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Try a 7.5-10' poly leader around 50-65 grains and 6 to 9 feet of leader or tippet material on the end of it, things should get significantly easier.
 

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18 foot spey rod DV8
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Thank you for your response. Underhand casting seems to be the best course of action moving forward. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this subject but how do you cast heavier flies/sink tips underhand casting? I am trying to understand this aspect of the style. Thank you in advance!
I have some Z Spey rods that I have on hand when I ‘m guiding or coaching spey casting. Older sports or disabled anglers find under hand casting with Scandi lines much easier and less taxing on their shoulders, arms and backs while using these rods. These rods are specifically designed for under hand casting and their curved lower handle is designed to keep the lower hand in the proper position at waist level.
I would also recommend one of these rods for any angler who likes this easy casting and shooting under hand style with Scandi floating and CD sinking heads.

I prefer my sports casting, fishing, and wading stealthily so as not to alarm resting steelies or salmon. I like this under hand style of casting because it involves minimal aerial movement of the rod and line during casting. UHand casting eliminates the need for a CIrcle C or Snap T line placement and the resulting commotion of line flash & splash on the water. UH Scandi is similar to tradition spey casting with its minimal casting motion which does not spook resting fish laying in quiet runs, glide pools and tail outs.
Regards from the Restigouche....Jim
379894
 

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I don’t know if someone already here said this, but I have seen that 5 of ten casters have ”problems” with the grip, or better said they do squeeze the rod too hard, especially with upper hand. This causes many problems with the elbow and shoulder area.

When I teach casting, the first thing is to find a proper grip for the caster.
There is kind of two different types, another keeps the thumble on the top of the handle and other let the rod lay down on the hand. I dont know which one you are..
If you keep the thumb on the top of the handle, at the same time you kind of ”lock” your arm from the wrist to shoulder. For many this is not a good option. If you learn to have a light touch/ grip and just let the rod lay on your hands, it just don´t strain your arm that much.

Other casters are used to keep the thumb on the top without any problems, so in this there is no right or wrong way, just have to find out which one is better for you.

Experienced caster can vary the grip depending which kind of rod or line or casting style he is using, or is he/she trying to cast as far as possible.

Especially with Scandi casting and with the fishing it is important to have a light grip. When Im fishing (casting), I just let the rod and reel live their own life. In other words, I dot squeeze at all or just a little, and rod can rotate how ever it wants during the cast.

Im not sure if this has anything to do with your problem or ease it, but it can be worth of trying. I know guys who have had same kind of problems and they have found easier way when they have changed the grip and learn to do it as ease as possible..
Also, what I have noticed, it is not always best to use lightest set up. When it is windy and the conditions are bad, the light set up makes it even harder for your arm cause you have to fight against the conditions with too light set up. With the bit stronger rod it can be very easy. Now a days longer and stronger rods are so light that if you have a proper style of casting it is very easy and enjoyable even with the stronger set up.

Hope you understand what Im trying to say here. My english in not a perfect..

Cheers
 

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Pvillarr
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Thank you for your feedback. I don't seem to grip the rod that hard but I will keep it in mind.
I don’t know if someone already here said this, but I have seen that 5 of ten casters have ”problems” with the grip, or better said they do squeeze the rod too hard, especially with upper hand. This causes many problems with the elbow and shoulder area.

When I teach casting, the first thing is to find a proper grip for the caster.
There is kind of two different types, another keeps the thumble on the top of the handle and other let the rod lay down on the hand. I dont know which one you are..
If you keep the thumb on the top of the handle, at the same time you kind of ”lock” your arm from the wrist to shoulder. For many this is not a good option. If you learn to have a light touch/ grip and just let the rod lay on your hands, it just don´t strain your arm that much.

Other casters are used to keep the thumb on the top without any problems, so in this there is no right or wrong way, just have to find out which one is better for you.

Experienced caster can vary the grip depending which kind of rod or line or casting style he is using, or is he/she trying to cast as far as possible.

Especially with Scandi casting and with the fishing it is important to have a light grip. When Im fishing (casting), I just let the rod and reel live their own life. In other words, I dot squeeze at all or just a little, and rod can rotate how ever it wants during the cast.

Im not sure if this has anything to do with your problem or ease it, but it can be worth of trying. I know guys who have had same kind of problems and they have found easier way when they have changed the grip and learn to do it as ease as possible..
Also, what I have noticed, it is not always best to use lightest set up. When it is windy and the conditions are bad, the light set up makes it even harder for your arm cause you have to fight against the conditions with too light set up. With the bit stronger rod it can be very easy. Now a days longer and stronger rods are so light that if you have a proper style of casting it is very easy and enjoyable even with the stronger set up.

