Dana's (?) comments on testing - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Dana's (?) comments on testing

This is a very extensive outline for instruction. It almost seems like a list for a master certification.

It would seem to me that there should be a level of instruction proficiency that would encourage instruction to help beginners and intermediates learn and improve, resulting in an instructor certification.

That would include testing for 1)basic instruction in several (but not all) types of casting, 2)ability to analyse and correct casting faults, and 3)the ability to teach the above.

After all isn't the enjoyment of our skills and the energy and dedication to help others what we are striving for. We don't all have to be PHD's!

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-02-2004, 11:34 PM
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Hi Tom!

If this is the outline you are referring to,


then yes, these are mine. I developed them during the winter of 2002 - 2003 prior to being invited to participate in the development of the the FFF Two-Handed Casting Instructor Certification. The list was designed to be provocative in an attempt to generate discussion among casters and casting instructors. I wanted to present the range of two-handed casting skills that I believe any qualified instructor should possess. I wanted it to be free from the concept that there is only one correct way to cast a two-hander, and I wanted to highlight my belief that a competent instructor should be able to teach a variety of styles and be capable of rapidly adapting to a variety of instructional challenges (this thinking is a product of my background as a school teacher, where it simply isn't good enough to have one way of teaching something). It is comprehensive and challenging--the kind of test that would require a candidate to be at their highest level of casting and teaching skill.

The Spey Instructor test recently brought out by the FFF is a more realistic test, and I think more along the lines of what you are referring to in your post. While I was only involved with the test development during its final year, I saw it go from a very basic test to a very difficult test (similar in complexity to the one I've outlined) and end up where it stands now, somewhere in the middle. Although it is really more of a long line casting instructor's test (some of the casts would be impossible to make with a shooting head system for example) and I really don't know why overhead casting is included (except that it allows those who have not completed FFF Basic Casting Instructor certification to demonstrate their understanding of line control etc), it does cover what I think are most of the essential skills a Spey instructor should have.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Spey casting instruction certification

I respect your standards of excellence in teaching in general and casting specifically. I feel at an advanced level they are to be commended.

My only point was that if this is the threshold of instruction level, will there be enough certified teachers to cover the "community colleges" of our sport or will everybody wishing instruction have to go to "graduate school" to get an education. And I hasten to add that there are excellent teachers at both levels, but they all haven't had to take an advanced exam to get there.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 01:37 AM
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Excellent point about great instructors who never took a test. Dec Hogan is a fine example--elite caster, insightful instructor, amusing presenter. I just finished watching his new dvd and it reminded me of how much I enjoyed the time I spent with Dec test casting his FlyLogic rods back in August 2000. I learned a lot from Dec that day, but Dec never took a Spey certification test.

There are a number of excellent Spey instructors out there who have been active for the last number of years. Most are now well-known and built their reputations well before the creation of the FFF Spey exam. Whether or not they ever take or pass any Spey exam will not likely limit their popularity or appeal, nor should it. But these days it seems like everyone is a Spey instructor, and having a certification process in place will help to ensure that anyone who is interested in taking Spey instruction will be able to find qualified instructors if they choose.

Here's a link to some of my other thoughts on finding a good Spey teacher:


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-03-2004, 11:55 PM
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There has to be a starting point and a foundation with common terminology. Agree or disagree with part or all of the new spey certification, it is a beginning. Commonality is the certification's strongest point. The test gives me a clear target. The preparation for the my basic certificate deepen my skills and knowledge of my single-handed world.
Now I wish to strive for spey certification. Dana's list is a great punch list for me. The skills and knowledge to attain this level of abilities and knowledge will be a great achievement. To get there, I believe teaching is a great asset in itself. Teaching developes, strengthen and reinforces the teacher's abilities and skills to identify, assess and correct problems. Teaching developes approaches for positive reinforcement. Teaching develops a sense of patience and/or a sense of when to prod a student. All these things go beyond the "test". So I guess what I am saying is; with Dana's punch list in hand I will start a journey to "Spey Certification " land and enjoy my trip.

Tom are you back in the Northwest? Klem

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 12:14 PM
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HI Tom,

Which instructor would you prefer to take a lesson from?

I would go with the more adept teacher every time.

Cheers N I
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Several. I learn different things from different people.

Proximity also counts, one in my town might be more useful than one further away, even tho the more distant one might be better "qualified" (tho he might not be as good a teacher).

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