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Thread: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

  1. #41

    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    I am a thumbs on top guy and when I point at something, both thumb and index finger are pointing forward. I have always enjoyed visiting with the elderly and oddly enough have noticed that many in the 80 to 90 class often point with their flipping finger. Sorta debunks the idea of what finger naturally lines up when you point at something.

    I don't know what difference it makes to someone who is a seasoned caster (not me) but the subject is interesting.

    Dave
    I was going fly fishing until my wife suggested it, now I can't tell who is outsmarting who!

    Being "one with nature" requires a knowledge of what animals are living nearby and a weapon of sufficient magnitude to give you at minimum an equal chance of survival. No one has an invisible aura that animals can detect and sense your good intentions.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by littledavid123 View Post
    I am a thumbs on top guy and when I point at something, both thumb and index finger are pointing forward. I have always enjoyed visiting with the elderly and oddly enough have noticed that many in the 80 to 90 class often point with their flipping finger. Sorta debunks the idea of what finger naturally lines up when you point at something.

    I don't know what difference it makes to someone who is a seasoned caster (not me) but the subject is interesting.

    Dave
    Well, that finger also makes it tuff to break your wrist...plus multi tasks, also sends a message to someone close enough to see it...LOL

  3. #43
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Silver, I think what the Orvis guy meant was having mainly the bones in the arm in alignment (and hopefully the muscles follow suit). I am hardly an experienced caster, so I'm looking at it purely from a biomechanics perspective. I'm not saying it's the right way to do it, just how I was told in my fly fishing 101 intro. The guy was pretty adamant about thumb on top. Rather like giving a thumbs up, where all the bones in your arm are in alignment. Upon pointing with one's index, your radius and ulna are forced to twist. If it were simply an alignment issue, the thumb would almost be rolling off the top of the reel with the palm beginning to face upward. However, this is simply from the perspective of biomechanics and not proper fly fishing mechanics. I was originally only parroting what I was taught.
    - A.J.

    Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...

  4. #44

    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Lay your pen/rod across you fingers so you can grab it with the thumb on top with a relaxed grip and the pen is angled at about 65 degrees across a straight line down your forearm. Now lay the pen across and grab it with the three point grip. The angle decreases to about 20 degrees.

    You can cock your wrist to get your pen/rod into alignment but this is a less "natural position" than the 3 point grip. Instructors use rubber bands, leather wrist straps, and even resort to putting the butt of the rod into the caster's sleeve just to try to force beginning fly casters into cocking that wrist forward during the backcast. They wouldn't have to do that if this was a natural way to get the proper rod to forearm allingment.

    If the thumb on top aligned the rod with the forearm you wouldn't need this:

    Stu's Fly Shop Individual Products - Outfitters - Top fly fishing gear.

    And you wouldn't get these posts:

    Wrist Break - how to cure it? - Fly Fishing Forums
    Regards,

    Silver



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

  5. #45
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Oooooh, I see the confusion here. I think the Orvis instructor was striving more for arm alignment to prevent fatigue, rather than rod+arm alignment. Moreso talking past each other than disagreement!
    - A.J.

    Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...

  6. #46

    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_YTQZP_I-o]Steve Rajeff How To Cast A Fly Rod - YouTube[/ame]

    If you look very closely at Steve Rajeff's casting grip during his cast, I think he is using the key grip in which you hold the rod in your hand like you would a key. The key grip is recommended by Mel Krieger, who taught Steve at the Golden Gate Casting Club. His thumb is not on top but on the inside of the grip with the index finger wrapping around the outside. Now if you hold a rod like that and instead of wrapping the index finger around to the side, you extend it to the side, you are very close to the 3 point grip. The point being that the best casting instructor and the best fly caster do not use the thumb on top grip, but a grip that aligns the rod more closely with the forearm

    The key grip is also called the palm out grip.

    http://www.fedflyfishers.org/Portals...d%20Stance.pdf

    The Casting Grip- Fly Casting School

    As Len Zickler says, an accomplished caster can use any grip because he is in tune with the rod position during the cast. However, a common error for beginners is to break the wrist on the backcast. Hold your hand in the palm forward position and try to flex your wrist backward. It is not easy or natural. Now position your wrist in a karate chop position which is the thumb on top position. It is quite easy to karate chop forward or backward. That leads to wrist breaks in casting.

