Double Spey and Snap T set up stroke - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
Mark Walker
 
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Double Spey and Snap T set up stroke

Hi

I understand from videos and books that the first stroke of these casts should leave the end of the fly line a few feet in front and a rod length downstream or upstream from my position respectively. My question is what exactly should land in this position, the point where the fly line and tip join, the point where the leader and tip join or the fly itself?

Hope this is clear.

Thanks
Mark
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-04-2016, 07:54 PM
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In general, the anchor point should be the fly, although as a visual reference, I often settle for the lower end of the fly line or sink tip. With a snap-T, single spey, or circle spey, you need to anchor above the "railroad tracks" line toward the intended casting stroke. Otherwise, you risk impaling yourself. With the double spey, the fly can anchor slightly below the r.r. tracks, but it should be within your narrow field of view as you swing into your D-loop. (With the double spey, there are really two anchor points. The initial one is where the fly lands after your pickup from the downstream dangle; the second, and more important anchor point is where the fly is positioned after you've made a "white mouse" drag into your D-loop.)
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 09:53 AM
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I look at the fly. The anchor can vary depending on who you ask. But I think it is very important to be aware of the hook in relation to the casting shoulder and where it will come off of the water during the forward cast.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 10:31 AM
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I've asked this same question several time, in several different places and I've never received a straight answer. To make things even more complicated: what if we're casting a weighted fly? Or what if our tip is 15' long? Or what if we're casting a sinking tip? ...

I was told by someone it's where the tip of the spey line and the tip of the leader (including Mow tip or Poly/Versileader) that should be about a rod length's downstream, but I'm not sure that is the case. It seems to me that there's so many variables that the amount of line we have downstream from us is a changing game.

In fact, I was planning on going out today - but sadly it's raining - and experimenting with my new 15' tip and Nextcast Winter Authority spey line. Based on what happened yesterday, where the spey line and tip join should be less than a spey rod downstream. (I was casting a woolly bugger.)

I guess in the end, if I execute my back swing and my anchor isn't straight I either need less line downstream of me, or I need a faster back swing.

For maximum distance, I'm guessing I'm better off executing a fast backswing, but maybe not. Maybe if I have too much line on the water my anchor will get "stuck".

Any thoughts?

Randy

Last edited by Randyflycaster; 09-05-2016 at 10:36 AM. Reason: correction
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 11:23 AM
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Randy, let me see if I can marginally unobfusticate the issue for you. What nooksack said is the crucial thing, the fly needs to be outside (i. e. further away from you) of the "railroad tracks". I'm sure you have heard of these, but if you need a review these are the lines that you want the cast to go and the parallel (closer to you) line that your rod moves during the power stroke. As you have no doubt heard of or discovered for yourself if the fly is inside these "orange" lines ( for some reason Simon G. thinks of them as orange lines in his head, and they are warning lines of a sort) then bad things WILL happen, wind knots, flubed casts - "you'll put your eye out kid!" So that is the hard rule. Likewise a similar thing happen if your orange lines cross.

I'm trying not to use the word "anchor" here since as you and others have pointed out, the word is used in many contexts and for different things, not to mention as a noun, verb and sometime an adjective. Different people also tend use it as a matter of personal convinience and style to refer to different parts of the font of the line on the water, including master instructors I have noticed. They usually define it at the beginning as a short hand, but there is not a precise fixed definition that everyone uses.

So the rule about fly position relative to the orange tracks is hard. The next most important rule is that at the moment where the power stroke begins the front part of your lines stuck to the water up to the fly, and the D loop should be straight as possible and lined up with the cast track, the one on the outside.

That is it.

