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Speyladdie
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Gentlemen.
I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and opinions about a question one of the local guys brought up recently.
Q. What part does the anchor play in loading the rod ?.If any ?.


Dana,you were recently talking about the Master Certification for Spey Casting.You and I know there is nothing writen in stone at this point,and with the FFF wanting a short form answer it will be
a step in the right direction to nail this one down.

Spey laddie :smokin:
 

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IMHO.....

The correct "anchor" offers the proper amount of resistance for a good cast. Too much anchor (fly too deep, weight too heavy, etc.) and you end up with a lousy cast. Too little, and it also results in a lousy cast. I guess only experience is the best teacher for proper "anchor", if you use both weighted and unweighted flies.

At least, that is my perception.

BobK
 

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The anchor allows for a 'stick point' when you

form your 'D,' or far better, 'V' loop. You can't stretch a string without the 'loose end' being tied/anchored to something (water).

The 'anchor' is also the primary aiming point over which many casts are shot. Cast above (not over the top) of the anchor and you've got a busted cast.
 

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HI Spey Casters

I don't have the answer, but please allow me to give you some thoughts on this.
Loading the rod is bending the rod, its that simple !
The wieght of the line or resistance that it creates is what bends the rod. You don't need an anchor to bend the rod.
And over head cast has no anchor, nor does a Belgian cast.

Does a roll cast use only the line to load the rod, or is it a combination of anchor and line? As you make a roll cast you literally roll the loop down the line, as it's laying on the water. So yes, the line is anchored on the water therefore it plays a roll in loading the rod, but in a roll cast the loop behind the rod (in most cases) is not significant enough to load the rod. Or is it?

That being said, does the anchor play a roll in loading the rod in a spey cast , or is it's roll to stop the lines direction? Which Allows the line an opportunity to do its job (load the rod)
One would think that the point of the arrow loop or "D", is where the resistance comes from, at that point the line is being forced to change directions, the resistance as well as the weight of the line would bend the rod. The sharper the "D" loop the more resistance.
You might concider this, its not the amount of line you have on the water (to much anchor) that screws up a spey cast, but rather the rod is not loaded deep enough to carry this amount of line, or put another way, you've not used a proper application of power, but rather shocked (or over powered) the rod tip at a point during the forward stroke.
In single hand casting if you over power the rod at any point in the forward or backward cast, you'll get a tailing loop, In spey casting as in single hand casts the rod needs to be loaded smoothly (not abrupt). Then you need a sudden stop, and pause, to execute a proper cast. Derek Browns, mentions this on his tape ( the catipult comment)

One last question, is the forward stroke (in a spey cast) started before the anchor touchs the water or after?
Rick
 

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Importance of anchor

Neil-
Three hours ago I had the pleasure of watching Simon Gawesworth do a one hour demonstration of spey casting at the Marin County, CA, fly fishing show.

The three principles of modern spey casting, per Simon are: large belly [D loop], small anchor and forward cast 180 degrees from back cast [D loop].

The answer to your question is: without anchor there is no spey cast. A cast without anchor is an overhead cast.

Loading the rod for the forward cast comes from a combination of the backward travelling belly plus the "stick" of a couple of feet of fly line plus leader on the water.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I'll chime in w/ my class notes on anchoring for the cast... (thanks to all the great advice obtained in the Seattle Spey Clave, fishing with the big dawgs, and/or at the Kaufmann event over the last several days)...

It's true that the formation and direction of the d-loop, or more specifically what I like to call the "driver" half (rod tip to wedge) is just as if not more important to a good cast, but anchor is very important as well because it ensures two critical things:

1) safe position for the fly to jump off the water and into the forward loop. If the anchor is not clearly away and on the rod side, it will probably jump up and reward you with an unexpected body piercing.

2) provision of adequate "grip" so that the loop does not pull the rug out from under itself on the forward stroke. (Imagine one strap of a slingshot coming off when loaded.)

Anchor timing is key - it needs to touch down a split second before the power wedge on the forward stroke has advanced far enough to pick the leader off the water.

Therefore:

On shorter lines (Windcutter, MidSpey, Delta, Long Delta, etc) the anchor would occur very close to the timing of the forward casting stroke on a single spey, snake roll, etc.

