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Discussion Starter #1
This is a really basic question. But I can’t seem to find an answer with the search engine so here goes. When casting a two hand rod do you lock down the line with the top hand, the bottom hand, or both? When I see videos it looks like both hands are opening at the forward cast and I can’t tell which hand was holding the line firmly.

Thx!
 

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I prefer top hand too, I'm right handed so I use that uppermost on the rod and hold the line against the rod's corks.
Yorkie.
 

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I now use both to compensate lessened finger strength. I grimp line using middle fingers and line goes below the reel. I loop shooting line mostly to other bottom hand fingers.

Esa
 

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I hold with top and give a little tension over the reel cage to the bottom hand that is holding the running line. When casting I tend to let go of both fingers at the same time and let my running line drop away or pay out of my fingers.
 

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Whatever works. People can make a few arguments as to the purported advantages of each. I think the majority of people pinch it off against the top handle so start there but don’t be afraid to make modifications depending on your results. Sometimes there is a rig, like my heavyweight surf casting setup, where you NEED to use both hands to apply enough force to avoid slipping.

Like Bender I find I can’t produce enough of a secure grip with just pressure agains the cork to satisfy me, even with a trout spey. Instead of using two hands I prefer to use a “lock grip” on the line with just my upper hand. I don’t remember running into anyone that does the same, but I’m sure many are out there. So... the regular way of doing it, for example as illustrated by Simon gawesworth in his spey casting books and videos is to hold the line against the cork of the upper grip with pure pressure on the top finger (or top two) with the line coming out between the first and second finger (or second and third). So it just the finger(s) pressing on the line. For whatever reason from day one I didn’t like this, so what I did was run the line under the first finger and out between the first second as per usual, but THEN wrap it back over the second finger and under the rest of my hand. This creates more surface pressure, but the wrap around the second finger basically locks it in place with minimal effort. Using this method you don’t need a death grip on the line, and in fact you can be fairly relaxed without having any fear of slippage. In fact, in the most relaxed case the friction doesnt come form the cork at all. Letting go cleanly takes a bit of practice, as it involves more upper hand movement, but I don’t have any issues with that either, and I do it the same left or right handed.

Except for the aforementioned monster-heavy setup (that I also always use with mono shooting line, btw) I never use my lower hand.

As for loops, while I switch hit and hardly ever cack-hand I always strip in line the same way, so the loops are always in my left hand, top or bottom. On a rare occasions where the wind or something is causing issue with the loops I will transfer the loops carefully from my left to right hand, but just for certain casts.
 

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With the line over the cage of the reel and shooting line loops in the bottom hand, I place my index finger on the butt end of the lower grip holding the line between the cork and my finger. Top hand is on the front grip, free to move and rotate around the cork.


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, sounds likes there are a bunch of ways to skin this cat. I will play with it and see what works.

Thanks.
 

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I use both. I trap my line between the bottom of my index and back of my middle finger up top and hold loops with my bottom hand. I prefer to not trap line against the cork directly. My buddy is a big believer in using the reel cage. I've had trouble adopting this method and prefer to just concentrate on correctly stacking my loops to avoid running line tangles. Release both at the same time.
 

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I hold my line with both hands under the index fingers, loops are held in other fingers. Line is taut over the reel cage. Fire away not many tangles in the first eye. I keep telling others that the sooner they learn to hold the line in this way the sooner they become better casters. Oh yeah , only cast what you can handle in your hand. I usually cast 5 long loops plus the little you tighten over the reel. So I would have basically three loops in bottom hand. The trick I think is always being the same, consistent, same loops....
 

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If I hold the loops in my bottom hand, they can tangle around the butt or reel, which is a little vexing. But if I hold them in my top hand, they may slap me in the face. (I miss long bellies.)
 

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I use mainly slickshooter-type running lines: very slippery when wet. I grip with the top fingers, run over the reel, and again with the bottom fingers. I also hold loops with the top fingers. There's no wrong way. Just find what's best for you.
 

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I always use the bottom hand only over the cage of the reel.
The reasoning is different to most here......I want to maximize my grip pressure on my bottom hand so as to automatically use more bottom hand and lighten the grip on my top hand in order to use it less. Old but useful trick :cool:
 
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I don't collect loops in my left hand, I use a stripping basket or bucket. Pretty different from steelhead/salmon fishers but it is a technique that I would guess most striper fishers use. I pin my running line with most of the fingers on both hands until I release my shot. At that time, I lock my index and thumb on my lower hand into a circle around my running line and hold it slightly away from my reel to prevent the running line from wrapping around my reel as it comes out of the basket. It serves as the first "guide" on my rod. It also serves as a "filter" to sort out loops that want to tangle as they leap from my basket.

BTW, Commando head, short MOW and leader, and one of the three running lines many people use (laser, big game mono, miracle braid).

Just curious, is this a violation of spey/scandi/skagit purity?

-- Tom
 

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bottom hand and running fed over the reel.
but my running line management suck :-( when I hold a lot of loops, my forward cast suffers from weak stop, because i distracted by holding loops , and my grip is different (i dont use all fingers, because holding loops between fingers)

Proper instruction how to hold running line would be appreciated
 
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