single spey help - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2000, 04:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: el_loco_altoDate: 2/7/2000 1:19 AM
I'm a beginner, learning from video a bit. In my single spey casts, I need help in getting the line to anchor close enough to me and with enough force to get a good D loop set up for the forward spey. A lot of times, when I try to use a faster setup for a bigger D loop, the line/leader just swings around and away from my body and anchors too far away ... so I don't get a close enough anchor with a strong D loop to spey out. Any advice on how to bring the anchor point in, and get a strong D loop?
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-07-2000, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: Per StadighDate: 2/7/2000 5:56 AM


You are touching the very core of these casts. When I take beginners on I advice them to spend a good deal of time performing linear Roll casts with a rather short line before moving on.

Start with some 40- feet of line - remember to put a long (~15' leader) on as a long leader helps to give a good anchorage. When practicing the basic strokes also leave the sinktips behind - pick a full floater.

Now concentrate to perform perfect roll casts. Let the leader land as close to you as possible. When the D-loop rolls out behind you you probably will find that the loop has a tendency to drop down and collapse. To avoid this simply rasie the rod some 4 inches at the vertical "stop" moment. This little move will send the energy sky-wards and help the loop gain a full good shape.

Try to be soft on the rod. You will soon see that little energy is needed once the movements are right. When you can perform these short roll casts with confidence it is time to gradually slip over to the single Spey. For every new cast you now turn you upper body a few degrees out towards the water. Your arms should perform identical movements as in the rollcasts while your upper body turn up to the sto moment. That's all there is. Keep you feet planted, start the pickup as in the original roll and gently turn you upper body - NOT THE ARMS ONLY - and you are Spey casting! Soon you will whack the line out at 45 degrees and can start to add length to your casts.

I hope this helps. That first roll must be mastered  - it is simple to learn and is the mother of all Speycasting.


PS. The Under hand cast is identical to the above. Instead of feeding more and more line out one keeps the ~40' long shooting head just outside the rod tip. At the movement of delivery one makes the forward stroke very explosive and aims high. The head then can fly over 40 yards using a thin running line. As a 35-45' head makes a small D-loop this cast easily is done under trees and in other tight spots. I much prefer the Underhand cast. Less energy is used. The kit can be kept lighter as smaller reels are possible. Also the fighting of fish is much safer as one never has to be afraid of a long full line being drowned by a large fish. With large Atlantic salmon it is quite common that the fish makes a +100 yds down stream run immediatly followed by a wild upstream race. This easily drowns the line and builds the pressure caused by increased friktion up to levels were the tippet breaks. With the shooting head rig this rarely happens as it is so much easier to keep the line clear of the water. DS    

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-08-2000, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originator: DanaDate: 2/8/2000 5:21 PM
Two additional thoughts that might help

1. check the speed of your backcast. If you pick up the line smoothly and slowly, then simply move the rodback and up (as opposed to "casting" it back and up using a lot of effort) you might find that you can set the bottom part of the D (the anchor) anywhere you want. If you watch really good casters you'll notice that they tend to move a lot slower than others, loading the rod efficiently and controlling placement of the line.

2. as a learning tool, consider trying the "figure-of 8" single Spey as originally advocated by Hugh Falkus. He describes it in his book "Speycasting: a new method" and demonstrates it in his video "Falkus on Flycasting".

In this method execute a shallow figure 8 or infinity-sign motion with the rod tip as you make your backcast. First, face your intended target. Then pivot your torso about your hips so that you are facing downstream. The rod tip starts at the water's surface. Then it smoothly executes the first sideways loop of the "8" while you are facing down stream. As the rod tip comes over the top of the first loop, pivot your body over your hips again so that you are facing your target again. Now, trace the bottom part of the second loops and then raise the rod tip into the 1 o'clock firing position. When the anchor lands on the water, execute the forward cast. Be certain that you keep the rod moving throughout the cast.

It is hard to decribe this in words--better to see it done. What happens is that the anchor lands exactly in the right place every time, setting you up for a "perfect" single Spey.

