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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2004, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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casting problems

when i cast i find more often than not my fly colides with my line hooking it and rendering my cast unfishable could any one explain why this is happining and what i have to do to corect it thanks chris
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2004, 07:40 AM
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Talking You,ve got company

You are not alone. This is a problem I'm still overcoming, I should have chosen the username Tailing Loop instead of Moose:hehe: . What's frustrating is that I know what's causing it and that I'm doing it, but it's hard for me to stop myself. It's taking some force training.

If you've seen Simon Gawesworth (aka Speybro here) on the International spey casting DVD he talks about the 180 degree principle. The forward stroke must go 180 degrees opposite the D loop. Your D loop might make a 45 degree angle from the current but you're trying to push your forward stroke upstream at a greater angle, say 60 degrees. This will cause the line to cross over itself and crash. I think it's just a matter of mentally wanting to cast straight out rather than at a downstream angle (use the Snap T for the straight out cast). You have to force yourself to watch "The degree of angle of your D loop in relation to the rivers flow" (remember that) and make your forward cast along that same plane. i.e. a 45 degree D loop must present a 45 degree forward cast. One thing I do to try to force break myself of this is to intentionally throw my forward stroke at a slightly lesser angle, intentionally a bit more downstream than the D loop. Do this to see if that was what was causing the problem. It should disappear.

One other posibillity is that you are powering your forward stroke too abruptly (snapping it out there) instead of an evenly accelerating forward stroke ending in a snap with a hard stop. I'll bet that it's most likely the 180 degree priciple though. Best of luck, and remember, this will take a bit of time to get good at. Be patient with yourself, Lord knows I have to
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2004, 12:02 PM
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I am certainly not immune to bad habits, sometimes at the most inopportune times. While in the past getting "into a groove" of clean casting has been subconscious, my recent involvement in FFF has got me looking at this problem from a much more serious angle, and I have to say it's really helped.

The most common cause of tailing loops are (a) concave path of the rod tip during the power stroke and (b) inappropriate application of power in the stroke. It's also common to see the fly catch the mainline crossing over horizontally because of (c) misalignment of d-loop and anchor with the forward stroke or (d) hooking or slicing the power stroke.

Based on your verbal description, you could be talking about a classic vertical tailing loop or a horizontal / angular cross-over, or even a collapse due to loss of energy but I guess it wouldn't hurt to discuss all of these topics and more so here goes...

As Moose points out, trying to force a change in angle of aim may cause the fly to cross over, or at the best inflate the loop with energy loss trying to negotiate the change of direction mid-stroke.

Other things to try for checking horizontal cross-over:

Even though expert casters will often put the rod side foot forward, it's a good idea to put the opposite foot forward (not the rod side) and watch the angle of aim of the d-loop, particularly the top half (rod to wedge) for alignment. But don't forget to watch the anchor...

Anchor shape and position:
Another cause of cross-over is the position of the anchor. If the anchor is not further away from you than the rod tip, and/or if the direction that the anchor is pointing is sharply askew to the plane of the forward stroke it can tend to jump up and cross over the line. Now you're ready to make the cast...

Curved path of rod:
A third common cause is the stroke itself. Make sure the path of the stroke is free of hooking to the inside or pushing to the outside.

Vertical plane - tailing loops:

I recently adopted a dip in the middle of my forward stroke after a week of saltwater overhand casting in a hard wind with a hard double haul. I think the double haul hid the fault while fishing single-handed but I was paying little attention to anything but tails and shadows on the flats. Anyway, when shortening up the power stroke for a spey casting with longer belly lines I developed a strange flip of the fly just before the finish of the cast, in a vertical plane.

These are among the things that "cleaned me up":

(1) changing my application of power to a more gradual acceleration - "lead before speed" (thank you Andrew for that great mnemonic) Simply put, I was whacking it a bit too hard and a bit too early in the stroke.

(2) changing my power stroke to a slightly (very, very slightly) convex motion to compensate for the tip deflection which shortens the rod's effective length (thank you Tak and Nobuo). This is of course to say not convex enough to influence the shape of the loop - we're talking almost straight forward, a very, very narrow oval formed by the d-loop sweep and the forward stroke. Almost impossible to tail when you do this, but care is needed to ensure that the loop stays nice and tight.

(3) applying more even bottom hand power during the cast to compress the energy through the cast. (Bill you are da' man) Just as my coastal double haul rips the speed into my single hand cast, the application of more robust bottom of the rod power really helps curtail the tail. But it's not a band-aid, it should be used only after everything else is clean.

(4) Turning the palm slightly forward at the end of the stroke to ensure that the hand does not hook inward (Another point made by Nobuo-san). Starting from a thumbs up sideward d-loop sweep, then coming forward to the hard stop at the end of the power stroke - it often helps to twist the wrist slightly (so you can see more of the back of your hand). This ensures that you get more power into the finishing part of the stroke, and also helps prevent hooking. Not too much though or you get a slice.

I've considered myself more accomplished as an angler than a caster, but recently I've become intrigued by the idea of more serious study in the propulsion of the bright chubby line without any weights. I see it as being of great value not only to my casting and instruction skills but also ultimately as an enhancement to my angling abilities.

