Skagit: Pause or no pause? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Skagit: Pause or no pause?

Seems to be a bit of confusion being displayed about this subject... is there a pause in Skagit casting and/or is it necessary? First off let me point out the fact that much of what I have stated about Skagit has been my interpretation of the casting process as determined through "feel". Also, I used "conventional" casting descriptors such as "load"/"rod load", casting terminology that may/may not be completely accurate from an actual physics point of view. This perspective was developed through my experiences of TEACHING Skagit casting. In the process of teaching Skagit casting, I found that the majority of casting students, and I do mean the VAST MAJORITY, like 9 out of 10, would only get the correct "timing" for the Sweep-to-Casting Stroke transition process when told NOT to pause during that transition. Also, my own personal thought process during the casting process, except in unusual circumstances, does not involve any thoughts of pausing during the Sweep-Casting Stroke transition. Thus, BASED ON THE PREVIOUSLY PRESENTED FACTORS, I have defined my style of Skagit casting as a "no pause", continuous action process, and continue to do so, especially since a certain video segment has been created.

That video segment can be found by doing a search on YouTube for "micro Skagit". Then select the one titled "Commando Head Skagit Casting -Micro Skagit SAS, 9' 4/5 Weight Singlehanded Fly Rod Converted". In this vid 7 casts are shown. Casts 1,2,3,5,6, and 7 are side-views. Cast 4 is a from-behind view. The side-views show what appears to be a brief stop of the rod in between the sweep back, cast forward transition. However, note how brief that "stop" is and then note that the footage is in fact slow-motion and thus that stop is a moment measured in FRACTIONS OF A SECOND of time. If this were the only relevant aspect of this vid I would ask, is a process consisting of fractions of a second of time, measurable in a reactionary way by the caster? If not, then is acknowledging its existence in an on-stream teaching capacity necessary or helpful, or could it actually become a hindrance to learning?

However, the side-views are not the only interesting aspect of this video sequence. There is that one from-behind view that reveals a circumstance that the side-views cannot... look at and watch the hands! Bear in mind that this is being presented in slow-motion! Is there a pause or not in the action of the hands?! What's your opinion, what's your PERSPECTIVE?

I have defined my style of Skagit casting as a Continuous Motion/Constant Load process. I still stand by the Continuous Motion descriptor as being valid and useful. The "Constant Load" part I have come to learn is inaccurate as regards actual physics and in actual physical occurrence. It appears in the vid that the rod does in fact unload in between the sweep back and cast forward transition, though that unloading may not be absolute. Close inspection of the casting sequences seem to show that there is still a barely discernible deflection of the rod at the transition time and that perhaps there is "load" present in a lateral aspect that would only be revealed in an overhead view of the casting. Regardless, I have learned that the truly influential casting aspect to focus on instead of "rod load" is in fact "line tension", even though the condition of rod load is an indicator of the status of line tension. So, if "tension" is substituted in for the term "load" in "constant load", then the vid shows that in all casting sequences except #6, the line stays taut/tensioned throughout the Sweep-to-Forward Casting Stroke sequence. In other words, the line does not become slack except in cast #6 which shows exactly what happens when the line is "lifted" rather than "peeled" during the Sweep. However, even with this new insight, the descriptor that works best for teaching still turns out to be "constant load". So, what's a guy to do about talking or teaching casting, because in the end it all seems to be a matter of PERSPECTIVE.

Lastly, as the saying goes, "more than one way to skin a cat", and there are many ways to cast "Spey". However, note that certain people seem to CONSISTENTLY cast well with their chosen methodology. There is a REASON for that circumstance and that is the fact that they have determined a combination of casting actions that successfully COMPLEMENT one another. If you choose to learn a style of casting that has been proven to be a functional and valid methodology and you determine over time that it is not "delivering the goods" for you, so to speak, then you should probably think about re-evaluating your own talents as a caster before faulting the casting style.
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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 12:06 PM
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Thank you Ed, I have always considered the "pause" in your videos was from camera angle and not actual rod/hand motion in the casting stroke.

We have taught CMCL for years and it really ingrains the concept for new casters struggling with Skagit techniques.

Regards,
FK
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riveraddict View Post
Regardless, I have learned that the truly influential casting aspect to focus on instead of "rod load" is in fact "line tension", even though the condition of rod load is an indicator of the status of line tension. So, if "tension" is substituted in for the term "load" in "constant load", then the vid shows that in all casting sequences except #6, the line stays taut/tensioned throughout the Sweep-to-Forward Casting Stroke sequence.
If one adds the concept of line "momentum" which can be substituted for "tension" it suggests that when the line is being powered by the rod ("in power") the line follows the rod tip as momentum is created. This is most effective during a straight rod tip path.
During a brief pause or change of direction of the rod tip when power application ebbs, (briefly "out of power") the momentum which has developed allows the line to continue following the rod tip. The "momentum" created keeps the line in "tension."
This is why the tempo of power application is so important in smoothing the casting sequence.
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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Riveraddict View Post
If you choose to learn a style of casting that has been proven to be a functional and valid methodology and you determine over time that it is not "delivering the goods" for you, so to speak, then you should probably think about re-evaluating your own talents as a caster before faulting the casting style.
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 04:37 PM
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I have critiziced CM/CL because it easily leads to Creeping. Ed, your casting has improved since SM because now there is a pause and so has mine!

