the Full Wells/Half Wells type of grips lend themselves well to the leverage that the thumb-on-top grip provides for power or distance casting common with the heavier-weight &/or longer rods.
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Old 09-09-2010, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

I think the "thumb on top" grip is the most anatomically uncomfortable grip to use for the backcast (except for the forefinger on top that is) and results in poor backcast loops with nearly every beginer and most others as well - unless they are only casting short distances.

The thumb on top is a powerful grip for the forward cast though.

But there are no rules against using a palm forward, "V" grip, or three point grip for the backcast, then simply rotating the forearm 90 degrees (or whatever) to get the thumb on top. Or sliding the thumb over onto the top for the forward cast. To do the former means that the reel will be parallel to the ground on the backcast and perpendicular to the ground on the forward cast.

If doing constant blind casting, as in working shorelines for bass or dredging deep in lakes for trout, or casting to the mangroves for snook and holed up redfish, I change my grip on the forward cast throughout the day. The muscles used in a thumb on top are different from the ones used in a palm forward grip and switching muscle groups helps with fatigue.

I've only tried the forefinger on top recently, and such a grip would never have occurred to me if I hadn't read about it. It's main use to me would be to get newcomers to the sport into the habit of not driving the backcast into the ground or water behind them.

I also use the middle finger to trap the line when stripping for several reasons. One is that there is a finger on either side of it so when you clamp down on the line, the line has to make two 90 degree turns to get away, instead of only one when using the index finger.

But the other is that is is the least important digit on the rod handle in terms of handling the rod. The index finger and thumb and the two fingers fartherst away from them are what gives you the leverage and control over the rod - both during the cast (especially during the "power snap" and stop for the little fingers), and while mending , setting the hook and so on.

And the other thing, for you guys up north who dredge for big brookies the day after ice out, the middle finger stayes warmer than the index finger while ice is buillding up in your guides.

I don't have to deal with that anymore - but I've seen some of your pictures, and it looks like "stripping with the rod underwater" weather to me.

Really, though, like grip, where you hold the line is whatever works best for you.

Cheers,
Jim

---------- Post added at 12:00 AM ---------- Previous post was Yesterday at 10:45 PM ----------

Quote:
Assuming the above is the correct way (also assuming of course, at that time there is no need to double- or single-haul, or for a false cast), when is the correct time to release the line from under that finger?

At the abrupt stop on the forward cast? Just after the stop as the rod is being lowered? Wait 'till the rod is level and line is close to completing turning over?
Jamie,

That question deserves a complete thread and IS the million dollar question. In fact, that question started a debate 3 weeks ago at a competitive distance casting website comprised of the world's best distance casters, and there have so far been 216 replies to that basic question. The answer is that nobody really knows for sure.

Just two days ago, I received two high quallity microswitches I ordered which I will hook up to a battery and a trailer tail-light. I will tape the switch between two fingers of my line hand and hold the line between my thumb and the switch. When I release the line, the tail light will come on.

I may need to make some adjustments to the switch button, but once done, I will send the two setups to a couple guys in Europe who are always at the top of the international competitions and who have high speed video cameras. My video camera only does NTS (30 frames/second) which is useless for this since my rod moves almost completely through its rotation from one frame to the next.

Besides, I want to see exactly when a professional distance champion releases on a great cast.

I suspect that single-handed casts are not released until right before maximum counterflex after the stop and after the rod has passed the "rod straight position". Several guys claim that they release before "rod straight position" and never stop (on the final forward cast).

So if the best distance casters in the world don't even know when they release, I wouldn't worry too much about it for a while if I were you.

For myself, I stop when I run out of arm on long casts which is when I finish up the haul. And I think I release shortly after the rod straightens out and has already started counterflexing the opposite way from the bend when it's loaded. But lilke them, I don't know for sure.

I will keep you informed of progress if you are interested.

Cheers,
Jim

Last edited by wjc; 09-08-2010 at 11:57 PM. Reason: edit in red -
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: A Couple Of Technique Questions

Hi Everyone,

I find the finger on top a very awkward and unnatural position . I think it will cause strange rod positions during the cast. The three finger grip would be a better choice if someone wanted to experiment with the finger on top position. The finger on the side of the rod is a more natural position than the finger on top.

Having said the above I find both positions to be uncomfortable and the thumb on top a more natural position. With lighter rods I do advance my forefinger forward on the grip some what like a three finger grip but I don't put the finger on the side of the grip. I think experimenting with the grip for a beginner is a mistake unless they have an instructor.

Frank
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