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Hello,

I am new to Spey casting, though I have been fly casting for about 7 years.

With practice my Spey casting is improving with my right hand (my dominate hand) on top of the grip. I can manage fishable casts using singles, doubles, and snaps right handed. With my left hand I am not fairing so well. The movements feel so odd; clumsy and exaggerated.

Can anyone offer any suggestions for getting your off hand to work well?

Thank you for your thoughts!

River Rat
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Practice, Practice, Practice
 

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River Rat,
I am highly left hand challenged so as many do, cast with right hand up but over left shoulder - I started a post down in Technique on reverse snake roll that has some good information and a link to a very good video clip of a reverse cast - since I have been practicing this, my reverse casts - snake, reverse snap t and even reverse single have gotten much better though I still need to work on them


Best regards,
Rick J
 

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Practice + Time

River Rat

Keep throwing in the left hand practice and with time it will begin to come together. Don't just learn to reverse, though that is important too!!!

I find that as my dominant hand gets better, it is also easier to do better with the nondominant hand up. Not good yet, but improving.
 

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do better

I am right handed but cast better with the left hand up. this primarily becaue it is easier for me to put power in with the bottom hand when it is the right hand doing it.
 

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Coednakedspey
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Maybe it just wasn't meant to be?

You may want to try cross hand/body casting to see if maybe you like it more than off hand/body casting. I found this to be so for myself. I can now cross hand/body cast as good or better than my onhand/body casts.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I have really started to focus on the off hand recently and it's really come together for me, finally. I know what you mean about the awkward feeling when first starting, but I can't tell you how glad I am that I made the effort and reached proficiency from the left side for single speys, snake rolls, snap-t's, even reverse over the right shoulder, which I am sure I'll never use in real life. :p

It's really not all that hard and it becomes second nature real quickly if you think of the d-loop and casting stroke evenly on both sides. It's the old saying 1+1=3...

There are things that left-up casting teaches you about spey casting that can not or at least will not be learned with just the right hand up.

For instance, forming the d-loop. With a two-hander the forward stroke isn't all that hard - just push and pull in a straight vector. But nothing will go right off the left shoulder unless the d-loop is formed properly. This led me to really concentrate on the d-loop, which when I came back to right sided casting was greatly improved from the mirror image practice. It dramatically improved my casting overall to learn left-handed casting.

I love the backhand reverse casts, and they throw a nice tight loop but it's so pleasant and personally satisfying to throw lefty well enough to fish a good sized river from the left bank with an upriver wind and not skip a beat.

I won't go off on a long-winded post here but if you take the time to practice and learn to cast from the left side, my guess is that you will be greatly rewarded with a sense of accomplishment in spey casting and gain the ability to fish more comfortably in all conditions.

Just my .02
 

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Anchor placement with reverse single

I generally struggle with the reverse single spey. I find it MUCH harder to get the correct placement of the touchdown or anchor. With a conventional 'forehand' cast the initial pulling movement seems almost to point naturally to the right position. With a 'backhand' or reverse cast you are pushing the rod to make the initial movement, as with a double spey. The difference is that with the DS the fly obviously stays downstream of you, whereas the reverse cast requires you to throw it across in front of your body. I find the anchor placement much harder to get right with this throwing movement - especially if there is wind involved.

Maybe it's just me, and if I persevered I'd get into the right groove with this 'push' placement. Do others have this problem, and if so can they suggest a solution?

On a sparate point,
juro said:
it's so pleasant and personally satisfying to throw lefty well enough to fish a good sized river from the left bank with an upriver wind and not skip a beat.
Juro, shouldn't this be RIGHT bank, assuming (since you specify an upstream wind) that you're using the single spey?
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Gardener - good catch! :p

Only the reverse snake roll applies to left bank, but that would be a downriver or preferably NO wind. With both sides workin' I really haven't had to pay attention to which bank, which is a nice feeling.

As far as the analogy you present for reverse "pushing" like a double spey you've hit it right on the head, that's an excellent description. Yes I have felt that when reverse single spey casting... a few things I've noticed with respect to reverse casting:

- By slowing the lift with a gentle acceleration the line is so light that a subtle move throws enough energy into the loop to load it for the powerful reverse stroke

- The profile of the d-loop does not need to be as fully extended back to make a powerful cast on the reverse side, provided the loop is energized and suspended in air with a light anchor.

- The reverse stroke seems to generate a very tight loop and highly energized line with a little practice. It's probably due to the way the arms can drive the rod in a highly concentrated "lane". It's like throwing a frisbee, reaching across verses fore-hand fling.

- It's easier with shorter spey lines (45-55ft), mid-length spey lines (60-85) than it does with extended (100+) that's for sure!

- Snap-t or c defeats that sense of pushing easily even with grainy sink tips

- As Kush proves, the reverse snake roll is a monster cast when perfected

- When you want to make a very sharp 90 degree or more cut then the reverse snap-C is a very easy cast to do that with on the right bank with a strong upriver wind. I find the single spey harder to control from flying away in a strong gust, and not as easy to do a 90 degree change for distance

Like you I'd rather single spey left-up anyday but I practice the reverse, even the left-hand reverse, because it's enjoyable and it has some real usefulness at times.

.02
 
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