Help/Advice with Crescent lift - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Help/Advice with Crescent lift

I am working on improving my 'lift and set' in combination with my single spey cast. I want to incorporate a 'crescent lift' into my cast and cannot quite figure it out from the books. If anyone can provide a more detailed description on how to perform it and some perspectives on the benefit that would be fantastic.

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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 04:17 PM
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Perhaps the best advice I can give to newer casters is an analogy I borrowed from master caster Nobuo Nodera. The key to a good lift is a slow gentle acceleration.

To accomplish this imagine a dining table with a sheet of plastic wrap on its surface. If you pick up the edge and try to pull it straight back you will not be very successful... and the harder you pull the worse the result will be. Instead, pick up the edge and lift the plastic wrap vertically - slowly detaching it from the table surface. Just as the last bit begins to release you can pull it away from the table - with great ease!

The principle works the same with a spey line. The set-up starts with a slow, vertical lift, watch the line break the surface tension as you lift. The instant that the line begins to slide towards you is the time to start the sweep parallel to the water and up into the firing position.

The whole process is very slow and deliberate, this acceleration to a stop, matched by a similar acceleration to a stop on the forward delivery is what produces those casts that experts seem to make look effortless.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 04:57 PM
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Well said Kush.Wax on,wax off.Beau
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 05:11 PM
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Just when you get the basics worked out...

...you see something new. I was watching Aaron and Don working on a "flattened V-loop" this morning. With a neat under-hand cast. Ask them about "Mrs. MacGregor's bosom."

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 05:16 PM
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Kush,
Beautifully said. Thanks.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-07-2006, 05:35 PM
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Crescent Lift

The Crescent Lift differs from the shotgun lift. The purpose of the Crescent Lift is is to maximize the leverage on your lift. I would not suggest the Crescent Lift until you get the shotgun lift controlled. Kush's post is what you need to work on before trying the Crescent Lift. A brief description of the Crescent Lift: with the rod-tip in or close to the water, rotate the palm of your upper hand to the sky while starting to gently lift the rod-tip before you sweep back to the set. Get Al Buhr's new book. His pictures and description will answer your question.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 04:08 PM
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The Crescent Lift differs from the shotgun lift. The purpose of the Crescent Lift is is to maximize the leverage on your lift. ... A brief description of the Crescent Lift: with the rod-tip in or close to the water, rotate the palm of your upper hand to the sky while starting to gently lift the rod-tip before you sweep back to the set. Get Al Buhr's new book. His pictures and description will answer your question.
I have Buhr's book, and while I consider it to be excellent in general, I find its description of crescent lift incomplete. I am not a native English speaker, but usually I am fine with relatively complicated texts. But Buhr's description of this lift escapes me. Even the two diagrams in the book seem to be somehow contradictory: one seems to be showing a curve away from the bank, the other one towards the bank.

I currently have only a guess of what this lift should look like. So if anyone can shed more light, or give a pointer to a video, I would greatly appreciate it.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 05:16 PM
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Jim Vincent and Simon Gawesworth (Basic SPEY & Two Handed Fly Rod Casting) called this the single spey method #2 and described it as beginning the lift slightly in towards the near bank and then sweeping out over the river. Its been called the Advance Single Spey or the In-Swing Single Spey.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 05:38 PM
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Kush - re 'start the sweep parallel to the water and upů' with respect to anchor placement, is the idea that the amount of energy inserted into the lift and sweep determines where the anchor will land, vs a small dip to direct the line to the chosen spot?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 08:35 PM
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Buhr's Cresent Lift description

My feeling about Buhr's description is the same as Jarro's and English is my language. Simon does a better job explaining things.

Single Spey is still my weakest cast. Especially so with a 70' head. I've had no lessons and I struggle through learning to cast with only reading and videos to help. I'd like to be able to punch out 140' casts but its not there yet.

I'd like to see more educational videos on longer line Single Spey casting.

