FFF Spey Casting Certification Exam - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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FFF Spey Casting Certification Exam

Here is the link to the web page detailing the FFF Basic and Master Fly Casting Certification. The Spey qualification is in the works, but in the meantime, using the same format outlined at the FFF, which Spey-specific skills do you think should be tested during the practical exam? And what questions should be asked during the written exam?

FFF Casting Instructor Certification

I can't decide whether I'd like to see the Spey certification at the Basic or Master level. If at the Basic level, demonstrating switch casting, single and double speys and the snake roll might be enough, along with other things like throwing tight loops, wide loops, tailing loops, reach casts etc; if at the Master level I think it important that a candidate be able to demonstrate proficiency in a variety of Spey casting styles (Traditional Spey, Scandinavian, Skagit).



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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-08-2003, 11:57 PM
 
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Spey Certification

I've had my Basic Casting Instructor Cert for about five years, bombed the Master Test in January. I think the Spey Cert should stand alone. Not everybody is a Spey caster so - stand alone! I believe the person taking the exam should demonstrate abilities parallel with the Masters: Open loops, closed loops, line handling (slack line to be shot), the Spey styles you've listed, demonstrate off shoulder casts to handle the wind, etc.
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 12:20 AM
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Dana,

First off I must say that I personally have no use for getting FFF certified on either single-hand or spey casting. This is because I cast for the enjoyment of good casting and for fishing. Also, I have a problem with some of the casting the FFF certification requires you to do. For example, false cast 5-8 time for a cast of 45-55 feet. A good single hand caster can make a cast of this distance with a single backcast, or at most 1 false cast. I feel it is far more important to be able to make a cast of 50-65 or even 70 feet with a single basckcast than to keep a double haul in the air for 6 or 7 false cast to make a cast of 50 feet. I see far too much of this on stream these days, and it is the direct result of folks wanting to pass the basic FFF casting certification.

Another example is having a 9 foot 7 weight rod as the maximum allowable size. I fish a 10 feet 6 weight for trout, and an 11 foot 8 weight for bass and steelhead on small streams. Neither of these rods would be allowed in the certification exam. And we all know there is a huge difference in casting the 8 to 10 weight rods, and then even more when casting the 12 weight and bigger sticks than casting rods of 7 weight or smaller. These heavier rods should be mandatory for the master certification, in my opinion.

That said, if a spey casting certification is deemed neccessary or helpful, I would not have a basic and master certification. I would only have one level of certification. And a person who passes the certification as a spey casting instructor, should be able to cast with short belly, medium belly, and long belly lines, S/he should be able to cast 6 or 7 weight, 8 or 8 weight, and 10 or 11 weight 2-handers equally well simply because they are such different sticks with such different feel. S/he should be able to make single and double spey casts off either shoulder, and with either hand on top. The switch cast, snap-T, and snake roll should also be required. Cast from 50 - 60 feet all the way out to 100+ feet should be required as well. The person should also have to do all of these casts with sink tips and floating tips with all of the line types mentioned.

The certification should also have a section for the person taking the test to explain all of the casts, when they are used, the importance of an anchor, and the dynamics of the each of the various spey casts.

All of these requirements would insure that a person certified as a spey casting instructor by the FFF would be able to make any of the spey casts, from either shoulder, with either had on top, from 50 feet to 100+ feet, and with all belly length lines from short to long. Thus, s/he would demonstrate being equiped to teach all types of spey casts and at all distances. If the certification included all of these items, a person having a spey casting instructor certification would truly be an indication of his/her ability to spey cast and explain spey casting. Otherwise, the certification would have questionable value.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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a comprehensive stand alone Spey certification would obviate the need for Basic certification, but I have heard that the committee is considering making the Spey certification accessible only to those who have completed the Basic. I have also heard that it is likely to be stand alone. Either way I think the certification process needs to be comprehensive and include a fault analysis section in which the candidate has to identify and suggest corrections for various casting faults executed by the tester. This approach would make the test a Mastery level exercise and put it at a level similar to APGAI and STANIC which I understand include fault analysis. So Dave and flytyer I am in agreement with both of you.