Now stylistically there are a number of variations that are all valid, and relatively ok having to do with the spacing of the outside track (where the front of the stuck fly line up to the fly lines up) and the parallel inner track (the line the tip of your rod moves). For example the narrower the tracks the more efficient the cast, though too narrow might be flirting with trouble. On the other end of the spectrum you can have wider tracks, up to a point,and still make a functional cast. The width will effect the cast loop, etc. Also you may like to, or choose to, make a more side armed cast and so both track would be placed farther from you. You make also cast that way for other reasons, like you want to cut one lower over the water in a stiff wind and so on. Also you will will often want an anchor further out, for example to move the back loop away from a close bank. So there is no hard answer. The fundamental rules above are the only things that are hard, because they are based on the physics. Hopefully it should be good news at this point that you don't HAVE to put then line in one exact position to do a cast. You do have to watch where it goes, and make sure you follow the hard rules for good results. To a certain extent you will quickly learn to adjust your cast direction to compensate for a slightly misplaced line on the repositioning - as in "I meant to do that". Also of course, as nooksack mentioned, the line moves in the current during the sweep too.

A good exercise, as well as a skill that will become important, is to practice putting the fly/anchor at different spots up and down river, and more and less out in the river. If you follow the rules you will still get ok casts, but at a certain point depending on the line and style of casting things will break down. For example if you place it too far up or downstream, and and the line doesn't get pulled straight along the D loop line, as in how it works casting a short skagit head, then you will get a bloody L (line not lying on the water at the moment of the power stroke straight, and lined up with the D loop.

Hope this helps a bit, if only to assure you that there are no hard rules about "anchor placement", just hard rules about the physics of the subsequent cast. But the best rule to start with is to learn to WATCH both where the line ends up after the repositioning, and where it ends up after the sweep. If you always do that, and watch the results, then there will eventually be no mystery, either consciously or subconsciously, as to why you got the results you did.
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Last edited by Botsari; 09-05-2016 at 12:13 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randyflycaster View Post
I've asked this same question several time, in several different places and I've never received a straight answer. To make things even more complicated: what if we're casting a weighted fly? Or what if our tip is 15' long? Or what if we're casting a sinking tip? ...

I was told by someone it's where the tip of the spey line and the tip of the leader (including Mow tip or Poly/Versileader) that should be about a rod length's downstream, but I'm not sure that is the case. It seems to me that there's so many variables that the amount of line we have downstream from us is a changing game.

In fact, I was planning on going out today - but sadly it's raining - and experimenting with my new 15' tip and Nextcast Winter Authority spey line. Based on what happened yesterday, where the spey line and tip join should be less than a spey rod downstream. (I was casting a woolly bugger.)

I guess in the end, if I execute my back swing and my anchor isn't straight I either need less line downstream of me, or I need a faster back swing.

For maximum distance, I'm guessing I'm better off executing a fast backswing, but maybe not. Maybe if I have too much line on the water my anchor will get "stuck".

Any thoughts?

Randy
Good questions Randy, and the fact that leader and tip lengths vary greatly is a good reason for watching just the fly. If I tell you to watch the fly-line terminal not knowing the length of leader or tip that you are casting I could easily set you up for failure. Watching the fly and being aware of is position should cover you with any terminal set up.

The most efficient spey casts are very linear - if you ask me. So the closer the anchor is to your casting shoulder the better. Just as long as you know where it is and how it comes off the water you'll be safe. The way the line is lifted and how the anchor is set down affect everything - it's where it all starts. These initial moves will determine just how much power you will need to put into forming a good-loop. Maybe effort is a better term there instead of power. With a good lift it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to bring the anchor down close. That is the inclining anchor that you already know about.

Last edited by fish0n4evr; 09-05-2016 at 12:07 PM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses, you've taken my question forwards and provided lots of food for thought and experimentation. It seems the key is to observe the rules re anchor position in relation to the railway lines and then making sure to follow the 180 principle. Also seems most are focusing on fly position. Now just need to find some time to experiment.

Mark
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 10:29 AM
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When I'm casting streamers it is very hard for me to know exactly where the fly is. What makes the situation even worse is that if the tip and spey line are the same color it's hard to know exactly the end of the spey line is. (I put a small orange mark at the end of my Nextcast line, but I still can't see the mark.) What really helps me know where everything is putting on an indicator.

Don't mean to be disrespectful, but I'm not sure about this: "So the closer the anchor is to your casting shoulder the better." All the great distance spey casters that I've watched execute their back swing on a low angle - the Mackenzie style - so the anchor is pretty far away from them. They might change planes a bit on the forward cast but not by much.

