Casting practice help - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Casting practice help

So about a month ago I had a bit of a breakthrough when I bought my Delta line out of exile. I have had some great casting and some ugly casting with the longer head Spey lines, “longer” includes “short” and “mid” belly for me. At any rate, despite almost two years of not casting anything longer than a 30’ head, I was really clicking with my touch and go casts and having a blast with the longer line.

I decided that this would be the ideal time to spend some time to build on my casting skills a bit, and have been getting out almost daily for anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple hours. For the most part, I am happy with my progress; there are some issues that keep coming up though, and I thought I would seek some advice.

In general, I see pretty consistent tight loops when casting the full head along with an extra 5-10’ of running line. I start thinking my form is great, but I do start noticing more and more faults the more line I start shooting. My tendency for a tailing loop starts going up a lot once I shoot much more than 25-30’ or so. I am pretty sure that a big variation I am introducing is applying too much power too quickly/abruptly and not getting as smooth of a transition into my forward cast. It helps a lot when I just let off the gas overall, but my max distance is noticeably decreased. There may well be other factors, but this has been the main variable I have been able to identify.

I welcome any suggestions for specific techniques, or ideas in general for addressing my casting faults. The bigger question at this point would be how I should spend my casting time. On the one hand I tend to think that it is better to spend as much time reinforcing the good technique (or at least better technique), and my casts sure look and feel a lot better at the mid distance than the long range. On the other hand, I think that the longer ranges tend to highlight and magnify casting issues that may well be present but not as noticeable in my short to mid range?

Full set up is as follows: Beulah Platinum 13’2” 7wt with a Delta 7/8 line, a hobbled together leader that is varying from 12’ to 18’ (about 14-15’ seems sweet), mostly small flies.

FWIW, I am on a very similar trajectory, with similar successes/challenges with a Deer Creek 11’ 5/6 switch rod and a 6/7 Rio Short Head Spey line (42’) and a 12-13’ leader.

Thanks for any and all suggestions!
JB
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 01:58 PM
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Perhaps only two possibilities to fix? You need to Drift more or change to a stiffer rod! Drifting lengthens and widens rod arch and lessens the Tailing Loop which is a result of too abrupt acceleration or Creep. It is very rare but stopping too early and/or too high cause the TL. Using more overhang also lessens the TL but it is not good to mask casting faults.

Esa
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 02:10 PM
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All spey casts begin at the lift meaning that how the lift is executed determines how the rest of the cast goes. Mess up the lift and you are basically attempting to clean-up the rest of the way. Dipping the rod too much during the early stage of a single spey will produce a 'BloodyL' and the cast should be aborted at that point. This can also take away from the amount of line that goes into the D loop at a later stage of the cast. But if you don't know, or don't spot this you might just go on and introduce tailing loop in the forward cast, or worse - a hook to the body!

The lift, and anchor/fly placement is as important as the principals of 180˚, minimal stick/large D-loop, to circle-up, a high stop and follow through. All this ties in together.

So missing the mark in anyone or combination of those is what kills your cast. Video would be the best , most helpful to you here. other than... just back to basics. There are two different ways that you can anchor a spey cast. Someone will tell you that you're better set-up for Touch -n- Go with the small fly floating line outfit. But you can use a waterbourn anchor just as well and it is easier to time because there's a slight break in the casting-stroke just long enough where you can think about what you need to do next. Go Slow.

Platinum 7132 and the old green Delta make a lovely pairing BTW. Casts beyond 70 feet are possible. The Delta 6/7 and Delta Long 6/7 are incredible on there too.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 04:00 PM
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Get Travis Johnson's spey booklet it helped me a lot. Its a short and to the point read.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-08-2017, 04:17 PM
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I've found these exercises from Robert Gillespie to be really helpful.

Incline Exercise :: Fly Casting Matters


"Science is magic that works." - Kurt Vonnegut
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the thoughts guys! Esa, I think you probably nailed a key detail I hadn’t payed as much attention to. The more I think about it, that will probably be a helpful detail to focus on.

I think I am doing pretty well on the lift phase, comparatively speaking at least, I think it’s probably the most comfortable and consistent part of the mix. That was the first problem I had when I first got the Delta, consequently I put a ton of work into fixing it. Mostly, slowing down, then slowing some more.

Now I think my weakest link is in the forward stroke, at least when trying to shoot a lot of line anyways. Didn’t get off work in time to put any practice in, but I am up tomorrow at dawn work on it some more.
Thanks again,
JB
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 02:12 AM
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Like Kilgore above, I've found the series of Gillespie vids to be really helpful.

I think you've answered your own question- try not to try so hard on the longer cast, and smoothing the application of power. The line path is a reflection of your rod tip path, so if you're getting a tailing loop, at some point in your rod path the tip dipped. I'm guessing that's in the increased compression from a slightly too early power application. With the longer stroke, keeping the application gaining/accelerating is a delicate balance. Easy to apply too soon, but miss that feeling because of the length of the stroke.