I have not seen an average length line sustained anchor CM/CL cast which does not also have a Creep but I have seen casts which have a pause where rod "load" is lost which does not have a Creep. If someone knows such a cast please post a video link! And I don't mean very long Spey line but those Skagit lines which we did use five years ago.

Esa
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 09:37 PM
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My thoughts:

The pause (I would call transfer of power) is necessary to allow the line to grip the anchor, your rod is rolling the load, and get the line momentum going in the 180 degree load. In other words, your loading the rod one way(sweep), unloading the rod briefly, but the line is motion, and momentum is reloading the rod 180 degrees, and ready for the forward stroke. To go from 10mph in reverse to 10mph forward, you will always have to pass 0 mph.

We have to also take into consideration the rod. A slow action rod will be slow to transfer the sweep to D-loop as opposed a stiffer, faster rod. Which is tempo change, and will make the pause seem more/less noticeable.

So my theory is based on Newton's First law of motion. Even though we stop our rod, the line in motion, remains in motion, to reload the rod.

Just my analysis.

In the end, it comes down to what works. I have been an aircraft mechanic for 20 years, and worked on many different aircraft. They all do the same thing: fly. But they do it in many different ways.

Avio
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 09:55 PM
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Esa - totally disagree that a typical Skagit line needs a pause - as Ed mentions the video is in slow motion so is there a definite pause that impacts the cast? He states that he is not putting in a conscious pause and I would say his hands are typically in constant motion perhaps independent of the rod doing the same thing - when your hand is just rotating into a different plane it is possible the rod unloads but if done correctly the line does not lose tension as it is not following a straight line path but is following the out and around motion of the rod tip. If you are doing an out and around and then more over the top I don't see a real threat of creep. if as Ed suggests if you cut the corner and lift the line - you will allow slack and when you come forward the line will not be in tension and will collapse perhaps giving the impression of creep
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 10:12 PM
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Esa - totally disagree that a typical Skagit line needs a pause - as Ed mentions the video is in slow motion so is there a definite pause that impacts the cast? He states that he is not putting in a conscious pause and I would say his hands are typically in constant motion perhaps independent of the rod doing the same thing - when your hand is just rotating into s different plane it is possible the rod unloads but if done correctly the line does not lose tension as it is not following a straight line path but is following the out and around motion of the rod tip. If you are doing an out and around and then more over the top I don't see a real threat of creep. if as Ed suggests if you cut the corner and lift the line - you will allow slack and when you come forward the line will not be in tension and will collapse perhaps giving the impression of creep
Valid point Rick.

Even though we stop moving the lower part of the rod, what is the tip doing? It is rolling the load around. So in theory, momentum is rolling the line and rod tip around and keeping a load, even though you may have paused. So a proper sweep to keep the line moving is key to a constant load.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-24-2016, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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I would suggest...

... in order to develop any understanding of the CM/CL concept, that one must "forget" the "usual" 180 d-loop recommendation because of the "linear mechanics" type of mental picture it yields. Instead, take a closer look at cast #4, the from-behind view, note how "flat/laterally inclined" my rod is during the Sweep, then how much more vertical it is for the Forward Casting stroke, then think about the fact that the rod is "drifted" from that lateral plane of the Sweep, into the more vertical plane of the casting stroke and that it is during that drift that the d-loop is forming, but the hands ARE STILL IN MOTION conducting that drift (this action is what I refer to as the Turnover)... no pause.

Also, a bit off the subject being discussed, but something I feel worth mentioning about the casting in the vid, this is not your "standard" swinging-for-steelhead casting. I am instead, casting out, making just a few strips of the fly, then quickly retrieving in and casting again, fishing for searun cutties. There is no swinging around of the fly or line into a hangdown position. Thus, the Snap cast being used lays the line in an almost parallel position to the intended cast, with the fly anchoring BEHIND me. This then results in a bit more difficult to maintain anchor for casting and a longer than usual d-loop. I mention ths because of some previous comments regarding d-loop length in these exampled casts.
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 01:35 AM
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... in order to develop any understanding of the CM/CL concept, that one must "forget" the "usual" 180 d-loop recommendation because of the "linear mechanics" type of mental picture it yields. Instead, take a closer look at cast #4, the from-behind view, note how "flat/laterally inclined" my rod is during the Sweep, then how much more vertical it is for the Forward Casting stroke, then think about the fact that the rod is "drifted" from that lateral plane of the Sweep, into the more vertical plane of the casting stroke and that it is during that drift that the d-loop is forming, but the hands ARE STILL IN MOTION conducting that drift (this action is what I refer to as the Turnover)... no pause.

