Let us know how you did at the casting pools. I'll be there with a similar set up this weekend. I'm new to this stuff myself and have been to the pools once before.
Sorry for the late response, I missed the request to report back in the thread. So I did spend some time in the ponds and it was really helpful. Not only was it great to have the time to just cast (and not worry about fishing) but the people there are always amazing. It's a great club.
So, things I picked up I will list here but please keep in mind I am still sorting this out as I go so much of this could be wrong. I can only say for certain that when I tended to follow the things I was figuring out my cast consistent what I am pasting below are my notes from the sessions to if it reads odd consider it was written by and for me.
Using Circle Spey (I used it the most but many of the principles will be the same):
1.Drop the rod tip (after the circle) as far up and behind yourself as you can go.
2.Do your sweep low and slow
3.at the end of your sweep kick it up at the end with a gentle tap. Careful with your anchor
4.Raise your rod at the end of the kick into the shooting position and tap it out.
5.Pull the rod handle into your belly, use minimal (if any) upper arm.
Things to remember:
1. The positive stop is almost a twitch/tap. If you do it right itís sort of like pushing out and pulling back at the same time and the loops you can cast are really tight. This was an epiphany to me.
2. Your cast will generally land where your feet are pointing so be careful with that.
3. I have to be careful about rolling my shoulder and also casting off kilter (outside the 180) with your d loop went or it will tangle in mid air. again and again.
4.Watch your anchor. the closer and more parallel you can get it the better your cast will be. without questions, every time.
I was casting my Sage 7136 Z Axis with a compact skagit 450 grain and my TFO
5/6 with compact at 420. Both threw the lines excellent and the airflow tips were fantastic as were the poly leaders. T14 was a bear on the 5/6, and I am not sure if it because my casting needed fixed (likely in part) or if the grains were not heavy enough to turn over the 12 foot T14 tips.