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Old 01-26-2011, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

I liken flyfishing to golf...you can learn on your own how to get the ball down the course, but it may take more strokes than necessary. And if you get a pro to show you how you SHOULD be doing it sometimes it feels really awkward to do it the right way. But, when you finally DO it the right way and it takes far less energy to hit the ball farther than YOU'VE EVER HIT IT IN YOUR LIFE! You realize the way they showed you is probably the right way after all. If you practice the right way to hit a golf ball or cast a fly line it becomes what is natural to you and becomes less awkward. Old habits are hard to break, so start out with good habits. Even after several years of fly casting I sometimes need to take a break and refresh my stroke to get it back in the correct rythym and form. But when I get it right I can wing it! Or put it right next to that big deadfall where the big boy lives!
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

Jackster,

I don't fish for bones in that kind of wind because it's a waste of time. But I do fish for tarpon in wind like that, and I can only use the backcast presentation cast when it's blowing into my casting shoulder. I'm not strong enough to handle an 11 or 12 wt any other way under those conditions (certainly not without risk of impaling my fishing partner with a weighted 4/0 hook).

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

I don't wish to post anything in reply that disagrees with many other responses so I will be vague. I have not developed my casting style based on what works for others or what is taught in a book or hands on class. Fly fishing is a recreation and a wonderful excuse to get out in one of the most invigorating areas of the earths environmental zones, the rivers and creeks that are busy carrying the rainfall and snow melts to the lakes or the oceans. If I were to tell a person how to cast (and mind you I said "if") I would say do what feels right for you for it is your personal experience and quality of life that you seek to improve and enjoy. With all of the attention paid to proper style and so forth a person can easily become confused and think that they are fishing to meet the approval of others rather than for personal pleasure.

Please don't misunderstand my meaning, I do not profess that you should pursue a technique of fly casting that may be either inefficient or that may cause physical damage or discomfort to the caster. I merely suggest that you find and conform to styles that fit your personal needs. These may require a stiff or 'locked' wrist when attempting long or double haul distance casting and a more relaxed wrist and casting style when tossing a three weight line 25' to a trout. You will find your niche and there is nothing wrong with asking questions however I would advise trying to draw your own conclusions and directions after hearing the offerings that may be presented.

Ard
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

Quote:
If I were to tell a person how to cast (and mind you I said "if") I would say do what feels right for you for it is your personal experience and quality of life that you seek to improve and enjoy.
Wellll, sort of. But I think that the time it takes to actually get a line in the air and keep it there can be shortened with some good instruction. The hardest hurdle for newcomers, I think, is getting to the point where they learn how to control loop size. And that is where, I believe, good instruction comes in to help shorten the learning curve.

Start with feet and shoulders perpendicular to the target, no slack in the line, lift and accelerate to a hard stop at the 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock positions while false casting. Straight overhead (assuming no shoulder injuries etc). Grip, a matter of comfort - unless the "comfortable" grip prevents all progress.

Quote:
I merely suggest that you find and conform to styles that fit your personal needs. These may require a stiff or 'locked' wrist when attempting long or double haul distance casting and a more relaxed wrist and casting style when tossing a three weight line 25' to a trout.
Absolutely. Once you start getting time with line in the air (not your personally Ard ), and start feeling the line straighten out behind you, then you will start fine tuning your timing without even thinking about it, based on the results you see in front of you with every false cast.

Once the timing and loops start working, that's when you'll start developing your own "default" style based on your own body makeup, comfort zone and perhaps even personality.

But as conditions change, so will the "style" of your cast, as Ard pointed out. For instance, a right-handed guy in the stern of a canoe cannot use a sidearm cast (even if that's his default "style") when casting over the port (left) side of a canoe or skiff with another angler in the bow. It is simply too dangerous to the bow man.

And it makes little sense to use a wide open stance and huge stroke when standing in a stream casting 20-40'. For a cast like that, with a dry, I would probably be using a thumb on top, elbow forward, straight overhead cast using mostly wrist with a little bit of forearm for a straight cast. And the reel would not be jammed into my forearm for the backcast because it's totally unnecessary, counter productive and not as comfortable as not doing it. My hand would also be closer to the reel than it is in those pictures.

In short, I would be using a totally different style of casting. Much more like Joan Wulff's fresh-water style than my own default style. And, from what I hear from friends, when she used to fish the Keys, she used a style more like mine down here than her own.

But I really can't agree that a newcomer do what feels right for them, because what I've seen most often is that what feels right to them is generally a 180* windshield wiper cast that doesn't work. And that is followed up by a more vigorous windshield wiper cast that doesn't work even worse., eventually followed by discouragement and a return to the spinning rod.

Now for hard-headed people like us, Ard, who started out as kids determined to learn this fly-casting business with no one around to show us anything, we wound up learning stictly through trial and error. But it would have been a lot nicer (and faster) I'm sure for me, if I had had a few lessons way back then.

Cheers,
Jim
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