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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all know energy is lost when we change direction in single spey. Does anybody explain the most efficient way to save energy?
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Every cast loses a certain amount of energy. However, of all spey casts the least amount of energy is lost in a single spey with the exception of the switch but that is not a fishing cast.

I believe the best way to cut down any loss of energy is a low flat lift with a very shallow dip in the rod path as you come around. Pretty much what Simon refers to in the advanced techniques section of his book. Someone is sure to disagree but you watch the best distance casters and I think this holds true.

-sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
single spey

I have to rephrase my question. I lose more than 30 feet with change of direction 60- 90 degree, with single spey. Compaired to to single spey with one direction=switch cast, what are the different techniques not to lose distance in terms of angle and height of lifting, power or speed application and rod angle during the sweep- back stroke? Please help me out, Sean, Dana, Juro or anybody who has figured out this problem. Thanks.
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Lets back up a little. What do you loops look like? Are they still laying out nicely even though the distance is not there?

I am not a big expert but it seems to me most peoples major problem with the single spey is the back cast. They just do not get enough juice into it. When you are coming around the corner you really have to focus on throwing a nice sharp dloop 180 degrees to your target.

I find with a flat lift style you *do* still need a shallow dip on the pull. In talking to others is seems like this helps deaccelerate the line a little and makes it much easier to cut the corner into your backcast.

I struggled for quite a while with a low lift because I was not putting that slight dip. Once I started doing that things improved overnight.

Of course the major thing is just plain old practice. The single is tough to learn and takes years to master. I will be there in anouther 5 years or so :)

Hope some others chime in with more thoughts,

-sean
 

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The turning point for me was when I watched Dec's DVD. The "slight move toward the bank" that he recommends seems to energize the line, making it easier to turn the corner and line up the D-loop. After that I just slooow down and fire it.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Rotating your body from your hips as you form the single spey D Loop will help place the anchor 180 degrees from the point you wish to cast and help keep the "backcast" well energized. And make sure you are not forming a Bloody L in your line on the backcast when making the change of direction.
 

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I was given the same advice that Flytier gives above, and it helped me hugely, particularly with wrong-hand-up casts.

As with so many things, I think footwork and stance is crucial. It's easy to overlook this as we concentrate on just what the rod is doing, but I suspect that what your body does is at least as important as what you do with the stick in your hands. I'm told the same is true of golf.

Make sure your feet are pointed towards where you want the cast to go. Rotate your upper body so you are facing downstream before the initial lift, and then pivot from the hips as you sweep the rod across and up to the firing point. This will throw your D-loop round behind you, so it is lined up with the forward cast, and ensures that you are standing square to the target at the point of delivery.

I used to do too much with my arms and keep my body static. Learning to swing my upper body has greatly improved ther setup of my casts, which is reflected in the delivery of the cast. As well as adding distance (from the energised backcast Flytier mentions), I also now find it easier to get wider angle changes, though the single spey is never the best cast for big changes of direction.
 

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Make sure your feet are pointed towards where you want the cast to go. Rotate your upper body so you are facing downstream before the initial lift, and then pivot from the hips as you sweep the rod across and up to the firing point.

Charlie
Point your feet downstream then swing the hips to where the fly should go Are you a Fisherman or a caster?????????????????????
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
single spey

Thanks for advises. I did practice today for two hours with my GLX 16' 9/10 and 8/9 XLT. I found a few problems when I did single spey with change of direction. I always believe that spey casting involves combination of vertical and horizontal circle cast- oblique circle cast, without which change of direction is very difficult. In a switch cast, horizontal circle can be minimal, I am allowed to make back drift for a longer forward stroke. however, in a single spey with change direction where horizontal circle is prominent especially with a wide angle change, back drift seems to take energy away although vertical raising of rod at the end of back stroke does not take energy away, allowing me a longer stroke. I do believe the rod drift- vertical or back is crucial for a long distance cast, but back drift is only good in switch cast and snake roll where horizontal circle is minimal. Does anybody know which is better cast between back stroke-pause-raising of rod-forward stroke vs.back stroke-raising of rod (continous movement)-pause-forward stroke?
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Somehow I understand what you are saying, although 'circle cast' is usually used to refer to the circle spey or snap-c. Sounds to me like the momentum of your line coming upriver is overcoming your d-loops ability to form 180 degrees to target.

Internet only offers blind analysis and these symptoms could have several potential causes - however...

- The application of power in the stroke differs significantly between the switch and the single spey. I would recommend thinking about the two casts as distinctly different casts. Although general appearances would make one think they are very similar, the separation of the two is key to mastering the direction change IMHO.

- Begin with the shallow dip technique until you get a feel of the mechanics. A gradual dip introduces a slow spot in the line against which you can pull in a different direction. Do not underpower or overpower the line tension. An abrupt dip introduces turbulence into the line and anchor so the keyword is "smooth". Slowly reduce the dip to a minimum, virtually eliminate it - this may take months or years.

Note that a switch cast requires no dip, although the rod may come downward to level out a high lift. The application of power with / without a dip is different, and this is important to turning corners.

- Try video analysis. It will tell you volumes about what is happening. Set up a tripod past your d-loop's range and film yourself making the angle change cast. Watch what is happening. I limit myself to 30 minutes of taping between reviews. Watch the film, then make a plan for the next session. You will have copious feedback about what is happening and can devise an improvement plan for the next 30 minute session. You will be surprised at how quickly you advance with video feedback especially if you have slow-mo and freezeframe playback.