Hope you understand what Im trying to say here. My english in not a perfect..

Cheers
 

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how do you cast heavier flies/sink tips underhand casting?
Actually, the underhand casting approach comes with a different equipment and this includes the flies. You don't need heavy flies. The underhand technique to fish deep is to use sinking lines. Those lines come in a wide variety of lengths and densities but they sink and they sink even deeper because they are much thinner than skagit tips. So you can fish a 5 inch tube fly very deep on a very light setup and the fly can be as light as a Sunray Shadow. The fish doesn't care about the weight of your fly. As long as it is the right color/size/speed it will be fine.

In Norway, they know well about fishing big and deep and they mostly do this with light (but dense) sinking scandi lines.

JG
 

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Actually, the underhand casting approach comes with a different equipment and this includes the flies. You don't need heavy flies. The underhand technique to fish deep is to use sinking lines. Those lines come in a wide variety of lengths and densities but they sink and they sink even deeper because they are much thinner than skagit tips. So you can fish a 5 inch tube fly very deep on a very light setup and the fly can be as light as a Sunray Shadow. The fish doesn't care about the weight of your fly. As long as it is the right color/size/speed it will be fine.

In Norway, they know well about fishing big and deep and they mostly do this with light sinking scandi lines.

JG
It also comes with the necessity of becoming ambidextrous, which is fun, very useful and body friendly.
 

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Oops sorry, I just realized this is an old thread I found while searching info about underhand casting! :ROFLMAO:
 

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I have similar issues with tennis elbow as well as shoulder issues that are aggravated by two handed casting. Couple things I know to be true for me that cause problems, trying to push too hard with extended shoulder movement in top hand which causes extra fatigue. I really notice this when fishing my 14’4 rod when I’m really trying to boom it. Larger movement and acceleration can cause these issues.

Secondly, i fish heads, mostly Skagit where stripping line is the norm. I usually strip between 12-15 pulls, and each strip I pinch the running line with my fingers to the cork, release, pull, pinch. You literally do this several hundred times in a day of fishing, close to a thousand I’m sure if fishing long runs. The pinching is a major contributor to tension on the tendon, especially with the middle and ring fingers.

Solutions: keep my top hand close to the shoulder, never above, make the stroke compact, and don’t worry about distance. The rod will deliver the cast with very little effort on your part if you let it.

Try overhand stripping (hand over hand) or using your off hand to reduce the gripping fatigue that causes the elbow tendon issues.

Lastly, shoulders are fairly week and fragile and when your body tells you ”ouch” stop. I fished through and ended up doing damage to the muscle/tendon where reaching back or lifting any weight was a no go.

Hope this helps. Missing time on the river is a terrible thing.

DH
 

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I am living proof it is possible to learn to cast with both hands. I committed to wanting to learn single spey and circles with both hands and worked at it over the past 6 months. I am still not a great caster or skilled in any way, but I can now cast as far as I need to with either hand. As noted above, it can be done if you really want to.
I also recall feeling really beat up some time ago casting a heavier rod and line. Now I think I beat myself up with wrong and excessive motions. I am discovering I cast much farther with less effort if I use less arm motion, especially upper arm.

I am the least qualified to give any advice in spey, but I can only encourage you to try both hands because I know from personal experience it can be done.
 

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Outerhebrides
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Hi everyone, so I have been spey casting for about 4 years now. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed with tendinitis last October in my dominant arm. I am not ambidextrous at all so casting with my opposite arm is not an option. I went to physical therapy for a few months and I have made some progress. However, I do get pain in my dominant elbow from time to time. I loved fishing with my Echo Glass Spey rod but I have noticed that the extra weight and slower action seems to stress my elbow more. I have discovered that if I use the lightest setup possible (Rio Scandi Body and not a full skagit) with the lightest sink tips (not necessarily IPS) that I can get away with, then I can keep the pain away. Has anyone else experienced this? Any advice? Thanks in advance.
Whoa. Lots of good advice here. I will not wade into the casting stuff, shooting head advice, or rod advice, as there is already enough of that here. However, I unfortunately know a LOT about elbow tendonitis, so I will add few things.

