Couple of clarifications...if I really thought there was a fish at a particular spot, then yes, I would most likely take up a position a full head above it, at the very least. But that is cheating.
I would still probably work the head out a yard or so at a time from that station if there was ANY chance of fish above the “special” spot.
I’ve tried at one time or another most methods. Would be cool if I hear a new one, but I’m wondering what people like to use and how committed they are to each method. Yes, the lift and flick does seem the simplest - fewest distinct movements. I guess I’d want the method to have an option to lay the line out straight at a controllable and variable angle if desired, not just sloppily poke out in a pile, since for such a short swing I probably would want it to be fishing right away, or what is the point. Of course if a poke pile was what I WANTED to do in a certain situation, for example to sink it fast in a particular spot before swinging, that would be OK of course.
So the model method(s) would include simplicity AND complete control for all lenghts of cast up to getting the whole head out. Guess that is what I meant more than “looks good”. Anything that smacks of “oh, just fake it up to that point ‘cause it doesnt really matter” is kind of violating the premise of what I acknowledge is a bit of a silly question. But it is a pretty unexamined one. Most instructors and other fishermen say “just do whatever, working it out a few strips at a time until the head is out”.
Plus we all know stories or have experience with people hooking up with half the sink tip out of the rod tip, and most of us also know at least one guy who consistently gets a lot more action out of a little line out than we do. I’d like to become one of those people.