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In over my head
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Discussion Starter #1
I am So. Very. Frustrated.

I drank the Spey Kool-Aid a year ago when I took a beginning Spey class from George Cook up in Fairbanks. Since then, between snows and deep freezes and trips to Washington and Colorado, I've bought three switch rods - a 3 weight Echo SR., and two TCX switches, 5119, and 7119....

...and I can't cast any of them worth a damn.

40....maybe 50 feet. I am consistently an embarrassment....full of collision loops and other disasters. My cack-hand cast is better than my strong side cast, which normally goes about 40 feet and crashes in a mess. Small tight loops...laser-like delivery.... Those are things that make other people smile. Not me. When one cast goes well (50 feet!!) , I haven't the slightest idea why - but I can't duplicate it.

I need to pay someone to help me.

In a few days I'll leave San Juan Island and head down to the Mt. Hood area. Does anyone know anyone who can help me sort out this crazy mess that I've become?

Tom Larimer's site isn't taking any bookings through the end of the year...but I'd be willing to drive out of my way for someone of his teaching caliber. I appreciate your recommendations, but they'll need to be a real instructor.

I'm a mess and I so want to feel that lovely "thunk" you all get to feel as your cast stretches tight before it hits the water. I'm willing to work at it and pay for it.

Help!

James
360-378-zero-nine-four-nine
 

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Come down to the Ben Howard boat launch this Saturday for the Nextcast demo day, and I can give you a hand.
 

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Self awareness and admission of need for help is a great start. I hope you find a good teacher. It will help tremendously.

Other suggestion is that you start with a longer rod and heavier weight line. Those small switches and lighter lines are sometimes not the easiest set-ups to start with.

Keep the faith!
 
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Scandit sublima virtus
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If you're headed south on I-5, I live outside Tacoma. If you want we can hook up for a few hours and get you sorted out, at a place I know not far from the highway and easy to get to. Any day except Monday, I'm busy then.

No charge for a struggling spey brother.
PM if you're interested.

Good on ya for asking for help. I was arrogant and therefore suffered greatly at the beginning, you're wiser and more humble than me.
 

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I live in Battle Ground, about 15 minutes off of I5. If you want we can spend some time on the East Fork, and I'll have a look. If you're not feeling the mojo, it's 15 minutes to get back onto I5. No charge. I've been there. I feel your pain brotha!!!!

Keith
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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You know, if you meet with every guy on the I-5 corridor you may be quite the caster by the time you get to Kalli :chuckle:
or just pick up all our bad habits, to go!:chuckle:
 
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All Tangled Up
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I am So. Very. Frustrated.
OK, calm down. Relax. We've all been there. A lot. And get used to it, even the very very best still wrap themselves with the line from time to time. And don't worry about distance, it's really not a good proxy for casting success at your stage. In fact, in my opinion, as I've said many times before, reaching too much for distance too soon is one of the very best ways to mess up your casting. Don't even worry about shooting line. Focus on being comfortable with the rod and the casts and getting all the fundamentals in place : lift, anchors, d-loop, bottom hand working with the top, cast alignment. It's tedious, but, will pay dividends. Really.

"Calm down, relax", also good things to do while casting.

You might consider, if you don't already have one, getting a book, Al Buhr's or Simon Gawesworth's. Now to be clear, you are not going to learn speycasting from a book. But having a reference will help you form a mental framework, either to formulate questions for your instructor, or, as a mnemonic aid after your lesson(s). Time on the water with an instructor is precious but also may be intense, you want to retain as much as you can. You should tell your instructor you are doing this, as, not everyone teaches "by the book", and they usually have good reasons.

Will send you a PM with some names.
 

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You know, if you meet with every guy on the I-5 corridor you may be quite the caster by the time you get to Kalli :chuckle:
or just pick up all our bad habits, to go!:chuckle:
That's funny! Great thread guys. The TCx series is a Rod series that requires a lot of attention. Great rods but a Meiser or TFO DC is much more forgiving. Some small hints: drag is the enemy. Always remember to lift your Rod after the sweep. Using lower hand pull is the easiest way to throw line.some visual help CS be found on youtubeif you google Bill Lowe videos or some of Tom Larimer rimes stuff is good too

Don't give up!
 

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Call the Fly Fishing Shop in Welches and see what they can do for you. They put on casting schools and have some well known casters working with them, including a world-record holder for distance. They're just a little ways east of Portland on Highway 26. If you're going to Mt. Hood from the city, you'll drive right past the shop. Good luck and don't let it all overwhelm you.
 

