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Old 01-26-2011, 08:16 AM
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Default Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

I took a few fly-fishing lessons a few months back. The instructor taught us to use our wrist in our cast. But as I ask around and looks at tips on the internet, everything says that your wrist should be locked. Due to poor health, I haven't been able to get much fishing done. So what I want to know is, should I start practicing locking my wrist before it's too late?
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:31 AM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

You should take a look at Tim Landwehr's fly casting videos, he recommends locking the wrist:

Larry
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:36 AM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

I am a beginner also. I also see alot of different opinions on this subject. Although everyone agrees that a loose wrist is very bad, there seems to be a mix regarding rigid or semi rigid wrist during casting.
I have not developed any habits at all yet. But I imagine that I will end up with whatever method is most comfortable to me. I do not see much pleasure in FF if I have to force myself to do something that feels unnatural.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbo342000 View Post
I am a beginner also. I also see alot of different opinions on this subject. Although everyone agrees that a loose wrist is very bad, there seems to be a mix regarding rigid or semi rigid wrist during casting.
I have not developed any habits at all yet. But I imagine that I will end up with whatever method is most comfortable to me. I do not see much pleasure in FF if I have to force myself to do something that feels unnatural.
You are correct, but if you look at the first portion of Tim's video you will see that he has a lot of folks come into his shop asking to fix their casting and the main issue is a very loose wrist, I think that is why a lot of instructors try to emphasis locking the wrist when working with beginner casters. Later on as you gain proficiency you can move to a semi rigid style. A few years back Lambster came out from Georgia with a friend and we floated the North Platte together. Lambster's friend was in the front of the boat and he cast with a very loose wrist, both Lambster and I tried to get him to tighten up the wrist some, but it was so engrained in his casting he couldn't do it. It was very scary in the rowers seat as he kept breaking that wrist and slinging flies by my ear. Later on in the week, he ended up burying a fly in his forearm and then later on in between his first and second fingers. On the float trip, I asked Lambster's friend to pinch down the barbs on his hooks before he nails one of us with his flies, but he just ignored me. Maybe the trip to the ER made an impression on him about pinching the barbs down.

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Old 01-26-2011, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

I have been fly fishing for 25 years and taught myself with the help of casting videos when I first started casting I didn't pay as much attention to my writs, but I must have not had to slopping of wrists, because I casted fairly well right from the beginning. Over the years I now find when I pay attention to keeping my wrists rigid my casts get better, more effortless, and my arm becomes much less fitigued.

---------- Post added at 09:02 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:53 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post
You are correct, but if you look at the first portion of Tim's video you will see that he has a lot of folks come into his shop asking to fix their casting and the main issue is a very loose wrist, I think that is why a lot of instructors try to emphasis locking the wrist when working with beginner casters. Later on as you gain proficiency you can move to a semi rigid style. A few years back Lambster came out from Georgia with a friend and we floated the North Platte together. Lambster's friend was in the front of the boat and he cast with a very loose wrist, both Lambster and I tried to get him to tighten up the wrist some, but it was so engrained in his casting he couldn't do it. It was very scary in the rowers seat as he kept breaking that wrist and slinging flies by my ear. Later on in the week, he ended up burying a fly in his forearm and then later on in between his first and second fingers. On the float trip, I asked Lambster's friend to pinch down the barbs on his hooks before he nails one of us with his flies, but he just ignored me. Maybe the trip to the ER made an impression on him about pinching the barbs down.

Larry
Larrry: That is an awesome illustrative story. If you are going to learn to use a simi-rigid wrist for yourself do it for other peoples safety.

Hopefully he also decided to learn to cast. That or you could be like skippers that take out large fishing parties on the California Coast, if you don't listen to them they and their deck hands will take your rod and reel away until the trip is over and not allow you back on their boat ever again.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:22 AM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

The reason most instructors tell newcomers to lock their wrists is to get them to STOP the rod quickly so that it "unloads" and "flicks" a tight loop of line in the intended trajectory.

