I really like the cast for long belly lines a lot. It puts so much power into the d-loop despite being a really small amount of effort in at start-up.
Even with shorter spey lines it really helps to get the line moving if sunk deep or if the end of the line is under a lot of fast water tension (tail out, etc).
It's been really something watching Steve make this cast at the various claves where I've had the chance to meet him. Great guy too, you'd never know he was a world champion caster by his modest personality!
Ahhh my favorite cast. Steve showed it to me at the Rogue spey clinic and it is now my go to cast. So much so I rarely use anything else unless conditions dictate otherwise (downstream wind and then you can just snake roll).
Works well for tips and if you can snake roll and do a spiral single there is really no need for any other casts for an enjoyable day of fishing IMHO.
Thank you Steve for sharing this cast with us. It has really improved my time spent out on the water.
As you know I work my left-up casting as much as my right-up; and I know you cast well lefty so it wasn't worth hanging that out there :devil:
Lately I've become very fond of the reverse circle/snap-T. I got influenced by a coupla' cheeseheads out on the Muskegon! You should've seen them Wisconsin boys throw the reverse snap-t. It generates such a tight little wind-resistant loop and since it gets used in this situation (upriver right bank) that helps direct the cast nicely. As practice, I warm up with a reverse single spey and less line. Once that little beam starts to shoot I switch to a circle motion, strip some running line, and let 'er rip.
An instructor I am not but I here is an attempt at an explanation:
Start the cast like you are about to do a single spey. Do your lift but at the apex of the lift draw a half moon TOWARDS the bank with your rod tip. This will get the line aerialized and you immediatley start the single spey sweep around to the firing position. This is all one motion.
When casting I think to myself half moon towards bank, sweep across, wait for anchor to come around and point to your target, then complete the forward cast.
The problem I had when learning it is the half moon motion is in the opposite direction of a snake roll. Make sure you go back towards the bank.
To me the cast is just an extension of the single spey but like a snake roll you get a that line aerialized and it makes it much easier to get that line to come around your body and into firing position. I still suck at the single spey cause I have probelms getting the line all the way around. This cast fixes that problem for me.
Hope that helps some and when you get it down it is quite the graceful cast.
Thanks guys, I think I get it. I'm heading out to try for Springs on the Vedder this PM. I'll be using heads and weighted flies to get down to them, so I will give it a try and let you know if I got it right.
I think I got it right. While the line is on the dangle I lift the rod and sweep it towards the bank (the upper part of the egg in Simon's terms. I then continue the sweep around the bottom of the egg until the rod is about at about 45% pointing directly across the river and carry on with the single spey as per normal. I had problems on the first few attempts, but once I learned to keep line pressure on the rod things started to go reasonably well, although it's going to take practice.
A slight comment; from the dangle, lift the line and without stopping scribe a circle with the rod toward the shore... as soon as this forms a spiral into the line sweep it continuously into the 'normal' single spey motion.
The advantage is that this motion gets the line moving more rigorously than just a lift and sweep; and it also increases the load in the rod which forms a stronger d-loop which in turn makes for a better cast.
So per your description, make sure you make a spiral with the rod as you start the cast from the dangle and once around sweep around into the d-loop keeping the load on the rod continuously from start to finish.
Not claiming expertise so much as relating to the same experiences, I would offer the following with hopes it might be helpful per chance:
When the upriver wind is very strong, the anchor will tend to fly away. In this case I use a snap-T. But if it's really not the wind and it's flying away as a function of getting acquainted with a new cast, it helps me to concentrate more on the direction and shape of the d-loop first, then focus on the anchor second.
Most often for me the reason the anchor is able to flyaway is that I did not direct enough energy 180 degrees to target coming off the rod into the top half of the Dloop. As Simon G emphasized at the Sandy Clave it's critical to direct that d-loop distinctly with direction change casts.
This does two things:
1) creates a rearward-pulling tension in the top half of the D to pull against the bottom half of the D, holding it from flying away
2) ensures that the D is aligned 180 from target and is fully formed so that it does not fall and create excessive line stick
Given enough thrust, this directed energy cancels out much of the sweep-around centrifugal energy in the bottom half of the d-loop.
If you shorten up, slow down and watch over the shoulder you can clearly see that the D becomes counter-tensioned between the centrifugal energy in the lower half of the d-loop and the directed energy in the "driver" or top half of the d-loop. The junction of these two forces is the "wedge", or the bend / arrow point we all know and love. You can actually see the fold roll down the taper holding the loop in a good tight shape.
Then when the anchor kisses, drive that forward cast with a high stop and watch it fly.
Thus, I'd suggest directing the point with more vigor 180 to target in order to balance the tension in the d-loop halves, pulling against the bottom half of the d-loop keeping it from flying away, stabilizing it under tension, in other words "active" from counter-acting forces.
Creating a good active loop does not require a lot of energy! Just as it's helpful to cast a single handed rod with minimal energy to "feel" the loop energize, it's helped me to practice creating this tensioned d-loop with minimal energy. As I was experimenting, I found that the forward cast went just about as far when the loop was created with very little energy as long as the forces were holding the loop under opposing tension. Of course extended belly lines or distance casting requires a lot of energy to create the d-loop, but to get the feel of a well-balanced "tight" d-loop does not. Many rod/line combinations can cast and fish 80-100' casts using very little energy to form a clean d-loop and a stroke+taper combination that pushes the load into the thicker part of the blank. IMHO this is the beauty and efficiency of spey casting personified. This is where traditional rods excel.
Flyaway was a problem for me after doing many many switch casts to get to 100 ft cast, then trying to convert to 100 single speys at 80-90 degrees. The above mentioned D-loop directional movement is passive in a switch cast, but very active in a single spey (or any direction change cast) where a vigorous directing energy is necessary. I found that to be the main factor and am very comfortable with 90 degree single speys for distance now.
Now I watch for that counter-acting tension in the d-loop 180 from target and with the kiss of the anchor as an after-thought, stroke the forward cast out.
I hope you find a mnemonic that works for you, this works for me!
A forum community dedicated to Spey casting, fishing, flies, and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about trails, licenses, fishing, game laws, styles, reviews, optics, accessories, classifieds, and more!