I cast one-handed rods vertically, and I also tend to throw balls vertically - or over the top, as they say. Therefore it was hard for me to transition into double-spey casting, because if I execute the back sweep/swing and end up with the spey rod pointed too far behind me I will have added slack to my D-loop. (My friend Nate who is part of these pages, pointed this out to me.) Now I concentrate on finishing my back sweep with my shoulders perpendicular to my target. That way I won't "hook" the fly rod behind me. Yes, the anchor will be about 3/4 of a rod length away from me, but for me that seems to be the best distance when executing a double spey.

Having said all that, I can certainly see why the double spey cast seems to have fallen out of favor: It's a hard cast to execute. Even if I know exactly how much line I should have downstream of me before I begin sweeping the rod upstream and then executing the back sweep, it's damn hard to put that exactly amount of line downstream. Often the tip of the spey line lands too far up or downstream.

Randy

Last edited by Randyflycaster; 09-06-2016 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Writing correction
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 11:43 AM
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Randy, too many things to comment on, but I have no idea why you think the double Spey has "fallen out of favor". A lot of people think it is the easiest cast. It is certainly the most relaxed and the one requiring the least timing. I think for most people the hardest cast ends up being the one they use/practice the least, and vice versa.

If you for some reason have trouble seeing or guessing accurately where the fly is you can alway try looking at where the tip of you rod goes, and for longer lines how much of a loop of line is thrown upstream. Super precise placement is not required, but will come in time. But the knowing part is pretty fundamental. Another thing might be to lift higher at the beginning. You can take that very far. I know one very good caster the flips pretty much the entire line out of the water on a double, even for a skagit head, on every repositioning move. In that case you should see everything. He is like 6'8" though. Likewise if you lift higher, but still drag, you should see more also have more control of the placement. Just some things to try before you conclude that the double is intrinsically more difficult. It really isn't.

I'd humbly suggest you look carefully at video of some other great casters, including ones that mostly fish with the casts, and see if your conclusion about angles holds.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 05:56 PM
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Randy -

Your stance, shoulders squared-off to your target, is what ultimately determines the direction of the cast. Nooksack mac and Botsari both brought up the train tracks and it is a excellent analogy since the casts are very much "railroaded" meaning that the direction is already determined by your stance. The outside track is an imaginary line from the fly to the rod tip. The inside track is a line from rod to target. Concentrating on the double spey and bringing the anchor close - When you set the anchor (fly) far down-stream away from you - your outside track will not be parallel to your inside track because the inside is already set by your stance. This is the text-book set-up for a downstream "bloody L" which you want to avoid since it robs you of power and forces you to make up for it during the remainder of the cast. The other thing to avoid is crossing the inside track over the outside and you do this by bringing the anchor too far upstream and casting before repositioning the fly so that it is down stream of the shoulder. Keep in mind that the double -spey is a downstream-shoulder cast.

There are different ways to anchor the cast. You can set the anchor and use the pull of the sweep to position the anchor like mac pointed out . You can also set it down out in front of you and let the current carry it downstream just off your shoulder - soaking the anchor. Skagit ala Ed Ward-style . With practice ( and I'm way out of ) you can actually set just the fly and a section of the leader right down next to you , you go directly into the sweep without ever moving the anchor from the spot. That is a more traditional highly advanced way of casting.

I highly recommend tracking the fly because it teaches you the subtleties of hand & arm movements. I think spey casting is safer and to a limit when things do go bad you learn to avoid the hook without having to stop the cast.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-06-2016, 06:57 PM
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^^^^Yes! All the discussion of the position of the fly and alignment really applies, in the end, only to the momen where the power stroke begins. While placing the anchor in the best place during the repositioning move helps a lot, it is where things end up at the power stroke that matters. So when you start the sweep if you aren't sure where your fly is at the beginning of the sweep, you should still have a much better idea by the end of the sweep if you are really WATCHING. You will definitely see the outer rail at the moment of the power stroke (it is the direction, good or bad, your anchor has lined up) and to a certain degree you can adjust the power stroke at the last minute to hit the inside rail and avoid unpleasantness. The point made above is the crucial one - you don't have to be perfect every time. Just pay attention and make some adjustments.

