The 'Snap-T' Cast

duker

Well-known member
Messages
1,209
Reaction score
351
Location
Gulf Islands
If you do it properly a Snap-T is no harder on a rod than any other kind of cast. Of course, if you do it wrong. . . .

Getting the "snap" down was the most difficult part for me, and does take some finesse. Learning to Snap-T wasn't hard on my rod, but it was on my fly box--if I didn't do it gently enough I'd actually crack the fly right off the leader. God knows how many flies I left in the Bulkley during that first trip before I got it down. But no problems with the rod.

An alternative to the Snap-T is the single spey cast, which can be difficult for some (including me) to master effectively. Like all casts, it comes down to practice, practice, practice.
 

Bigfly

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
598
Location
Truckee, CA.
Rabid...That is exactly where a fast rod can serve us.... a softer rod when asked to "snap around" bends more and makes a sharp small snap harder.
The softer rod lends it's self to a larger circle spey. If you have a lot of line out, it can be a challenge to do the cast tightly, rather than a more open style..

Do not confuse expensive with fast....you can buy very expensive rods that are soft/slow action, and expensive fast rods.
Most intro level rods are not expensive and are often softer. My style started on a softer stick, and has moved on to faster rods for more power.

Someone mentioned having trouble keeping their elbow down during the cast. I can't encourage you enough to make it happen. My hands almost lay in my lap (so to speak). When I raise my elbow, I actually lose some of my power. If I see you keeping elbow down in single handed casts, it shows me you know how to store energy in the rod, and not trying to find power with muscles. Which is how many folks cast... a hold over from throwing a ball.
Raising an elbow is a hold over from poor dry fly casting technique. I see clients that just hold their arm straight, stick the rod in the air and wave it around. Hardly any power developed/stored. Guys that are having trouble casting beyond 30 feet are usually examples of the elbow up variety.
I had a vicious top hand push when I started spey casting, left over from bad single hand casting habits. Now that I've dialed my spey technique a little more, my regular single hand casting is better informed as well.... More power and less effort. Hooray!
My push was so bad, my instructor had me loosen my wading belt and put my arm down through it before doing a snap-T. Try it for an hour and you will be amazed how things change. I do a lot of single hand spey now with short sticks and a dry fly. TRY IT!

Jim
 
Last edited:

huronfly

Well-known member
Messages
932
Reaction score
285
Location
Ontario, Canada
That is what I am looking at.. The single hand spey. The guys on the videos make it look easy and looks like magic..I'm going to try it..
Just so you know, a "single spey" is not the same thing as "single hand spey". Single spey is basically a dynamic roll cast with a change of direction, mostly done use two handed rods, but can be done single handed as well.

Perry pokes and upstream snake rolls are also substitutes for a Snap T, the latter being less common.
 

Bigfly

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
598
Location
Truckee, CA.
I often say I wish someone had shown me the spey cast before the overhand cast. It would have saved me some grief. Spey is the WAY.

Jim
 

LOC

Well-known member
Messages
1,505
Reaction score
1,408
Location
S. CA
These guys explain pretty well..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caHRrTQJqt0 Guess this is a snap T cast?
I had a feeling you were being indoctrinated by the OPST videos when you mentioned fly casting and magic.
I think a lot of Commando heads have been sold because of these videos.
I would guess folks who had the skill and just needed gear excelled while folks who thought the gear would compensate for skill were disappointed.
It's far from magic most of these guys who make it look easy have put in the time to make it look easy.
The skagit taper and sink tip facilitate these types of casts and it's fun to boot but don't expect a purchase to get you to magic land.

You'll need to also practice your slight of hand to make your fly disappear across the river...
Practice, practice and practice!
Ok good luck out there!
 

Rabid Rider

Active member
Messages
44
Reaction score
26
Location
jamestown,tn
Think that guy said he had been doing it for 25 years.. And he still was making some bad casts and blaming it on too light a head.. I dont know , think my head is going to explode..lol Im just looking for something i can cast in smaller streams. Some of them bass streams with bigger streamers. About 2 inches of snow on the ground here with a 30mph wind and took a 8wt recon with orvis bankshot and used some of the technique Ard was using in his video and it worked allot better than what i was doing. But you cant tell in the yard with no water pulling drag on the line.. Want to do this in a 4 wt, 8 wt is just big and no fun here..
 

Ard

Forum Member
Staff member
Messages
21,967
Reaction score
5,202
Location
Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
I'm sure it's fine, never done it but am looking into getting rigged up to try.. Just saying that tight little snap to set up for the throw looks like it would be rough on a super fast action rod. But a fast action may be better for such a move. I don't know... All new to me.;)
QUOTE="Rabid Rider, post: 1586354, member: 89553"]
That is what I am looking at.. The single hand spey. The guys on the videos make it look easy and looks like magic..I'm going to try it..
[/QUOTE]

I read earlier that you are fishing smaller streams, there are many casts that don't involve throwing line into the air. You can learn to make what will yield the same result as the snap T casts seen in videos without throwing the line up and over the rod. Like some of the other older guys on the forum I started using these casting techniques long before you tube came along and learned by doing. The best way to develop cast and fishing techniques that you will use for the rest of your life is by doing, learning on your home water and not by watching a well prepared you tube video. Once you adapt styles that you understand it will not matter whether you are fishing a small creek with a six foot three inch rod or a large river with a 15 foot rod you will use the same casting techniques.

My best advice is that you don't get too caught up in the terminology or all the exotic looking casts. Experiment, learn how to use water born / loaded casting where you fish. You can accomplish what is commonly called single hand spey casting with any rod and line combo that you would use for standard fly fishing. Once a fellow can perform the cast at distances out to 50 feet with his own rod and standard WF line, that same person should be able cast anything regardless of head length or rod length. The same can't be said for the person who fast tracks with a tiny shooting head and mono runner.
 

