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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok. I'm stuck out on my own in Tasmania and about a 12hr journey from the nearest Spey casting instructor.

I got someone to take a few pics of my casting to help me out and I've noticed a consistent issue I'm having.

I've been mucking around with new techniques and I'm getting nice big, pointed and energised D loops, but I seem to be getting a much too shallow angle on the bottom leg, (nearly parralell with water) meaning I get too much line in the anchor, but more problems come from that fact that the energy in the loop isnt headed backward, more downwards. Also I can't shoot more line to the D loop without the point beginning to touch down.The image below illustrates the angles I'm seeing in the D - Loop just before touch down. Will try and post some pics when I can. Its pretty frustrating beause I'm getting really nice shapes, with really smooth straight lines, but the anlges are a wee bit wrong? not sure where to adjust what I'm doing?

its using a 90ft Xlt on 15ft rod.

Any help would be really appreciated.

 

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as you sweep back make sure your tip is constantly rising, not paralel to the water. That should help. Start with your tip low to the water so you can rise all the way back.
 

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Keep that upward rise and you should see your top rod hand even with your ear. Make sure you have started the forward cast just as the D loop is forming and the line is about the land at the anchor point. This will allow the anchor to just kiss the water as it is propelled forward.

Sounds to me like you may be dropping the rod tip as the D loop is being formed which will in turn lay down a nearly parallel anchor point. Instead of one that is angling upward in the D loop. Remember to complete the rise in the backcast.

I am certainly no expert with the above opinions, but this is what I have found very helpful to my single spey.

If you can get ahold of the newest Rio Spey Casting DVD ; 2 three disc set with more than four hours of casting....Simon really shows this well, from all angles.

Good luck.....practice practice practice
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Rather than speculate as to what led to the line configuration in the diagram I would start by saying that you up the ante considerably by posting the actual pictures e.g. a sequence of pictures, or best yet some video.
 

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Downward D-Loop

When the Downward D-Loop occured, were you changing direction? What 15' rod you are using? New XLT or OLD? Is it happening to other long lines?

Without watching your case, all I can generally say your rod tip traveling downard after 90degree (perpendicular to your casting direction). Downward D-Loop can occur in a combination of caster's ability, XLT, action of rod, and lack Scottish apple juice (have a bit more, your problem will disappear).:D

For you next time out, watch you rod behavior (especially rod tip travel when reflex) after 90 degree. Find your problem, I am sure you can solve it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cast Pictures

OK. Heres some pics. Tear me to bits. All feedback greatfully received. Have kind of given up for the time being. Been in Tasmania since Jan and I really need a few lessons, or at least some time casting with others.







Another D going wrong!
 

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This is just my opinion, I could be wrong. One thing I see is you are on your forward cast before your anchor is set, slow down let it set before you head forward. In the second photo you should just be started forward but your hands are already vertical.

Second I would try to start your cast with your tip very low, just above the water, and make sure it rises throughout the cast. That will aim your d loop straight back (and up a bit). It looks like you are sweeping the tip too horizontal to the water (by the shape of the line and where the anchor is headed).

Third, the little hitch in the back (not smoth "D" at the very back of the loop) is strange?

Great pics and it still looks like you are getting a good amount of line out there. Just my 0.02
 

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Corin4
It's good that you posted the pics. I think that last pic pretty much tells the tale. Your initial lift was high but most importantly to fast and you dropped the tip of the rod going into the "D". The result is the big splash you see as an anchor and your line still three feet in the air. Maybe try slowing down the lift and focus on landing a smooth anchor. The lift will set the tempo for the whole casting cycle and its very often overlooked as a fault. there are other things that come into play for making a good cast but this is the basis and the other things will come together in time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys.

My intitial lift is always pretty high with this set up, simply to get the head up and out of the water. (80-90ft) When I try to rip the head off the water I get a lot of recoil from the stretched line, so I opt for a high lift to try and smooth things out?

I then try to lengthen the stroke into the D and force line into it, often looking over my shoulder where I want the line to go.

I do "force" the movements a fair bit, rather than swing and wait when I'm normally casting/fishing.

With the bigger heads I find that you need to have started forward cast before the anchor lands? Maybe this is completely wrong? Also I tend to like to cast with a high forward stroke, pulling down through it and trying to fire the line in a nice high trajectory, about 45 degrees off horizontal?

This is all for distance only, I don't use this as a fishing cast.

I dont usually use this set up, normally 70ft. T

he long term aim is to be able to control a bigger head and use a more agressive stroke to put more energy into it and cast a bit further, but at the moment I can't cast as far with a 90ft head as I can with 70! I guess thats because of the poor technique you're picking up on.

Not sure what the little kink in the D is. I get that quite a lot.

Cheers

Corin
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think I'm also not lifting my hands before the forward cast starts, and "poking" the rod tip at the sky?
 

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Corin, hope you're well & the work is going OK - how much longer are you exiled down under?

I'm very far from an expert when it comes to this sort of thing, but it seems to me that your problems may come from the fact that you're using a relatively compact stroke with a long belly line. If you're using a high initial lift, but then keeping everything quite tight, you may simply not be giving yourself enough room with a big line like that. The full 90' of an XLT is a lot of line for a 15' rod, especially if you're standing nearly knee deep in water.