For extended belly spey lines (Accellerator, GrandSpey, Spey Driver, etc) the power wedge takes a much longer time to travel far enough forward to exert any pull against the anchor's 'grip', so stroke the rod before the anchor is set. In other words don't let the anchor fall until after you've already stroked forward. This takes practice, and is most likely the most important factor to casting these giant belly lines all day as they get quite a bit lighter to cast once this timing is found.

To be able to describe these aspects with first hand confidence and experience has been a result of attending the spey claves and getting the sage advice of many people over the last several days. I am very excited about what we, the good people of the forum and speypages, accomplished over the last several days. I am also greatly indebted to the many, many guys who offered their advice to "clean up" my spey casting. There were so many, I couldn't possibly name them all! What a ride it's been. Thank you all.

Juro
[1]I am no expert, just a very dedicated student[/1]
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Rick,

Juro did a great job of answering your question of whether the forward stroke starts before the anchor touches down. It is only with the long belly lines or when casting a long length of double taper that you begin the forward stroke while the line is still traveling behind you, and it is only after the rod is moving forward with the long belly or double taper lines that the anchor touch down and final forward delivery occurs in conjuction with maximum rod load at the anchor. This allows the forward cast to be fairly effortless with the long belly lines.

A double spey with a long belly line is done similarly in that the final forward stroke begins while the "D" loop is still forming behind you. This keeps the rod loaded and greatly reduces the amount of line stick that you have.
 

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Spey Casters

I wrote this last night at work, so some has aready been covered.

Does the anchor play a roll in loading the rod?
If we look at the basics of spey casting we might find the answer. Why do we need to spey cast? The root of spey casting was the need to make a forward cast, with a minimum amount of back cast. To do this, in essence we fold the line in half (more or less, half the line is behind the rod half in front) The anchor stops the direction of the line and gives the caster time to make this basic fold. The more we think about this, the more we might see it's not the anchor, but rather the line that is the sole reason for the rod's load. If we were to take 100 ft. of line and lay it at our feet, then without putting any line behind us, we tried to make a cast, it would not work. Yet if we throw a small amount of this line behind the rod (forming a "D" loop) we'll have no problem making a forward cast.

Often Spey casting is compared to roll casting, are they the same ?
In roll casting as in Spey casting we need this D loop, to load the rod. Yet the forwad cast is much different. One is over the water (Spey cast), the other rolls out along it's anchored line (roll cast).
To make a longer (or lively roll cast) we need more line behind the rod. When doing this we now change from draging the line back, to now making a backwards cast, where the line actually leaves the waters surface on the back cast and momentarily anchors. This in essence makes the "D" loop more dynamic by putting more line behind the rod, and will allow for a further forward cast ( basic switch cast). The more dynamic the loop the deeper the rod loads. As I mention before you still need to do all this with a smooth application of power and for the most part a straight rod path.
One of the down sides of spey casting is the fact that the rods and lines are much heavier then their direct single handed cousin.
(most noticed when fighting a small fish) Ex. an 8 wt single hand line is 202-218 grains the same line in spey is 580-600. Why is there a need for such heavy lines (to load the rod?)
These are my thoughts, on this subject, what are yours.
Rick
 

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Well ... that answered why I've got a new patch

"1) safe position for the fly to jump off the water and into the forward loop. If the anchor is not clearly away and on the rod side, it will probably jump up and reward you with an unexpected body piercing."

in my waders .. and damn near a hole in my head above my rigth ear from this weekend."Don't screw up many castss that I cant roll cast/recover from .. but when I do/don't they should "be in pictures" as a good example of a bad example.
:rolleyes:

fae

Even Sheba exhibited a touch of God's Grace not to get out of the old Ford on my last run of the day. Suspect she knew the "old guy" had lost it and "was in harms way.'':whoa:
 

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Load on rod tip!

