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Pupil of the river.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fish mostly scandi and skagit heads. When I shoot line, I usually drop the loops I have in my top hand. When shooting for medium distance, 75 to 90 feet, it seems like the back of the head shoots faster than the front of the line, resulting in a big loop or a SLAM against the reel. If I'm shooting beyond 90 feet it just goes and runs out of steam.

My question to you is this... Do you usually drop the shooting line loops from your hand as soon as you stop the forward cast? Do you delay? Do you try to slow the line just a little, by using an "O" formed between your thumb and first finger?
 

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I think I release as soon as I see the loop forming over the tip of the rod. It helps to come close to barking the reel as this helps stop twisting of your running line. Not great to continually be casting shorter than the line you are holding
 

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I have always dropped my loops of running line just before I start the forward stroke of my cast. The running line hits the water momentarily and I think the drag from the line being pulled off the surface shortens my cast a little but also straightens everything out and since I prefer a good cast over a long cast it's the method I have stuck with for over a decade.
 

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I think I'm with Rick J, but now you've made me think about it :razz:

How does a centipede learn to walk?
Haha. So true since I've never taken the time to think abou it either. Upon reflection, I let got of both fingers holding the running line the very moment the I snap stop the rod during the forward cast pivoting around my top hand.
 

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Just me.

When the shooting head goes by my head I release the shooting line. Most 'mass' in the air with the most grain weight moving forward. That aside, the 'error' I see in a lot of new casters is they drop their rod tips far too soon. This unloads the road; not a good thing! Aim for over the top of the tallest tree you can see and rod tip does not go below that point until the line is on the water.
 

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Pupil of the river.
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409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That aside, the 'error' I see in a lot of new casters is they drop their rod tips far too soon. This unloads the road; not a good thing!
So true Fred. We've all heard the aim for the trees advice, but we never hear the, aim for the trees... wait for it...
 

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Pupil of the river.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Stop Drop and Roll

Ok, so far most of you drop the loop immediately (some of you sooner, which I didn't think was possible). Anyone holding a loop between the thumb and first finger?
 

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I often do shoot line through "O" formed between thumb and fore finger of left hand with single hand overhead casting after the second pull of the double haul - but can't really do that with 2-handers
 
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I have always dropped my loops of running line just before I start the forward stroke of my cast. The running line hits the water momentarily and I think the drag from the line being pulled off the surface shortens my cast a little but also straightens everything out and since I prefer a good cast over a long cast it's the method I have stuck with for over a decade.
Are you sure you didn't mean the stop of your forward cast? That would make perfect sense and is close to what I do. Dropping the loop before you begin that forward cast means most of the forward cast would simply soak up the slack you just created. Please clarify that for us.

I also agree with Rick J in that forming that "O" with your thumb and forefinger is just about impossible without taking the bottom hand off the rear grip. If someone knows how that can be done effectively I'm sure a lot of us would like to know how it's done.
 

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JD
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I'm not sure I can adequately describe how I do what I do, so bear with me on this. I've been trough all kinds of sxit from coils, vs. loops, to running line jamming up trying to go through too many too small guides, you name it, it has most likely happened to me.

Somewhere, either in these hallowed pages or maybe on you tube, is a discussion on holding coils vs. loops. After watching the video on that, I converted to loops. Eventually, I adopted George Cook's KISS system for holding loops. Originally each loop was equal. As time went on I began to hold the first loop coming off the water as the longer of the two. The theory being, greater line speed at the beginning of the cast is more able to pull the longer loop off the water, and as the cast nears its end and is slowing down, it only needs to pull the shorter loop off the water. Preferably, still having enough energy to come tight to the reel. I hold these loops over my lower hand pinky. But I grip the line with both top and bottom hand. Top hand middle & ring finger, (I think) line draped tight over the reel to bottom hand which is gripping between index finger & rod butt. When do I let go? Beats the hell outa me. Maybe a few milliseconds after I feel a good load on the rod????

