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Thread: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Hi Ard,
    Do I detect a bit of sarcasm? While I never focused too much on rod grip, reading Charles Ritz's book again (after over 30 years) got me thinking. He's very certain that he is correct when stating opinions, and while I enjoyed reading the book again, that can be a bit annoying. Anyway, as I said in an earlier post, Ritz was convinced that a thumb on top grip was the only proper way to cast. Joan Wulff is of the same mind, and I really would like to have seen her try to correct Lee Wulff...LOL!

    Number of false casts: I don't ever shoot the entire line, so I wouldn't know. After watching my wife's excessive false casts, however, I've made keeping the number of false casts to an absolute minimum. It's made me a better caster (and possibly angler), but not a better person.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    I like to think of it as cynicism not sarcasm, my apologies if I sounded bad with that but I am not sure about either point. I know that on a long day when my hand / wrist / and arm are fatigued I use every means possible to hang onto the cork so I must do both. It sounds like the guy who wrote the book needed to fill in some text so he went to the grip dogma for content.

    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

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Rookie input:
    Thumb on top: Just cause I was taught that way, and I can always aim my thumb at the target.
    Does it work? Sometimes.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Quote Originally Posted by kglissmeyer1 View Post
    The three main grips out there seem to be the traditional thumb on top, the "v" grip with the thumb and forefinger on either side of the handle, and the three-point grip with the index finger on top.
    I'm not so sure the above descriptions are correct. It seems the 'V' grip and the 3 point grip are almost the same while the thumb or index finger on top are two totally seperate grips.
    I use the thumb on top almost always. From the shortest of casts to the longest. I will on occasion dink around with the 3-point grip but have yet to see enough benefit in using it to make it my mainstay.
    I will use it when I have a student whose line has a tendency to swoop the line out horizontally on the back cast when they are striving for distance. It seems as though musculature when using the thumb on top for distance casting makes it natural to sweep the rod tip around on the back cast. The 3-point seems to go a long way in helping prevent that swoop of the rod tip and thus the line.
    Go ahead and try it right now with no rod in your hand. Using the thumb on top grip if you do a proper stop on the back cast, hold it and take a look at your rod hand. You will probably find your thumb pointing to your right shoulder area. The 3-point grip really seems to aid in tracking straight if you have a tracking problem.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    I think I've responded to this same question on another thread earlier, but will do so again. If you look at lighter rods (5x or smaller), the usual cigar-type rod grip enables a index-finger-on-top grip easier than the grip styles usually seen on heavier rods (7x+), which lend themselves to a thumb-on-top grip.
    Last edited by Fly2Fish; 12-03-2010 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Corrected my mis-statement.
    On the whole, I'd rather be in Wyoming . . .
    Fly2:

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    south florida
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Jackster,

    Good points. The three point and forefinger on top are different grips.

    The thumb on top I don't like for the backcast from the tracking standpoint that you pointed out, and also because the rod is pointed horizintally on the backcast when the wrist is in a comfortble position. It is too restrictive a grip for the backcast when overhead casting, though not as bad with a sidearm motion since the radius and ulna bones aren't twisted in the awkward position that causes the tracking error you spoke of.

    It is a powerful grip for the forward cast though, and that is why so many distance casters change grips after the backcast to the thumb on top for the forward cast.

    However, for fishing, it is purely a matter of preference and what works for each situation, same as body position and casting style. For instance, I doubt many people would throw a 13 wt with the forefinger on top for more than one try.

    But when teaching beginners, or someone with a backcast problem, a grip change can often make a huge difference.

    Cheers,
    Jim

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    I almost always use the thumb on top, but occasionally use the index finger when I'm trying to cast very delicately.

    I think relating the grip to how one would swing a hammer makes sense. If you're doing general work or really needing to pound, you're probably going to swing it with the thumb on top. If you're putting tacks in and not wanting to mar the surface of the board, you might be more likely to choke up on it and use your index finger.

    I think the index finger grip can also sometimes be used as a "trick" to fix a problem in casting. For those who normally cast with the thumb up, if you're having trouble with tailing loops due to overpowering the rod, switching to the index finger grip can often help smooth things out.
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  8. #18
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigCliff View Post
    I almost always use the thumb on top, but occasionally use the index finger when I'm trying to cast very delicately.

    I think relating the grip to how one would swing a hammer makes sense. If you're doing general work or really needing to pound, you're probably going to swing it with the thumb on top. If you're putting tacks in and not wanting to mar the surface of the board, you might be more likely to choke up on it and use your index finger.

    I think the index finger grip can also sometimes be used as a "trick" to fix a problem in casting. For those who normally cast with the thumb up, if you're having trouble with tailing loops due to overpowering the rod, switching to the index finger grip can often help smooth things out.
    Bingo! Spot on. Thanks.

    Kelly.
    I fish, therefore I am - but I gotta go to work first..."piscari ergo sum"

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Hammer: I began as a finish carpenter, and have always used a finesse grip with a hammer. Of course nail guns solve any power problem. My wife and I went fishing this afternoon (34 degrees!!!), and she snapped a pic of me with her cell phone. I wasn't thinking about my grip at all (I was thinking it's cold ), but when I looked at the photo could see that it appears I use the 3-point grip:



    Since this is something that just happened in my casting, I wonder if the Borgers observed a tendency to use this grip naturally in their own casting or that of other anglers. Of course the insistence that the heel of the palm be kept on top of the reel seat makes their description of the 3-point grip more specific, but I don't know how critical that aspect is. Keeping the heel planted anywhere on top of the rod would seem to do the trick IMO.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Kelly-
    Oddly enough, my wife had me put some small nails in to hang some Christmas decorations last night. Even though I grabbed a 7oz hammer, I was still using the thumb topped grip.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankB2 View Post
    Hammer: I began as a finish carpenter, and have always used a finesse grip with a hammer.
    I guess I'm just naturally inclined to brutishness: I get excited about banging 12-16p nails into framing and dread finish work, especially if it involves a setting tool.
    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-..._1276302_n.jpg

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

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