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  1. #1

    Default Newb to the 2 hander

    I think I'm hooked. Today was the first day I tried the two hander and boy was it fun. The first 4 hrs were filled with cursing and frustration, but I think I finally got it, the switch/spey cast that is. I started out with a skagit set up first but then couldn't get the cast to come out cleanly. I did snap T's and perry pokes to load the cast but it came out ugly. I put on the scandi next and decided to try to get the switch cast down first. I put on a 10 ft 4 ips polyleader but it felt too heavy for the scandi head to carry so I switched to a mono leader. At first, the cast felt familiar but I kept fighting my instincts. I was thinking and trying too hard on where to put my anchor and forming a nice D loop that my cast came out ugly. After tiring out my arms for a bit and wearing out my concentration, I just made a cast based on my instincts and it flew about 60-70 ft. On that cast, I also found the sweet spot accidentally. I had thought that the sweet spot would be with the loop to loop just hanging out of the tip, but it was actually ~3 ft of running line out of the tip. I spent the next 2 hrs cleaning up my technique a little, slowing down my anchor and D loop formation and making sure to use my lower hand in the forward cast. What a difference the lower hand makes, you can really feel the rod bend on the forward cast and it helps form tight loops. I'm glad I picked up the 2 hander and look forward to more cursing and frustration.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Isle of Lewis, UK.
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Newb to the 2 hander

    That sounds very positive, banjominnow! You seem to have sussed out some vital things in that session.

    That 'sweet spot' you refer to is particular to the rod & line you were using and your current ability. Other lines may need more or less 'out of the top' to load the rod well. How much can only be discovered through trial and error - as you found.
    As you get better and waste less energy in the cast you may find you can cope with yet more head out of the top. More head = More weight = more distance, so once you are comfortable with your '3 ft to the loops' mark see how you go at 3 ft 6", etc. There will be a limit beyond which you can't turn the line over - but it's fun finding it!

    When I was taught I was told to raise the top hand as high as my ear after the lift/sweep. It was described as 'Present Arms' if that helps picture it. Getting that hand high in effect adds another foot to the rod, it also opens up the body to permit more power in the forward cast compared with keeping the hands lower at chest height.
    Make sure you keep the bottom hand centred around the diaphragm, about 8 inches from the torso. A common fault is to let the bottom hand stray over to the top hand's side and this of course affects the angle the rod is at on the 'Shoot'. With the top hand at the ear and the bottom centred the rod will point to around 10 o' Clock to the side of you which is ideal.

    I believe that the essence of a good Spey cast is maintaining a light tension on the line from the very beginning to the end and keeping everything smooth. Raising the hands on 'Present' picks up a little slack as the D loop forms and so maintains the tension throughout.

    I think there are strong parallels between the Spey cast and that Olympic gymnastic discipline women do with a ribbon on a stick - you know the one? Wherever that stick goes the ribbon is sure to follow, displaying any bobbles and loops the stick made ..... It's pretty much the same with the cast - any wobbles and deviations you make with the rod tip will translate into your line's trajectory from start to finish - so try to keep things as smooth as you can and no faster than needs be to maintain tension. Good to see you picked that up re: slowing it down.
    A favourite saying of a colleague of mine to his learning guests is, "Hurry up and slow it down, Sir."
    So, try to keep everything smooth, slow and rhythmical. If/When things start to get worse either shorten your line (if poss.) or take ten minutes rest rather than flogging on.

    Aye! that bottom hand is just as important as the top in a trad. Spey cast. Equal effort from both is the trick - and doesn't it feel great when you sense that rod working right down into the cork!

    Best of luck with it next time out. Practice is all you need as you seem to be pretty intuitive about it but I'd recommend watching some tutorials on line to guard against any bad habits - they're awfy hard to get rid of once set in.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kincardine, Ontario
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Newb to the 2 hander

    Welcome to the dark side! It only gets easier, keep at it.
    Danny

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  7. #4

    Default Re: Newb to the 2 hander

    Thanks for the tips Lewis. Since I learned the single hand by myself and picked up bad habits that I had to undo, I will try to be mindful of proper technique. What I fear most is that I'm probably going to end up with more spey rods. I already have too many rods.

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  9. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Kincardine, Ontario
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Newb to the 2 hander

    Quote Originally Posted by banjominnow View Post
    Thanks for the tips Lewis. Since I learned the single hand by myself and picked up bad habits that I had to undo, I will try to be mindful of proper technique. What I fear most is that I'm probably going to end up with more spey rods. I already have too many rods.
    Of course you will. You can never have too many! Switch rod, summer big water rod, winter big water rod to start
    Danny

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  11. #6

    Default Re: Newb to the 2 hander

    Quote Originally Posted by huronfly View Post
    Of course you will. You can never have too many! Switch rod, summer big water rod, winter big water rod to start
    I have a 12'6" 6 wt, but I'm already thinking of a 13'6" 7 wt and maybe a trout spey or switch lol. On top of that would be a collection of heads, tips and leaders...aaargghhh.

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  13. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    15,945
    Blog Entries
    120

    Default Re: Newb to the 2 hander

    Hi,

    With a 12'6" rod I'm not surprised that you were comfortable with the Scandi line. You may find that these long rods are much like single hand fly rods in that once you have yourself grooved in with a rod you will cast whatever leader or fly you want within reason. Everything that Lewis has said will be helpful, he knows the business quite well. I'm not so good at explaining mechanics of the cast but if you choose to stick with longer bellied lines of at least 35' or more you may find some of the stuff I've written about technique of interest. Some are in the Spey forums here and others on the forum blog I keep. You'll find this to be a very relaxing way to fish I think.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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