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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Speygods!

Practising, practising and practising...:)

Right now I am trying to align my D-loop with my forward loop. I will use a videocamera to analyze and evaluate this later but now I have a few questions:

Should the D-loop be in line with the forward loop?

Should I aim to let the fly pass beside the rod tip or over it? I am stopping the rod very high to get a tight loop but it seems that the fly has a tendency to hit the tip guide when I get the alignment straight and produce a tight loop?

When I do ultratight ones with the single hander I tilt the loop a slightly sideways, is this the way to go with the twohander aswell?

Best Regards
Stefan
 

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Relapsed Speyaholic
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Stefan,

You can get some more detailed advice from some of the resident casting experts but yes, the d-loop should be in line with your forward delivery. In order to keep the fly or more often the line from hitting either the rod or crashing into the line it helps to tilt the rod away from your body at a 10-15% angle. In breezy conditions, sometimes an even greater tilt is called for.

sinktip
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi sinktip!

Thanks for your reply!

This means I should strive for a slightly tilted loop even in a close vertical casting plane, right? Did I understand you right?

Since I think the single spey has many simularities with the austrian-oval overhand style this actually makes sense to me. :)

But then a perfect alignment between the D-loop and the forward loop is not desirable or even possible? They must use separate planes even though those planes may be close and parallell to one another? Or am I totally wrong here?

Best Regards
Stefan
 

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chrome-magnon man
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stesiik said:
But then a perfect alignment between the D-loop and the forward loop is not desirable or even possible? They must use separate planes even though those planes may be close and parallell to one another? Or am I totally wrong here?
No, that sounds right.

In practice I strive to deliver my forward cast as close to vertical as possible but it is always tipped to the side a bit.
 

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JD
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in line

Not that I'm by any means an expert, or an authority but,,,,stop and think about this for a minute. The D loop and the forward loop can be in line whether straight up or laid over to the side. When they are not in line, you will get a cork screw like delivery. In order to get that nice straight cast that we all strive for, the anchor point, the D-loop and the forward loop must all be in line. I can be tilted, but it is still three points in a single plane. How wide, or how tight the loop is, is a function of tip path.

Usually, the fly colliding with the tip problem is the same as the tailing loop problem. Just more extreme. Too much power, too early in the stroke, causing the tip to collapse.....I think.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I think our discussion here is moving into the realm of "There are no absolutes in Speycasting" and stylistic considerations. Someone of note (Way or Simon perhaps, I can't recall) advocates moving the rod tip straight back (to form the D loop) then straight forward (to form the forward loop). I set up my D loop, then bring the rod inboard slightly and more vertically before making my forward cast--this technique works very well for my Underhand-influenced style of casting with long belly lines.

A line or fly crashing into the rod tip could be cause by a tailing loop...or by stopping the rod tip too high. Whether vertical or off vertical, the rod tip needs to stop just below the path of the following flyline to form a tight loop, and prevent tip crash.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Since Dana hit it on the head with the realm of no absolutes / styles point, I'll chime in here with the degree of freedom that's available :)

As an instructor my opinion is that there are two aspects here: the d-loop alignment and the casting loop alignment.

The proper casting loop flies beside the rod tip, that is to say:

The bottom half of the loop is in alignment with the rod tip but the upper half flies parallel to the casting side "beside" to use your words.

The wedge or loop leading edge turning over tilts to the outside to join the two vectors and the top half of the loop flies in a parallel plane. If the loop is like a pulley wheel, then we could say that the pulley is tilted slightly to the casting side.

The amount of this tilt and the gap between the two vectors depends on as Dana says, your style and technique.

But a pulley is not comprised of just one wheel, there is another wheel - the D-loop...

The d-loop is correct if it successfully generates the above casting loop configuration - most commonly the d-loop will be tilted at a complementary angle to the casting loop, which means mirror image from the rod tip to the water (I'll draw up some diagrams). But this is not always the case, and the alignment of the d-loop to the tilted casting plane varies a bit from cast to cast (e.g. a single spey 90 degree change cast vs. a Double Spey).

This has more to do with change of direction practicality than anything else. One can achieve a much more compact alignment of a d-loop with a double spey's intermediate movement than they could with a long belly 90 degree change of direction. However, they are both fine if the generate a proper casting loop, which as noted above can be tilted as a two-wheel pulley can be tilted.