I've been largely casting scandis for several months, and recently played with a friend's delta line for a few minutes. I started learning with a delta years ago, and I was reminded how easy going it can be. More line length does not necessarily mean more power applied.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 04:06 AM
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This link has a flawless slow motion long line Single Spey cast by Spey world champ Sakke. Key element is slow initial lift and smoothly accelerating and rising back cast which ends to an abrupt stop which results a narrow line loop which leads to a pointy D-loop. Then long Drift where rod tip is lowered same rate the gravity lowers the rod leg of the line loop and then there does not come much possibility for the rod tip dip when forward cast acceleration is began and no TL. Drift also allows higher casting trajectory which is essential for long cast. Forward cast is accelerated all the way (stopless) until the line loop begins to form to achieve as high line speed as possible and the line loop is done narrow using long overhang.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=7eHJo1yvaNU
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 02:42 PM
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Same cast normal speed where the back cast stop comes clear.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-09-2017, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Well the morning session wasn’t all that I had hoped, but I did have some improvements here and there. I also think I’ve learned a few more things, largely with the helpful reminders and tips you’ve offered me. Some highlights (low points really, but all part of the process):

-I did notice the faint beginnings of tailing loops on a lot more of my short range casts than I was aware of before. Most were still in the very early stages, and hadn’t fully manifested yet; clearly at greater distance they would have.

-some were due to slight 180 violations, though most were not.

-the biggest variable by far that came out was the trajectory angle: no issues at all when I aim low or horizontal, but the vast majority of my casts where I tried a higher stop and a higher trajectory ended with a tailing loop. Aaaaarrrrgggg!!!

- while I thought I was doing great on my lift, I did get some ideas from watching some of the videos, and have substantially changed how I am lifting and sweeping. This was very helpful! I realized that I have been waaaay overdoing how much line I was lifting off the water (pretty much all but the last 6 unches) before starting to sweep. I think this causing some complications, was needladding time and effort to the process, and wasn’t energizing the back cast nearly as much. It was still working, but I think I made substantial improvements in how I begin my casts.

Despite some frustration, and several more “wind” knots in my tattered leader, I did hit quite a number of casts where I was able too shoot all but a couple feet of the whole line out nice and straight and tight.
Poco a poco...
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 03:05 AM
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My friend Mark Huber gave me some great advice on speed and power. He like to slow down a cast until it fails. Then add a bit more speed. Same goes for power. Back the power off until the cast fails. Then add a bit more. I've been playing around with this, but it does take some patience.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 01:45 PM
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-the biggest variable by far that came out was the trajectory angle: no issues at all when I aim low or horizontal, but the vast majority of my casts where I tried a higher stop and a higher trajectory ended with a tailing loop. Aaaaarrrrgggg!!!
When the qoal is a long cast the stopping of rod is not necessarily good method and accelerating line until the line loop begins to form can be better. Stopping rod early narrows the line loop but line velocity suffers in the process. Line loop can be made narrow using overhang and rod tip path turning more and more down in the end of rod straightening does not pull line head end down too much when there is light shooting line between the rod tip and beginning of the line head and line loop does not open too bad.

Rod straightening speed is highest just before straight so it is beneficial to try to get most out of it but when DH casting it is difficult.

When DH casting where is no haul possible and the line loop begins to form surprisingly early anyway and rod begins to straighten earlier without the execution of stop by caster.

So to me it seems like now your TL came when the rod tip rise when you made rod straighten too early stopping too early?

Longer Drift before forward cast and earlier line release are needed for higher cast trajectory!

Esa
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 02:00 PM
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In this cast Knut Syrstad tries to get most out of rod straightening speed to the line to cast trajectory.

Bottom arm curls the rod butt to top arm armpit while the top hand pushes rod handle forward and up.

I have not seen any current distance competitors use the same rod path so it might be inefficient or just very difficult. And watching only this one video I can't say whether Knut was able to gain anything using it but he sure was one of the best ten years ago.

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2017, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Esa, I think I am getting some of what you are pointing out here, but I admit that some of it is going over my level of mechanical knowledge and casting experience. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that I need to keep adding to the overall loop velocity by continuing the stroke further rather than ending it high and abrupt? That makes a lot of sense in a general way, but it does leave me confused about how to achieve a higher trajectory angle. The only way I can visualize a higher plane of trajectory is by stopping the rod tip at a higher point. This almost invariably results in a tailing loop for me at this point (though I don’t think it’s just the higher stop that is the issue). I am finding that I can get pretty good distance without aiming high, but obviously it does limit just how far I can cast.

I did finally get my wife to kindly video a bunch of casts, and it was also very helpful. I think I learned that I have more problems than I had realized! For one thing, knowing that my casts were being captured on video made me a lot less relaxed and fluid. Here are a couple that I think highlight some of the differences between my “good” casts and my “bad” ones.
Attached Files
File Type: mov 49A21CF5-1C9E-40BE-8EE8-0000E0E87C98.MOV (5.13 MB, 82 views)
File Type: mov 33F2AE9A-75A8-42AD-8886-49340E616F5E.MOV (3.90 MB, 58 views)
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 11-11-2017, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Some better casts here. Feedback, critique, praise, peanut gallery commentary all welcomed:
Attached Files
File Type: mov CE5B77DB-2861-48FE-8F86-8730753AF80B.MOV (5.65 MB, 74 views)
File Type: mov B3ACDC88-045B-4A28-BCBD-0C134BC9FE4B.MOV (7.62 MB, 77 views)
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