casting using your body for power... - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-14-2018, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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casting using your body for power...

Half-past January and a couple of feet of ice on the water. Will be picking up my first two-hander in a couple of days so I have been viewing spey casting videos to try to get an idea on how to start come open water.

Of all the videos I have viewed, the ones posted by Andrew Moy (TightLinesinNJ channel) are the first I have seen that discuss the importance of stance and rotating at the hips/waist to develop energy for casting.

From my martial arts training, this makes sense to me (a proper punch comes from the floor, through the hip to the arm and fist) but, being a total newbie, I am not sure how much it really applies to spey casting.

Here is a link to one of Andrew's videos, I would appreciate if a couple of the experienced casters would view it and comment on its suitability.


Thanks,
Hank
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 08:40 AM
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Andrew Moy casting is very good but also very top hand dominant. I have test it and my elbow won't like it. I honestly believe learning to use both hands is better and limits go further.

In this video Alan Maughan uses both hands as levers and there is not much bending in elbows and power is produced using "latissimus dorsi". It is the best video casting stroke I have seen. In the end he squeeze the rod and lifts it slightly and it seems to get most out of rod straightening.

I have fished using mostly 15ft rods which are demanding because they are not light and I use that kind of casting stroke too because it is efficient and less tiring than other casting strokes.

For anyone interested to fly line behavior and casting should click on to Gordon Judd in that video and watch his excellent study work on more than 100 videos

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Bender!

I haven't even thought of which hand was dominate, will be watching more closely.

For starting into spey casting my first two-handed rod will be an 11'-6" 6wt switch and will see how it goes from there.

Thanks again for your comments and the links!

Hank
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 09:24 AM
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You are welcome This is what I already posted on another thread where snow was mentioned but now it fits here again two way when you can also see my DH casting stroke.

Esa

Snow is excellent for Spey casting practice unless it is too cold to practice. We need only 80ft of about 50lbs mono which is tied to something which is 80ft in front and which does not protrude from the snow where mono can tangle. Small weight pushed inside the snow is good but a stick above snow is bad. 100ft mono for longer rods 14ft and up and mono can be stronger about 65lbs. Mono eventually breaks but should last couple sessions. I have tied it back together and continued casting but for next session I have took a new mono.

When you stand where the line ends the D-loop comes right size. If you don't have any experience of Spey casting there is a possibility that you do too powerful back cast sweep which then in water blows the anchor. Just like water casting watch the anchor and adjust the sweep power. There is way too much back cast power when the D-loop forms so fast that mono and line tip bounce up.

This video should explain all better

https://youtube.com/watch?v=dn_d_Pu7QGo
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Vana2 View Post
Of all the videos I have viewed, the ones posted by Andrew Moy (TightLinesinNJ channel) are the first I have seen that discuss the importance of stance and rotating at the hips/waist to develop energy for casting.

Here is a link to one of Andrew's videos, I would appreciate if a couple of the experienced casters would view it and comment on its suitability.
Andrew makes an important point about using weight shift and body rotation in using the core muscles of the body in casting. However, he then uses primarily his arms, primarily the upper arm, in the casting sequence from the lift, sweep and forward cast. As bender has noted:
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Andrew Moy casting is very good but also very top hand dominant. I have test it and my elbow won't like it. I honestly believe learning to use both hands is better and limits go further.
I have watched other videos of his casting and find that he can always be identified by the noise (swish) of his cast. This is present even in his slower casts. The noise is generated by early rotation of the rod which causes an open loop. This is caused by the use of the top hand/arm which locates the fulcrum of the cast below the bottom hand. He makes the comment that one should ideally load the butt section of the rod but by using only the top hand in the lift and sweep the tip section becomes the primary force in developing momentum in the line. As the top hand then continues as the rotational force of the forward cast, the tip rotation develops the noise as the weaker tip portion of the rod is used.

By using the core muscles and using both arms with the top arm/hand as the fulcrum and the bottom hand as the power application one is then able to add forward tracking of the butt of the rod \\\))/// prior to the rotation, i.e. the rotation at the end of the casting sequence.

This helps in developing a straight rod tip path which eliminates slack and gives optimal loading of the rod from the butt section. It is the essence of a tight loop which is important in efficiency of the cast. This is applicable in both single and two handed casting.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Vana2 View Post
Of all the videos I have viewed, the ones posted by Andrew Moy (TightLinesinNJ channel) are the first I have seen that discuss the importance of stance and rotating at the hips/waist to develop energy for casting.