Flytyer, it will be interesting to see if casting off both shoulders with both left and right hands uppermost will be included in the qualification since there are many Spey casters (and Spey instructors) who are not able to do this effectively; this could make the qualification unattainable for some people and it will be interesting to see how the committee deals with this.

If a candidate is permitted to use their own tackle for the test (and I think they should be allowed to do this without any length or weight restrictions because there are so many ways that this can be done, all of them legit) I think that the testers need to have a few rods rigged up with various line systems so that as part of the test for example a candidate favoring long lines could be handed a shooting head system and asked to execute a few casts to demonstrate not only proficiency but also the ability to quickly adjust to various tackle systems, something that is a real world need for a Spey instructor.

What about the target shooting exercises? Are these really applicable to Spey rods?

Distance casting component? Should a candidate be comfortable and consistent out to a certain point, say 110ft?

Should overhead casting be part of the qualification?

Should a candidate be able to identify which rod actions are preferable for different line types and explain why?





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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 04:56 AM
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Dana, with all due respect to FFF it makes more sense for me if someone like yourself and a committee of seasoned spey casters developed a Spey certification program within this community. Why should the single-handed trout organization from Bozeman MT have this privilege all of a sudden when they are not the spey community we are and have been for years (and will continue to be)?

.02

I will talk to you offline on this partner...
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 08:42 AM
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I think Juro has hit on something here. Since I was a director in FFF when the original certification program was being developed, believe me when I tell you that raising money was the MAIN focus. I think a certification program put together by the people from this forum will have a far greater impact than anything FFF will do, even though they are more than a trout organization. It would require having people from all parts of the country/continent, etc. who are a part of this forum being willing to pitch in to help knowing it could be a steady income source for the group. Certification testing could be arranged at the many claves being organized throughout North America. Since I've been skeptical ever since I first heard about FFF putting together a spey certification program, I think this could be great opportunity for the clave to jump in with both feet.
post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 10:16 AM
 
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Spey Casting with both hands...

While I agree with most every point made thus far, I have to say the guy who taught me to cast admits to not having the ability to cast with both hands. Do we deny certification to someone who is known to be a great caster/guide/fly tier because of this shortfall? The teacher needs to know the casts, the mechanics
(FFF calls this "substance"), and most important, to see the faults the student makes so they can be corrected. I am in agreement this board should take the bull by the horns and develop guidelines. possibly a book or video/DVD, for everyone who wants to first become a very proficent caster, second to teach. I'd like to see a video with Simon G., Dec Hogan, Ed Ward, Al Buhr, John Hazel, and some other folks from this board, the U.K. and Europe do the video. Lets really cover the bases!
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 01:17 PM
 
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Hi Spey Casters

The reason for the FFF certification program is to educate !!

I agree that it would be better served if they had more Spey Casters involved in the Spey Certification program. In fact I asked just that question, and was assured that there are a number of well known Spey Casters involved. It's easy for us to be critical of this program, but wouldn't it be better served if we started putting down some idea's and questions on paper and submit them to the board. I think this Forum would gain a lot of respect if it took the lead in helping the FFF board with this program..

As I said earlier, it's an educational program. I would challenge anyone to go through it ( basic's and masters) then say they've not improved their knowledge and casting ability.

I would think better casters make better fishers (and that's what I'm talking about)

Thanks Rick
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 01:57 PM
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With all due respect, I have to say that I find it at least a little curious that you cite the reason for the FFF program to educate, yet you suggest that this community educate the FFF... so it can educate (?)

My suggestion was that we, who would (to your point) educate another currently un-educated group should just do the educating ourselves.

Hope I was able to clarify my perspective / opinion FWIW.

.02

Juro
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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I approached the FFF some time ago about 1) participating in the certification design, and/or 2) acting as a guinea pig for the beta testing of the certification exams. My correspondence was largely ignored except for a few brief emails that ended I think because I wasn't FFF Master certified. At the time I was preparing for my Basic exam but I didn't follow through as a result of this event. I'm over that now, but clearly as in any endeavor the FFF process is a political one. I feel a whole lot better about it though since Simon has become involved.