If it all goes by too fast and you want to check after the fact, the rip of the anchor will leave a line of bubbles that you will be able to see if the water is calm enough. If the direction of that line of bubbles is not parallel to where your cast went, then you will know why things didn't go quite right.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-07-2016, 10:41 AM
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Folks,

Thanks so much for your replies. When I can't see the fly or the tip of the spey line, I never thought of checking the length of the upstream loop on the water. What a great idea!

Also I'm casting 4 different spey lines, so every time I go out I have to adjust to the line I'm using - and to the speed of the river - and that takes a little time.

Speaking for myself, of all the casts I've tried to learn, I've found the double spey to be the most challenging. I guess that's why I like it so much.

Randy
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 05:53 PM
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Folks,

Thanks so much for your replies. When I can't see the fly or the tip of the spey line, I never thought of checking the length of the upstream loop on the water. What a great idea!

Also I'm casting 4 different spey lines, so every time I go out I have to adjust to the line I'm using - and to the speed of the river - and that takes a little time.

Speaking for myself, of all the casts I've tried to learn, I've found the double spey to be the most challenging. I guess that's why I like it so much.

Randy
Absolutely, Randy: Takes time and practice. Just out of curiosity: Which four lines are you referring to?

I spooled an old mint green Airflo Delta and an even-older Rio MidSpey 6/7 for some casting today. The hight tides brought the water in our local streams to a level that this set-up actually fit without hitting obstructions - just barely though. Anyhow - these are short-bellies that I haven't cast in months. Same with my Sage Brownie7136. While the lines didn't kick my butt out-right, they showed that I am out of practice. I hope to be ready by November.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 10:24 AM
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I'm casting two Rage lines (different length rods), two Scandis, a Winter Authority 45, and a Rage Chucker. Here's what I find so amazing: I've watched so many videos about the Double Spey, and in not one was it mentioned that after a caster comes around the bend, his/her shoulders should be perpendicular to the target. In my case I was over rotating and hooking the spey rod behind me. As result, I added slack to my D-loop, landed the anchor too closed to me, and often hit the line with the fly. Once I corrected this defect everything fell into place.

Randy
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 12:28 PM
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Randy,the rage lines are very short and have a heavy weight bias towards the back end and do require good technique to get the best from them,long leaders or polytips twixt line and flee definitely help..
The longer the rod and the line/head your using,the further away from you your flee should be(not too far though!),the smaller the rod and head/line the closer to you you can get it and absolutely precisely plan and execute your cast.
I find the "Double" the easiest of all the casts,very tolerant of lots of factors that can wreck other casts,the slower and more positive your technique the better.I like to plan the end of the line and whatever leader/tip etc and flee to be a rod length or so downstream of me.Facing the target,I don't "sweep" upstream,I prefer to keep the butt of the rod in one spot,lift the rod tip up n over my head in a semi circle until the rod tip touches the water upstream of me,placing the leader/tip n flee that rod length or so downstream of me, then swinging the rod round downstream low at first before lifting at the downstream shoulder to form the D loop and anchoring it against the leader arrangement,by this time the rod tips up in the air,slightly behind me,the D loop is held tightly in place facing the target and it only requires a simple tap up n out for the whole lot to sail out where you want it to go.Of course we wouldn't want too much of an upstream wind or it could all go "pete tong",but there again you might enjoy chatting to the nurses at the local hospital!.
I find the Rage lines need a very positive anchor to get the best from a Double Spey.Also the smaller and faster/stiffer the action of the rod,the easier it is to place and control your anchor point more precisely over longer easier or even deep through actioned rods(but that might just be me!).
Thing with the "Double" is you can settle on your own way and style,as long as it gets out there nicely,jobs a good un.
Yours casting on doubly fine,Yorkie.PS,I find it all works to a "T" if you keep the elbows tucked in tight and do your best to use the rod tip to move the line about with as little arm /body movement as poss.,but like I said-each to their own.

Last edited by YORKIE; 09-16-2016 at 12:30 PM. Reason: plonker!
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