From my martial arts training, this makes sense to me (a proper punch comes from the floor, through the hip to the arm and fist) but, being a total newbie, I am not sure how much it really applies to spey casting.
Another take you might associate with here:
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 11:35 AM
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He is pulling with the lower hand. Due however to the camera position, the lower hand is somewhat obscured by his right arm & hand. But it's there if you look for it. When Andrew speaks of clock positions in that video, he is referring to them on a horizontal plane, which threw me at first.

The weight shift & hip rotation technique offers power often overlooked. Andrew is not alone on this. Many others have incorporated the weight shift/hip rotation into their style. Henrik Mortensen demonstrates the advantages well on Scandinavian Spey Casting (Fly Fishing Academy Volume 4) Shotgunner beat me to the punch on that with his excellent post of the video. Thank you. (The deeper you wade, the more difficult it becomes execute effectively. But when you stop & think about it, it requires much less effort/energy to shift your weight than to whack the rod with your arms. And rotating the hips rather than the spine should be a no brainer.

Henrik came to the Sandy Clave years ago and put on a very impressive presentation, bringing up such points as wading right into the river waste deep without any regard to fish that may have been holding close to shore, the different casting styles, where they originated, the river the conditions & the characteristics of the fish. And then there was the weight shift thing.

Don't be so quick to discount something for whatever reason. Dig deeper, find out why it works & if other people are it doing too.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 01:08 PM
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The best casts seem to originate in the feet, apparently much like your punch. I watched Mike Kinney several years ago at Spey Nation, and there was deceptively little going on when he cast, like watching a big tree sway in a stiff breeze, bending deep to it's trunk, and it resulted in beautiful casts.

There's so much emphasis on distance, but I find if I am conscious of starting weight forward, lifting and shifting weight back, then rotating to place the anchor along with the push of the bottom hand, all the while keeping my target in mind, it results in my best casts. I can feel them to the riverbed, which is why I'm out there to begin with.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Guys! This is great stuff!

Love the subtleties - looking forward to getting into spey casting!

Hank
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2018, 08:57 AM
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In answer to your question Vana2, yes the single Spey is a body cast. If you are to throw good casts consistently you must use your body core which is much stronger than your arms. The amount of the body rotation will primarily depend upon the amount of angle change and the length of line outside the head. Only practice will help you there. Concerning Mr Moys rendition it is clearly obvious that he is a good caster adhering to the basic principles of speycasting, he appears to put out a nice line. Would I recommend the video to newcomers, probably not. Bender is quite right when he points out that Mr Moy is top hand dominant. I have stated on here before and will repeat myself, speycasting is a two handed affair,always has been and always will be. The body and hands must work in harmony. You will see that Mr Moys lower hand plays only a small part in the cast. He cannot possibly gain enough purchase in the forward stroke using only his top hand for efficiency. Compare where his lower hand is to that of Mr Maughan (aka. Springer.)at the commencement of the forward stroke. What Mr Maughan is doing is using all of the rod not just the tip. He is getting the full power out of rod with maximum efficiency and minimum effort. Now comes a health warning, Mr. Moy is obviously young and fit, but he will not remain that way if he continues to put all of effort into his top hand, he will be lucky to avoid some shoulder injury later in life. Single Spey equals body rotation plus both arms in the cast.
Vana2 there are many good videos on the net for the single Spey. Personally I have been following SkagitMeister on here with his contributions and I have been mightily impressed,good honest,relaxed style. You can learn a lot from that guy.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 07:43 AM
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There are some really good videos on single Spey casting on YouTube by a guy called 'linespeed jedi'. He could be Skgit Meister.
One in particular is slowed down and shows the body rotation movement really well. But all of his are very good.
I' ve watched them a lot.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-18-2018, 11:20 PM
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[QUOTE=Vana2;2277354]Half-past January and a couple of feet of ice on the water. Will be picking up my first two-hander in a couple of days so I have been viewing spey casting videos to try to get an idea on how to start come open water.

Of all the videos I have viewed, the ones posted by Andrew Moy (TightLinesinNJ channel) are the first I have seen that discuss the importance of stance and rotating at the hips/waist to develop energy for casting.

From my martial arts training, this makes sense to me (a proper punch comes from the floor, through the hip to the arm and fist) but, being a total newbie, I am not sure how much it really applies to spey casting.

Here is a link to one of Andrew's videos, I would appreciate if a couple of the experienced casters would view it and comment on its suitability.