It is the excellent subject and writings; I enjoy so much to read even from Far East. I think the load of power to the rod tip totally depending on how to control �anchor�. Most of starting Spey anglers suffers on how to control anchor position and to maintain the amount of line to stick on the water. I think this is the key of �loading power on rod tip too�.
Good anchor maintains that heavy weight of D looped line in the air. And this weight of line load the rod tip. Naturally rod tip will bend to opposite direction to the casting direction. This is so important for the Speycast. If we could maintain this rod tip bend by line weight and D loop power, it makes forward cast so easy.
However the moment of this timing is so short especially on stiff high modulus carbon rod. Rod tip tend to recover so fast, this create loosing energy of D loop and causing heavy line stick. On the contrary traditional style of slow rod keeps longer in this timing. They bend more and recover slower. It�'s easier for starting Spey anglers. Fast recovery rod is more difficult because timing is so short therefore expert have to create more energy to the D loop and must make sharp pointed powered D loop. This is the simply to make rod tip bend but makes anchor control more difficult but enable to cast long way.
Either of rod type or casting style, putting the load on the rod tip means feel the weight of line during whole casting motion from line lift till flick out the line. Keep rod tip bent all the time, don�'t let rod tip recover to straight.
The famous word - Don�'t think. Feeeeeeel� ;)
 

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Juro's and others discussion of the anchor timing on long lines is interesting. In an article Dana did some time back on the Grant Switch that concept was introduced and was the first time I had thought about it. The forward cast in the description of the Grant Switch does begin prior to spalsh down of anchor. Watching Steve Choate on a few occasions reinforced this idea. When he is throwing a long line, I noticed he was moving forward before the anchor was set.

In terms of the need for an anchor, it seems the lack of an anchor results in similar problems as a traditional back cast where the caster starts forward too early before the line has had a chance to essentially straighten on the back cast - Slack develops and you crack the whip.
 

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Peter, thanks...

Thank you for confirming what I said in my first post. Like I said, it provides the "resistance" for the forward cast. I guess my answer oversimplified it, but that's what it is to me! (That's what I get for being a retired scientist!)

BobK
 

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Good idea -

I have been contemplating the same thing myself - particularly with a line having a very short front taper (or I will cut it back myself!). Some of the offerings on bass bug tapers are very good.
I just happen to think this might be an answer for some of the conditions I fish on the tribs.

BobK
 

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Hi Spey Casters

I was wondering if anyone has a copy of Fine & Far Off, by " Jock Scott" My understanding is there is a good discription of a Grant Switch, aka Devon Switch. If you could post it, that would be great, I understand that it would have information that might help answer this debate.

Thanks Rick
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Rick,

I have Scott’s book and in it he details the Grant Switch, and contrasts it with the classic Spey cast. One of the most significant differences lies in the amount of anchor. In the classic Spey, lots of anchor; in the Grant Switch, ideally none at all with just the fly making the briefest of contact with the water as the caster comes forward for the delivery stroke. Based on the descriptions in Scott’s book it seems clear to me that Grant started forward well before the fly touched down, but you have to keep in mind that the rod design and action would likely require this. Nonetheless, whenever I am casting long lines on the single Spey I start forward while the line is in the air still forming the D loop, and the effect is the nearly effortless cast Scott describes. I have experimented a lot with this and find that the longer the line, the less anchor required. When I think about this it makes sense from another perspective: take a Windcutter 9/10/11 (650 grains) and any 10weight Spey rod, compared with the GrandSpey 9/10 (1300 grains). To put a good flex in the blank to really draw on the reserve power with the Windcutter I think the actual anchoring of the line is more important than with the GrandSpey. When I cast with Ed Ward a few weeks back he really stressed the importance of anchor with the Skagit style of casting and the 43ft head he was using; Göran Andersson uses a long (nearly 30ft) leader with his floating shooting heads for the Underhand style, which provides him with a good anchor while the head itself remains in the air; I’ve found it advantageous, particularly when going for distance, to allow the line more time to anchor when using shorter lines like shooting heads and Windcutters. The longer the line gets I think the less important the actual anchoring of the line becomes for an efficient caster because the longer length of line means more grain weight in the D loop which means greater load on the rod. As Grant stressed, with a really long line there is no need for what we would traditionally consider an anchor, just a momentary contact of the fly and perhaps a little leader with the water.

