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Discussion Starter #1
Guys,

One of Simon Gawesworth’s three rules of efficient Spey casting is that the D loop or back cast, should be 180 degrees to the direction of the forward cast. And I have found that to be true in practice.

Well I have been studying Henrick Mortensen’s DVD on The Perfect Cast to understand the nature of the Underhand cast and how it compares to the more traditional Spey cast, and it seems to me that in essence he is saying that this ‘rule’ doesn’t apply to the Underhand cast.

Indeed I recall a recent post of mine on this site where one of the members (can’t find the post right now; was it Oscar or Steven Mear) corrected me by saying that the rear cast is upstream rather than behind one, and it is only now that I see the real significance of what they are saying.

HM seems to be saying in one clip of the DVD, that so long as the leader is put down above the intended direction of the forward cast (and presumably the body is then turned to line up the arms etc) it is possible to cross the line (and break the rule!).

Is that one of the great advantages of the Underhand cast and is that why one can cast so effectively from the bank or in an overgrown river (or at least so I have heard)?

Regards

Don
 

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Hibernicus said:
Guys,


Indeed I recall a recent post of mine on this site where one of the members (can’t find the post right now; was it Oscar or Steven Mear) corrected me by saying that the rear cast is upstream rather than behind one, and it is only now that I see the real significance of what they are saying.

HM seems to be saying in one clip of the DVD, that so long as the leader is put down above the intended direction of the forward cast (and presumably the body is then turned to line up the arms etc) it is possible to cross the line (and break the rule!).

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I don't think that your interpretation is correct. While Henrik does stress the point of having the leader land 'behind' him, meaning upstream of him, the other principles still apply. Have the loop form 180 degrees from the target. Way Yin in his demonstration at the San Francisco gathering gave the most succinct pointers for backcast and anchor: (a) place anchor opposite your shoulder and (b) the forward cast, although tilted, is delivered inside the anchor. Otherwise leader and line cross their paths. In addition, I have just begun to grasp the important fact which hardly anyone seems to mention that the leader should land straight on the water (Simon devotes a good explanation of this principle in his book).

If you watch Henrik again very carefully I think that you can see that his leader does come back straight. He also uses quite a bit of body turning for all of his change of direction casts which means that he places the anchor opposite the intended direction. Several of the underhand casters, G. Anderson, Henrik Mortensen and the Syrstad brothers, stress the importance of stretching out the leader and coming down with a straight leader on the forward cast. I think that comes from all of them having fished quite a bit for Atlantic salmon.

This is one of my weak spots.

Anyhow, I'd be most interested in others' words of wisdom.

Tom.
 

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Hi, it was possibly my comment that you are thinking of, where I had said that HM said "behind" in the DVD when what he meant (and demonstrated) was a placement of the anchor upstream. The leader should be laid in the direction of the forward cast. I was looking at this yesterday where with a downstream wind I was playing around with this cast that involves making a "cut under" diagonally such that the line comes flicking up upstream and outward of the caster. Bit like a downstream version of a Snap T. The leader lands facing upstream and one must wait before drawing the line around into a Roll Cast - obviously wait less time where the current is faster! To cast over the leader in this situation would probably have unpleasant consequences.

Regards

Steven
 

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chrome-magnon man
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Chip Cast

Al Buhr has an interesting take on casting over the leader. He has a cast he calls the Chip Cast (a variation of the single spey) where the leader and some of the line are actually downstream of your position. This seems impossible but he does it by adjusting the loop plane on the forward cast. Rather than cast a loop with a vertical orientation, he casts more sidearm to cause the loop to travel horizontally so that the fly and leader slide underneath the outgoing loop. It is a great cast to use with shooting heads and the underhand style of casting.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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another good trick is to make a downstream reach mend as the cast rolls out if it looks like the line will tangle--this pulls the belly out of the way of the rolling loop.

of course a better trick is to place your anchor properly in the first place... :D
 

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Dana said:
another good trick is to make a downstream reach mend as the cast rolls out if it looks like the line will tangle--this pulls the belly out of the way of the rolling loop.
Hey, that's a good trick I already know! I'm starting to impress myself!

