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#&%*@^# Caster
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Did not see a whole lot in the archives about this subject so I thought I would start a new one.

Was out practicing with my T&T 1409 last Saturday and was messing around with my hand position.

I was only casting about 70-80 feet of line but found having my hands about 8 inches apart gave me the best feel. I could feel the rod flexing better and this seemed to help out my casting a ton.

Was just curious as to others on this board in regards to hand posiion. Pros or Cons? I do not want to start up any bad habits with my casting style and am curious as to what you all think.

-sean
 

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Sean,

Actually there has been a few discussions re hand position, exactly where I'm not so sure, so I'll reiterate my "position".

IMO, much of hand position has to do with your style of casting. If I had to guess, based on your prefered hand position that you use both your top and bottom (or underhand) equally, sort of a "push-pull" motion. This works most effectively with your hands not too far apart. If you were a top hand dominant caster where the underhand is just the pivot point, or an underhand dominant caster where the top hand is the pivot then it is more efficient to have your hands further apart.

To check the veracity of this just pantomime the motions sitting there at your computer, if you use the underhand to "pull only" or the top hand to "push only" you cannot get much rod tip movement without separating your hands. However, if you push with the top hand and pull with the bottom hand you need to keep your hands closer together. In fact if you try it with your hands widely separated you will hamper the motion significantly.

To answer your question, no, if you push-pull then are not developing bad habits - you are, in fact holding your rod in the most efficient manner for the style.
 

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I have the problem of not stopping my rod high enough. My line rolls out along the water instead of in the air.

I've found that if I keep my up hand as far up the grip as possible, when I push forward the rod angle is kept high, and i also get a clean stop since my arm is straight and has nowhere to go.

Neil
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Sean,

Interesting discussion!

FWIW when I started out with the DT floater hands worked well apart, then when winter flows got me to use tips I liked them closer together to feel the rod flex as you mentioned.

Lately I use the snake roll a lot nowadays so my hands never seem to drift together anymore. That and the fact that I fish longer heads than before where the midspey is a 'short' line and a grandspey as a long one. Maybe these relatively longer heads work best with the rod hand high.

For me I think I get better leverage and aim throwing the d-loop back with the hand high on the handle, and perhaps it's equally important that my reel hand stays sternum high to be "tucked" inward during the power stroke.

But I do recall feeling the rod load up with the hands close when casting shorter heads.

Who knows, I haven't cast in months due to the blasted northeastern winter! :mad:
 

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Juro,

My default hand position is about 10-12" apart, I use the snake roll and very long heads - as well as big rods. As I mentioned above, I think it is your casting style that controls the distance apart your hands will "go to". And I think that is what it is, your hands will find their own position based on the physics of your casting stroke!

If you closely monitor your own casting style with respect to which hand or hands are doing the real work, I think it will explain your hand positions. If the "power" of your stroke is dominated by one hand (either the top or bottom one) then your hands will want to stay further apart. If both hands "share" the work then your hands will want to be a little closer together.


ps - like roballen says below!
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Amazing that you space your hands so close for that monster reverse snake. Maybe that's one reason I don't really like the reverse stroke and prefer the left-sided cast. Something to try next time, thanks!

Man I wish the frigid death grip would let go of our region, it's bad enough that there are no winter steelhead but to deprive me of casting is inhumane.

BTW - if they plan on bringing the same casting pool to Seattle that they had in Marlboro they are going to be in for a very disappointed crowd. Besides the turbo-singlehanded spey demo Simon is expected to put on there isn't going to be much spey casting excitement there - not much room for testing spey casts at all.

Good thing we are doing the Friday event!
 

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Juro,

It is okay if they have the little pool, it is fun and a bit impressive to fire a cast 25-30' out the end of the pool!:devil:
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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True - but we'd better bring galoshes to get out in the pool far enough to set an anchor in the water, and if more than one guy uses the pool at a time (4 across in Marlboro) they'd better be lefty and righty ;)
 

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That's what the reverse snake roll is for! :smokin:
 

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Sean,

I vary where I place my hand. The placement of the top hand has an effect on where the rod will bend. More towards the reel and the rod will load more into the butt section, more towards the top of the cork and the rod will load more towards the tip.
For shorter casts, 70' or 80' or less, I put my top hand about mid cork, with less grain weight past the tip, it allows the rod to load better and is easier on the body. For longer casts, with long bellied lines, where I'm picking up 100'+ my hand is on the top of the cork. With the increased grain weight past the tip, it won't overload the rod and I generate more power with that position.
I'm kind of eclectic as to style. For full floating lines, I like the long bellied ones. For sinking lines or sink tips, I like more of a shooting head system. I use a traditional UK style for the floater and more of an underhand style for the tips. I vary my hand position with the tips also, but the position is more dependant on how much line I'm going to shoot rather than how much line I'm picking up. (If that makes sense):eyecrazy:
In sum, the longer the cast, the further apart the hands. The shorter the cast, the closer they are to each other. Don't know if this will work for you, but it seems to work for me.

Jims
 

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chrome-magnon man
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I guess I'm kinda sloppy...

my hands just sorta float around all over the place when I'm casting. I'm constantly adjusting them, but there really isn't much thought that goes into it. My top hand is usually somewhere about the middle of the upper cork (depending on the handle length) and I usually have the butt cap in the palm of my bottom hand. I used to think a lot about this; probably I just do what feels comfortable now.

One thing's for sure, though: when your hand postioning is wrong, you know it right away. You loose power and distance, or your cast gets aimed at the water 60ft in front of you, or some other horror.

When I teach new casters I use an image that I saw in Falkus's book: place the rod butt against your hip and imagine that the rod and your torso form the base and upright of a right-angled triangle. Your arm is the hypotenuse. Extend your upper arm so that there is a slight bend at the elbow and grip the rod handle. That's a reasonably good place to start with your casting.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Dana,

What Falkus wrote is exactly what I tell newcomers to spey casting. It is not only a great starting point, it seems to create fewer problems for them when learning.

Like you, I also use different upper hand positions depending on whether it is a fast, medium, or slow rod. With slow rods I use a lot less lower hand to help avoid overloading the rod and causing line shock. With fast rods, I can use both hands to snap the rod and really load it up; hence, my top hand is only about 12 to 13 inches above my left hand, and my left hand is firmly gripping the lower grip right above the butt. With medium rods, I move my right hand up to about 15 inches and place my left hand partly over the butt at the bottom. This helps keep me from pusing the rod too much. Slow rods require me to use more of a gentle push to prevent line shock and overloading the rod. This necessitates my placing my left hand almost completely over the rods butt cap with only my thumb and index finger holding the rod.
 
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