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Originally Posted by Jarmo_H View Post
I have Buhr's book, and while I consider it to be excellent in general, I find its description of crescent lift incomplete. I am not a native English speaker, but usually I am fine with relatively complicated texts. But Buhr's description of this lift escapes me. Even the two diagrams in the book seem to be somehow contradictory: one seems to be showing a curve away from the bank, the other one towards the bank.

I currently have only a guess of what this lift should look like. So if anyone can shed more light, or give a pointer to a video, I would greatly appreciate it.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by fish0n4evr View Post
Jim Vincent and Simon Gawesworth (Basic SPEY & Two Handed Fly Rod Casting) called this the single spey method #2 and described it as beginning the lift slightly in towards the near bank and then sweeping out over the river.
This was my intuitive understanding of the lift, but Buhr's is both different and much more specific. I would like to understand what he means.

Here are the critical steps 2 and 3 from Buhr's description, with difficult parts in bold font.

Quote:
2. Raise the rod from the low position to a 20-degree incline about shoulder high in a slightly vertical crescent-shaped or shallow arc lift. It is a similar movement to the first half of a slight rolling mend. Do not dip the tip to the left, as this will only cause faults.
3. Lift and drive the rod butt to scribe the tip in a slight shallow crescent arc with a clockwise rotation. As the rod lifts, start by rising in towards the bank, then curve the sweep out to center river.
As you can see, the latter part of step 3 is the "first towards bank, then out." But there is a good deal more, and while I can try to guess what the rest means, I would rather get it right the first time.

I am looking into the crescent lift because of its advertised lifting power. I fish almost exclusively with a floater that has a 95' long belly. When it's just the floater, and the current is not turbulent, a shotgun lift is mostly fine. But when I loop on a sinking tip, or when the current is uneven, a stronger lift could be advantageous.

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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by kalamaman View Post
Kush - re 'start the sweep parallel to the water and up…' with respect to anchor placement, is the idea that the amount of energy inserted into the lift and sweep determines where the anchor will land, vs a small dip to direct the line to the chosen spot?
May be worth mentioning that a standard shot-gun lift single-spey can be done with a flat level sweep or a slight dipping motion in the sweep. If one chooses to do the dipping motion it should always be a shallow crescent dip. The dip lowers the anchor (fly and leader) and helps to keep fly-line off the water resulting in minimal-anchor on the set. Excessive dip creates enough momentum in the line that when the anchor drops it will hinge creating the " upstream Bloody L." Change in direction is mainly dependent on stance, shoulders being squared-off to target and the amount of rotation during the sweep. So it is probably best not to relate the dipping motion with direction of the cast.


2. Raise the rod from the low position to a 20-degree incline about shoulder high in a slightly vertical crescent-shaped or *shallow arc lift.* It is a similar movement to the first half of a slight rolling mend. Do not dip the tip to the left, as this will only cause faults.
3. Lift and drive the rod butt to scribe the tip in a slight shallow crescent arc with a clockwise rotation. As the rod lifts, start by rising in towards the bank, then curve the sweep out to center river.


I haven't read Al Buhr's Two-Handed Fly Casting... However; the slight inward sweep is always towards the near bank at the very start of the lift and it is very much a *shallow arc lift.* On river-left it would look like ( rod always raising not dipping , then sweeping clockwise out over the river and upstream. In this form of the single spey there are actually two crescent shaped arcing motions: First during the initial lift and then again during the sweep lowering the anchor.

Google "in swing single spey" and you can see what I mean.
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Last edited by fish0n4evr; 06-20-2016 at 01:47 PM.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 02:23 PM
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I agree Jarmo

That as complex and technical as Al Buhr's book is, there seems to be a contradiction in the (depiction of the) arc of the crescent lift as shown in one of the hand drawn illustrations. In his defense, it is hard to represent an arc perfectly in a three dimensional drawing with a two-dimensional symbol, since the reader has to be able to perceive it, and some of the arcs in his (river-level) illustrations are in a dimension that could be better illustrated from an overhead perspective. His text is ultimately clear however, even if not always fully understood at the first reading.