Also, a bit off the subject being discussed, but something I feel worth mentioning about the casting in the vid, this is not your "standard" swinging-for-steelhead casting. I am instead, casting out, making just a few strips of the fly, then quickly retrieving in and casting again, fishing for searun cutties. There is no swinging around of the fly or line into a hangdown position. Thus, the Snap cast being used lays the line in an almost parallel position to the intended cast, with the fly anchoring BEHIND me. This then results in a bit more difficult to maintain anchor for casting and a longer than usual d-loop. I mention ths because of some previous comments regarding d-loop length in these exampled casts.
CM/CL concept or not, pause or no pause, you need a 180 load. Yes, the linear planes differ, but the load of the D-Loop (regardless how it looks) is 180 degrees from your intended target. Otherwise a side load would drift your rod tip left or right and therefore your line would track left or right of your intended target. This would be inaccurate and inefficient. Just like shooting a rubber band off your finger. If you do not load it straight back, it will shoot left or right.

The no pause I believe is a product of a shorter line causing a faster tempo as to not pull an anchor. But I'm not that experienced with these Commando heads. I tried them once last year at the Sandy river clave and they were not my cup of tea.

Again, how we get to the point of loading our rod can differ tremendously. But the 180 degree load can not be dismissed.


Avio
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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 02:38 AM
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Avio - I agree that the 180 principal holds but Ed states that by stressing that to folks trying the CM/CL it gives a linear impression which this casting method certainly is not. The 45 thrust description in SM I will in fact direct the line around behind you as you are changing planes due to the out and around motion of the rod tip. If you were to try and tell a beginner to make sure he directs the line 180 degrees from his target and if he were to continue the sweep well beyond the 45 angle this will absolutely kill the cast and end up with the line wrapping around on his left side

And this system works very well with no pause not just for commando heads that have only recently hit the market but when Skagit first started becoming popular and that was often with line systems at 3.5 times rod length and the CM/CL no pause method works very well with lines of that length
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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What Rick states is absolutely correct. I did not say that a 180 d-loop position was wrong, but rather that the idea tends to produce the wrong result. When most novice casters think "180 d", they will power the rod all the way around until IT reaches a position 180 degrees from the intended casting direction. If the rod is maneuvered that way while in any sort of a sideways/lateral plane, the resulting direction of momentum on the line will in fact carry the d around BEYOND the 180 mark. It should be easy enough to picture that action by visualizing the tying of a practice "wiffle" golf ball on a string that is a few feet longer than your rod, lacing that string through the rod guides while leaving the wiffle golf ball hanging outside the rod tip a couple of feet and then pinching/holding the other end of the string against the cork of the rod handle. If said rig is put through lateral-ish motions of a Sweep and the rod is powered around to a position 180 degrees from the intended forward casting direction and the string is let go of exactly at the moment where the back swing of the Sweep ends and the forward action of the casting stroke begins, where does the ball go? Certainly not "straight back", but rather somewhere off to the side. This result is in fact one of the main reasons that peoples hit themselves with the fly while Spey-type casting (sometimes referred to as "over rotation"). The direction of power for d-loop formation in a Skagit Sweep must be established PRIOR to a 180 point because the lateral-ish rod attitude used during the Sweep produces a lateral-ish momentum on the fly line. Make sense?

And, I agree that a "no pause" mechanics is partially due to shorter line lengths. That is why one of the "rules" established for Skagit casting a long time ago was the "maximum line length to rod length ratio of 3.5". However, the more "curvy/circular" actions of the CM/CL mechanics is also a factor.
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 10:57 AM
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Constant movement, out and around, nuf said.
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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 05:04 PM
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The 180 degrees D loop in line with target may be over stated.

Back to basics,,, the line goes in the direction of the rod tip at the Speed-Up-and-Stop is what Lefty Kreh has taught for 40+ years.

If the D loop is somewhat out of line with the target,,, and we rotated the rod in the forward stroke at the true 180 degrees,,, the line will be accurately delivered. Experiment with this idea and Skagit casting, the basics still apply.

I developed a Skagit cast years ago with overhanging trees and a strong current,, anchor out one rod length in front,,,, the D-loop was 90 degrees out of alignment with the target. Made with sweep the tip in a low 90 degree arc and up to key position as soon as my rod tip rotated into vertical and a 180 alignment, I made the forward cast,,, it worked fine. The D-loop was aligned with my downstream shoulder about 90 out of correct position.

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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 10-25-2016, 06:31 PM
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you can cast with just about any angle between D loop and forward cast - same kind of holds for overhead casting but the most efficient is certainly the 180 principal as it lines up the most energy.


Still from your description your rod tip was angled back 180 from your forward target independent of where the line lay. If your rod tip does not track 180 then the line following will not track 180 and there is a loss of energy
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