D Loops and Anchor - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-02-2003, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation D Loops and Anchor

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and opinions about a question one of the local guys brought up recently.
Q. What part does the anchor play in loading the rod ?.If any ?.

Dana,you were recently talking about the Master Certification for Spey Casting.You and I know there is nothing writen in stone at this point,and with the FFF wanting a short form answer it will be
a step in the right direction to nail this one down.

Spey laddie

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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-02-2003, 11:47 AM
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The correct "anchor" offers the proper amount of resistance for a good cast. Too much anchor (fly too deep, weight too heavy, etc.) and you end up with a lousy cast. Too little, and it also results in a lousy cast. I guess only experience is the best teacher for proper "anchor", if you use both weighted and unweighted flies.

At least, that is my perception.

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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-02-2003, 12:17 PM
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The anchor allows for a 'stick point' when you

form your 'D,' or far better, 'V' loop. You can't stretch a string without the 'loose end' being tied/anchored to something (water).

The 'anchor' is also the primary aiming point over which many casts are shot. Cast above (not over the top) of the anchor and you've got a busted cast.

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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-02-2003, 03:04 PM
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HI Spey Casters

I don't have the answer, but please allow me to give you some thoughts on this.
Loading the rod is bending the rod, its that simple !
The wieght of the line or resistance that it creates is what bends the rod. You don't need an anchor to bend the rod.
And over head cast has no anchor, nor does a Belgian cast.

Does a roll cast use only the line to load the rod, or is it a combination of anchor and line? As you make a roll cast you literally roll the loop down the line, as it's laying on the water. So yes, the line is anchored on the water therefore it plays a roll in loading the rod, but in a roll cast the loop behind the rod (in most cases) is not significant enough to load the rod. Or is it?

That being said, does the anchor play a roll in loading the rod in a spey cast , or is it's roll to stop the lines direction? Which Allows the line an opportunity to do its job (load the rod)
One would think that the point of the arrow loop or "D", is where the resistance comes from, at that point the line is being forced to change directions, the resistance as well as the weight of the line would bend the rod. The sharper the "D" loop the more resistance.
You might concider this, its not the amount of line you have on the water (to much anchor) that screws up a spey cast, but rather the rod is not loaded deep enough to carry this amount of line, or put another way, you've not used a proper application of power, but rather shocked (or over powered) the rod tip at a point during the forward stroke.
In single hand casting if you over power the rod at any point in the forward or backward cast, you'll get a tailing loop, In spey casting as in single hand casts the rod needs to be loaded smoothly (not abrupt). Then you need a sudden stop, and pause, to execute a proper cast. Derek Browns, mentions this on his tape ( the catipult comment)

One last question, is the forward stroke (in a spey cast) started before the anchor touchs the water or after?
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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-02-2003, 09:58 PM
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Importance of anchor

Three hours ago I had the pleasure of watching Simon Gawesworth do a one hour demonstration of spey casting at the Marin County, CA, fly fishing show.

The three principles of modern spey casting, per Simon are: large belly [D loop], small anchor and forward cast 180 degrees from back cast [D loop].

The answer to your question is: without anchor there is no spey cast. A cast without anchor is an overhead cast.

Loading the rod for the forward cast comes from a combination of the backward travelling belly plus the "stick" of a couple of feet of fly line plus leader on the water.
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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-03-2003, 12:07 AM
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I'll chime in w/ my class notes on anchoring for the cast... (thanks to all the great advice obtained in the Seattle Spey Clave, fishing with the big dawgs, and/or at the Kaufmann event over the last several days)...

It's true that the formation and direction of the d-loop, or more specifically what I like to call the "driver" half (rod tip to wedge) is just as if not more important to a good cast, but anchor is very important as well because it ensures two critical things:

1) safe position for the fly to jump off the water and into the forward loop. If the anchor is not clearly away and on the rod side, it will probably jump up and reward you with an unexpected body piercing.

2) provision of adequate "grip" so that the loop does not pull the rug out from under itself on the forward stroke. (Imagine one strap of a slingshot coming off when loaded.)

Anchor timing is key - it needs to touch down a split second before the power wedge on the forward stroke has advanced far enough to pick the leader off the water.


On shorter lines (Windcutter, MidSpey, Delta, Long Delta, etc) the anchor would occur very close to the timing of the forward casting stroke on a single spey, snake roll, etc.

For extended belly spey lines (Accellerator, GrandSpey, Spey Driver, etc) the power wedge takes a much longer time to travel far enough forward to exert any pull against the anchor's 'grip', so stroke the rod before the anchor is set. In other words don't let the anchor fall until after you've already stroked forward. This takes practice, and is most likely the most important factor to casting these giant belly lines all day as they get quite a bit lighter to cast once this timing is found.

To be able to describe these aspects with first hand confidence and experience has been a result of attending the spey claves and getting the sage advice of many people over the last several days. I am very excited about what we, the good people of the forum and speypages, accomplished over the last several days. I am also greatly indebted to the many, many guys who offered their advice to "clean up" my spey casting. There were so many, I couldn't possibly name them all! What a ride it's been. Thank you all.

I am no expert, just a very dedicated student
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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-03-2003, 01:48 AM
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Juro did a great job of answering your question of whether the forward stroke starts before the anchor touches down. It is only with the long belly lines or when casting a long length of double taper that you begin the forward stroke while the line is still traveling behind you, and it is only after the rod is moving forward with the long belly or double taper lines that the anchor touch down and final forward delivery occurs in conjuction with maximum rod load at the anchor. This allows the forward cast to be fairly effortless with the long belly lines.

