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#&%*@^# Caster
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Finally got a free moment to sit down and watch Dec Hogan's "Modern Spey Casting" video.

First off I really liked it. Lots of casting to analyze and if you are an intermediate caster you can get a lot out of it. I really like Dec's style of casting and it is something I unknowingly have been moving towards.

Second it was interesting to see that what we now typify as skagit casting is not at all like Dec's style. What Ed Ward , Scott Odonell and Mike MCclune are doing is different than Dec. I could see someone coming into skagit casting and watching Dec cast and then reading about Ed's style would be totally confused.

There are some similarities and it was cool to see where Ed has evolved the style into his skagit method when compared to what Dec is doing.

Dec and Ed's hand movements are very similiar. Very compact and both use a bottom hand stroke , Dec does more so than Ed though.

Continuous motion. Dec is a continuous motion caster but I think this is also due to the fact he is using a delta. Modern rods and shorter lines do not much of a pause on the backcast. Ed uses a more deliberate continuous casting stroke creating more of a water loaded cast. Dec's casts are not the water loaded type casts we have come to think of with skagit casting.

Lines are totally different though.. Dec uses modern short belly lines (deltas) while Ed is using very short and heavy skagit heads.

In watching Dec cast I was struck with how close he is to what guys like the Syrstads and Dana are doing which has been coined interestingly enough...modern speycasting. In my mind Dec is an underhand caster and an excellent one at that.

I have never had a chance to see Dec's casting in person as he had left the area when I started casting. I am glad I bought the DVD. Hell, I just bought one of his rods as well, thanks for the tip Philster :).

-sean
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Hey Sean!

I've been trying to figure out what to call the PNW casting style that Dec, Farrar, Kinney, Lemire and others pioneered on the Washington steelhead rivers. Modern Speycasting seems to make the most sense, except that the Syrstads call their style the same thing. All seem to be using shorter head lengths and an underhand type of approach.

Anyways, what would that leave us with?

Traditional: long lines, top hand or both top and bottom hands
Modern: short head lines, compact style, both hands or bottom hand dominant
Underhand: shooting heads, bottom hand dominant
Skagit: Ed Ward's style

and of course various combinations of the above just to confuse things...
 

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As I have said on here before, Dec and Ed both taught me to cast.They have very different styles.everyone has strengths and weaknesses and you have to understand what they are and refine your casts based on what works best for you.Dec is one of those that does not have a weakness.Ed admits to weakness off his left shoulder.He picks a cast that overcomes that weakness.I am weak off my right shoulder[overuse the top hand].Ed's right shoulder cast is srtong and he corrected my right shoulder casts and gave me the Poke!!Everone is different.I saw the snake roll and asked Dec about it .He thought it was great and was starting to work on it as did I.Ed doesent like it?Dec's video is very good both because of his abilities and because the way they repeat and break down the elements of the cast.I am a visual person!repeating the cast works for me.Matter of fact I filmed them both so I could replay it when I was trying to refine my versions of their styles.as to the delta vs the short head;it makes no difference to me!!I guess you have to hold lower with a short head to get the right stick on the anchor but ,in my opion that just comes automaticly as you get started.your body dials it in!I know Ed says you have to let it sit on the water to load.I do that with a regular head and a long delta and a skagit too for a double spey.I also do that with a Chicks dig it[snap t]But.on the other hand, I can flip out a 550 skagit head on the 1308 Dec Hogan with a snake roll[the touch and go].Dont believe it if someone says you cant mix styles.You dont know till you try.I have been fishing skagit lines since feb and I dont exclude anything I did with a regular WC or Delta.All cast and styles can be great.Figure out what you like and keep learning.Beau
 

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Many folks, or at least some folks, understand modern spey casting to describe the style that Simon, I believe, is advocating: medium to long lines; fast action rods; fast, flat rod movements with positive stops to develop and maintain a V-loop; a long casting stroke with upper arm extension; and line speed equally developed with both arms.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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that's the problem--we have the same names used with different styles. Confusing. I usually call what Simon does "Modern Traditional" which is kinda kooky but gets the idea across. We could just call it all spey casting...
 

