Starting from scratch: left-handed or cack-handed? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Starting from scratch: left-handed or cack-handed?

Hi my friends. Thank you in advance for any advice on this. I'm right-handed and new to spey casting, I thought maybe I should just learn to cast with my left hand up when needed (because of the wind or obstructions), rather than learning to cast across my body with my right hand up in those situations. Well, it feels good and fluid, and I like it left-handed, but managing and holding the running line feels weird and my reel winds on the left side, etc. I still like to hold the rod in my right hand while the fly is swinging and while mending, etc, so some of the logistics of trading hands seems awkward. Are these the reasons so many guys have learned to cast across their body rather than switching hands? Should I just learn to cast across my body? Basically, if you had it to do all over again, what would you do, because I'm brand new to all this- this is my chance to get it right- it makes no difference at this point since I'm still a noob, and THANKYOU!
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 12:33 PM
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Honestly, for everything but doing single speys with a long line (where you NEED left handed) it is bit of a "which flavor of ice cream do you like" question. Personally I know how to do cack-handed but always do left handed. There is more room, and I feel both safer and in more control. Of course until you teach yourself left handed you may feel the opposite. Also, if you need a bit more power this is probably the way to go. Personally I'd say learn left handed right from the start. To balance the extra time in learning you may also learn the effect of not having you dominnant hand up and you may discover your left hand casts will often be better than your right. Oh, and in case you were wondering Cherry Garcia is the best ice cream flavor, "it is known"!

On the running line management, some things are just a bridge too far for me, and either way I strip with my right hand forward and make coils in my left, with the coils held when casting in the left hand both ways, and also fish right handed. I think I told myself I would learn to do the coils after I got my left handed casts down, but it ended up working perfectly that way so it stuck.

Some people may say it is too hard to learn to do it left handed, but I feel like it is exactly as hard, starting out, as learning to do it right handed.
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Last edited by Botsari; 03-10-2017 at 01:00 PM.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 12:46 PM
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I do think it is preferable to learn to cast with either hand on top.

I didn't, I keep telling myself I should, but I keep having fun.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 01:57 PM
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I used to worry some and fret over the "right" way to do things.. Like you and Botsari I also have kind of a clumsy right hand when it comes to managing running line.. Just feels foreign. The left hand up casts usually go out decent though.

A few years ago while studying Henrik Mortenson's casting it became apparent that he has no qualms 'switching' the rod from left (up) to right after the cast is made, and fishing it out. From that point on neither did I

Personally feel that any cast you can implement well (we all have our pets) the better off you are.. regardless of which hand is up.

"Like Brook Trout, fishingbums can be particular about their habitat and most will either leave or die if needs are not met" Eric Shoemaker

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 04:14 PM
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We have discussed this here in Finland and a consensus was that for a right hander learning to Spey cast left hand up was much easier than first learning to Spey cast right hand up.

To me stripping line using right (my strong) hand is very difficult

I really recommend practising DH overhead false casting both hands up because there comes much more repetitions very fast than when Spey casting. 30 seconds to a minute set and then short rest and switch hands. Just a half hour sessions few times a week for a while and I quarantee also the Spey casting improves. Also overhead casting shooting line serve Spey casting but then session intensity decrease so false casting should be good before advancing to distance casting.

Esa
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Copy that and thanks THANKS! Great info and suggestions and yes, Cherry Garcia, as we all well know, is the greatest flavor on this, and any other planet. DS
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 06:57 PM
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, Cherry Garcia, as we all well know, is the greatest flavor on this, and any other planet. DS

pffft- Chunky Monkey's where it's at...
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-10-2017, 08:12 PM
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forced myself to learn left hand up after hooking myself on a windy day, years later im glad i did. Really saves my right arm from having to do everything.

as for ice cream Moose Tracks is where it's at
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 11:40 AM
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Learn both ways as best you can. The more arrows in your quiver of casts - the better.
Botsari's suggestions for practice are very good, especially the limitation of repetitions and time.

May the fish make you smile!
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Learn both ways as best you can. The more arrows in your quiver of casts - the better.
Botsari's suggestions for practice are very good, especially the limitation of repetitions and time.
Right on will do and thanks for the help!

Of course! Durka-Durkastan!
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-11-2017, 02:01 PM
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Oh, and in case you were wondering Cherry Garcia is the best ice cream flavor, "it is known"!
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pffft- Chunky Monkey's where it's at...
+1 on the chunky monkey.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:14 AM
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I took the advice presented in a couple books when starting, and if conditions did not dictate technique, I'd switch hands every other cast regardless of bank. A little awkward at first, but side of the river, or responding to wind direction doesn't even get a thought now. I've made a few cack-handed tries, but simply can not generate the power that switching hands gives me. Also, I seem to have a bit more reach being able to go left or right, and can better avoid obstacles be they behind, left, right, or overhead.

At a clave a couple year back one of the speakers did a hands-up pole, and I think about 65% of the attendees were cack-handed casters. I thought it would be just the reverse.

A little practice can do wonders to develop technique, strength, and muscle memory. Many years back I went from being a left handed archer to drawing with my right hand. Day one had me thinking it was impossible. About day 3 the strength and dexterity came around, and I could not shoot left handed now to save my life.

Similarly, I took up handball in my 20's and played for about 20 years. If ever there was a game that demands the use of both hands, that's it. After the first few months I could throw a baseball about the same distance with either hand.

If one puts in the effort, it will come. If one never tries, it for sure won't.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by OkieDokie View Post
I took the advice presented in a couple books when starting, and if conditions did not dictate technique, I'd switch hands every other cast regardless of bank. A little awkward at first, but side of the river, or responding to wind direction doesn't even get a thought now. I've made a few cack-handed tries, but simply can not generate the power that switching hands gives me. Also, I seem to have a bit more reach being able to go left or right, and can better avoid obstacles be they behind, left, right, or overhead.

At a clave a couple year back one of the speakers did a hands-up pole, and I think about 65% of the attendees were cack-handed casters. I thought it would be just the reverse.

A little practice can do wonders to develop technique, strength, and muscle memory. Many years back I went from being a left handed archer to drawing with my right hand. Day one had me thinking it was impossible. About day 3 the strength and dexterity came around, and I could not shoot left handed now to save my life.

Similarly, I took up handball in my 20's and played for about 20 years. If ever there was a game that demands the use of both hands, that's it. After the first few months I could throw a baseball about the same distance with either hand.

If one puts in the effort, it will come. If one never tries, it for sure won't.
This is fantastic information and thank you so much; exactly what I was looking for. So far, left up is really no different than right up because I've tried to balance it out from the start as far as dedication, and this is basically still the the start (read: I suck at both, so what, really is the difference? lol). On archery, I gotta ask: was that shoulder-related, or dominate eye related? Thanks for the help!

Of course! Durka-Durkastan!
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 04:51 PM
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I'd learn both, but concentrate on Left handed. It will serve you well for years to come-
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2017, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'd learn both, but concentrate on Left handed. It will serve you well for years to come-
Interesting that you would say that. I will definitely heed this advice and thanks! I swear it feels like my left up casting is progressing faster that right up, though I'm trying to balance my time evenly.

Of course! Durka-Durkastan!
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