Loading the rod

wjc

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Bonefish. I may have come on a little strong with the wording, but I thought it was pretty clear that competitive “distance casters”, who are also fishermen (as most are), do not watch their backcasts when fishing any more than you do or I do.

And they all spend a lot of time “practicing” their casts. During competitions, where ever foot of distance counts, they watch their backcasts trying to eke another 3 feet of distance – despite having spent thousands of hours already tuning their casts. Here is a video of one such distance caster, Paul Arden, practicing while standing on a log in the same lake he is fishing in the second video. Note his head in the first and his head in the second. Each video will take only 30 seconds of your time.

First video link:

Second video link:

As you can clearly see, he checks every backcast while practicing, yet his head and eyes are riveted and totally focused on the spot the fish has risen while fishing. Paul probably has more hours watching backcasts than most of us have in total rod-in- hand time. Also note, in the second, how quickly he gets the fly onto the rise of the fish, and how he handles it afterwards with a 5 weight.

My point was aimed at newcomers who ask for casting advice and keep hearing the same old “load the rod” story, the topic of this discussion. If you accelerate the rod fast enough, the rod will load without any line on it at all as clearly shown in a video linked to earlier.

How can they develop a “feel” for a good backcast they can’t see to know whether they’ve ever had a good one or not, and what they did differently to cause one if they had?

I would like to see Paul do another video on that log wearing training wheels though. ;>)

I look forward to your explanation on how that works, and how long it takes to develop that feel that you and I and Paul Arden have had for many years.
 

trev

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"a pissed off guide" must be able to walk on water; no one should stand for a temper tantrum from an employee.
 

LOC

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Bonefish. I may have come on a little strong with the wording, but I thought it was pretty clear that competitive “distance casters”, who are also fishermen (as most are), do not watch their backcasts when fishing any more than you do or I do.

And they all spend a lot of time “practicing” their casts. During competitions, where ever foot of distance counts, they watch their backcasts trying to eke another 3 feet of distance – despite having spent thousands of hours already tuning their casts. Here is a video of one such distance caster, Paul Arden, practicing while standing on a log in the same lake he is fishing in the second video. Note his head in the first and his head in the second. Each video will take only 30 seconds of your time.

First video link:

Second video link:

As you can clearly see, he checks every backcast while practicing, yet his head and eyes are riveted and totally focused on the spot the fish has risen while fishing. Paul probably has more hours watching backcasts than most of us have in total rod-in- hand time. Also note, in the second, how quickly he gets the fly onto the rise of the fish, and how he handles it afterwards with a 5 weight.

My point was aimed at newcomers who ask for casting advice and keep hearing the same old “load the rod” story, the topic of this discussion. If you accelerate the rod fast enough, the rod will load without any line on it at all as clearly shown in a video linked to earlier.

How can they develop a “feel” for a good backcast they can’t see to know whether they’ve ever had a good one or not, and what they did differently to cause one if they had?

I would like to see Paul do another video on that log wearing training wheels though. ;>)

I look forward to your explanation on how that works, and how long it takes to develop that feel that you and I and Paul Arden have had for many years.
Maybe I'm on another planet but that was a pretty straight forward cast to make at a fish?
Myself and anyone of my friends could have made that cast. The whole thing about handling the fish on a 5wt has everything to do with what tippet he is fishing.

Not to discount Paul's skills as a caster. I've seen some impressive stuff by him but if asked I'm sure he would say that was a bread and butter cast.
 

wjc

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"a pissed off guide" must be able to walk on water; no one should stand for a temper tantrum from an employee."

Trev, I agree 100%.

Loc, I think you missed the point. My point was that Paul's head did not stray from the fish as it did for every backcast in the previous vid of him practicing on a log. I never mentioned anything about the difficulty or lack of it of the cast. But it is clear to me from the video that Paul is a fisherman not just a distance caster. Yes tippet strength plays a large part in fish handling. But that is far from "everything" in my opinion.

That fish rose at 0:43 sec in the video while Paul's line was in the air 30 degrees to the left of the rise and considerably closer. While watching the fish he changed directions and shot some line into the backcast, took one forward false cast, made another angle adjustment and shot 10 more feet or so at the fish. HIs fly landed 4 seconds from the time of the rise, at 0:47. Not once did he look at his backcast. That was my point.



