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JD
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I learned long line casting first, almost entirely full floating lines. I switched to short heads upon discovering the water kept changing as I worked down a run, & those changes effected on the amount of line stick & the stroke needed to start the cast.
I had to unlearn a lot of the long line casting techniques when switching ot short heads. Not to mention dealing with sink tips & larger heavily weighted flies! This gave me a lot of trouble & frustration. (And sink tips are a whole nuther story.) I finally decided to consult the Skagit master Ed Ward, & purchased the Skagit Casting I dvd.
I can't you how many times I nodded off watching that vid, or how many trips to the river to try out the different aspects of his style, before it started coming together. It's all there. It's just watching Ed grass casting had that effect on me. lol The basic gist of it is, pay attention to your anchor. If you don't have a good anchor, you can't make a good cast.
 

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I learned long line casting first, almost entirely full floating lines. I switched to short heads upon discovering the water kept changing as I worked down a run, & those changes effected on the amount of line stick & the stroke needed to start the cast.
I had to unlearn a lot of the long line casting techniques when switching ot short heads. Not to mention dealing with sink tips & larger heavily weighted flies! This gave me a lot of trouble & frustration. (And sink tips are a whole nuther story.) I finally decided to consult the Skagit master Ed Ward, & purchased the Skagit Casting I dvd.
I can't you how many times I nodded off watching that vid, or how many trips to the river to try out the different aspects of his style, before it started coming together. It's all there. It's just watching Ed grass casting had that effect on me. lol The basic gist of it is, pay attention to your anchor. If you don't have a good anchor, you can't make a good cast.

It all has to be good, or you have to be good at adjusting to the errors of each cast. If your D loop formation has any of 15 things wrong with it, it doesn't matter how good your anchor is.
If your anchor is wrong in 15 different ways it doesn't matter how good your lift is.

If you're lift is off you have to compensate on your anchor placement.
If your achor placement is off you will have to compensate on your D loop formation.
If your D loop formation is off you will have to compensate on your forward stroke.

This is what spey casting is all about. I don't care what style you think is different or unique or your own creation. They are all the same and all have the same principles and laws and physics, and it all had already ben done in the past!
 

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Change hand. Learn spey casting with your non dominant hand on top. Learn it as if you never cast a fly before. Use underhand technique and there you go. You will be amazed by the progress you will make in a couple hours. BUT NEVER NEVER switch to your dominant hand until you're totally satisfied with your casting.
Let us know how that works.
Cheers.
 

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Check out Ed Wards double Spey. It’s slightly different than the traditional way of doing it and it really works great
 
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JD
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3,620 Posts
There are what may be considered minor, or major, differences in technique or style, related to rods & more importantly lines! And they do not always interchange well. First & foremost, what style line are you using on what rod? Leader length, full floating or sink tip, & what size/style weighted or unweighted fly?
 

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At the risk of repeating what's already been said, but in the hope that it may help...

The double-spey is a useful cast so it's worth learning, it can be broken down into smaller, simple steps - you have a lot of time in the set-up so you can go very slowly and make sure each one is correct before continuing. The one exception being the D-loop stroke and forward delivery at the very end.

If you are standing with your feet pointing to your target and the rod tip and line straight downstream. I would start by pointing the rod, tip still low, at your target. Let's say 45 degrees. Lift the rod, slowly, until the tip is around head height. It can help to imagine a rectangle - you are drawing the short side, down to up. From the bottom of the rectangle to the top.

The next move is to draw the long line on top of the triangle - keep the rod tip on a straight path. If you do this too quickly you will pull the line from the water and it will land in a heap. (I still get this wrong at times.) Move it slowly, you can't really be too slow. Then lower the rod down the upstream short side of the triangle, placing the line on the surface of the water. Your hands will be crossed at this point - you uncross them during the sweep. You can wait here, there is no hurry.

That's the easy bit done.

Next comes the sweep, start this slow - in the same way you would start an overhead cast slow with steady acceleration. Keep the rod tip as flat as you can until you hands start to uncross and the elbow of your bottom hand begins to extend. This is the point at which you need to curve the rod up into the firing position from which you make the forward delivery. Just as in single-hand casting you want a straight line tip path from where the rod tip stops on forming the D-loop to where it stops at the end of the forward stroke. This part of it is very hard to describe and easier to demonstrate, this video has helped me tune up that part of the game.

There's a point between not having enough speed in your D-loop and blowing the anchor that you have to find largely by feel as different rod and line combinations will have different timings. I'd also recommend practicing the movements with the butt end of a double-hander when your away from the water. When on the water, I like to make a few roll casts and switch casts to warm up - if I've not fished a two-sie for a bit, or I've changed rod/line - just to remind myself of what I'm trying to do.
 

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JD
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Check out Ed Wards double Spey. It’s slightly different than the traditional way of doing it and it really works great
Ed Ward's approach to Skagit casting, often referred to as "Edjit" casting, has morphed into a style all his own. Compared to the conventional double spey, it is more than slightly different. It is & always has been controversial, ruffling traditionalist's feathers to no end. Even more so when he does it cackhanded. :giggle: But, when you see him slinging dead chickens incredible distances, it's hard to argue with success. Admittedly, not everyone's forte'. But with the right match of fly, line, & rod, it works incredibly well.
 

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Two hours a week is not enough. I started over 3 years ago and spent 4 to 5 hours per day. Many mistakes at first. It's OK. Something happened to me around the third or forth week. I started using my bottom hand! Once I set my anchor ( a good anchor is important) I then sweep and lift to my side extending my bottom hand out never letting my top hand go past my head. Making sure my anchor is straight. Then pull down and stopping quickly at about 45 degrees. Seems easy now. But it wasn't at first. I now have 3 Bruce & Walkers. Love those rods. I think I now have a problem. On second thought quit now! Kidding. I think.
 

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JD
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I have watched numerous instructional videos and had a couple lessons from experenced spay casters. I spend 2 hours a week practicing the same failed attempts to execute the “double spay“cast from river right constantly blowing the anchor. I have spent over 50 years fly fishing and I am committed to learning this technique however I could use some advice as to how I to overcome my inability to spay cast.
Your suggestions are appreciated.
I believe it was Einstein who said insanity is repeating the same (failed attempts) over & over & expecting different results. It would help us offer more pertinent advise if we knew what your current rod, line (sink tip) setup is, and what style casting is giving you problems. Perhaps you are watching vids of one style casting while attempting to make those techniques work on a different style.
 
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