Perhaps try to think of the crescent lift as being in a similar shape of a mend as mentioned above, think of it as being a movement of the rod butt that causes the entire rod (including the tip) to move in the arc described. I see too many casters attempting to perform the crescent lift using only the rod tip, and thereby sacrificing all the power of moving the rod butt first.

Personally, I like to think of some of the subtler movements in the single spey as being mere changes in pressure in the hands, which then are able to create sufficient force to cause rod tip movements. Once any part of a line is in the air, little force is needed to alter its path, right?
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Last edited by yoda1; 06-22-2016 at 11:05 AM. Reason: better word choice
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 08:46 PM
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Don't know if this will be that relevant, probably not, but here goes. The beginning move I think you are talking about is the start of what I have, for lack of enough experience or knowledge, always called the Hugh Falkus "figure-8 single spey", even though I'm pretty sure part or all of it has a more ancient genesis. He seems to say that in his book, but he also claims some priority on putting the parts together, if I am understanding him correctly, which is far from certain. Anyway, since his book is the first place I saw this it as stuck in my brain that way.

Anyway, fortunately there is a video he made on casting here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zbC...IRgldFSpvEV5YE

where he explains in some detail with many examples on the video. See especially about 26:00. Possibly his version here is a very extreme example. His casting seems a bit awkward by modern standards, but I think he is using a freakin' heavy rod there - you can see the heavy back action of the rod on his arms. We are total pansies nowadays. LOL Even the opening shots include this kind of start. Also, and kind of humorously, he designed a piece of "modern art" designed to demo the shape of the stroke to his students. Weirdly, I could not find this in his casting video - perhaps he handn't gone to that extreme at the time. I very distinctly remember seeing a video of him demoing this metal sculpture with a student (there are pictures of it in his spey casting book where it is referred to as the "simulator mk II") but I can't find the video again for the life of me. Basically you are suppose to let your rod slide over the metal curved surface to teach you the shape. It is somewhere on youtube embedded in a much longer video. If anyone really cares I could scan a copy of the pic from the book.

I know the original OP was just about the starting move, but when the full blown figure eight single spey is done the anchor tends to land first in a dip with the tip touching the water and the tippet and leader curved up in the air, which is "different".

In the Rio/Simon DVD Simon does a demo with a starting move where the rod tip does a little spiral first, but that one is counter-clockwise from river left, and loops under. I think that cast looks a lot cooler. LOL I think the full blown figure 8 perhaps solves some problems we rarely have today, but Jeff Putnam did a few with a switch rod in the demo he did at this years SOR.

I got a bit excited when I read about a "new" book by Al Buhr, until I realized the OP (and most of the thread) was from 2006. Doh! :-(
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Last edited by Botsari; 06-20-2016 at 10:03 PM.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-21-2016, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by fish0n4evr View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarmo (from Buhr)
2. Raise the rod from the low position to a 20-degree incline about shoulder high in a slightly vertical crescent-shaped or *shallow arc lift.* It is a similar movement to the first half of a slight rolling mend. Do not dip the tip to the left, as this will only cause faults.
3. Lift and drive the rod butt to scribe the tip in a slight shallow crescent arc with a clockwise rotation. As the rod lifts, start by rising in towards the bank, then curve the sweep out to center river.
I haven't read Al Buhr's Two-Handed Fly Casting... However; the slight inward sweep is always towards the near bank at the very start of the lift and it is very much a *shallow arc lift.* On river-left it would look like ( rod always raising not dipping , then sweeping clockwise out over the river and upstream. In this form of the single spey there are actually two crescent shaped arcing motions: First during the initial lift and then again during the sweep lowering the anchor.
Let me see if I got this right. Buhr writes "towards bank, out of bank" in step 3. However, reading your text makes me think that step 2 is actually the "towards bank" part. That would make a lot of sense, since I had no idea of what step 2 was about.

Would that be a correct interpretation?

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