Tight loops!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2004, 02:58 PM
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Everyone has done a good job with the basics that cause a tailing loop.One additional thing I watch is my anchor.I had a problem with my right shoulder river left,upstream wind casts. One reason was the abrupt start, mentioned above.However you can get away with that if everything leading up to it is correct.But,I was starting that abrupt forward cast to soon.So I started to watch my anchor and delayed the forward cast until the weight of the backward moving D loop pulled up and back on my anchor and straightened the "bloody L" in my anchor.If you have the L in your tip and leader and also start your forward cast with too much power it torques it and flips it over your line because that last part of line is not at the 180 mentioned above.I watched some new casting DVD's lately and was suprized to see some of the casts forward strokes initiated too soon,IMHO.One of them went out and did a big sideways flip at the end, narrowly missing the main line.Even if it misses ,it puts "noise" into the line and detracts from the forward energy.Beau
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-29-2004, 09:51 PM
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With a downstream wind,,,,,, always cast above your anchor.

With a upstream wind,,,,,,,,, always cast below your anchor.

This can solve some of the problems that are not tailing loops, but the line crossing over itself.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-30-2004, 12:12 AM
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Welcome Chris!

What you're experiencing is common. The posts above do a great job of exploring the possible causes, but nothing beats a pair of eyes to accurately diagnose what's happening and recommend the cure.

Contact me directly via PM or email at [email protected].

I live in Langley and can probably help you out.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-30-2004, 01:39 AM
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One other thing i'll throw out is that I'll have that problem when throwing sink tips that are too heavy for the rod/ line combo. I put on a little lighter tip and the problem goes away...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-30-2004, 02:21 PM
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Hi Chris,

If you can hook up with Dana for a lesson do so. It will most likely advance you down the learning curve 3-5 years. Nothing beats a lesson from a good instructor.

But if you can't or just in the mean time I will walk you trough a simple exercise to put all of the above brilliant information to work.

I am not sure if all of you spey casting is actually fishing or if you do some practicing on the side. If you just go fishing (super cool and I wish that all of my time with a two hander was actually chasing fish) you will need to set aside 30 min. or so fish to run through the exercise.

Choose you cast that you want to work on but I am going to walk you through a single spey but you can do this with any cast.

1. WATCH THE ROD TIP through the entire cast. This is easier said then done sometimes but you will learn what is going on quicker this way.

2. pick out your target. A land mark across the stream.

3. watching the rod tip, start you single spey, nice and smooth, and fire you back cast and STOP. Just let the belly/d-loop fall to the water. Do not fire your forward cast yet (we don't want to rebuild the second story of the house before we make sure the first level is structurally sound). We will work on the forward stroke in a bit.

4. Now look and see where your fallen back cast is pointed. If it is 180 degrees from your target, directly opposite, then you are in good shape. If your fallen d-loop is not pointing opposite your target then lets work on it some more before going on to the forward cast.

5. Now look at your target across the stream and then look behind you and up to 1:00 over your shoulder and look for another land mark that is opposite you target. Like the top of a pine tree or something.

6, Now repeat step #3 this time watch your rod tip go back and fire the back cast and aim at your back cast target. Hold the rod at 1:00 agian and let the d-loop fall to the water. Now look at the belly and make sure it is pointing opposite your target. Roll cast back down stream and repeat for a while to get the feeling and consistency. No forward casts until you have it pretty consistent. While working on this you should be paying attention to the anchor or grip to make sure it is nice and consistent as well.

Now the back cast is consistently opposite your target and your anchor/grip looks good.

7. Now, while still watching the rod tip every step of the way lets fire a forward cast at your target. Everything should be lined up and on the 180 degree plane. Now if you just fired a tight loop and all went well, very good, if not, we will work on the common stuff.

8. This time make your cast and watch the rod all of the way through. Here is what you are looking have come back a formed a perfect back cast and as you pause to form this back cast, you make sure, by watching the rod tip, that the rod stays pinned at 1:00. It is very common to have the rod drift forward at this point. If the rod drifts forward to say high noon then you have nowhere to go on your forward stroke but either 1. down super low on the forward stroke resulting in a huge open loop or 2. you force the rod to stop high but to do so you had to make a very quick abrupt stroke that will end with a tailing loop.

9. either way lets fix it. Now make your single spey, watching the rod tip all of the way. As you form the back cast, stare at the rod tip and dare it to prematurely drift. Give it the skunk eye if it even thinks about it. Nice, it has stayed put and you have a long stroke to look forward to. The back cast has grown into it's pointed > shape and it is time to ease forward. Start the stroke nice and easy, still watching the rod tip, picking up momentum as you go, and at the last second apply a short but stoat pull with the bottom hand and stop the rod high to fire the cast.

If you work through this it should help with the 180 degree principle and a nice, smooth forward stroke. Most likely eliminating any tailing loops or line collisions. If you can get a lesson,do it for sure, if not, watching the rod tip through the entire cast might help solve problems and smooth things out.

I hope this helps,

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-04-2004, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the input. I went out on Sunday with my buddy mike that has been a spey head for a fue years. He watched my casting and videoed it so I could watch it later. there were a fue problems that he found which made a huge difference in my casting when they were corrected the largest problem was that I was leaning in to my casts and rolling my shoulder once we worked on that every thing started to work fine I stopped hooking my line on the cast and I was getting tighter loops. Dana ill most defiantly make arrangement to take a fue classes with you but not until I get back from Europe in the fall thanks again for all the input guys Chris
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