Bigfly

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
598
Location
Truckee, CA.
What Ard said x2...
I had a friend who was motivated to work some Spey magic.
We got him a cheapo orange DT line, one line up...for his 9ft 5wt rod.
He fishes very small creeks now, as well as BIG water, with the same casts. Dry, nymph or streamer. What more could one wish for, to talk to fish.
A few weeks ago I was tagging 6lb sallies on a lake a.la Spey.
The cast can be intermittent at first, but it gets not only easier, but better. Not sure how I was entertained before learning it.
Stop losing flies in the bushes behind you too.
Although I do lose more flies in the bushes on the other side...

Jim
 
Last edited:

Unknownflyman

Well-known member
Messages
3,919
Reaction score
1,885
Location
L'Étoile du Nord
I think when I got started, I wanted to know everything, and that was well, not wrong but they way my brain works and it certainly led to some confusion.

Single hand spey casting, snap T or if you are using dumbbell eyed streamers, and cones, Circle spey.

All you really need to do is buy a commando smooth OPST line, and a couple of MOW tips from floating and the next sizes of sink appropriate for your single hand rod. Floating is for skating, surface streamers and dry flies.

Thats really it. Cast and cast some more, watch videos, keep casting, and cast another 10,000 times. Notice when it works and why it didn't. You will refine your cast, you will learn and unlearn bad habits, you will draw the wrong conclusions and look deeper. You will succeed and fail.

Just get started, buy a line and do it. The rest will fall into place. It will, just not overnight.

Keep the slack out of your line and smooth and slow tear, silently, then sweep up into the forward cast position picture a skateboard ramp have the rod tip follow that, no stopping, then let it fly with a prominent stop to get that loop tight.
 
Last edited:

Bigfly

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
598
Location
Truckee, CA.
Harder for some than others....but I watch my D loop sharp like...waiting till it is fully formed.
Not forming, not collapsing....just right.
This is where most of timing errors occur I think. You need to get it IN your body like unknown suggested. I think watching the D helps with that. When I fire the cast too soon, or too late, I feel the "badness" of that cast but no reference point..
"AKA guessing"...
When I nail the D loop timing, and see it too, I've got it...
I learned without this tip, and it probably took much longer than it should have to learn..
Unknown mentioned a "prominent stop" too....
Amen...!
A soft stop means a flaccid D...no drift or tip drop behind you for best results.

Jim
 
Last edited:

dr d

Well-known member
Messages
892
Reaction score
706
Harder for some than others....but I watch my D loop sharp like...waiting till it is fully formed.
Not forming, not collapsing....just right.
This is where most of timing errors occur I think. You need to get it IN your body like unknown suggested. I think watching the D helps with that. When I fire the cast too soon, or too late, I feel the "badness" of that cast but no reference point..
"AKA guessing"...
When I nail the D loop timing, and see it too, I've got it...
I learned without this tip, and it probably took much longer than it should have to learn..
Unknown mentioned a "prominent stop" too....
Amen...!
A soft stop means a flaccid D...no drift or tip drop behind you for best results.

Jim
You can sharpen the loop by using a sort of inverse technic>>>
before all what you did start will a normal or if used to it jumping
rollcast>>>
 

flav

Well-known member
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
642
Location
oregon
I've never been a fan of the snap T. It's a nice cast because it's so easy to get your anchor set exactly where you need it, so it's easy for beginners. However, it introduces a lot of twist in your line, and if you use it a lot you can get all kinds of twisty nastiness happening in your line. When I need to cast off my upstream shoulder, like if there's an upstream wind blowing, I prefer a Perry poke, or a single spey.
 

Bigfly

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
598
Location
Truckee, CA.
Flav, sumpin funny...this is a good example of why we all fight to get our fly thing on...we're different.
I have fished this way for fifteen years now, and I have never had twisties in my line......
Only time I can manage to get twists in my leader, is tossing a big dry, overhand, on too light a leader.
One reason I love the Spey thing, no twists.

Jim
 
Last edited:

flav

Well-known member
Messages
1,320
Reaction score
642
Location
oregon
Jim, I'm talking about twists in your running line, not your leader. I don't have the problem myself, because I change what cast I use every few casts and rely more on the single Spey and perry poke when casting off my upstream shoulder. Some folks have a serious issue with it, enough so they use a swivel between their running line and head. OPST even has a video where Ed Ward shows how he un-twists his line by spinning his rod. If twist even happen to Ed, it can happen to anyone.
 

flytie09

Well-known member
Messages
4,323
Reaction score
2,654
Location
PA
Use a micro barrel swivel at tippet to leader connection and problems with twists in line are much improved.
 

Bigfly

Well-known member
Messages
3,378
Reaction score
598
Location
Truckee, CA.
Ok...
The twist in running line wasn't clear to me sorry.
That is one reason I prefer using a full line as opposed to a head.
But , sounds like you have it dialed!

Jim
 

Unknownflyman

Well-known member
Messages
3,919
Reaction score
1,885
Location
L'Étoile du Nord
Yeah I actually had Edwardo untwist my running line on my rod and show me how to do it. I wasn't sure what you meant Flav.

I use single spey quite a bit as well, its just easier, These light modern skagit heads have me fishing Scandit style Dave Pinczkowski `s word, I cant take credit for that.

Snap T in a way is something that I do the least of, unless I am using a full skagit line and really heavy sink tip and heavy streamer or intruder style shank fly.

With new lines, tube flies and capabilities of rods, skagit has changed for me quite a bit from the beginning, more of a hybrid style Dave was right watching me cast, Scandit is my thing on shorter rods and long scandi is my favorite on a spey rod.
 
Top