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Old 05-01-2014, 09:30 PM
silver creek silver creek is offline
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Default Re: Curve to the right

Originally Posted by calftail View Post
Another thread (6- Weight Renaissance) brought up the fly cast "curve to the right"for right handed casters. It's not an easy cast until you get the moves down with a little practice, then it becomes part of your game. I use it all the time. So I'll open up the discussion here in the Fly Casting Forum.

Here's couple of ways I make the cast and then I'll let others chime in with their thoughts. I know that there's more ways than one to skin the cat, but my skinnin' goes like this.....

First way is the twist of the wrist during the power stroke. Remember the fundamental, the line goes were the tip goes. Make your normal overhead back cast and on the forward cast, right as you snap your wrist, snap it to the right. It takes some pretty good line speed for this cast to happen.The end of the forward cast should bounce and the fly kick around to the right. Aim above the water as high as the wind will allow you and after the fly has kicked follow the line to the water with your rod tip so as not to pull any curve you put into it.

Second way is the curve to the right cast I use the most...make a normal overhead back cast making sure that the back cast is in the target line or slightly left of it, towards your left back pocket when looking ahead. Try not to throw the back cast out to the right. Your attempting to make an open loop for the forward cast. Remember the fundamental that your back cast and your forward cast should be separated by 180 degrees. Less than 180 and you get a tailing closed loop and more than 180 an open wide loop, so for the curve right we set up an open loop.

As the back cast is completed change planes and tilt the rod to the horizontal and make a forward stroke in a u or dish shape with no extra power ending with the rod tip up and not so much pointed horizontally at the target. The open loop will stall the turnover of the leader along with the sweeping rod move giving the line path a slight rise, you'll see a nicely curved line and leader to the right and some handy slack to go with it. Again, it all happens in the air so you must follow the line down to the water or you will pull the curve and slack out.

I know there's other ways so have at it...let's hear 'em.

The right curve as your first decides it is a VERY, VERY difficult cast because the wrist is not designed to rotate as far in PRONATION.

First let me describe anatomic terms so we can all agree on the direction of hand and wrist rotation. Bend your right elbow so that your right palm faces up. Now rotated it palm down. That direction of rotation is PRONATION.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now rotate it back palm up. That direction of wrist rotation is SUPINATION.

Click the image to open in full size.

In the normal forward cast position, the wrist and hand are already positioned alway between a prone and supine position. To see what I mean, raise your right hand up to the side of your ear with an open hand in the karate chop position so your palm is facing your right ear. With your open hand, come forward and down stop if you were making a cast, and PRONATE your wrist just before the stop so at the stop your open hand face forward. You have rotated your wrist 90 degrees of pronation.

Now do the same thing but start with your palm to your rear and your knuckles facing forward. Now make your forward casting motion and PRONATE your wrist so so that it ends with your palm facing forward. You have rotated your wrist 180 degrees of pronation. - twice the amount as when you started in the normal casting position of your hand.

The way to get this 180 degrees of pronation is you make your backcast over your LEFT shoulder in a cross body cast. IN this position your knuckled naturally face forward and it will be MUCH, MUCH easier to make that wrist snap before the stop. So for a snap curve cast for a right hander, make your backcast over the left shoulder.

Bring you backcast over the opposite side like the illustration below, but with the back of your hand and knuckles facing forward,

Click the image to open in full size.

Read the description at the end of this article.

Throw Your Fish a Curve | MidCurrent

As for the second method, I think you are describing a cast that does not completely unfurl so the cast is an underpowered RIGHT side arm cast and collapses before it can straighten out. Some fly casters do not consider this a true curve cast because it CANNOT cast AROUND a standing object whereas the first cast can cast around a bush or tree trunk. It should just hit the vertical object. In competitive casting competitions, you need land the fly in a ring behind a wall and this cast could not do that.

I personal find this second cast easier than the above method as you do. One tip to make an underpowered curve cast easier is that you can shoot line to kill the cast if your have make too strong a cast and it won't collapse.

The third way to make a right curve is to make a reverse sidearm overpowered curve cast. As a right hander, you need to make an overpowered curve from the LEFT side.

The way you do this is to stand sideways to the direction of the cast. Make a sidearm forward cast in the direction of your backcast. So holding your rod with your palm facing up, make a FORWARD cast to the left across your body. After the stop, rotate your hand so the palm faces down, and make another FORWARD cast back across your body to the right with a hard stop. When you overpower this forward cast to the right, the leader will hook to the right.