I suspect you'd find it easier to keep this much line out of the water if you were either to lengthen your stroke, or lift your hands higher, or both. The Ness-style or Mackenzie style or whatever you want to call it exemplifies this, and it's hard to argue against it as a successful method for serious distance casting. Scott M also uses a pulling stroke and achieves great elevation in the forward cast, but from a very different starting point from you. Even setting that style aside, if you look at some of the video and stills of other top distance casters (Knut Syrstad, Ian Gordon etc) you will notice that their rods are back at an angle of perhaps 135* at the start of the forward stroke, with their upper hands well above their heads. Although it's hard to judge from stills alone, it looks to me as though you're using the sort of stroke that suits a shorter-bellied line - almost like a Scandinavian style - rather than the longer, more traditional Scottish stroke. You've been away from your roots for too long!

Charlie
 

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corin4 said:
Thanks guys.

My intitial lift is always pretty high with this set up, simply to get the head up and out of the water. (80-90ft) When I try to rip the head off the water I get a lot of recoil from the stretched line, so I opt for a high lift to try and smooth things out?

Corin
When I go to a longer belly line my initial lift gets smaller (shorter). With a windcutter I will to the whole rase the tip, dip around ("shallow saucer" per Simon G.), and come up. But with a long line it just doesnt work for me, I start low and slow and rise up and speed up the whole time.

And as for the recoil from the streched line, I get that bad with my left hand up. Slow down on the initial lift and swing. Dont power it until there are only a few feet of line stick.
 

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Excellent advice all around. the only thing I might add in regard to, the little hitch in the back (not smoth "D" at the very back of the loop). Are you shocking the rod? What I mean is, are you coming to an abrubt stop on the back cast? This is a common mistake I see a lot of beginners (myself included way back when) make.

This shocking of the rod allows the rod to unload. Requiring much more effort from the caster to reload the rod. With the exception of the McKenzie style, most casters keep the rod loaded throughout the entire cast.

As mentioned above, you need an extended stroke to cast a long belly line. I use hps, shoulders and arms. In that order.

The new DVD's are great as they can be slowed down without the jerky, jerkies common with VCR's.
 

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Speyngineer
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Hi corin4,

Nice pics, they surely help in analysing ones casting, I wish someone would take a few from my lousy attempts. As you may guess, I am by no means qualified to give you any sound advice, but can though make a few comments that may (or may not) help you.

First of all, your forward casts look good in the pics, producing nice loops and line straingtening out well, so no problem there, IMHO.

You propably have some issues with the inconsistency of your anchor placement, as it seems to wander a bit, from 15m in front of you to almoast behind of you.

To me the shape of your D-loop would suggest that your initial backcast is quite shallow (rod brought back low?), but then you perhaps wait a little bit, and change the casting plane to more vertical once your forward cast starts (moving rod tip sideways towards you in the rod key position), causing the unwanted shape in your D-loop. But what I know, just a thought. I hope some of the master casters around will give you more feedback.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Well this really sheds some light, however if you put up some video... :lildevl:

The bottom picture is pretty clear, the rod tip dipped on the way back, or there was some component of high-to-low going on while making the backcast / D-loop sweep. This momentum was established as the line was drawn back and continued into the water.

The top pic, although it does not clarify how things ended, looks to be headed for a very heavy anchor by the angle of the bottom half of the D-loop. My money says it was too heavy to cast. Same problem, more subtly created - the line was drawn back with a slight downward angle toward the D-loop, or as others have pointed out devoid of a slight upward incline.

In the second frame down the angle of the lower leg is very good, but the end of the line is so far away from you that the d-loop is very small and not likely to provide enough rod load for a strong cast. However the line angle indicates that you did not dip the rod on the sweep. Just did not fully lift and load back into a d-loop.

Third frame - a fine cast, however these are switch casts not single speys and a big change of direction with extended belly lines demands stringent mechanics for the single spey. The point of departure of the line would imply to me that a sharp angle could be trouble. Again without seeing the 3rd dimension we can only guess.

Fourth shows that the line maintained itself well unfolding, that little dogleg could be eliminated by increased tension on the line which comes from a big d-loop and good timing. You can tell when there is a strong turnover like a pulley belt turning a wheel in the air.

We can't see the frontal view but it's possible that the rod tracked to the sides thus causing that little deviation from the path as well, can't tell from the pics.

SUMMARY

Make sure to keep the rod from introducing any downward 'dip' when drawing back the D-loop.

Form the d-loop so that the end of the line lands approximately one rod length (give or take depending on front taper and cast angle) out and to the side.

I teach students to create the angle of the lower leg during the lift and preserve that angle it as the d-loop sweep is made.

Good luck and thanks for posting the images.
 

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Footwork

Corin,
Another thing on top of the reactions I see here might be the footwork, when I look at the picture's you are mostly standing straight up, you might want to try to lean a bit more into your cast and shift the weight a bit more from the left to the right foot in the backcast and back to the left foot in the froward cast, this will bring more energy into the cast.
Greets Paul.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Many Thanks

Many thanks to all who have posted, your time and advice is really appreciated. Theres plenty for me to try out and start working on.

At least until i can get back to home and get a lesson from some of the pro's.

Charlie - you're dead right that I've been away too long! Only a few months more to serve and I'll be released. Hope to catch up with you at some stage next year.

all the best and thanks again.

Corin
 
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