In general we position the anchor on the casting side at approximately a rod's length away from the body, and drive the casting stroke just inside that position as we come forward. Placing the anchor far and stroking close doesn't work well, placing the anchor close and stroking far doesn't either. If you place close, stroke close, if you place far stroke far. This keeps the tilt of the two wheels of the pulley workable. As long as the casting stroke can generate the casting loop from the d-loop things go pretty well hence the variation in styles and techniques as Dana says.

The key is because you can generate enough casting power with a slightly tilted pulley as you can with a vertical pulley, both casts are fine however the nature of setting a d-loop with a change in direction cast like a single spey requires that the caster learn to use a tilted system.

Experiment with this, and I hope the two-wheel pulley metaphor helps you as it's helped me and those I've worked with. Just don't take it too literally :)
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Thinking back on a couple of classes where this came up, I want to add another metaphor... the rodeo rope.

When a cowboy is twirling a loop off to the side, there is a rope segment in the hand that goes out to the whirling circle.

The whirling circle is pretty much in it's own plane, but the rope attached to the loop and held in the hand is at an angle to it.

Similarly, the objective of the casting stroke is to keep that 'power circle' intact.

Think of the rod as that piece of rope from the hand to the whirling circle, and the circle of rope as the d-loop and the forward cast.

Clearly the rod (rope segment) must pull that circle in a strong alignment.

The difference is with a Spey cast we release that energy over the top on the first whirl.

No wonder it's not so easy!
 

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I have found that I can make very nice casts going completely sidearm.I do this when I have a hard upstream wind.This causes the fly and leader to flip into the wind when the cast ends and pulls on the reel.That eliminates the need for an imediate mend to correct for the fly being blown upriver of the line.As long as you line the Dloop up it doesnt matter between 90 degrees or sidearm.Beau
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi all!

Now this is an interesting discussion! Thanks for your feedback, rewarding site indeed!

Then loop size might actually be related to the need of tilt?

When I do very tight loops with the singlehander and a long line there seems to be an element of gravity to be reccon with (still controversial for some). A tight loop is possible to make all vertical, but a ultra-tight loop not. This video showing practice of loop formation shows some of the issue. http://www.flycasting.se/movies/switchloop.wmv

If I go all vertical the line hits the rod for sure. Shorter line and I get away with it but not with this amount of line.

Sorry to not have a video on overhand carrying using small loops from a good angle, but this clip of Carlos shows it rather clearly. http://www.sexyloops.com/movies/parabackshootrollcast/parabackshootrollcast.wmv

I do not know your policy on linking to other resources, feel free to edit this post as you see fit.

This seems to be even more evident with the twohander? Heavier lines and flies perhaps?

There also seems to be less of "lifting energy" in a tilted loop, maybe thats why it is easier to make a tight formation when tilted? This might all be related? I recall Mac Brown wrote some about this in his "Casting Angles" (splendid book BTW).

Best Regards
Stefan
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Sexyloops links are fine as well as your links illustrating aspects of our discussion.

I'll come back more on this discussion in a while--out to clean the garage before the boss gets home (my boat stuff and camping gear are spread out all over the place "drying" so she can't park her van!)

One quick thought though--are off vertical loops really tighter or do they just appear tighter because they are tilted?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Dana!

One quick thought though--are off vertical loops really tighter or do they just appear tighter because they are tilted?
:) Good call! I been back and fourth around that exact question for some time now. I currently belive they are tighter. They look tighter from the casters view to me. Sideways tilt is also a "demo-trick" that a Welsh guy taught me :)

This has more to do with change of direction practicality than anything else. One can achieve a much more compact alignment of a d-loop with a double spey's intermediate movement than they could with a long belly 90 degree change of direction. However, they are both fine if the generate a proper casting loop, which as noted above can be tilted as a two-wheel pulley can be tilted.
Thanks Juro! That helps. I have another question regarding exactly this and the snake-roll but I will ask that one in a new thread.


Best Regards
Stefan
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Off vertical/sidearm casting might promote more of a straight line path of the rod tip than vertical or slightly off vertical for some casters due to body mechanics perhaps--dunno, haven't thought too much about this one lately but it sounds like a good topic to pursue.