Hard stop, high, shoot for the tree tops, not my style. When the line drops to the water, the heaviest part, the back of the head, will come down first, forming a drag producing loop that must be delt with. By aiming the cast lower, (think line drive rather than fly ball) that problem is minimized. Wherever the stop, to increase shooting efficiency and minimize the shock effect when everything comes tight to the reel & snaps back, there must be a follow through.

A tight loop develops the line speed needed to throw line drive casts. And, contrary to popular belief, slow action rods are capable of throwing tight loops. Like everything else, the application of power, the stop, the release, it's all in the timing. I don't know how to break that down into milliseconds. Time on the water, practice, practice, practice.
 

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Pupil of the river.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wherever the stop, to increase shooting efficiency and minimize the shock effect when everything comes tight to the reel & snaps back, there must be a follow through.
What do you mean by "follow through" JD?
 
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JD,

I agree with almost all of what you said. Interestingly, it was using a strong THOH rod to throw 500+gr lines overhead when surf casting for stripers on Cape Cod that I discovered the necessity of holding the running line with both hands. I think THOH casting must create quite a bit more power than most speycasting as the running line literally wanted to rip out of my hold. I now do it the same way when speycasting. I don't always do it when fishing a light switch rod, however, as it doesn't seem as necessary.

I think when one is told to aim for the trees I think they don't necessarily mean the treetops. It's just a mental approach to stopping your rod fairly high because when our casting goes down the tubes it's often because our forward cast ended with our rod tip just above the water. It's nearly impossible to form a decent forward loop if you go that far. I agree that it's entirely possible to stop the rod too high, but I think most of us have a problem of not stopping it high enough so the mental picture of shooting for the trees can help.
 

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JD
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Follow through

If you make a hard stop at say 10:00, and hold the rod at that position, there is no follow through. If, after making the hard stop, you then continue on to a position such that the line is shooting straight through the tip top, that is follow through. When the cast runs out of energy and starts to fall, follow with the rod tip. That is also follow through. Failing to follow through, when the rod rebounds, it will have an adverse effect on the cast, resulting in a a lot of slack & lost distance.

While achieving maximum distance does indeed require more elevation in the flight, there are often times when the required distance is obtainable with much less elevation. Two things to consider here. 1. A straight line being the shortest distance between two points, the flatter the path between point A & point B results in less energy needed to get there. 2. When it all starts to fall to the water, the flatter path results in less time between when the heavy back end contacts the water & the fly hits the water.

Admittedly, this may be nit picking. But to my way of thinking (in my former life, I was an engineer, so all this makes sense to me) the ideal cast achieves the required distance, comes tight to the reel, kicking over the fly at minimum distance over the water. In some situations, slack is good. But it is not what I am after.
 

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Scandit sublima virtus
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I point my bottom hand fingers forward and straight, the flying head takes them off smoothly, and the longest loop lying on the water gives some friction to straighten the head as it turns over and peters out.

That is, when the planets are lined up correctly.;)
 

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JR Spey,
Yes, I actually do drop my loop before, or just as I start, the forward stroke of my cast. For instance on a double spey this is the sequence when I cast, holding a loop of running line in my bottom hand and also holding the running line against the cork with the index finger on my upper hand. I lift, set my anchor and pause, then start my sweep and come to a stop while my D loop forms behind me and the rod loads. This is when I drop my loops of running line, letting them fall onto the surface of the water in the moment or so that it takes for the rod to load. Then I continue my forward stroke, letting the running line get pulled off the surface of the water instead of letting the cast pull the running line off my fingers. Maybe not the most efficient method, but it has always given me nice strait casts with only the occasional small tangle in my running line.
 

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I'm the troll in the bunch... My line stays piled in the water. Running line is pinched between handle and index finger of top hand on rod. Index fiinger released near end of forward stroke and line goes out.
 

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Spey Is The Way
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There is a real good article or video or both, I can't remember which, on the Deneki Outdoors web site. This guy makes loops not coils and uses his top hand. I stopped using my bottom hand years ago. I find the top much easier, even with coils.
 
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