I use this method to teach the single Spey to beginners and find that, without exception, they all catch on to the cast with about 10 minutes.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2000, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: bubbaDate: 3/14/2000 3:27 AM
per and dana wrote beautiful tips. i think the hardest trick to develop is the feel of the spey backcast, or the "loop" and spotting your "grip".

the flowing imagery thing is key. one bit of imagery you might consider is the following. dangle about 50 feet of line downstream. after you have performed your lift, think of the following: you are now a cocktail waitress. in your right hand (assuming you have your right hand up) you have a tray with three bottles of beer. you goal is to get that tray from straight in front of you to behind your right ear without spilling a drop. the only say you can do this is to "swing" you hand out and up behind your ear, slightly inclined inwards (to counteract the centifugal force that would make your bottles tip over).

this drill will help you form a nice smooth loop, and the last little "flick" of your right wrist (during the terminal third of the move) is the part that you will adjust to help you spot the grip where you want it. always remember that you must finish the "d-loop" phase (or the "loop") with the rod tip rising to the firing position!

alternatively, think of spotting the grip during the last third of the "loop" by using the tip of the rod to lightly "toss" the loop into position.

it takes a bit of practice, but i believe that until you master the single spey, you will never be a good caster... the move is that important!£
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2000, 07:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: kushDate: 3/14/2000 4:58 AM

I don't quite get it. It seems that each time I try that single spey stuff it turns into some kind of whacky reverse spiral roll or lately even a left handed spiral roll - help! Single Spey-Impaired.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2000, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originator: el_loco_altoDate: 3/14/2000 5:45 PM
I perhaps should've posted earlier to say "thanks" to Per and Dana, and now to Bubba, for the tips. It turns out that raising the rod tip slightly at the end of the set-up was the little tidbit I needed, and I've been single-speying the windcutter head plus shooting another 20 feet for weeks now. Unfortunately, I've been having a hard time still with left-hand-on-top (river right) single spey casting, but that will come in time. Its mostly a problem of my forward cast turning to mush, with line piled up at the end of the cast. River right single-spey will come with time, and better timing, when I get used to having my left hand on top.

And everytime I try to cast imagining I have beer bottles in my hand I always end up smashing myself in the face, mouth open, with the butt of my rod!!!

thanks guyss
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-14-2000, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originator: Per StadighDate: 3/14/2000 7:28 PM

Just a short note on "river right - left hand up".

The right hand, being a bit restless when not "in the lead" can be engaged in PULLING THE BUTT BACK while the upper left hand pushes forward. Aim high and you will be amazed!!

I do this all the time, from both banks. Imagine that the rod comes up through a hole in a table top. You have one hand under the table, grabbing the butt, while the other hand  hangs on to the upper cork. One hand pushes - the other pulls. This will flex the rod far more than when just pushing with the upper hand. Try!!

(I hope this not only was confusing........)


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-15-2000, 03:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: WhitefishDate: 3/15/2000 12:34 AM
A helpful hint I received was to, at the beginning of the cast (the pickup, or lift), keep the rod parallel to the river and lift slightly towards the bank, then swing the rod around, back and up to form the D. This anchors the fly closer to the caster if all else is right, timing etc. I have found this to work when my anchor point starts getting too far from the right spot.  Second, while I have tried to develop the reverse hand position for each side, I have found that I tire more quickly when reversed and the timing goes to hell. And I'm ambidextrious. If  I still do the single spey from river right using the high right hand the timing is better, it forces me to let the rod do more of the work, which it is certainly capable of doing, and it is restful to be able to go either way if I'm out chasing fish all day for several days.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2000, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Originator: eyemanDate: 6/28/2000 4:00 AM

I had this same problem during my second D.Brown seminar(assume right hand above, left side of river, and single spey attempt).

1. Rather than turn as cast begun, position your body directly at your target before cast begun, and you now have eliminated some body movement which might complicate the cast. 2. Try to bring the line upstream as the cast is begun as nearly parallel to the water as possible.  Now for the pearl of a movement that solved the problem: Your top hand during the early part of the cast(as you are bringing the line upstream and parallel to the stream) should be positioned on the rod so that you can see your finger and thumb tips.  When you want to put the line down on the water you smoothly/quickly pronate the upper hand, i.e. you rotate your upper hand away from you, toward the stream.  Now rather than seeing your finger and thumb tips, you will only see the back of your tumb.  The feeling you have is that this pronating movement throws the line(that is parallel and just off the water) down onto the water.  This pronating movement is done at just about the same time  you begin the lift the rod into the firing position.  The quicker/harder the pronating movement is accomplished, the quicker/harder the line hits/grips the water.  I had worked two hours unsuccessfully getting the line on the water properly when I finally succeeded, and now I could get the line on the water at any point in the line's course upstream with this pronating movement.  This is what worked for me. Good luck.




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