Me Casting - Please Critique - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
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Me Casting - Please Critique

Here is some video of myself casting around Jan 5/2013 a couple weeks ago. I was fishing the Lower Vedder with my bro and had him do some casting video of myself at the end of our fishing day. I've been a bit rusty and it had been a long time since I had really cast a two hander with the exception of a little spey meet on the lower Vedder a few days before this was filmed.

I'm casting a 15' St. Croix Legend Ultra with a 2nd Generation 9/10 Grandspey, 15' - 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen Leader with a heavily weighted conehead tube fly with a Hardy Marquis Salmon No.3 Reel. If you look in the videos you can see the fly "plop" down when the anchor lands. It certainly added a little difficult to my casting considering the way this long belly line tapers down, but overall not bad.

AS you can see I was doing some Snake Rolls both on hand, and cross hand, and then a few live line roll casts towards the end. I'd love to hear your input as there is just something I really need to work on, especially on my onhand snake rolls.

Last edited by SpeyFitter; 01-20-2013 at 12:48 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-19-2013, 11:53 PM
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Actually, it looks pretty good, just some inconsistency with stopping your rod tip in the same plane but nothing a few hundred casts wont fix...I hate to say that I am so far removed from casting long belly lines that if there is some egregious maneuver happening Im afraid I might not even see it!

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 12:11 AM
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I don't cast long bellies, but you might try making a more pronounced movement towards your target during the roll, to give you more to pull against into the d-loop, better energizing it for the forward stroke.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 12:16 AM
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Fun video there man, I'd say slow down, make your snake rolls a tad more egg shaped, accelerate smoother on the forward stroke, (starting less abruptly) use more bottom hand. You had some nice v loops but at times during your back cast your climbing curve was a little to steep and your D loop was weak. Remember Simmons admonition that flat is good. When you get some time to practice again let us know how it goes.

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 01:00 AM
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Ya I was gonna say use that bottom hand!

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips so far guys, well taken and I would appreciate more insight if anyone else has the time to offer it. I did a frame by frame analysis of my casts in the above video the past half hour and it certainly gives me some insight on what you guys are saying. I'm reasonably happy overall with my casting considering my lack of practice the past year or so as I think I can fish the long belly reasonably proficiently in most situations out to reasonable distance but there are some minor things I need to tweak to add some more "zest" to my casts. The sort of stuff that you really have to work hard at to pin point and then change. The stuff where the insight of others is required and very much appreciated.

My goals are to improve 2 key areas this year:

1) If you look at some of my snake rolls the line doesn't seem to "zoom" out there to the extent that is trying to pull some line off the reel if that's fair to say. It turns over, lays out ok, but the line seems a little bit "impotent" if that's a fair connotation, as far as when it turns over. I can see slight slack in the line. at the end as the line lays out. This is probably related to my V/D Loop mechanics loading the rod and then my subsequent forward stroke.

2) I seem to get to a plateau at times when carrying line. I'll get to near the running line and it's like you have this "hump" where carrying more line in your Live line roll casts becomes much more difficult. Sort of when you hit 55 MPH on the highway the wind resistance apparently increases exponentially after that. I have a feeling if I work on #1, #2 problem will come right along with it. Also, I've never been the best at shooting much line into a long belly on the extended belly lines. Something where #1 would probably help me.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by bigbadbrent View Post
Ya I was gonna say use that bottom hand!
yup, no doubt-

Another thing or two ponder:

1 . The fore cast is only as good as the set up ( generally, though eventually one can bail themselves out with some tricks) -
2. If you don't learn first to set your anchor correctly , you are in trouble- ( kinda the same as above)
3. All casts are very much the same once the anchor is in place... What I mean is, you can do all kinds of fancy schmancy crap before the shot, but when the shot starts, the Bullshix stops and it all becomes the same thing to execute a good cast, don't get hung up in the first part of the cast so much other than to be sure you can hit your anchor target...
Think about that for a second- When I started casting, all these different casts, where mind numbing. Big moves off both sides, left, right, downstream wind, upstream wind, river right river left, yada yada, blaugh blaugh-

If a guy goes back to the basics:
1. sets the anchor close and correctly
2. Shoots the forecast with evenly accelerating power through the stroke
4. Uses the lower hand.
5. Stop firm

He will be surprised how quickly it will come together.
Remember the KISS formula to get the basics and get on your way to being a very good fishing caster if that's what you want-
Build a solid casting foundation , and the cool stuff will come

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Take it to the water, and see if it works for you-

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2013, 06:02 PM
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sloooow and smooth on the lift.....

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2013, 10:58 AM
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Interesting that some of you would respond to help speyfitter when you don't cast long belly lines. It's unfortunate that he who asks the question has to decifer thru all the ******** that people trow out there.If you don't know don't respond!

Here is a great response to the same question from speyfitter on another site.

Brian Niska (whistler flyfishing) posted this fantastic response :

thanks for sharing......

first off I would say in the future if you are going to throw a heavily weighted fly on this rig I would definitely shorten up the leader to closer to 10'. The video shows that even your best casts here did not turn over very smoothly and while we are going to talk technique it is also important to understand that the rig as cast is less than ideal.