So while the defining feature of any Spey cast is the loop forming beneath the rod tip during the back cast with the fly/leader/line contacting the water’s surface (the anchor) to allow the D loop to form and load the rod, I think the amount of anchor varies with casting styles, chosen tackle and the “feel” a caster likes to have when they come forward for the delivery stroke. To return to the original question (and to look for the easy way out!) I think the D loop--along with application of power or acceleration--is what loads the rod, and the anchor is a component of the D loop. I think it is the grain weight of the line along with the rearward momentum of the D loop that bends or loads the rod, and the anchor is what allows this to happen without the line straightening out behind the caster. So the anchor is a critical component of the Spey cast that allows the rod to be loaded, and in some Spey styles (ex: Skagit) it is more directly involved in loading the rod than in others.

I think also Rick J nailed it with his comparison of the effects of a poor overhead cast with a poorly anchored Spey cast. That anchor—no matter how brief—provides the resistance necessary for that final tightening of the line similar to the final extension of the fly line during the overhead cast. And just as in a Spey cast with a long belly line, good overhead casters also start forward a little early, easing into the forward stroke just moments before the final straightening of the line on the back cast.

Or something like that…:)

I don't know how much of this is actually true, but it seems to make sense to me...

I think a really good idea would be to subject the D loop to DV analysis in order to slow down the entire sequence from anchor through to the point at which the forward momentum of the line breaks the anchor. I'm guessing at this, but I bet we would see the D loop form, the anchor touch down, then when the forward stroke is made the top leg of the D loop would follow the rod tip forward, while the bottom leg of the D loop follows around the "point" of the D loop as if there was an invisible pulley stuck out there behind the caster (Scott descibed this in the book). Also during this process the pulley itself moves forward in the direction of the delivery cast. The anchor (whether leader or line or both) maintains contact with the water (although I don't think it would be static, but moving or sliding along the water's surface) until the bottom leg of the D loop completely rounds the pulley and begins to move forward. At this point I'm guessing that a really efficient caster will be nearing the end of acceleration on the forward cast as this would be the point of maximum load on the rod, similar to the full extension of the line in an overhead cast. The anchor now leaves the water and the final acceleration and stop of the rod tip occurs.

I'll see if I can get some DV done in the next few weeks to determine which parts of this I'm completely wrong about!:rolleyes:
 

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Hi Spey Casters:

And the debate goes on !!

From what I've seen of the Skagit style of casting, you want most of the line and "anchor" in very close to your body (or rod) just prior to forming the "D" loop. Isn't that because most Skagit casts were designed to move very heavy weighted Tips? So in order to move this weight mass you would need to load the rod deep (and somewhat quickly)?, or put another way, if the line is anchored very close to you it would give the opportunity to make a more dynamic D loop?

All the video's I've viewed, show when casting sunk lines it's important to get the line the waters suface, before starting the spey cast movements, is this because you want less stick?

If you compare the Double Spey to the Snake Roll, is one of the reasons the Snake Roll a more dynamic cast because there is less anchor not more? The line and rod are in constant movement, (much like the belgain cast), with the line (anchor) only touching the water for a moment, to allow the cast to make a directional change??

Todays project is to track down a copy of fine & far Off. Anyone have a copy for sale ?


Thanks Rick
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Rick -

I read these responses as approaching consensus rather than debate, but in any case a great discussion!

Dana -

Your theories seem very sound; I can't wait to see what your DV analysis reveals!

(what a great thread
)
 

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Hi juro

I thought this was the Great Spey Debating Club !!
Sorry !!!!!

Websters Dictionary;
de-bating, to discuss (a question) thoroughly.

I agree that it's a great topic, and you can bet that when they put together the FFF Spey Casting certification program these type of questions will be part of the program. Short of that, I personally wish there were more of these types of questions. !!!!
If you can't get out and Cast! you might as well be learning about it.
Thanks Rick
 

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chrome-magnon man
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DV

I looked at some DV I have of Göran Andersson last night and it looks like the D loop behaves much like I described, at least in the Underhand cast. The anchor is still in place when he stops his rod for the delivery cast, but leaves the water immediately after he unloads the rod. I'll study it some more and also get some video of D loops and the casting cycle with various line lengths and report back.

I think the snake and the single spey are potentially more dynamic casts in part due to the potential for less anchor (although you can use a lot of anchor in both casts, especially with shorter head lengths) and also because in both casts the line is in constant motion. The double spey stops the line (relative to the snake) after the upstream sweep, and the caster needs to recover all of that lost energy during the D loop formation. I think the line speed is probably higher during the formation of the D on the snake than the double.
 
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