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· chrome-magnon man
5,373 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After spending much of the fall either fishing with or observing a number of accomplished spey casters, I can’t help but reflect on how many widely varying casting styles can produce similar results. Nobuo Nodera keeps his bottom hand almost stationary and does virtually everything with his top hand, and even incorporates an inward twist of the wrist at the end of his upper arm extension. He tells me that this method is effortless, and it makes very easy work of very long lines. Tyler Kushnir combines top and bottom hand in his casts, with an emphasis on the top hand that produces tremendous snake rolls and downright scary reverse snakes. Steve Choate’s style is similar to Tyler’s, but with a more explosive extension of the upper arm; his spiral single is a study in fluidity and grace. These days I use the underhand cast with long lines, and I am really surprised by the ease and economy of motion the underhand brings to extended belly lines (and originally I wasn’t sure that this method would work with such lines). All of these methods produce very long casts, and my observations have reinforced for me once again the basics of fly casting: the deceptively simple process of loading and unloading (or bending and unbending) a rod, the subtleties of timing and acceleration.

Many roads lead to the same destination.

· Registered
74 Posts
Beautifully said!
The same holds true for different casting styles that evolved with single handed rods.
Anyhow, I couldn't resist throwing in another one-liner: You wrote:
"Many roads lead to the same destination"
OR should it be
"Many rods to lead to the same destination".


· Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
1,771 Posts
I've had the pleasure of witnessing all whom you have named casting, and I draw my inspiration to keep working dilligently to improve my casting from what I have seen. I also wanted to add that Simon Gawesworth's pure technique, Dec Hogan's natural gymnastic ability, Andy Murray's classic style, and Ed Ward's cleverness have also been of great inspiration as I work my way up the ladder of Spey casting refinement.

Some day when I sort out all of my own nuances, I might even know which road I am on :p

For now, thanks to all who have shared what they know with those of us who are a bit further back on their journey.

· Indicators Anonymous
846 Posts
I must first say, I am never happy with my casting.

I will not be pleased with my casting ability nor will I be confident with it until it becomes second nature like my single-hand casting.

I taught myself how to single-hand and think I am pretty damn good at it plus I have had many compliment me on my teaching ability.

On the other hand, although I've been throwing Spey rods off and on since I was 14, I just never got serious about it untill a year and a half ago. I had wanted for years to focus all my steelhead fishing with the Spey rod but I was just having too much fun throwing the baitcaster and single-hander.

At this point I am still playing around with what feels best to me and why...I want my stroke to be my own.

My first formal instruction came from a well known instructor who really emphasizes the lower-hand. This led to me being very prone to flying the butt which created dreadful casts.

I have since taken instruction and had many discussions with an outstanding caster/instructor who has done what he can to keep my lower-hand out of the cast, smooth everything out and lead me to a much more fluid stroke that displays that pure and classic technique of Derek Brown and Simon.

My stroke was very very quick and I had to really really really slow it down...a fellow forum member told me that Derek would be in stitches if he ever saw me cast. :hehe:

It did not feel natural at first but the more time I spend with a slower stroke, the better the caster I become.

I have also, nearly given up on the Snap-T...the more time I spend on the Single Spey and the better I get it at the less I utilize the Snap-T because the Single Spey is a much more pleasureable cast and most importantly, creates alot less water distrubance.

...and once I either fix or adapt my cast to my constant tendancy to drop my hands and arms too low, I think I will truely be able to see the direction I am taking or maybe even leading (my single-handed stroke is very open, long and low...I am not very strong at all, so I develop line speed by really extending my stroke out and the more I extend, the lower my stroke becomes-a major detriment in Spey casting...especially with longer belly lines which I prefer).

· Speyshop's Speybum
462 Posts
I try to keep my left hand tucked neatly up against my chest during all the preparation for the forward stroke to the cast.
Once I set up the cast; I fire using the upper hand with most of the power.
The lower hand is usually just along for the ride, except when I am casting long lines.
Then I will push up with the lower hand as the upper hand pushes out.
This will give a high rod position lifting the loop well up into the air.

· Registered
16 Posts
Come fish with me

I'll show you a different sort of style. Mine incorporates the use of both hands in a series of novitious motions, finished by the raising of the right hand to scratch the head in utter confusion. I'm sure the last action there will disappear once I get it all down correctly.

(No, just kidding - it's getting better, but I couldn't resist. I can't cast a million miles yet, but I can lie the line straight and pretty much where I want it most of the time. Then again, there are those times....)

· Registered
40 Posts
The Weight Shift Is Common To All Styles

I think I've finally turned the corner on this spey casting stuff, but it didn't come until a couple of weeks ago when, for no discernable reason, my casts began to work.

The secret for me was to throw the line like I'm throwing a baseball. If my right-hand is high, then I rock back on my right foot as I cast into the D-loop. When the D-loop is fully formed, I fire my hands and strongly shift my weight onto my left foot.

I played a lot of baseball in my younger days and can remember what it was like. Specifically, when I'm really rocking the casts, the motion feels just as if I'm playing catch with a friend.

After coming to this realization, I went back and looked at videos of the great casters (Brown, Gawesworth, Hogan, etc.,). I also watched a number of excellent casters at the spey day last month. Sure enough, one of fundamental constants common to all of them was the timing of the weight shift. The guys who came across as the most graceful had this very smooth, elegant shift (Brown, Gawesworth). The power guys had an explosive shift - Like an outfielder trying to gun down a runner trying for home (Hogan, Kush).



· Pullin' Thread
4,694 Posts
When I am reaching for distance, I use both arms and wrists a la Falkus for a truly explosive final forward push and final sto of the rod. This motion easily bends my T&T 1611 down into the butt with heavy tips (including Deep Water Express 500 gr. and 700 gr. tips of 14 1/2 and 11 1/2 ft respectively) on a 10/11 MidSpey. This also readily loads the same rod with the 10/11 GrandSpey and 11 weight sink tips that I have begun to use this winter.

The down side to this style of casting is that it is very easy to overpower a rod with it and cause either tailing loops of shocks in the line. That may explain why I like fast action but progressive rods. It takes more to overpower them.

I love the GrandSpey with this rod. It allows for 100+ ft. casts with very positive turnover, with either the single spey or the double spey. This line just powers out the cast and then because the belly is such a nice long one, it is very easy to mend at distance. I have not used a tip that is faster than a RIO type VI with the GrandSpey yet; but I'm sure I will give it a go with the Deep Water Express tips before winter is over.
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