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I began using a spey rod (9140-4 w/9/10/11 Rio WC) Last Winter. I've used nothing else since. I've watched VHS and read on casting. If you had the opportunity to offer three bits of advise, which excludes patience, practice, and perceverance, what would they be? Thank you.
 

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Get your self a low interest rate line of credit.

Check with Fred Evans our spey banking investment officer he may be able to help, he knows all about spey investment dos and don'ts.

Have a great holiday and welcome to the forumn.

PM Out
 

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Don't overpower the forward cast.

By watching the line/leader connection on the water as you make your forward stroke, that connection will be stationary until picked up by the forward moving line. If the line jumps back behind you, you have probably overpowerd the forward stroke and "torn out your anchor."
 

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I'd only add to Bob P's comment that you

practice the final 'wrist snap' which 'bottom loads' your rod. I "teach" spey casting in reverse (or at least I think I do it differently). I'll have a new rod guy/gal just do roll casts and concentrate on the wrist snap at the end. All casts start 'somewhere,' but everyone ends this way. No positive snap, no cast.

Agree, get a "cool hat like Hal's" ... and no one will come near you on the river. Get an extra 100 yards of 'free beach.'
:devil:
 

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You might feel a little self conscious doing so but, every once in a while, video tape yourself casting. You can learn alot about what you're doing right or wrong by watching yourself cast on your TV. I know it sounds a little funny, but I've often picked up little faults I didn't think I was doing. Especially when I get into a rut and can't figure out what the heck I'm not quite doing right, the video shows all.
JIms
 

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dgroden

Buy Rio's International Spey Casting Video with Simon Gawesworth. (Bob Pauli loaned me his copy. It was so good that I ordered my own copy.)

The previous Rio video and the books that come with their Spey lines just confused me and made things worse.

Put your reel on your bottom part of your rod and watch Simon show how to do his classic Double Spey Cast and practice with the lower part of your rod with the reel. This trains your hands, arms and muscles to pattern that cast. Then, go to a stream and try it. You will be amazed.

Do everything slow and slower. Then, add Fred's "practice the final 'wrist snap' which 'bottom loads' your rod. " at the end of your double spey.

At first only use a floating line and no sinking tips.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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After Simon demonstrated rule#3 at the Sandy Clave I needed a trick to make it easier to see the d-loop. First, opposite foot forward is a must to see the dee, nothing new there. However I found that you only need to watch the shock wave of line coming off the top of the rod. It's hard to visualize the whole loop, but just that first vector coming off the rod tip does the trick. That first segment points like a compass arrow in the direction of the d-loop.

This 'peek' at the line off the tiptop coincides (time-wise) with the raising of the hands into the firing position just before focusing on the anchor. I raise my forearm (shoulder to elbow) no further than level with my shoulders at firing position so there's a good lane to peek thru over the bicep.

When I was too focused on the anchor, I was much less consistent at directing the d-loop opposite the target direction. Trying to cast in a direction that is not opposite will sap the energy out of the cast far more than overhand casting which is more forgiving than Spey casting.

Conversely, getting the right vector and enough elevation/volume in the loop makes the anchor a little less important, as evidenced in double spey, snap-t and other stationary anchor casts.

I suppose that's why double spey, snap-T are easier to learn than single spey - you can place the anchor and think about forming the d-loop more independently.

In any case, watching that 'compass arrow' really helps with Simon's rule #3.

Hope that helps.

Juro
 

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Juro

You posted, "When I was too focused on the anchor, I was much less consistent at directing the d-loop opposite the target direction. Trying to cast in a direction that is not opposite will sap the energy out of the cast far more than overhand casting which is more forgiving than Spey casting."

Before Simon's great film, I was really getting exasperated and confused trying to focus on the mouse and all the other BS that other videos and even Rio's worthless booklet that comes with their great lines.

I'm not an expert with the Double Spey, but I can get my casts out 50 to 70 feet with consistent results and minimal strain on the old body thanks to Simon's great video. Also, I get strikes and sometimes I catch a fish. Seems like a lot of Speyers are just interested in 100+ foot casts instead of actually catching a fish. If that turns them on fine, I love to cast and sometimes actually hook some stupid fish.

I still have a problem with the Snake Roll Cast even with Simon's video, but a trip with someone like Bob Pauli will probably solve that. Dana's previous articles have helped but that is on paper and is really one dimentional in a multi dimentional world.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I'm certainly no expert either, just a dedicated student. There is sooo much to Spey casting and it seems none of it can be taken for granted if one wants to learn.