First, tendonitis is a lot easier to acquire than to be rid of. My sports med doc points out that tendons have very, very little blood supply. They heal slowly. He likens it to trying to pour the foundations for an office building bringing the concrete in wheelbarrows. Takes a long time. You cannot speed up the blood supply. A cocktail of cortisone and zylocaine will nail the symptoms, and IF the flareup is minor, that may be the end of it. However, if you really mess up your elbow, the cortisone will just mask the pain and make it possible to keep injuring the joint and make everything worse. Most hand and elbow docs are more hesitant to use cortisone for elbows than they used to be. All that to say that patience is probably the most important tool in your arsenal.
Rehab works, but it has to be careful, or you will just keep re-injuring the joint. The best tool for rehab is the theraband flexbar. Amazing gadget. You can strengthen both the inside and outside of your elbows with it. Together with stretching, that is really all you need. That and time. There are many youtube vids of how to use the flexbar.
Anyhow, for me, the key is maintenance of strength and flexibility. I do exercises with the flexbar a few times every week, and it keeps me out of trouble. Not everyone has to do this, but my elbows are very banged up from a life of working with my hands and various athletic excesses of my youth. Once you get healed up, do the exercises and you will stay OK.
One word on casting. If there is no wind that cramps my style, I try not to just do the same cast all day. With what we have learned about repetitive strains injuries in the workplace, we know that doing the same motion for long periods of time is dangerous. I will alternate several casts to avoid the same stress on the elbow all day. That also forces me to work on my casts that are not my favorites, which is good for me!
Oh, and taking 25 feet off your cast won't hurt. Casting a long way is a lovely skill, and it is very satisfying, but when you are hurt or have demonstrated a physical weakness, just backing off is a good idea. No matter what everyone says on here, it takes a certain amount of energy to land the fly a certain number of feet from you. Physics..... Even if every bit of your energy is perfectly utilized in your cast (I do not know this person, but they must be out there somewhere), it takes less energy to throw a shorter cast. Of course improved tackle and improved form can make it easier and easier to throw a certain distance, but on any given day it takes less out of you to throw 70 feet than it does to throw 100. Better to be able to continue to fish and not wreck your elbow than to reach that farthest lie, not matter how much fun it is.
Be patient and work on strengthening. Good luck!
 

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To be clear, is the tendinitis in the forearm? Similar to tennis elbow?

Cortisone shots are not a good idea. Avoid.

Rest is good. Careful exercise is good. Am not convinced that physiotherapy really helps that much but with the right therapist it can be very pleasant. Arm braces can help.

Do you run? Running would be great because it helps circulate blood through the arm. Gentle swimming can help too. Cross country skiing can be helpful as long as one actually learns how to use the poles properly.

There is one exercise I do with a small 10 lb. dumbbell that I find helpful in preventing tendinitis from returning to my left arm. (This particular injury was unrelated to fishing.)

Hold the 10 lb. dumbbell vertically by the finger tips from both hands and slowly lift the dumbbell up and down behind your back while keeping the elbows in close to your head. At the upper end of this motion, stretch the finger tips and arms as far as you can.

If only 80% recovered, it may still be too early for this exercise. Try it; if it hurts, stop.

I believe this exercise is called an overhead triceps extension. Not sure and don't care as weight lifting does not appeal though I probably should do a bit more as I get older.


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There is lots of good advice on casting above. Underhand Scandi-style casting will definitely reduce stress on the dominant forearm. Learn to cast with a relaxed, loose grip while keeping arms in tight and close.

- stick to light graphite

- favour a medium-fast action rod that will cast from the tip, the mid-section and the butt

- eliminate hero casting from the repertoire. I know you want to impress yourself and your peers. Don't.

Short casts will catch lots of steelhead unless armies of anglers have pushed them out into deeper water. Even on open-access industrial hatchery systems it is usually possible to find stretches of river with much less pressure as well as brighter less harassed fish. The catch rate may suffer but think of the trade off between quantity and quality as well as health.

If fishing heavier tips, stick to a Skagit head, possibly a lighter one matched to a shorter sink tip if the arm is still sore.

Take lots of breaks and hike up and down the river. Sitting and doing nothing might help but hiking while swinging the arms will do much more.

Good luck.

I have been coping with white fingers (a vasopastic disorder from swinging chain saws), 'trigger finger', tennis elbow, Raynauld's syndrome and the odd bout of bursitis for almost fifty years now. Not fun. But then I got to work in the bush and do a whole mess of fly fishing that most will never experience.

You should see some of the globetrotting American fly anglers I have met over the years. They have experienced soft tissue injuries that were much worse! Thankfully 2-hand rods when used properly exert far less stress than the single handers of yesteryear.
 
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