casting practice - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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casting practice

So I am finding it hard to get practice in at the closest River, a half hour away with work and a young family. I have heard of people practising in fields but without the friction of the water, can it still work to properly learning my cast? Sorry yet another real noob question
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 11:00 PM
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practice

This is not the answer your looking for but could be helpful. I live only a mile from the river and practice on the average about 3 times a week through out the year. I find that I cast everyday in my mind probably more than I do on the river. I find it very helpful to visualize my casting over and over in my mind. I guess you would call it mental casting. I know you need to physically cast some way but some of my biggest gains are made before I ever get to the river. One other helpful thought is to journal. Record all your Ideas and what worked and what's' not working why do you think its not working. Have a plan like anchor placement and stay with it till its close to perfect then string in another component. What I am trying to say is, I string it in visual well before I ever get to the stream. Good Luck slack
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-23-2015, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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This is not the answer your looking for but could be helpful. I live only a mile from the river and practice on the average about 3 times a week through out the year. I find that I cast everyday in my mind probably more than I do on the river. I find it very helpful to visualize my casting over and over in my mind. I guess you would call it mental casting. I know you need to physically cast some way but some of my biggest gains are made before I ever get to the river. One other helpful thought is to journal. Record all your Ideas and what worked and what's' not working why do you think its not working. Have a plan like anchor placement and stay with it till its close to perfect then string in another component. What I am trying to say is, I string it in visual well before I ever get to the stream. Good Luck slack
Although this may not be the answer I was looking for, it is a good one, the journal is a very good idea and I think I will give that a shot, just trying to get the most out of the trip I do get to get out on the water, thanks slack
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 01:37 AM
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I'd bet you could find some closer still water...

this is going to sound queer but when I walk the dog at night in the bush near my home I may make the arm movements and visualise like our mate above.
gawd forbid anybody ever sees me.



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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 02:44 AM
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It can be safer to practice this way Shawn.
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Mark
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 03:04 AM
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So I am finding it hard to get practice in at the closest River, a half hour away with work and a young family. I have heard of people practising in fields but without the friction of the water, can it still work to properly learning my cast? Sorry yet another real noob question
Grass casting on a relatively smoothe, flat & mown grass field is a real alternative for casting practice when you can't so easily get to water to practice your casts on.

One major modification is required for most casting styles, and that is the construction of a 'grass mono leader' - this grass leader is made from mono which is constructed in 6" sections, ie knotted every 6", the free ends at each knot being left somewhat longer that you would use on a standard built mono leader, so that each knot area is better able to 'grip' the grass, and so reproduces the line stick of your normal water anchor. The leader may also need to be longer than you may be used to using on the water, again for the reasons of improving the line stick/anchor on the grass.

At the end of the leader, either tie on a 'disposable' tube fly (without hook), or a piece of yarn to simulate the fly.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 07:27 AM
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Overhead casting on field is not wasted time because it improves your overall fly line casting skill. Corrent power input to avoid tailing loops. Straight line path. Narrow line loops and also wide loops and everything in between because sometimes they are needed too. Drift which is the best trick to increase casting distance and 100% trick to avoid Creep. How to use both hands. How to coil line to fingers etc...

Esa
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 07:32 AM
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Learning an oval cast (belgian cast) teach you a rod track which leads to the Switch Cast when you make a longer pause. If you have lots of room you can change casting direction when you repeat the oval cast many times. When right hand up turn CV. First a little and them more and more between casting cycle.

Last edited by bender; 10-24-2015 at 03:48 PM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 09:02 AM
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I hope the other fellow wanting to practice is reading this. I feel that any casting is good casting and helpful. You don't have to replicate by practicing as you fish either. Visualizing and going through the motions as mentioned is not queer at all. Mike Maxwell (RIP) would have had his dudes going through the motions with nothing more than the butt-section of the rod to help build muscle-memory. Overhead casting and even on grass with grass leader - a PITA to build 6 inches at a time - are all beneficial.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 11:39 AM
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Practice rods

Joan Wulff and Rajeff Sports both market little practice rods with yarn lines. Somewhere, either here or on you tube, was mention of a guy who had added an extended butt using a chop stick & a wine bottle cork. I built one from a Rajeff Sports model, tested it out and gave it to a friend who was wanting to get into the two hand game. They work amazingly well in the confines of home or office.

Coming from So. Ca. where I considered myself fortunate to have a concrete casting pond a mere 13 mile drive from home, I can sympathize with those lacking access to moving water. There are, as demonstrated on Skagit Master I video, advantages to practicing on grass. Nothing, however, even begins to replicate the experience one gains when casting a real fly on a real steelhead river.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-24-2015, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone, all this is great info and makes me happy to be a part of this site, I have learned alot on this site already and am looking forward to soaking up more information
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-26-2015, 10:08 AM
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I helped teach a fly casting class at Humboldt State for over 15 years and the head instructor was a big proponent of muscle memory and teaching what the hands/arms should do - much more so than what the rod should do (11 to 1, etc.) If your hands/arms are doing the correct thing then the rod and line will follow. The only thing then is getting the timing down and application of "power". And hand/arm motions is something you can do at any time without a rod in your hand. I also really like Slack's comment about visualizing. I am all the time walking around making rod casting motions - folks at work have learned to ignore me though I suspect many think I have a muscle/body malady :>)

Last edited by Rick J; 12-03-2015 at 10:51 AM.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-26-2015, 05:47 PM
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I helped teach a fly casting class at Humboldt State for over 15 years and the head instructor was a big proponent of muscle memory and teaching what the hands/arms should do - much more so than what the rod should do (11 to 1, etc.) If your hands/arms are doing the correct thing then the rod and line will follow. The only thing then is getting the timing down and application of "power". And hand/arm motions is something you an do at any time without a rod in your hand. I also really like Slack's comment about visualizing. I am all the time walking around making rod casting motions - folks at work have learned to ignore me though I suspect many think I have a muscle/body malady :>)
Nawww, they prolly write you off as just another nut job.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 12:02 PM
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To the OP bcnorth,

My personal opinion is to avoid grass casting. It is different enough that you don't want to build in that muscle memory. MUCH better to use still water if available. If you can cast on still water, you will find moving water to be even easier. Plus, you will have built the muscle memory of casting on water. Sorry guys, I don't like grass casting at all. I think the visualization described above is significantly more beneficial than grass casting. The couple of times I've tried casting on grass I had to change my stroke so much that I was not really making the same stroke as on water. If you want to see real casting there are almost unlimited videos on YouTube. Personally I watch the SOR prelims and finals frequently, especially the finals. As much as possible only watch great casters, avoid watching the go-pro home video hacks. Don't want to pick up bad habits.

My thoughts, take them for what they're worth.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 10-27-2015, 01:39 PM
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Muscle Memory

I tend to agree with CT. Grass is different to water. I have a river out front of my home so have not gone there very often. The special Grass line practice tip sounds like a great way to do it if that is the only thing available. Excellent to tune your forward stroke.

I also walk around my house visualizing and practicing with a rod butt in slow motion. Try watching in a mirror and follow the tip with the path of the ceiling or the top of the mirror so you see how the arms and hands keep the tip going straight. Perfect practice for short heads where you need to work within the phone booth.
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