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Member FRSCA
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was out fishing this evening and started thinking about the short videos Dana had up here about a year or so ago showing the "underhand" casts. I decided to try the forward stroke of a double spey with the angle of the rod a bit closer to the water on the down stream side (follow me?). Say at about 55-60 degrees as opposed to the 80-90 degrees I usually do the forward stroke at.

I was amazed, the loop went booming out super tight, and took about 15ft more line with it than I can usually muster it to shoot, coolest part was that at mid swing a 6-7lb dime bright male hammered my fly. Released him and made a few more casts the same way, same result(minus the fish).

As I have said before, I am a bit green when it comes to spey casting. Have I been doing this wrong the whole time?
 

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Member FRSCA
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, instead of the swooping rise on the back stroke, more level with the water surface, and almost the same line going forward.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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OK, that's what I thought. What's likely happening is the sidearm move is placing a little more anchor on the water for you, also you are probably getting a little better D loop formation by moving the rod tip straight backwards. Sometimes when a caster raises the rod up, if their timing or D loop formation is off in any way the rod will not load up properly making it tougher to cast.

I am just putting the finishing touches on my latest speypages newsletter article "Tight Loops 2" and I talk about this sort of thing and have some video links there as illustrations too for anyone who might be interested.

speypages subscriptions
 

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Member FRSCA
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess I should also add that I am doing alright with casting with the rod high on the front stroke, fairly tight loops and shooting some line, and progressing. I am using a 13ft8wt with a short head line(47ft610grains), and casting/shooting 70+ft. I almost wondered if I should have been anchoring closer to me, and the lowering of the tip put the point I was casting from closer to the anchor making things work more effecient, does that make any sense?

I was just shocked at how much difference the slight move made.
 

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Member FRSCA
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been eyeballing my anchor by the splice between the floating body and the sink tip, putting that spot a tad downstream from me, with the leader that would put the anchor at about 21-23ft downstream from me, obviously to far.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Would a longer bodied line help me with more anchor?
Interesting question. Possibly...but I would suggest working on your timing with the setup you have rather than trying out a bunch of lines. For every spey cast and every spey casting technique and every spey casting skill level there is the optimum timing that will give you the right amount of anchor no matter the belly length.

The fact that you are using a sinktip changes things a little too--experiment with waiting a touch longer before coming forward on your forward stroke. If that causes too much anchor, then trying speeding up the forward stroke and see what happens.

And yup, your anchor is too far downstream and killing your D loop and the efficiency of your foward stroke.
 

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loco alto!
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Jamey - the old vids are still here to refresh your memory if needed. If you are a subscriber, look under "The Underhand Cast" in video section. 5 vids are hidden in one title. By my eyes, the back loop is more angled (far more) than the forward loop in all cases.
 

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Registered
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I've noticed on the double spey and snap t, especially with shorter lines, that the sweep into the D loop will throw the line too far downstream unless you are careful on when and how you accelerate. Rather than a large continual oval sweeping motion it seems that more straight line motions - that is the inital sweep is more outward into the river and the sweep back in line with the direction you want the cast to go - kind of a v shaped sweep (I know I have seen instructors including Simon stress this) This keeps the line much closer to the body and not so far downstream
 

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Member FRSCA
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, I wasn't exactly going for the "underhand" cast like Dana shows, just more to see what it would do. The forward loop was literally like a 2ft tall laser beam. I stood there shocked, kind of like "did I do that?". Popping a fish on that cast really made me feel as though I had accomplished something. Being able to do it repeatidly really felt good.

Guess I'll just chalk it up as a progressive step in the long road of spey casting.

Thanks all, very much.

Jamey
 

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Member FRSCA
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
loco_alto said:
Jamey - the old vids are still here to refresh your memory if needed. If you are a subscriber, look under "The Underhand Cast" in video section. 5 vids are hidden in one title. By my eyes, the back loop is more angled (far more) than the forward loop in all cases.

I meant to line the rod was traveling on on the forward stroke was the same as on the back stroke. Not the angle of the loop. I know it didn't sound that way when I typed it the first time.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Hi Jamey -

Although it's tough to really tell by verbal description, it sounds like you are doing two things in your recent experimentation that adds power to your forward cast:

- generating a vee loop
- staying within a straight path

If the rod stays lower (closer to the backcast path) during the forward cast, then one of two things will happen:

a) the anchor will be excessive and the cast will fail because the rod was stopped to low without sufficient energy -or-
b) the caster will put more hutspa (sp?) in it to keep the loop from falling even with a lower stop point.

If the energy is sufficient to keep the backcast from falling at the lower angle stopping position while making the d-loop, then usually a vee-loop will result. A vee-loop yields more power into the succeeding forward cast, especially with switch casts.

In addition, if the rod travels forward right back down the same path it came back through then the chances are that the alignment of things is better and you get more efficient transfer of energy into the forward cast. I interpreted what you said as you stopped the rod hard at a lower point then powered right back down that 'alley'.

The opposite of this is over-rotation of the rod tip such that it travels around too far behind the caster, pushing energy sideways behind the caster and robbing the energy transfer. In the latter case, the rod must overcome the sideways force before launching the line forward. In the same path example (former) there is much more direct transfer.

However, a drift and rise in line with the d-loop's angle of aim is another way to add significant power to your forward cast. There is no right or wrong as long as it works well, but I would recommend that it's more practical to cut a forward cast path that is inside of the path of the backcast as indicated by the anchor for everyday fishing.

The "rise and drift" gives time for a big belly to form and the anchor to touchdown while simultaneously extending the length of the path of the forward cast, which is one of the two key factors in increasing distance. The trick is to keep it from over-rotating and robbing your power.

But one can not rise and dip, or the tension comes out of the d-loop and 'game over'. We can either "stay put" as you have described or rise and drift, where rising and drifting contributes to distance by extending the path of acceleration.

If we do the math, a vertical d-loop has to fit approximately 1.4 times more line in the same vertical space as one that is canted 45 degrees to the outside (from tip to anchor). So if the d-loop is vertical instead of tilted, long belly lines will have a hard time being stuffed into that space especially during change of direction casts. Having a tilted d-loop is a good thing, thus cutting the path on the forward cast to the inside of the path of the backcast is also a good thing as long as everything is kept tight and in-line.

Of course there is no set rule, for instance Scandinavian heads will warrant casting methods that a full DT could not, and vice-versa.

However, you rasied a great point for discussion!
 
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