Now for some thoughts on technique:

I like to work backwards so the first thing I always look at is the result of your efforts: the forward casting loop. Ideally the forward loop will be 'tight' meaning it will have a nice point on the front with the top leg and bottom leg travelling relatively close together through the air. This is desirable not only for aesthetics but also from a practical standpoint as well. A 'tight loop' is not only beautiful to watch but also is completely practical and efficient.

In the video, even in your best cast(@ 00:31) you consistently throw round shaped, sloppy open loops on the forward cast despite forming some fairly nice D loops. A tight forward loop is a product of the rod tip accellerating in a straight line path on the forward casting stroke. I recognize that your rig as currently set up(leader length)is not going to be capable of super tight loops but what we shouldn't see is the line falling before turnover like we do. An open loop like this is a result of the rod tip accelerating in a convex arc on the forward casting stroke.

so here is the fix:

You need to turn more as you form the D loop. This will set you up for a longer, straighter and smoother forward stroke. This correction starts with your casting stance. As a right handed caster you should have your right foot ahead of your left. Start the cast with your weight on your front(right) foot and turn until your weight transfers to your back(left) foot. In the video you are standing square to your target meaning there is very little weight transfer taking place. The result is that your cast is all arms. The problem with this is two fold: first it is inefficient to the point of becoming fatiguing and second, and most importantly your ability to accelerate the rod tip in a long straight line is greatly diminished. Keep in mind that the rod tip accelerating in a convex path(rounded like the top of a ball) will result in the open loop as demonstrated in the video.

To better understand this in the comfort of your own home try this: Stand with your feet and shoulders square as shown in your vid. Now mimic your casting stroke while paying close attention to keeping your right hand tracking in a straight line. Notice the length of this straight line stroke as well as any tendency for downward motion at the end. Also notice that the higher the hand position the shorter the straight line path meaning that when your hand is higher it has more of a tendency to arc in the absence of shoulder turn and weight transfer.

Now for comparison do the same exercise with the right foot forward and notice the length of the stroke.

I have attached a pic showing the correct stance and you will notice the weight transfer taking place. Much like a golf swing, most of the power in a speycast is generated through the turning of the hips. In order for this to happen it is important for your stance to be correct.

A couple more points:

In your video you can clearly hear rod noise when power is applied. This is indicative of too much power being applied over too short a distance in the stroke. Always strive for a smooth and quiet power application on the forward stroke. While it is important to be aware of this I believe your power application issues will sort themselves out as you lengthen your stroke through more shoulder turn as facilitated through the stance demonstrated in the attached picture.

Also, notice where i am looking in the pic. As you transfer your weight from the front foot to the back foot turn the hip and shoulders to allow yourself a look at the D as it forms. This will keep you turning and will also help with the timing of the forward stroke.

good luck and please don't hesitate with any questions

Brian Niska
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Well done Brian!!

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 02:40 AM
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Although the video can't compare to standing beside or better yet behind you, even from the profile view the symptom is that your application of power is adrift as you begin the stroke then ends with a hammering kick.

There is more than one reason for this but if I were debugging your cast I would start with these two things (1) rod taper and power mismatch with the line judging from the flex profile and (2) forward stroke path out of alignment with the top leg of the D-loop which I can't really see except when you re-set.

1) A gear mismatch can cause this because you can't really feel the load through the longer, slower motions requisite to long belly casting. A progressive flex from the lower portion of the blank (with ample power) is the preferred taper of most long belly casters myself included. You need enough grains to make that work, and the line looks under-gunned and/or the rod looks tippy.

So it's possible if not likely that as you start the forward stroke the rod has unloaded so you can't feel the d-loop as well, so you drift forward until you can and power late which causes the hammer-down.

So take pride in what you've got going thus far - in fact you set a gorgeous D-loop on most casts. To figure out if you can feel the start of the cast, look for the sliding fly at anchor and ask yourself if you feel the d-loop? If not, ask your buddies or a flyshop to try another line, rod or both.

3) Another common reason for the loss of power we're seeing is that your power stroke is out of alignment with the top leg of the D-loop when you come forward.
In other words, when you create that great D-loop of yours the top leg, what Rajeff calls "the javelin", is pointing opposite that stump. BUT when you come forward, the rod drives toward the big rock over there where you think there's a gnarly 15# native buck with shoulders.

If these two vectors aren't aligned, you will have a loss of power (i.e. dynamically create slack) and the symptom described above in bold is the compensation and we all know men compensate with power more often than grace.

Every time I've taught a couple the girl always casts better faster because she never thinks of power as the answer. Of course the better she casts, the more the guy compensates

In any case, you're very close and we're all looking forward to the video where you've got the rest of it nailed. Keep at it and good luck.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 08:34 AM
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Fantastic thread

As a daily reader of Speypages I just want to say that I'm blown away by the quality teaching that takes place in this thread. The willingness of Speyfitter to make a quality video and to submit it to the Spey community for analysis is appreciated. Then the last two responses by PKK, Brian Niska, and Juro are worth re-reading over an over again. Threads like this show Speypages reaching it's true potential.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-08-2013, 01:51 PM
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One small addition to the excellent advice given above is to always start your lift with the rod tip at the water. You are starting the lift with slack already in the line which translates into your trying to eliminate the slack in the remainder of the stroke.
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