    The advantage of the thumb on top position is power but are long casts the object when teaching beginners or is a proper stop location more important than distance? If the proper stop position is the more important, should not one consider a grip which makes that a lot easier, when a caster has problems with wrist breaks?

    My point is not to change anyone's grip who is already satisfied with the one they are using; but to have you consider that when a caster has a problem with wrist breaks, a grip change rather than putting the rod butt in a sleeve might be a more elegant solution.

    The thumb on top grip is not the favored grip of distance casters who want the most powerful grip. It is the palm out or key grip.
    Regards,

    Silver



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

  7. #47

    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    Quote Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
    Steve Rajeff How To Cast A Fly Rod - YouTube

    If you look very closely at Steve Rajeff's casting grip during his cast, I think he is using the key grip in which you hold the rod in your hand like you would a key. The key grip is recommended by Mel Krieger, who taught Steve at the Golden Gate Casting Club. His thumb is not on top but on the inside of the grip with the index finger wrapping around the outside. Now if you hold a rod like that and instead of wrapping the index finger around to the side, you extend it to the side, you are very close to the 3 point grip. The point being that the best casting instructor and the best fly caster do not use the thumb on top grip, but a grip that aligns the rod more closely with the forearm

    The key grip is also called the palm out grip.

    http://www.fedflyfishers.org/Portals...d%20Stance.pdf

    The Casting Grip- Fly Casting School

    As Len Zickler says, an accomplished caster can use any grip because he is in tune with the rod position during the cast. However, a common error for beginners is to break the wrist on the backcast. Hold your hand in the palm forward position and try to flex your wrist backward. It is not easy or natural. Now position your wrist in a karate chop position which is the thumb on top position. It is quite easy to karate chop forward or backward. That leads to wrist breaks in casting.

    The advantage of the thumb on top position is power but are long casts the object when teaching beginners or is a proper stop location more important than distance? If the proper stop position is the more important, should not one consider a grip which makes that a lot easier, when a caster has problems with wrist breaks?

    My point is not to change anyone's grip who is already satisfied with the one they are using; but to have you consider that when a caster has a problem with wrist breaks, a grip change rather than putting the rod butt in a sleeve might be a more elegant solution.

    The thumb on top grip is not the favored grip of distance casters who want the most powerful grip. It is the palm out or key grip.
    Maybe I'm blind, but I see Raejeff's thumb on top.
    Anyway, after seeing this video, and reading what I could on the subject, I have yet to run across anyone even mentioning how to grip the rod with just one grip.
    Myself, I think it's whats comfortable and what works for you. And for me, I like the thumb on top. Although once in a while fishing small streams, I will use my finger on top for short casts.
    Life is not like a bowl of cherries. It's more like a jar of ghost peppers. What you eat today might burn your ass tomorrow...

  8. #48
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    i'm a thumb on top guy. always have, always will.
    but to each there own.
    whatever feels good is my vote.


    casey


    ARFE

  9. #49

    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    I too cast mainly in the thumb-on-top grip. I will sometimes go with the 3 point grip (or slight variation) when going for distance but for one main reason, it helps prevent the rod tip from swinging to the left (I'm a rightie) on the longer back casts.
    If you take your hand back in the thumb-on-top position you might find it natural to have a slight twist of the wrist that in use tosses your reel outward and the rod tip inward. Slightly rotating your wrist counter-clockwise so a vee is formed from your thumb and index finger and placed where your thumb usually goes in the thumb-on-top position can help in preventing that looping, left-to-right 'wow' of your line when going for the long shot.

  10. #50
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    Default Re: Rod Grip: Thumb or Index Finger?

    This is becoming very much like the 'More taste / Less filling' beer debate, is it not?

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

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