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Definitions of Spey Casts

Because of Simon Gawesworth’s stature in Spey casting, and his landmark book Spey Casting, his definitions must be included if a list of Spey casts is to be considered by the fishing public as worthy.

Spey Casting Chapter 8, pages 67 to 73, describes the Crude Spey, Traditional Spey and Modern Spey.
Crude Spey: The 150 year old Crude Spey is a cast begun at the dangle, and then a “very vigorous backhand stroke” directs the line roughly across the river, followed by a roll cast. Some might consider this as precedent to Falkus’ contrived loop or Mr. Perry’s poke.
Traditional Spey: The successor to the Crude Spey, characterized by “softer action rods…recognizable by the loops and figure-eight movements that the rod tip takes.”
Modern Spey: That style described by Simon in Spey Casting. In this, I am in full agreement with LCS’s post.

Spey Casting, Chapter 16, page 219 ff, describes the Underhand Cast as does Dana’s post. Many of us, Dana prominently so, would add that the underhand technique is fully adaptable to all Spey lines, not only Scandinavian shooting heads.

Skagit Cast: I would disagree with Dana’s definition here, and in other recent posts, that suggest defining the Skagit cast as Ed Ward’s style. Mike McCune stated, “Withing the Skagit community, there are as many styles as there are practitioners."
As an example of potential error committed by tying Skagit casts to one individual, I believe Dana has characterized an essential element of Skagit casting as continuous loading. [Dana, thanks for teaching me the continuous loading technique at the Spey O Rama!] It is my opinion that continuous loading is a characteristic of the Ward Skagit style because of the very slow rod action he prefers. With these very slow rods, continuous loading is the only way to get heavier sunken tips out of or off of the water. For example in our [three guys at GGACC in San Francisco] Skagit line article soon to be submitted for publication, the lightest Loomis Dredger was the only rod, of seventeen tested, that required continuous loading to cast a 200-grain, 15-foot tip with Rio’s Skagit Spey lines. The very slow rod may have benefits, but is far from necessary for Skagit casting, and its requirement for continuous loading does not create a key element of the cast.
Therefore, a suggestion is that we be a bit broader in defining Skagit casts.
Mike McCune offers a couple of basic themes of Skagit casting: 1. Short shooting heads cast with effortless power utilizing sustained anchors. 2. Line belly plus tip in the range of three to three and one-half times the rod length--longer than 3.5 and "effortless" goes away.

20050712
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Interesting analysis Peter, however I would add the small distinction that in the Spey casting branch there is water loading regardless of the style in form of the anchor or grip, without which there would be a backward kick of the line and a failed cast.

I include this 'load' (however light it may be) as an important part of the definition of a spey cast, and something that differentiates it from an overhand cast which is truly line-loaded. It serves an important function in all Spey casts but to a varying degree.

Therefore a generalization of line-loading vs water-loading does not suit my perspective, taxonomically speaking. But I know what you mean otherwise. Certainly the lion's share is tilted one way or the other but it's not quite so easy to eliminate either from a Spey cast.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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hmmm...been kicking this around via email with Paul Arden as well.

How much does the anchor actually load the rod? Does it cause the rod to bend? Does it do something to the line in the D loop that in turn acts on the rod? I think we step around this issue by saying that the anchor "contributes" to rod loading without really stating what this contribution is.

If you watch video of a classic dead line roll cast (there's great footage in Mel Krieger's Essence of Flycasting) you can see that the anchor must have an important role in loading the rod as there simply isn't enough line in the small D loop to provide the necessary weight to load the rod. But in most speycasting (except Skagit casting) pretty much all of the line is aerialized with only the leader and perhaps a few feet of line touching the water for a brief moment. Without this touch you can't make the cast, but I don't believe that the anchor itself loads the rod. I think the anchor stops the rearward motion of the lower portion of the line, allowing the D loop to form and come under maximum tension, the speycasting equivalent to the line straightening out in the air behind the caster in an overhead cast. It is the line in the D loop, along with the forward acceleration of the rod, that loads the rod.