A double spey with a long belly line is done similarly in that the final forward stroke begins while the "D" loop is still forming behind you. This keeps the rod loaded and greatly reduces the amount of line stick that you have.
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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-03-2003, 09:36 AM
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Spey Casters

I wrote this last night at work, so some has aready been covered.

Does the anchor play a roll in loading the rod?
If we look at the basics of spey casting we might find the answer. Why do we need to spey cast? The root of spey casting was the need to make a forward cast, with a minimum amount of back cast. To do this, in essence we fold the line in half (more or less, half the line is behind the rod half in front) The anchor stops the direction of the line and gives the caster time to make this basic fold. The more we think about this, the more we might see it's not the anchor, but rather the line that is the sole reason for the rod's load. If we were to take 100 ft. of line and lay it at our feet, then without putting any line behind us, we tried to make a cast, it would not work. Yet if we throw a small amount of this line behind the rod (forming a "D" loop) we'll have no problem making a forward cast.

Often Spey casting is compared to roll casting, are they the same ?
In roll casting as in Spey casting we need this D loop, to load the rod. Yet the forwad cast is much different. One is over the water (Spey cast), the other rolls out along it's anchored line (roll cast).
To make a longer (or lively roll cast) we need more line behind the rod. When doing this we now change from draging the line back, to now making a backwards cast, where the line actually leaves the waters surface on the back cast and momentarily anchors. This in essence makes the "D" loop more dynamic by putting more line behind the rod, and will allow for a further forward cast ( basic switch cast). The more dynamic the loop the deeper the rod loads. As I mention before you still need to do all this with a smooth application of power and for the most part a straight rod path.
One of the down sides of spey casting is the fact that the rods and lines are much heavier then their direct single handed cousin.
(most noticed when fighting a small fish) Ex. an 8 wt single hand line is 202-218 grains the same line in spey is 580-600. Why is there a need for such heavy lines (to load the rod?)
These are my thoughts, on this subject, what are yours.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-05-2003, 11:45 PM
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Well ... that answered why I've got a new patch

"1) safe position for the fly to jump off the water and into the forward loop. If the anchor is not clearly away and on the rod side, it will probably jump up and reward you with an unexpected body piercing."

in my waders .. and damn near a hole in my head above my rigth ear from this weekend."Don't screw up many castss that I cant roll cast/recover from .. but when I do/don't they should "be in pictures" as a good example of a bad example.


Even Sheba exhibited a touch of God's Grace not to get out of the old Ford on my last run of the day. Suspect she knew the "old guy" had lost it and "was in harms way.''

Last edited by fredaevans; 03-05-2003 at 11:49 PM.
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-06-2003, 10:51 AM
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Load on rod tip!

It is the excellent subject and writings; I enjoy so much to read even from Far East. I think the load of power to the rod tip totally depending on how to control anchor. Most of starting Spey anglers suffers on how to control anchor position and to maintain the amount of line to stick on the water. I think this is the key of loading power on rod tip too.
Good anchor maintains that heavy weight of D looped line in the air. And this weight of line load the rod tip. Naturally rod tip will bend to opposite direction to the casting direction. This is so important for the Speycast. If we could maintain this rod tip bend by line weight and D loop power, it makes forward cast so easy.
However the moment of this timing is so short especially on stiff high modulus carbon rod. Rod tip tend to recover so fast, this create loosing energy of D loop and causing heavy line stick. On the contrary traditional style of slow rod keeps longer in this timing. They bend more and recover slower. It's easier for starting Spey anglers. Fast recovery rod is more difficult because timing is so short therefore expert have to create more energy to the D loop and must make sharp pointed powered D loop. This is the simply to make rod tip bend but makes anchor control more difficult but enable to cast long way.
Either of rod type or casting style, putting the load on the rod tip means feel the weight of line during whole casting motion from line lift till flick out the line. Keep rod tip bent all the time, don't let rod tip recover to straight.
The famous word - Don't think. Feeeeeeel

Last edited by phishy; 05-10-2006 at 02:02 AM.
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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-06-2003, 10:57 AM
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Juro's and others discussion of the anchor timing on long lines is interesting. In an article Dana did some time back on the Grant Switch that concept was introduced and was the first time I had thought about it. The forward cast in the description of the Grant Switch does begin prior to spalsh down of anchor. Watching Steve Choate on a few occasions reinforced this idea. When he is throwing a long line, I noticed he was moving forward before the anchor was set.

In terms of the need for an anchor, it seems the lack of an anchor results in similar problems as a traditional back cast where the caster starts forward too early before the line has had a chance to essentially straighten on the back cast - Slack develops and you crack the whip.
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-06-2003, 02:25 PM
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Peter, thanks...

Thank you for confirming what I said in my first post. Like I said, it provides the "resistance" for the forward cast. I guess my answer oversimplified it, but that's what it is to me! (That's what I get for being a retired scientist!)

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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-07-2003, 09:50 AM
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Good idea -

I have been contemplating the same thing myself - particularly with a line having a very short front taper (or I will cut it back myself!). Some of the offerings on bass bug tapers are very good.
I just happen to think this might be an answer for some of the conditions I fish on the tribs.

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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-07-2003, 11:24 PM
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Hi Spey Casters

I was wondering if anyone has a copy of Fine & Far Off, by " Jock Scott" My understanding is there is a good discription of a Grant Switch, aka Devon Switch. If you could post it, that would be great, I understand that it would have information that might help answer this debate.

Thanks Rick
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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 02:22 AM
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Cherry Pick-

Excellent analysis and description.

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