How many % of power do you get from bottom hand. - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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How many % of power do you get from bottom hand.

I am trying to generate more power from my bottom hand in my cast. But do you generate all power from the bottom hand? I keep hearing people saying that the top hand is just there. The top hand move the rod from 11:00 to 1:00, then an abrupt stop. It has to generate some power in the movement.


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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 06:25 PM
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When I started, I was told by a highly regarded rodbuilder and member of this forum, that the top hand is just to keep the rod from falling in the water. I often use this to remind myself to use the bottom hand as much as possible. I use the top hand mainly to reposition the rod to maintain an even forward stroke, and act more as a fulcrum.
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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 07:08 PM
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Short and sweet, 85-90%
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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 07:55 PM
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It may help to visualize using the rod as a lever, pulling w/the bottom hand while using the top as the fulcrum, rather than trying to throw the line with the top hand...much more power in the lever.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 08:44 PM
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70% is my best guess for myself.
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 11:02 PM
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No, if you must seriously ask the question in this way, the power does NOT have to come all from the lower hand, though an instructor might say this to someone, especially someone that already knows how to SH cast, just to get them to stop using so much top hand, a common mistake when first learning. There is a style of casting labeled Scandinavian style that is modelled closer to the the "top hand just holds up the rod", but it is just that, a style. Dana, the founder of this web site, I know has a story about having some shoulder injury/pain and switching to scandi style to avoid the pain, for example. Some people might say even the style of rod influences this, for example my favorite rods, the deep flexing Meiser MKS rods, are often said to "like a lot of lower hand", yet these rods seem to me to be polar opposites of what the Scandinavian style aficionados seem to like as a general rule. I think Simon Gaesworth describes it more like 60/40 in his spey casting books and famous video. But again, it is just style. While there are different styles and no hard rule, you will probably never see a really good caster that using a majority top hand. But you will see MANY mediocre ones that have a lot of top hand.

In the end, however if someone just starting said they were having difficulties and for some reason you had to give them advice without seeing them cast (a bad idea) if you were to tell them "slow down and use more lower hand" I'd guess for %80 of them that advice would help. You also need to stop the rod, exactly as you might stop a SH cast, on the power stroke, and as a practical matter of learning you have far less opportunity to muck it up by not accelerating to a firm stop by using more lower hand - your body will stop it - than your upper hand. But what matters in the end is how the tip of the rod moves, not your hands, and it is possible to get the right action with differing styles, within reason.
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by herkileez View Post
When I started, I was told by a highly regarded rodbuilder and member of this forum, that the top hand is just to keep the rod from falling in the water. I often use this to remind myself to use the bottom hand as much as possible. I use the top hand mainly to reposition the rod to maintain an even forward stroke, and act more as a fulcrum.
That what is thought too. But now I feel that the forward cast need some top hand power together with the bottom hand to smoothly accelerate the tip, fly line. Whether, we admit it or not, the top hand can not just be powerless. Things can not move in opposite direction without force applied to it, the top hand. It has to move forward at certain speed while the bottom hand is moved in the same or in opposite direction.

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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 11:36 PM
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That what is thought too. But now I feel that the forward cast need some top hand power together with the bottom hand to smoothly accelerate the tip, fly line. Whether, we admit it or not, the top hand can not just be powerless. Things can not move in opposite direction without force applied to it, the top hand. It has to move forward at certain speed while the bottom hand is moved in the same or in opposite direction.

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As much as I'd like to knock down the "it has to be %100 lower hand" I'd say your reasoning is not too correct here. First because you CAN cast with, if not %100, then %90 lower hand - again this is the "Scandinavian style". The other reason is that when you apply a torque force, as you do when casting, an object tends to rotate naturally about its center of mass. The center of mass, the place where the rod balances, even on the occasion when it is not exactly where the upper hand is held during the cast, is always very close. So not only can the upper hand act as a lever point, having it do so might feel like the most relaxed way to cast for many people.