Let the debate continue!
 

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chrome-magnon man
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back to Skagit

Bob,

When the GGACC published Ed Ward's article on Skagit Casting several years back (2001) it was the first time I'd seen "Skagit" and "Casting" put together. As a Spey traditionalist (at the time) I bristled at that, then read the article about 10 times, thought about it, read it again, and then started to wonder about my own ideas about spey casting. Since that time I've used "Skagit style" and "Skagit Casting" to refer to pretty much any of the casts and short head casting styles popularized in PNW steelhead circles--a broad definition of Skagit Casting. I've narrowed my definition to "Ed Ward's style" because he calls what he does "Skagit Casting" and seems to have the clearest articulation of what it means (to him at least). As evidenced by the discussions on these boards and elsewhere many folks interested in and talking about Skagit Casting seem to mean "Ed Ward's style" and so I've adopted "Ed Ward's style" as my shorthand definition of Skagit Casting.

In Ed's definition he includes two key features: Pronlonged Anchor and Sustained Loading (Ed's terms taken from the Skagit Double Spey thread here on the speyclave). I guess we would need to agree on who is to define "Skagit Casting". Ward is seen by many to be the guru of the method (just as Goran Andersson is the guru of the underhand cast) but does that mean that he gets to define what is and what is not a Skagit Cast? If he is our reference, and if he maintains that the "sustained load" is a distinguishing feature of the cast, then we would have to accept that as a feature that distinguishes the Skagit Cast from other spey styles, and find another term to apply to what Hogan and Farrar and Kinney are doing. While Skagit systems certainly can be cast without the sustained loading technique, if sustained loading is part of the accepted definition of a Skagit Cast then we cannot call casts made without it Skagit Casts no matter the line system. Then again, perhaps the PNW styles are Skagit Casting, and Ward's approach is a subset of this style, just as Mortensen's underhand cast is part of the underhand family but not the classic underhand cast practiced by Andersson. Thus Hogan, Farrar, Kinney, O'Donnell, McCune, Ward and so on are all Skagit Casters.

Perhaps we should call Ed's style "Ward's Skagit Cast" just as Goran Andersson's approach is sometimes called the Andersson technique.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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conventional fly casting

Peter,

what about roll casting with a single hand rod? Is this not considered a conventional flycast?

Some folks in the UK would probably argue that all casting can be divided into two broad categories: overhead and roll. What we call "Spey Casting" is really nothing more than a fancy way to roll cast. We often define spey cast as "a roll cast with a change of direction".

Water Loaded Cast vs Line Loaded Cast: continuiing with my previous post, I think there's a significant amount of discussion to be had here. In a classic dead line roll cast, is it the water, the line on the water, the line in the D loop--plus of course acceleration of the rod--that loads the rod? In the Line Loaded Cast is it the line that loads the rod, or does the anchor play a part? In Skagit Casting does the line in the water or the D loop load the rod? All of these casts have anchors, but does the anchor play a different role or contribute in a greater or lesser way in each of them?
 

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Intersesting discussion . . . especially as I had just asked the question "Is this a Spey cast? Do you ever do this?" in the "General" area last week where I described doing 80-85' snake rolls without an anchor while fishing down a long run on the Gaspé. (I'm not savvy enough to know how to link to it).

In this instance, the cast was not water loaded . . . not for an instant. But because of my timing, there was no need to have the water arrest the rearward motion of the line (Juro's "backward kick"). It was not a "water loaded cast" or "prolonged anchor" but it certainly was a "sustained loaded" cast.

As my snakes are virtually always with a brief anchor, I was surprised that I was doing these without one and at these (moderate) distances that day. Providing an anchor proved to be much more effort. So I went back to my totally effortless "aerialized" snakes. So, for me in some instances, there can also be Spey casts completely without an anchor.
Bill
 

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Please consider making the descriptions simple enough for a newcomer to understand. Simple enough that you can present them all in a single elevator pitch. I think there are new folks who are scared away by the "opportunity for discussion" surrounding the classification of the various casting methods.
 