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Understatement for the morning.

Self awareness and admission of need for help is a great start. I hope you find a good teacher. It will help tremendously.

Other suggestion is that you start with a longer rod and heavier weight line. Those small switches and lighter lines are sometimes not the easiest set-ups to start with.

Keep the faith!
+1 to what wrx just said.

Don't worry about distance -light/short 2hander are 'self limiting' as to what you can get out of them. Work on your casting skills, more distance will follow.

Fred
 

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In over my head
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Discussion Starter #13
An apology is in order, I think.

Upon reflection, I owe George Cook a heartfelt apology.

After reading over my original post, he and others could certainly construe my current difficulties to my introductory lesson, when nothing could be further from the truth. My troubles are the result of bad habits I have developed without George looking over my shoulder.

When I took the casting class a year ago on the banks of the Chena River in Fairbanks, George was there, guiding and helping at every turn. He brought a selection of rods, mostly longer Sage ONE 8-weights, a few METHODS and a switch rod or two. I had success with them all, zinging longer casts out to the middle of the river, marveling at their power, with a big grin on my face.

Since then, my troubles are of my own making, and I’m struggling to recall all George’s helpful advice that I’m replaying in my head. I am thankful to all of you- and to George- for offering your time and recommending others to help me untie all the knots I’ve managed to tangle myself in.

And so I offer my apology - to George specifically, who’s graciousness and helpful instruction has opened up a new world and community to me. Thank you, George, and I’m sorry.
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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Sell TCX rods. Buy Loomis GLX Dredger 7134. Watch skagitmaster 1. It's really that easy.
Sorry, PGK, but I have to disagree. The tcx switches are real sweethearts; very forgiving, and not at all hard to time. I have the 7119 and it's one of the rods I'll choose to fish on a moonless night because it gives such nice feedback.

I think the Dredger is a great rod, skagitmaster is a neat video, but it's really NOT that easy. Even expert one-on-one teaching requires reinforcement and reiteration. Casting is a neuromuscular skill that is ingrained through repetition with emphasis on form.

regards,
Bob
 
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Hi Bob,

I am told the TCX is similar to the T&T DNA 5w 11'9 by the designer of the T&T who is a Frequent poster here. Only its suppose to be more forgiving than the TCX. I love the Rod, love it. But if it were my first Rod, it would be a learning curve for sure.

That isn't to say it's a bad choice by any means, they are great rods. Spey casting is merely a technique that requires some practice, like most things.
 

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If your going to be within a hours drive from the Portland area Contact Greg Bencivenga of Nextcast products. He is one of the best spey instructors I personally know in North America.

He will get you on the right path. Also, Nextcast does free classes in the area on the Clackamas river and also at the Portland casting pond. We also do a class the first Saturday of each month on the Skykomish river in Wa state at the Ben Howard boat launch. These classes are awsome for folks wanting to try lines and get some solid instruction.

If your looking for one on one personalised instruction contact Greg.
 
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In over my head
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Discussion Starter #18
OP here. Two years later. I've figured out much. On my strong side,keeping my hands closer together and "inside the window" forces me to use my bottom hand as the lever it's supposed to be.

I've had my cack-handed cast down pretty good. Anyway, N. Umpqua guide Jeff Carr was on my hip for a day (totally worth the money) and I learned a lot. A LOT.

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. And for empathizing
 

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Hang in there

Im a very good singlehand caster. That said it took me over 2 years to get Spey. Buy Skagit Master 1. And if interested in a Loomis Dredger shoot me a pm
 

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Pay attention!

Lessons are certainly worthwhile but at some point you go back to the river alone and try to use what you have been taught...if it works, good on ya but if it doesn't, you are right back where you started. What I found out when learning was that I wasn't paying close enough attention to what was actually happening during the cast, what I was missing was two simple things I got from online videos..... the first was articulated by Simon Gawesworthy(?) who said you must make a set of "rail road tracks" with the line before you start your low to high sweep, think of a long letter U lying on its side with the bottom of the U facing the target...the second came from Goran Anderson paraphrasing him , " they don't call it a two hander for nothin", use you bottom hand to put real power into the cast. If your casting has been predominantly with a single handed rod, its hard to get in the habit of using the bottom hand. For me, REALLY PAYING ATTENTION to these to things and making myself do them each cast made a world of difference and an equally important result of REALLY PAYING ATTENTION is that you calm down, relax and slow down as previous responders have correctly advised.
 
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