Without this instruction, most newcomers use their wrists in a "windshield wiper" motion and either never form a loop at all, or form one so big that the fly, leader and line all land in a pile in front of them after hitting the ground or water behind them.

Also, when using the thumb on top grip on the backcast, any wrist movement backwards will lay the rod down horizontally when the forearm reaches a vertical position.

With the backcast in particular, and with medium weight rods, most people's wrists are not strong enough to generated the rod speed required for a long backcast.

Below are two snapshots taken from a video of a presentation backcast with an 8 wt sage TCR rod strung with a 7 wt WF line. This backcast (like all of my backcasts) is done with a palm forward grip.

Notice the position of the reel, jammed against the forearm. No wrist motion involved whatsoever. Notice the angle of the forearm in all three pictures below.

This one is just milliseconds prior to the stop.

Click the image to open in full size.

The picture below is just past the hard "STOP". You can see the reel lifting off the forearm as the rod is unloading.

Click the image to open in full size.

The one below is during wrist relaxation to "Dampen" the "Rebound" after the "counterflex". Note the position of the reel in relation to the forearm in the above two pictures. Since this is a presentation cast, the wrist is being rotated so the rod can be comfortably lowered. If seen during the video it does not appear that there was ever a stop at all.

Click the image to open in full size.

Once you get the hang of squeezing to a " hard stop", that stop can immediately merge into a relaxed wrist follow through. But without a hard stop (however brief) there can be no "power snap" as Joan Wulff describes it.

You simply have to experiment with your stroke to develop your own style of casting. On the final presentation cast, your hard stop on long presentation casts may wind up being when you run out of arm length.

Cheers,
Jim

---------- Post added at 12:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:02 PM ----------

Wow! Lots of posts while I was typing and answering phone calls.

Quote:
Lambster and I tried to get him to tighten up the wrist some, but it was so engrained in his casting he couldn't do it.
That is where the "forefinger directly on top" grip comes in handy. It is harder to drop the rod too low on the backcast using that grip, even with a limp wrist. It is sort of an enforced, (very uncomfortable) palm forward grip.

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

It is all about trying to achieve a straight line path. That is darn near impossible to do with a 'wristy' cast. You usually end up with that windshield wiper action that Jim mentioned where the rod tip sweeps in a huge arc instead of a straight path. That SLP is just more effecient as the energy is not lost in a motion not sending the line directly on the intended path.
Once you learn to lock the wrist and have the rod tip move in a SLP you can add a bit of wrist at the very end of the strokes to help tighten your loop.

Jim, is it the pictures or is your rod arm way out to the side away from you?
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

Well my wrist is stiff, but the instructor taught us to sort of flick out wrist for the cast, both back cast and forward cast.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

Oddball,

If that is working for you, do it. If you start getting loops that are too open you are probably using too much wrist.

Jackster,

Here is the video those shots were taken from. I was demonstrating for a buddy that it was possible to present flies at a decent distance even with a breeze blowing into your casting shoulder by using a backcast presentation. And still get off the cast in under 6 seconds or so, starting with the fly in your hand.

It just takes practice. So I videoed the whole thing for him - including walking down the tape measure to the fly.

I can't tell how far out from my body my arm is. Probably not real far. I may have been adjusting the trajectory due to the fly line floating off course. I also was using a very open stance to make the presentation easier for stiff bones. There was a fair breeze blowing as you can tell from the flag and coconut trees.

You can see from the video that an observer would never know that I stopped the rod. This is always a problem when beginners are watching an experienced caster. They cannot pick up the stop because the more expeienced the caster, the quicker and less evident it generally is I think.

http://www.miterclamp.com/videos/qui...t_jackster.wmv

Cheers,
Jim
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:24 PM
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Default Re: Should I start trying to lock my wrist before it's too late?

YOW! You sure had a ton of wind out there!
I really like how much you delay the haul. That is tough to get down pat as you have.
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