For instance, although we may point out one thing here and there every part is important. For instance, I said I was too singly focused on the anchor and I did well to think about the vector of the loop but that in no way means I could stop thinking about the anchor!

Nor can we stop thinking about coming around into position to throw back the d-loop, which Dana really helped me with when we met. He reminded me that on a single spey all you need to do is to keep a sensation of weight (load) in the rod as you come around into position to throw the d-loop back. He demonstrated a painfully slow sweep followed by a thundering cast, using all the rod had to give for load/unload capability without hurrying a thing.

I often rushed the "in-betweens" in my spey casting, which short compact heads allow but longer lines don't. I used to dip and rise the rod during the sweep into position, which kills the energy cold. Learning to come around slow while carrying the load in the rod cures the dips, bobs, and rushes while approaching the backcast stroke.

So many little things... so little time! :)
 

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As with any fly casting, I believe the key is consistant arm and hand positions. Too many instructors teach what the rod should do. If you have a reference point for hand and arm positions, the rod and line will follow. You can practice without a rod by just going through the motions until you condition your muscles to perform the same motion every time. Derek's video is a great reference - at the beginning he talks about arm and hand position. I would study that and practice those motions. Many casters use a short stroke that works ok with short belly lines but if you want to cast the long belly lines effectively you really need to concentrate on the inital lift and extending the arm to the side as far as it will go with the upper hand opposite the ear (not up above the head). This allows the most power on the forward stroke - again I would really recommend studying both Derek and Simon in their excellent tapes and then try those motions first in slow motion without the rod so you gain muscle memory. When casting with the rod stop at each step and make sure your hands and arms are in the correct positions.
 

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tip # 1 GO to the Sandy river spey clave!
tip # 2 Go casting?fishinf Often
Tip # 3 Fish with people who are better casters then yourself

Do thoes 3 things and you'll be casting with excellence sooner rather than later.

lets face it for a newbie hearing us all say Anchor this, dee loop that might as well be blah blah blah.. All that is required is 1. a little instruction and lots of practice. period thats it nothing else will work.. After the basics are understood and successfully applied then the little hints will be useful
 

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All good advise; but go back to Rick's comment below:

"Too many instructors teach what the rod should do. If you have a reference point for hand and arm positions, the rod and line will follow. You can practice without a rod by just going through the motions until you condition your muscles to perform the same motion every time."

Kind of a Tie Chee :hehe: kind of thing; but I'll go with Rich. I've found myself on the phone in the office during 'eye rolling' telephone calls 'practicing' casting. Kept me from telling the dumb son of a .... just how much of a dumb son of a ... he really was.

Great therapy; beats a $15.00 'co-pay' for something I can't pronounce, or spell without looking at the bottle.
fae
 

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Great stuff everyone. One of the most imformative threads I have read as a newbie so far.

Good thing is I just got my own office so now I can close the door and swing my arms around like a madman.:D

-sean
 

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The hand and arm stuff reminded me of a really neat bit of advise from Way Yin at the Rogue Clinic with Way and Steve.

He said imagine you are holding a tray of glasses in your right hand sraight out in front of you at eye level. This would be the position at the end of the lift. You next need to bring the tray to a position just behind your right ear as smoothly and quckly as possible without spilling the drinks. If you try this, you arm and hand need to swing out and slightly down (the shallow saucer) then up with the hand pointing back. This puts you in the perfect firing position at the end of forming the D loop.
 

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1. Start with the tip low and pointing at the fly.
2. Only cast as far as you can keep it straight, no further.
3. Fishing begins when the fly hits the water.
 

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I'm bringing Rick's comments back to the forefront as we

Rick J said:
The hand and arm stuff reminded me of a really neat bit of advise from Way Yin at the Rogue Clinic with Way and Steve.

He said imagine you are holding a tray of glasses in your right hand sraight out in front of you at eye level. This would be the position at the end of the lift. You next need to bring the tray to a position just behind your right ear as smoothly and quckly as possible without spilling the drinks. If you try this, you arm and hand need to swing out and slightly down (the shallow saucer) then up with the hand pointing back. This puts you in the perfect firing position at the end of forming the D loop.
still have a couple of opening for the "'2nd Annual Flyfishing Forum Charity Spey Casting Clinc." If you want to learn from two of the very best of the best, this is your shot. Two days, hands on, small class, and Steve and Way are "yours" for as long as you want. And kids get the benifit of your donation.
fae

God, just love Dana's suggestion for a 'proper title' for this event!
 
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