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.
Last edited by Riveraddict; 10-24-2016 at 12:33 PM.