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Old 03-11-2009, 05:48 PM
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Default A recent problem in my casting

So I thought I had this casting deal down pretty good and was even beginning to double-haul but lately I've been plagued with this issue and I can't for the life of me figure out how to correct it.

When I make a forward cast the fly line seems to drop into a loop at the end which rolls forward, oftentimes catching the fly on the line that it is passing.

Am I not following through enough on the forward cast?

Sorry if this is hard to envision, it's equally hard for me to explain.
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Old 03-11-2009, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

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Originally Posted by mcA896 View Post
Am I not following through enough on the forward cast?
Don't 'follow through', at least until after you've stopped the rod firmly.
What you described seems like the dreaded tailing loop. Poor application of power (too much too soon in the stroke0 a concave rod tip path... there are any number of reasons but the one I see most is poor power application. If you feel you must power the rod, do that as near the end of the stroke as you can. Try slowly accelerating to max speed at the end of the stroke then a crisp stop and see if that doesn't help.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

I agree with Jackster that it does indeed sound like a tailing loop is causing your problems. Applying the power too early in the stroke is most likely the cause. I used to have worse problems with it (learned the sport while playing DT in college) but have less issues with it as I get older and weaker.

Make sure that you are accelerating your casting hand through the stroke smoothly. The goal of this is to get your rod bending at a constantly increasing rate. Doing so will ensure a straight line path of the rod tip, not the dreaded concave path that leads to a tailing loop.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

Hi mcA896,

Welcome to the club. I think we have all experienced the tailing loop from time to time. It especially shows up when you are trying to get that little extra distance. I had a period where I thought pushing with my thumb would really give me the distance I wanted. The harder I pushed the more tailing loop I got.

You need to stop trying to power the cast and make the same smooth acceleration and abrupt stop with the rod tip. Just slow things down and make it smooth, not powerful. When starting to learn the double haul we feel we have to rush things to get your haul into the cast. That is not true. You have plenty of time to do the haul, so don't rush. If you are making your haul late in the timing of the cast you might be contributing to the tailing loop. You don't have to be making a long cast to practice the double haul. You can do it with a 40' cast and it is easier to get the timing right. When the line is snapping against the rod as it shoots forward you know you got the timing right with your haul.

Frank
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:11 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

Also, you might be applying power too early because you're begining your haul too fast and/or too early.

I have to frequently remind myself not to begin my downward haul until my casting arm is extended about three-quarters.

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Old 04-08-2009, 08:11 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

P.S. Also, you might be ending your downward haul too late. (This will also make it almost impossible to properly execute your upward haul.) You should end your downward haul when you abruptly stop your casting stroke.

Randy
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

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Originally Posted by randyflycaster View Post
P.S. Also, you might be ending your downward haul too late. (This will also make it almost impossible to properly execute your upward haul.) You should end your downward haul when you abruptly stop your casting stroke.

Randy
I had never contemplated it, but this could indeed cause tailing loop issues.

Yet another is making too long of a haul, which could also result in the end of the downward haul occurring too late. Work on making a short haul that starts about mid-way through the casting stroke and ends before your rod hand stops. Don't worry much about the force, just get the timing right. Focus on what that well-timed short haul is doing to your loops and line speed and then carefully add power from there.
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Old 04-08-2009, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

I always get my insights when explaining something to someone, or during
conversations like this....

You have to remember that fly casting is all about energy transfer. The
greatest amount of energy is going to be closest to the hand and rod. The
last part of the system that receives energy is the tip. If you haul too soon
or too hard, the end of the line may not be able to keep up with the speed and energy of the line closer to the rod tip. The result may cause
the end of the line to drop in relation to the main body, and you get the
tailing loop. I say "may" because I'm working on a hunch here .