I agree with Rick but Juro has given voice to thinking I've had for quite some time now. Perhaps we need to create a new group--The International Speycasting Association (ISA)--get Juro to design us a cool logo, and set about providing feedback/info/suggestions to the FFF as well as developing a parallel certification that addresses the full spectrum of spey casting and instruction.

Thoughts?



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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 03:01 PM
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I'm all over the spectrum on the certification issue...

I consider myself a fisherman. I cast pretty well - as it enables me to fish the places I want to. Sure, I enjoy casting Claves (especially when the rivers are empty of fish), but for me, it is a substitute for fishing. As such, I am a little skeptical about casting certifications. Just because you pass some test, it doesn't necessarily mean you are a great instructor - the converse is also true.

While I have little desire for such a certification and would not be overly impressed by anyone with one, I will concede it a certain value. At the very least, it would indicate a committment by the instructor to have some skills and a guarantee of sorts to potential students that they are not going to get ripped off. However, in the end, students "voting with their feet" is a pretty effective filter. Never-the-less, an "official" certification probably has some value.

As for the FFF being the governing or instructing body, there are a number of issues. I will just throw some out some concerns...

- National body looking for dominion over a sector not yet
controlled. Is this like the teamsters organizing the local
burger joint?

- $ grab?

- Who are these "prominent speycasters" devising this test - is
anyone from here involved?

I'm with what I think Juro is intimating and Dana just said while I was typing this response - maybe if we deem a governing body necessary (to which I am still ambivalent), it should be formed by speycasters, for speycasters and frankly, there is not a better place to start than with this forum.

Tight lines - tyler.

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Last edited by kush; 03-09-2003 at 03:04 PM.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 03:01 PM
 
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Juro and Dana

Don't you think that if this board was to start its own certification program it wouldn't be seen as self serving and political?

This community is made up of a number of FFF certified casting instructors, basic's and masters ( N. American and European)alike, so I would sure hope that we would be willing to help in any project. That might improve our knowedge of this grand pass time.
Thanks Rick
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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 03:04 PM
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A Comment from a Bad Caster in Idaho

While reading down this thread, before I got to Juro's first post I was basically thinking the same thoughts he posted. While not trying to belittle the FFF which I think is a good organization, why do they need to be the "Official" santioning body of
"spey casting"? I haven't seen any great effort by the FFF to further the art of spey casting world wide. The formost site of spey casting world wide is right here on this board. If there is some place else that has more action and info on the various disciplines of spey casting than will someone please point it out to me.
Rick, you state that the FFF told you that there were a number of well know spey casters involved in their program. Did they name any names?
Flytyer's test criteria seems pretty good to me but he left one section out. Are candidates for the "Master's certification going to be asked to identify by smell and taste various brands of single malt while blind folded?
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 03:14 PM
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MJC,

I don't want to turn this thread into a laugher - but identifying the country of origin of cigars should be included!

Rick,

I don't think this board should presume to "speak for the Spey world", however, it is a pretty damn good place to start putting together a group from around the world that would!

Tight lines - tyler.

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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 03-09-2003, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Rick,

of course some would see it in a bad light, just as I'm sure the APGAI crew was unhappy about STANIC, the NHL with the old WHL, and so on. Believe me, in the past 3 years I've learned more about the politics of Spey casting than I ever wanted to know, and the bottom line is you can't please everyone, and there's BS all over the place. Therefore I think it would be important for us to really evaluate our motives for embarking on a certification program--if it is simply because we are dissatisfied with the FFF approach then I don't know that striking out on our own is the best way to address that, at least initially. I would rather engage in a dialogue with the FFF spey committee about their program and process and in this way exert some positive influence on what's happening. But again, they didn't seem too interested in hearing from me before...but then what do I know, I'm just a guy with a web site.

If we ever did the ISA thing from a casting certification perspective I think we would want to look into either having each qualifying body recognize the certification of the other and/or having all ISA certified instructors stand up for FFF certification, at least in the short term. Whether or not we do the certification thing is only one issue...we have a means of creating a bulletin board area specific to these topics. Maybe I should ask Sean to set up a new board--International Speycasting Association--and those interested in participating in technical discussions could join us there.

What do you think?

Back to the certification issue, one initial question would be "who would certify the initial candidates?"



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