I
 

Bonesonthebrain

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A pissed off guide does not throw a temper tantrum, but he surely will not work as hard for you if you keep losing track of the fish due to watching your back cast.

Think we are ultimately saying the same thing, but my point is do not let watching your back cast become a crutch, which will turn into a bad habit when fishing. See people do it all the time, need to learn to work through it.
 

LOC

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"a pissed off guide" must be able to walk on water; no one should stand for a temper tantrum from an employee."

Trev, I agree 100%.

Loc, I think you missed the point. My point was that Paul's head did not stray from the fish as it did for every backcast in the previous vid of him For a a log. I never mentioned anything about the difficulty or lack of it of the cast. But it is clear to me from the video that Paul is a fisherman not just a distance caster. Yes tippet strength plays a large part in fish handling. But that is far from "everything" in my opinion.

That fish rose at 0:43 sec in the video while Paul's line was in the air 30 degrees to the left of the rise and considerably closer. While watching the fish he changed directions and shot some line into the backcast, took one forward false cast, made another angle adjustment and shot 10 more feet or so at the fish. HIs fly landed 4 seconds from the time of the rise, at 0:47. Not once did he look at his backcast. That was my point.



I

Point noted and thanks for replying. For a lot of fly anglers that's just the game.
In practice watch your backcast that's why it's called practice. In real world you rise to another level.
A interesting topic we had among fly fisherman in regards of the best of the best is are you a fisherman or a predator...

Chasing Roosters in baja you do that cast while mid run down the beach at a 6 minute mile pace.

I'm not knocking you I appreciate you appreciate the skill level. : ]
 
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trev

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A pissed off guide does not throw a temper tantrum, but he surely will not work as hard for you
Temper tantrum is the definition of "pissed off" and you are correct; that guide would not work for me. If it's my dime I can blow every cast all day long, just because it is my dime.
 

Bonesonthebrain

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Temper tantrum is the definition of "pissed off" and you are correct; that guide would not work for me. If it's my dime I can blow every cast all day long, just because it is my dime.
I believe it is people like you that the guides tell stories about to me. An attitude of your dime and your employee will not impress many guides.
 

boisker

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Big difference when competing for distance casting and fishing, I would venture to say that the vast majority of ‘us’ do not compete, so your comment about Steve Rajeff and bad habits is not relevant. Accuracy and seeing your target are the most important attributes for fishing, distance is a nice to have, hence my comment about bad habits. If you want to nitpick about the exception, rather than the rule, have at it, but I question whether it is constructive or just arguing for the sake of arguing. Seems like you are advocating to keep your training wheels on your bike so you can feel what is happening, yet no one truly learns to ride a bike until the training wheels are off.
equally you seem to assume that everyone sight fishing does so with the benefit of fishing in an open ‘bones’ landscape.... I regularly look at my backcast, not for casting form, distance, or ‘because I can’t feel the tug’ but rather because I often fish in tree lined small technical rivers... so where you say “Accuracy and seeing your target are the most important attributes for fishing” I’d also add accuracy in the backcast, threading the loop through a tiny gap in bankside trees / scrub can be just as important as an accurate forward cast... otherwise you need a big fly box and plenty of time to keep tying on a new fly:)
 

wjc

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.........I regularly look at my backcast, not for casting form, distance, or ‘because I can’t feel the tug’ but rather because I often fish in tree lined small technical rivers... so where you say “Accuracy and seeing your target are the most important attributes for fishing” I’d also add accuracy in the backcast, threading the loop through a tiny gap in bankside trees / scrub can be just as important as an accurate forward cast... otherwise you need a big fly box and plenty of time to keep tying on a new fly:)
Exactly, Boisker. As I also mentioned in a previous post........
wjc said:
Did I watch mine at all during the first 45 or 50 years of fly fishing? Ah, no, except when casting between trees on river riverbanks or lake shores or when high dunes were behind, me for a few practice casts. Fortunately, I spent enough hours doing that to help out my casting.
 

Ryhags

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If anyone is interested, Mad River Outfitters in Columbus, OH. has a great series on casting. He covers a lot of what you’ve mentioned in this thread. But good visuals too!
 

Fauxtog

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If you really want to piss off a guide, cast over his head with a tailing loop and accidentally pierce one of his/her ears... that'll do it.
 
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