Thanks,
Hank[/QUOTE

Hey Hank, I have watched Andrew Moy and picked up many a good casting and fishing pearls of wisdom from his videos.
There are many ways to skin a cat and subtle difference in casting styles that often depend on the length of line and size of fly or fly and sink tip to be cast.

Learning to spey cast is really not totally difficult but it's important to decipher exactly what kind of Speycasting you are going to be doing.

For example, with a longer Spey rod and line, like an actual Spey line that is at least 4 times the length of the rod or longer I watch
and
, or many of the top 10 finalists at Speyorama. Their technique is the best and they reach these amazing distances with excellent technique. They are casting 15 foot rods and 70' lines give or take. They sweep with their body and lean into their casts.

They pretty much keep their hands in front of themselves for the most part, which requires rotation of the body and quiet hands.

Also, their bodies do not budge or give an inch when they lean into their casts. It's as if an incoming truck would bounce off of them when they release their forward casts.

In underhand casting and Scandi casting, the body twists, especially in the single spey and your body rocks as necessary, while the bottom hand produces a lot of the power in the sweep and forward cast, the hands are kept in front of the body, so they shouldn't swing around at all, so, therefore, the body has to rotate.


In contrast, guys like Ed Ward, and Mike McCunne, who cast short heavy Skagit heads do not use a ton of body movements but use mostly their hands, wrists, and forearms to make the cast. While body swaying is mostly nonexistent, rocking body weight from heel to the balls of the feet might be used a little bit to maintain the center of gravity.

Also, Tom Larimer casts Skagit lines but uses a style that is a little more in line with traditional Spey casting, with emphasis on the bottom hand.

The reason I bring all of this up is so you can tailor your casting style with your new rod and line to match an instructor who casts a similar set up.

If your new switch rod is lined with a short, heavy Skagit head and you want to cast heavy flies and sink tips you might be well served to emulate Ed Ward, or the OPST guys or Tom Larimer.

If you pick up a scandi line that is much lighter then a heavy Skagit line, then you could use scandi or underhand techniques or even Skagit techniques.

Ok, back to the reason I'm saying all of this: Know the line length and rod length of the caster or instructor you are watching.

It's pretty hard to use Goran Anderson underhand casting techniques to cast longbelly spey lines.

It's hard to cast longbellys using the same casting stroke Mike McCunne uses to cast 11' Skagit heads t11 tips and a weighted streamer.

Twisting and rocking your body Like the long belly competition Spey isn't necessary with short shooting heads.

I'm not promoting any particular style or saying you need to follow a style or one is better than the other. But there are different casters using or even promoting different styles on the internet.

So your best bet is to find an instructor who is using the type of lines, tips and flies you want to cast and stick with him or her and that style to avoid confusion while your learning to cast.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 02:00 AM
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Some have already said it "body rotation is not required for shorter shooting head lines" that is true but like the double haul in single hand casting body rotation makes all casting easier.

Everyone casts differently what and how we do things basically comes down to what our body and mind let us do. Instead of picking one example or one mans idea of what he thinks is the right way view a number of casters see what you like from each and try it out, if it works for you stay with it. After a while you will develop your own way of doing things, things that are natural to you which will make the learning process much easier.

Here is a link which I think answers your question and explains it a bit better than the video you used.


Have fun and when you think you are going slow enough slow down some more.

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 07:43 AM
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Some have already said it "body rotation is not required for shorter shooting head lines" that is true but like the double haul in single hand casting body rotation makes all casting easier.

Everyone casts differently what and how we do things basically comes down to what our body and mind let us do. Instead of picking one example or one mans idea of what he thinks is the right way view a number of casters see what you like from each and try it out, if it works for you stay with it. After a while you will develop your own way of doing things, things that are natural to you which will make the learning process much easier.

Here is a link which I think answers your question and explains it a bit better than the video you used.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRdxUo1KOGQ

Have fun and when you think you are going slow enough slow down some more.

Ian
That is a very good instructional video. I did think it was interesting though, how his style is very similar to Andrew Moys Style in that they both don't use a ton of bottom hand in the sweep until a little later in the cast. Some real nuggets in that one though.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-26-2018, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys!

This is really helping me understand what I am looking at when I am viewing the casting videos… seems that the “inconsistencies” I was noticing are really just adaptations to different equipment setups, flies and styles.

I am starting to consider a roll cast as being a basic spey cast as it loads the rod using a water anchor. This is good as it gives me something I know to work from. Come open water and reasonable temperatures I am going to spend some time perfecting my roll cast before I venture into the more involved spey casts.

I appreciate the help. With all the lurking and watching videos I am actually making sense of all the jargon.

Hank
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