Getting a solid single spey down is like getting to Carnegie Hall - practice, practice, practice ;)

Online analysis can sometimes help but spend some time with an instructor when/if you can, there is no substitute for first-hand analysis and suggestions that pertain one-to-one with what you are actually doing.

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
single spey

Thank you for your response, Juro. I agree with you. Switch cast can be very different from single spey or can be similar. I cast 150'+ with switch cast - lift to 9, flat back cast, anchor, back drift and forward stroke. I have hard times in casting farther than 120' in sigle spey with change direction where lift is higher than 10, back stroke has dip and circle movement, D-loop is not 180 degree to the target, back drift is useless. Juro, can you explain to me one more time about change of direction in single spey?
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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J -

My blind wild-ass bulletin board guess is that you have a combination of over-powering the initial power (a remnant of your switch cast) and have some tweaking to do in the way you turn / re-apply secondary energy to carry it through into the d-loop.

But theorizing this is like the two blind men and the elephant - without at least video analysis it seems even you are having a hard time seeing what is happening. If you are throwing over 150 switch / 120 single then I doubt the tweak you seek is something you'd get on a bulletin board. However I'd bet every instructor reading this would be intrigued to try it in person sometime. I know I would like to analyze and try to solve it.

Something to try:

Since it's not possible to see what you are doing, how about an exercise. If you are throwing such long casts most likely you are using an extended belly speyline (pls confirm). Try downsizing to a 65ft head like a midspey, and see if you can reach the backing knot cleanly with a good change of direction at a full 90 degrees. That's about 120ft right there so you haven't lost anything but with practice you could gain a very strong change cast with a drag chirp and a line laid out as tight as a clothesline at the max change you'd ever need (with few exceptions).

You will likely face fewer physical issues to work out and find ample power and good d-loop alignment faster. You should be able to sort out good technique from limiting technique, then go back to the long belly where similar technique will result in longer hangtime / greater distance.

As mentioned previously, video-analysis will dramatically accelerate your understanding of what is happening during your change-of-direction cast. My recommendation is to visually diagnose what is happening in your cast - body, rod, line, results - as the likelihood of a magic bullet paragraph on-line liberating you to single spey heaven is pretty low.

Or spend some time with an instructor who is up to the challenge, even better.

.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
single spey

I use midspey lines for fishing. I use XLT line for practice. I have no problems casting into backing line in switch cast with midspey line. Again I can not cast into backing with single spey with change of direction. Do you think the back stroke in double spey is different from one in single spey?
 

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Adding to some things that have already been discussed I would suggest, looking over your shoulder to help lenghting your stroke while forming the "D-V" loop. Use the Steve Choate cast, the "Spiral Single".

Leroy...................





G.Loomis Pro Staff
FFF THCI/CI
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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J. Lee said:
I use midspey lines for fishing. I use XLT line for practice. I have no problems casting into backing line in switch cast with midspey line. Again I can not cast into backing with single spey with change of direction. Do you think the back stroke in double spey is different from one in single spey?
J -

The Midspey is only 120ft long, and if you are throwing the long bellies to 150ft on a switch then there is no doubt you have the strength and tools to throw this line to the backing on a change. Again I believe the problem is dissipation of energy in the transition from the lift and glide to the d-loop which must be 180 degrees to target.

Per the question, I think you'd agree that the back stroke in a D/S is quite different. First, there is no lift from dangle, second the tension to maintain thru the sweep is only as far apart as the rod's tip to the water below it (or thereabouts). Most importantly the anchor is already on the proper side and position laying in wait, and the caster need only to wait for the d-loop to tug on the end of the fly line (per Simon's pirouetting fly description) to know when the d-loop is full.

What is similar between the single spey and the double spey backstroke is that a measure of power (proportionate to the head length and technique) is applied fairly late as the rod nears the d-loop stop position. In the DS this is to ensure the d-loop overcomes the white-mouse line tension on the water, while in the S/S it is to ensure that the d-loop is re-directed to form 180 degrees to target.

A switch cast requires power to be applied early and continuously from the end of the lift, which continues straight into the d-loop - but this is difficult to turn corners with.

I stopped the other night after work on a small river nearby to see if I could reproduce what might be happening per your description. The loss of energy I could reproduce was consistent with my earlier advice however there are several ways the energy can dissipate during the transition and it's anyone's guess as to which you are experiencing.

To say what specifically you are doing would require at least some visual, maybe even a short mpeg might do it on a site full of speyhounds like this one.
 

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Fantastic reading, guys.

One thing that helped me make better single speys was to keep an eye on the rod tip - rather than on the line itself - until the 180 degree back stroke is about to begin. Then I check the landing of the loop in the corner of my eye which helps to start the forward stoke at the right moment. Looking at the rod tip means - at least for me- that it´s easier to get a continous sweep and loop where the lines stays charged all along.

Another simple thing I was amazed at finding out was the difference I noticed while placing my upper hand thumb differently. I´ve always been casting "thumbs up" but found that gripping the rod with my thumb "all the way round", sort of meeting my index finger, led to more distinct stops in the forward stroke. This minor adjustment also allowed me to more often nail those perfect forward strokes where bottom and upper hand really works together, sending the line flying off in that sexy "tank-shape", almost picking up energy from itself.

I know this really doesn´t have much to do with J´s question but I only wanted to give some examples of how small adjustments really can make a lot of difference. In line with the topic I´d say that losing the bloody L (not entirely, tho... sometimes it´s back) made me cast better single speys with a 90 degree change of direction. Although I very seldom manage 140 ft casts! The good news is I rarely need those huge casts.... :hihi: You guys must be fishing quite huge rivers!
 
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