Read all of the advice from the posters above, and view the rod, hand, and
line as a system. Drag racing could be used as a quick analogy: floor the
pedal too much on the line, and you're just spinning your wheels....
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

you've gotten too much good advice already. seriously. it was all good based on what you wrote. you have a tailing loop. they come in a couple of varieties, but this is the most common.

technically defined, the reason is a concave rod tip path. think about what that means and visualize it because the only way to fix it is to get that out of your casting stroke. and you don't want to "groove" that into your muscle memory.

i'm not going to talk techniques for correcting it because you've already gotten too much advice about that. i'm going to talk strategy/philosophy. why do we start to double-haul? 95% of the time it is to add distance. it's the wrong reason, but the most common reason by far. the right reason is to increase line speed. why increase line speed? to tighten loops. why do we want tighter loops?

1. to reduce wind resistance. lets us cast effectively in more windy conditions and lets us cast bigger flies more efficiently.

2. to improve accuracy. by reducing wind resistance and other variables in the physics of the cast (less surface area exposure at the points of stress in the casting loop), our cast becomes far more consistant...thus manageable and predictable. this lets us become far more accurate and consistant with practice.

3. to increase flexibility of backcast location. a tighter backcast can be placed in tighter spots: between trees, telephone poles, or other obstacles. it can be elevated or lowered to clear obstacles, or moved side to side. all of this can be done with greater ease (see 1 and 2 above) and squeezed into tighter spots with a tighter loop.

4. to aerialize more line. only by increasing line speed can you aerialize more line during false casting without your loop collapsing. hauls timed while the rod is loaded remove slack. this keeps line speed high and prevents loop collapse if the rod tip track is straight and level and the tip speed and stops are properly timed. aerializing more line allows you to cast more line - thus increasing casting distance...all other things being equal.

5. to increase rod loading without distorting the path of the rod tip. this will also increase casting distance because the rod will transfer more energy to the line when it unloads. but it could also be done for other reasons, like limited backcast room.

you should study each of these in detail and meditate (visualize) on it until you understand how it translates into physical reality. notice that none of these necessarily involve increased distance, but there is seldom a reason for #4 other than more distance.

what you must always, always, always remember about fly casting is that excellent fly casting (distance included) is not accomplished by a tense muscle. it is accomplished from relaxed muscles that feel as if they are barely working. it is about form and timing.

what almost all of us screw up when trying to add distance or line speed to our cast in the early going is that we try to add force. force should never be a part of the fly casting equation. and this is counter-intuitive to the male psyche. this is why it is often easier to teach women, girls, and old men to cast well. how many times have you seen a guy (or caught yourself doing it) try to open a locked door and fail only to try again by trying to push, turn the knob, lift the handle, etc. even harder? how about the slow elevator? push the button harder and repeatedly, right? never works, but we do it over and over again. don't we? these are manifestations of the same psychological obstacle we face with fly casting...the same one that leads to the tailing loop most of the time.

so the only advice i am going to give you is this:

slow back down and relax. work on the form and timing and forget about distance. when you get the form and timing down, the distance will be automatically there whenever you want it. it will come by adjusting the amount of line you aerialize, the length of your casting stroke, adjusting the timing of your stops and hauls accordingly, and raising your forward stopping point and holding that position longer.

and the only thing i will recommend is this (and this is for everything): focus on your backcast. watch your backcast, not your target, during the casting stroke. whatever happens behind you is exactly what you will get in front of you. the forward loop is a mirror image of the backward loop. i demonstrate this in classes of unbelievers by executing a long double-haul cast with 3 false casts to form a good loop. on the 3rd, i launch the cast w/no forward haul and at the forward stop drop the fly rod and let it fall to the ground. the fly line shoots forward and the loop unfurls straight as an arrow and hits the same target i've been hitting. they all watch their backcasts after that.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: A recent problem in my casting

There is certainly a debate about how long a caster should haul. Lefty Kreh advocates using a short haul. IMHO, this is fine for most fishing situations. To achieve maximum distance, however, a caster must use a long haul. (All the tournmament casters do.)

I do not believe a properly executed long haul causes tailing loops.

Certainly when false casting into a strong wind I use a short haul as it will be impossible to execute an upward haul without adding slack.

On my presentation cast into a wind I'll use a long downward haul.

Randy
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