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Here we go again!
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Dana said:
How much does the anchor actually load the rod?

When the D loop stroke is performed the mass of the line is forced into motion below and beyond the rod tip, and the rod tip acts as the anchor as the lines inertia moves away from the tip since there is no anchor at the other end of the line. Once the leader hits the water the inertia of the moving line then loads both the rod tip, which is flexible, and the water, which though liquid creates a tighter stick on the moving mass than the rod tip, thereby creating a load in the rod necessary to implement a forward cast. (Now gimme my gold star, teacher :smokin: )

Does the anchor actually load the rod? If what I just described above is true, then yes, in a roundabout way. The water anchor causes the line in motion to load the rod. Would the rod load if the line just zinged by and remained airialized until it unfurled, yes. Would the rod load if the line passed beyond the rod tip and dumed into a heap? Yes, at some point, though poorly and briefly. How well the proper execution of the D loop cast (anchor position, speed and angle of D loop) is performed will determine the load and sucees of the cast. Since an overhead cast with a two handed rod generally gains more distance I'd have to believe that the Spey cast is not necessarily the most efficient (BLASPHEMY :saeek: ) cast available to load and unload the rod, but it shore is purty.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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This thought had occurred to me right away, but I concluded that it's an outside case and serves only to cloud the issue just as the water loaded overhead cast, which I use frequently off the transoms of wind-drifting boats, is a water-load thru and thru - yet it's not a Spey cast nor a roll cast.

Furthermore I would argue that it is not a Spey cast, but a spiraling overhead cast made sidearm :lildevl: OK that was rhetorical, but I hoped to make a point (clouding the issue).

wrke said:
In this instance, the cast was not water loaded . . . not for an instant. But because of my timing, there was no need to have the water arrest the rearward motion of the line (Juro's "backward kick"). It was not a "water loaded cast" or "prolonged anchor" but it certainly was a "sustained loaded" cast.

As my snakes are virtually always with a brief anchor, I was surprised that I was doing these without one and at these (moderate) distances that day. Providing an anchor proved to be much more effort. So I went back to my totally effortless "aerialized" snakes. So, for me in some instances, there can also be Spey casts completely without an anchor.
Bill
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I defer. Anyone who fishes a Hardy on a bonefish flat earns my infinite respect. That click with a mad running bone makes the wild dogs howl on the next atoll!

(btw - some progress on the DVD this week, getting there)
 

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For the love of god man not another skagit casting thread dealing with Ed's style VS Dec and Scott and Mikes style vs sustained anchor etc......... :Eyecrazy:
I cant take it anymore! But I will throw in my two cents anyway. This is also where I tend to get a little confused as well since I have never been able to spey cast in the traditional style. I believe that any cast that uses a short head style line and uses the water to load the rod as opposed to the D-loop to load the rod as skagit casting. Is this correct? I do not know. Here is where I see the big difference though. If you watch the original spey casting vidoe from RIO you will note that when they are teaching you to perform a double spey or the snake roll that the line never ever seems to touch the water. The leader seems to just kiss the water and away they go. Thus the weight of the line and the configuration of the strong tight D-loop loads the rod. In Dec and Eds style there is a significant amount of stick on the water from the line itself being in the water. Thus I believe that the stick from the line being in the water and not the D-loop formation causes the rod to load? That is what I use to dictate what I consider to be skagit casting vs traditonal or modern spey casting. OK boys let me have it. :rolleyes:
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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peter-s-c said:
Juro

I don’t consider the presence of an anchor to constitute a water loaded cast.
Interpretation is most important, there is certainly merit in your idea and I can see the logic clearly. It's helpful in fact.

But opinions being what they are (you know the addage), I'd agree that a Spey cast does not water-load when someone shows me how to shoot line with a mid-belly change of direction single spey on a teflon floor :lildevl:
 
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