You are making TWO FORWARD CASTS by rotating your hand between the casts. That way you can make a reverse sidearm cross body over powered forward cast that hooks right. You are making an overpowered right hook like a left hander would do by making the cast across the front of your body rather than across the side of the body as a lefty would do. Clear as mud???

The fourth way that you have not mentioned is the Corkscrew Curve Cast which was first described in 1980 by Bob Pelzl and Gary Borger on pg. 58 of the 1980 Early Season issue of Fly Fisherman Magazine titled "Corkscrew Curve Cast". Now we have video so you can see Jason Borger demonstrating this cast.

Look at these two videos of Jason Borger doing the corkscrew curve cast. Because he adds the corkscrew before the stop, the curve is place in the fly line at the leader. Look at both videos - on the second one you can see the end of the fly line curving to the left.

Now here is what confuses even seasoned casters.

Before the stop, Jason moves the rod tip to the left and then in a semicircle (corkscrew) to the right. He is producing a two pulses, first to the left then to the right that travel down the fly line.

Here are two illustrations from the original article:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

If you did not know Jason made that initial motion to the left, you would only see the final corkscrew to the right, and you would think a rightward motion made a leftward curve.

No wonder even accomplished casters are puzzled by this cast.

What ever you do with the rod tip after the stop affects how the fly line lands; and the sooner you do it after the stop, the closer the change in fly line direction will be to the leader. Everything is related to the stop, because it is the stop that causes loop formation and transfers potential energy from the bent rod to the fly line. What happens is that any change in direction or position of the rod tip is transmitted to the fly line and travels down the fly line following the loop as it moves from the rod tip to the end of the line and leader.

Imagine a rod tip motion to reposition the line after the stop. Try to visualize it in your mind and you will begin to understand what happens after the hard stop. The stop caused the rod tip to slow down. The fly line continues forward at the same speed, and its momentum carries it ahead of the slowing rod tip. Since the end of the fly line is anchored to the rod tip, this forward momentum of the trailing line causes it to flip over and form a loop which travels toward the end of the line and leader as the fly line extends itself. Whatever you do after loop formation then must follow the loop down the fly line. The longer you wait after the stop to move the rod tip, the further the loop has traveled down the line before the action caused by the movement of the rod tip can follow it down the line.

The fifth curve cast is the Sky Curve Cast. It is new cast that was described by Joe Mahler just in the last few years. The original on-line article has been taken down but I have videos and an illustrations of the rod tip motion.

The illustrations for the rod stroke of a sky curve is below.
Sky Curve

Click the image to open in full size.

The sixth way to make the line/leader fall in a curve is the right “in the air” fly line mend after the stop. Make a traditional stop and after the stop move the rod tip to the right then back to the center.

Now lets consider an in the air mend to see how it differs. Lets start with the simplest mend, the reach mend. We reach or move the rod tip after the stop. This lateral movement of the rod tip is transmitted down the fly line by the loop as it goes down the line. So if we move the rod to the right immediately after the stop, the line begins to angle to the right from the leader all the way to the rod tip. But if we delay the movement to the right just a bit, the leader and the distal fly line will be straight and then it will begin to angle to the right. The longer that we wait before we move the rod tip to the right, the longer the section of straight leader and line at the distal end of the line. This demonstrated that the location of the beginning of the displacement (mend) depends on when we begin moving the rod tip to the side.

Now lets visualize an in the air right/left mend or right curve mend. After the stop, we move the rod tip to the right and then back left to return it to the center. As the loop moves down the line it transmits this right then left line displacement so that the line curves to the right and then back to the center as it falls to the water.

The location, depth and length of the mend depends on the following:

1.The sooner we move the rod tip after the stop, the closer the beginning of the mend will be to the leader.

2. The further to the side we move the rod tip, the deeper the mend or curve.

3. The longer we keep the rod tip to the side, the longer the curve will be.

If you doubt this just try it. Or remember what happens when you do an "S" or wiggle mend. After the stop, we wiggle the rod tip back and forth and the S's travel down the line as the loop moves down the line and the line falls to the water in a series of S's. The S's farthest down the line are the wiggles you did at the beginning and the S's closest to you are the wiggles you ended the cast with.

So to place a curve in the distal leader - hook the rod tip before the stop. To place a mend into the line, move the rod tip after the stop.


"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought"..........Szent-Gyorgy

Last edited by silver creek; 05-01-2014 at 10:02 PM.
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