Dana said:
of course a better trick is to place your anchor properly in the first place... :D
OK, I'm not so impressed with myself.

--Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Guys

The point is that when the leader (and the fly) land or are placed behind a line parallel with the shoulder, one does not cross the leader to cast forward at an angle! (and thereby the back cast is upstream rather than behind the angler ... which could otherwise bring the line in contact with the bushes etc even with a short-head). In essence I think the body is twisted into the direction of the forward cast after the leader has been placed?

Placing the leader in such a position is possible because of the short head and the weight of the polyleader.

The fact that the leader should land in a straight line is not disputed but I would dispute the need for the leader to land in a line twords the intended direction of the forward cast simply because one is not "casting across the leader" (with the underhand cast that is).

Regards

Don
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I can think of three factors that are instrumental in the degree of cross-over without collision, although I am assuming from a desk chair - not confirming on the water at this point.

1) head length, or more specifically the concentration of grains over the length of the head has a lot to do with the amount of tracking deviation a cast can tolerate. Try a cross-over cast with a 100ft long bely for instance.

2) the direction of the momentum of the d-loop is another. If the anchor is pointing downstream, most likely the d-loop is pointing upstream, thus the energy is also. Coming back at a perrpendicular to this in order to reach across stream saps the energy out of the conflict of forces that loads the rod, hence Simon's 180 degree rule.

3) shock of anchor pull from water. If the line is eased off the water it will be less likely to jump up and across, or hook you in the crotch. In other words it will obey your intent more effectively, especially if you use Dana's or Al's tricks, or swivel youy body as Henrik does in the video. Henrik clearly 'eases' the crossed anchor from the water in his video.

1 & 2 are much more operative IMHO than 3, and they are all intertwined, that is to say the concentration of grains and angular momentum to overcome are related. The longer the line with momentum pointing upstream, the harder it will be to pull it "around the corner".

In general, I think it's cool that scandi / skagit lines can turn corners in this manner - but strictly believe that defying the 180 degree rule is something that a caster does consciously after first becoming fluid with alignment of energy in the d-loop and forward cast, or as a specialty topic like this thread here.

It's goes hand-in-hand with underhand casting to concentrate the grains in a shorter line, extend and incorporate the function of the leader in the anchor for a light footprint so it's not surprising that this topic comes up in this context. Although there is some value in understanding these physics it's a technique you'd probably be best to avoid with anything but short belly lines IMHO, or better yet avoided completely... but that's just my opinion.

Interesting discussion and valuable physics to understand though just the same
 

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juro said:
3) shock of anchor pull from water. If the line is eased off the water it will be less likely to jump up and across, or hook you in the crotch.
I don't recall seeing this point articulated before, but its one that seems to plague me on a particular rod (fast action) when using long bellies, fast sinking tips and heavy flies. There is an apparent shock from the anchor pull, sometimes causing a collision on the forward cast, even though the cast is delivered on the "correct" side of the anchor. Its as if the line is jumping across the plane, perhaps because I'm not at 180 degree, or perhaps because of anchor orientation. I haven't been able to peg it, except to be more judicious in application of power, which is hard for me with the fast rod, long belly, and heavy junk on the business end.

Thank god its summer now, so being lazy, I won't have to deal with that issue for another 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Steve,

Can you describe the "shock" in more detail and how the loop behaves thereafter.

My first reaction is that it is caused by one of three possibilities; that there is insufficient anchor either by the leader being too short, too light or you are casting forward too soon; that your stroke is too short or if you like that the rod tip is too vertical when you power the forward cast (layback a little); or that you are coming around too high with your back cast such that the line tip is not landing parallel to the water but comes down in a curve (looking at it vertically)?

Describe the "shock" in ore detail and we can have another go at spotting the problem!

Regards

Don.
 
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