See now, ya got me losing focus on that garage. I'm in trouble now!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Beau!

Elegant! Then I will not loose any tension in the lower leg that lowering the tip might lead to.

I often do a very slight lift with the singlehander during the shoot to lift the lower leg and accelerate the loop futher on the switchcast. Buys me easy extra distance and high delivery with less effort. This must work on the towhander aswell, just got to get the "feeling" and learn when the fly passes the tip first, otherwice I might loose the tip in the process :)

(The twohander has so much power and there is so much fast moving weight in the line that collisions just might destroy the rod. It feels that way anyhow, for a light rod sizzycaster as myself. :) )

Best Regards
Stefan
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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stesiik said:
Elegant! Then I will not loose any tension in the lower leg that lowering the tip might lead to.
Sorry, I misinnterpreted your first post, it's clear you are an experienced caster adapting to two hands.

Maybe you might agree with a claim I would make that pulling down the rod might actually increase tension (rather than reduce it) .

Although lowering the rod often does open the loop, slowing down line speed, weakens the turnover of the wedge and creates increased air resistance due to enlarged loop diameter, in tough fishing conditions we often pull the rod down on purpose to increase tension in order to let the extra traction pull forward bigger, bushier or weighted flies; or use it to turnover very dense sinking lines in a manageable way.

To me another good example of this emphasized tension applied is Skagit casting. I feel Skagit casting emphasizes a somewhat similar line tension by tilting the power stroke forward as opposed to say a long belly stroke, combined of course with the surface tension of the line 'water loading'. The rod stroke position is much lower in Skagit casting than long belly to maximize tension.

Another example is common to east coast sight fishermen, who throw with a very forward oriented stroke and control final distance with the opposite hand to 'brake' the line at the desired distance thus separating direction from distance into two parts. Long casts and pretty loops matter little on the flats, rather dropping it in a specific place with control is key. I've found myself adopting this style to some extent and it works in bonefishing situations as well. Not a habit you want to develop for all casting purposes but a handy thing to know.

I don't mean to disagree, just want to point out what I perceive as tension relative to rod position. As you say any downward tension applied must not weaken the cast by opening the loop or weakening the turnover. You make an excellent point about directing the rod to aid shooting of running line along the bottom leg of the loop.

Thanks for starting this great discussion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Juro!

No need to be sorry.:) This is a most interesting and fruitful discussion. I am learning a LOT from you and others in this thread.

The style you describe for the east coast sounds like the way many very good fishermen cast the twohander here. They are not that concerned about a tight loop but rather cast a wide wedge that drives the fly out in a smooth presentation.

It is also the way many here fish the dryfly in small waters. The final stopping angle of the rod is pretty much parallell to the water. An advantage is that such a cast is easy to perform and it rarely tangles. The tip path is so "open" that it becomes a "safe" cast, almost impossible to tail or cross.

But wind and such a tech shows it´s weakness I belive. Also for example casting under branches will not work with such a tech. It simply doesent give the tight loop needed for some demanding situations.

I belive in the value of being able to perform both techs and everything inbetween :) I want to learn as much diversity as possible. I never know what the river demands from me. I fact, I do not even now what kind of species or waters I might fish next year. :) I might end up on flats where fast overhand distance might be demanded, or fish a tiny stream where short, delicate, smooth airmends might be the only way to go.

I sometimes, on lesser boards, see people totally deaming out certain techniques. One example I saw recently was statements that cast like Snap-T and Skagit distrubes the water and the fish. What I want to write, but don' t since I am such a quiet and gentle sod, is this: Well, just because a specific style is not the thing needed for your local stockie-farm, does not mean it is not the perfect technique for another place, another outfit and another situation. Also, just because the line rips the water in one specific clip does not mean the cast can´t be adapted in a myriad of ways, including aerialised, stealthy variants that even will nail your local stockies... Naturally, I would never write such a thing. :chuckle: :)

Oh, I went well OT this time :)

Your point on that lowering the rod in the right manner also will hasten turnover sounds perfecly valid to me. It proves how diverse this thing is. Like Dana said, "no absolutes". It all depends.

Thanks for making this a great discussion!

Best Regards
Stefan
 
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