When you start learning to cast very long lines some of this goes out the window. Since you may need a much longer acceleration to really get it to work well you may need to use more upper hand, not to mention translation back and forth, and lifting on the back cast.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 01:04 AM
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For me. 60to65 percent so that leabes 35 to 40 for the top. When m casting my best the top hand plays a greater rool in stopping the rod
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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 01:05 AM Thread Starter
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As much as I'd like to knock down the "it has to be %100 lower hand" I'd say your reasoning is not too correct here. First because you CAN cast with, if not %100, then %90 lower hand - again this is the "Scandinavian style". The other reason is that when you apply a torque force, as you do when casting, an object tends to rotate naturally about its center of mass. The center of mass, the place where the rod balances, even on the occasion when it is not exactly where the upper hand is held during the cast, is always very close. So not only can the upper hand act as a lever point, having it do so might feel like the most relaxed way to cast for many people.



When you start learning to cast very long lines some of this goes out the window. Since you may need a much longer acceleration to really get it to work well you may need to use more upper hand, not to mention translation back and forth, and lifting on the back cast.


Your comment is accurate as I am finding out that I need to move my top hand more to generate the power and speed when casting the long belly line.


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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 01:42 AM
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The real question is how much power are you making from your torso through hip swivel and weight transfer? And then how much lift n drift do you add?

If we didn't need the top hand to guide the stroke and create the fulcrum it would be better if we just tied if off behind our backs. That way you won't be tempted to push with it.
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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 02:46 AM
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The Other Hand in Spey Casting | All Waters Angling

... the pseudo-science of running-lines and matching heads has now devolved into such a miasma of obfuscation that it is a wonder that people are even not more confused....Erik Helm

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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 02:55 AM
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The line you are casting doesn't "know" if it is being powered by the bottom or top hand or some combination thereof. The line simply flies out as a function of the rod flexing and straightening which will always follow the rod tip path. How you go about that making happen is deflecting the blank when transporting the rod in the forward spey. Depending on the blank, there seems to be merit to pulling the line through the forward spey leading with the bottom hand; this is akin to single hand casting in that the more the forward stroke is "loading" the rod an increase in line speed and positive loop formation follows. Al Buhr really emphasizes this point, about maximizing the amount of "loading" the rod undergoes in the forward spey until body mechanics dictate that you have to engage your top hand to finish the forward spey. This is technical and kind of pedantic, but recall what was said above; a lot of instruction is focused around novice casters and one of the biggest is pushing the top hand over prematurely and never allowing the rod to load well during the forward spey.

The single hand analog is a "parabolic" rod tip path that makes for weak, ugly loops which is caused by a lot of things but I always thinking of the caster as just kind of flailing with the rod. That's where the "90%" of the power from the bottom hand comes in, prevents flailing with a two hand rod. And now you are getting into improvements in rod tip path by quieting the top hand. Nevertheless, watch some competition casters, those guys are absolutely incorporating the top hand to squeeze ever last bit of energy from the rod.

Inland's point is spot on, it's the temptation to push with the top hand that can be a killer for even the advanced caster. It's really a question of "when" to push with the top hand, as there is a window where power can be added with the top but you first need to have a solid foundation to exploit that window. And Inland also nailed the lift aspect of casting; I can't emphasize enough with any caster regardless of skill level that the lift and anchor placement is paramount to reaching the next level as a caster. Simply put, it's hard to produce a bad cast if the inputs (lift, sweep, anchor, drift) are spot on.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 03:01 AM
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Yes! Getting your hands to work together is the key, regardless of your approach to bottom/top hand bias. Really no different than double hauling with a single hand rod, both hands need to be in agreement so to speak.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 01:23 PM
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When casting close about 50/50 but when casting far the top arm does perhaps 80% of the work. Actually arms do not produce much power in double hand (Scandi style) forward cast where is a balance and where a high stop has a functioning effect and there is no pushing move. It is the upper back muscles which pull bent arms down.

In this video Jan Erik Granbo shows how to wear a trouser belt to learn using both hands starting at 1:20

https://youtube.com/watch?v=JcSaVvTJDT4
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