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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to revisit timing and tempo as it relates to spey casting. A basic thought is that tempo is the speed of the cast and timing is when to start and stop the casting motion. I would think most of us agree that the overall casting motion should start slow and gradually speed up to a firm/complete stop. A post by Fly Tyer suggested timing includes the initiation of different elements within the casting motion. I have been thinking along the same lines. Using the switch cast as the bases for this discussion, let’s look at the elements or points of a switch cast: lift, pull back, sweep-up/circle-up to key position, launch/fire from key position, a point of push-pull/scissor and the stop. At each point of the cast there is an accent of power to change the rod tip direction or plane and thence the line momentum. This accent is the timing portion of the cast. These accents are critical to the rod tip movement and the development of a quality stroke. Each accent has a different amount of thrust applied and at a different point in the casting motion.

The tempo is a continuous, seamless and slightly increasing motion and the timing is the accents within that motion. Timing is very depended upon the tempo of the cast yet should not effect the tempo. Timing fits precisely into the tempo of a cast. If we look at music, tempo is the even beat (steady, slowing or increasing) of the music while the rhythm is the irregular motion above the beat that gives a tune its character. I’m thinking that timing and rhythm in spey casting are the same fellows. How this relates to casting is the tempo is the even motion from beginning to end and the timing (rhythm) is the small accent within the casting motion that give the cast its character. The difficulty is learning how much and when to apply accents/thrust in the casting motion.

My statement is: the tempo (slightly increasing) is absolutely critical in developing a quality cast and within the tempo lies accent points to change direction or plane of the rod tip. These accent points gives the cast it’s timing and should not effect the tempo of the cast.

Maybe I’m all wet with this theory but it seems to me there is some validity. Chime in and punch holes in this theory or give some support to this theory. Volume of spey casting knowledge, technique and style are yet to be discovered. The more I cast, the more I thought I knew. This spey journey is exciting and very addictive!

Only a student of spey casting, Klem
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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Can you feel the beat...

Well, just when I think I have it down to a science, everything goes ballistic. I try not to think about what I am doing, except only counting a slow one....two...three...fire. I notice when I concentrate on the lift, dloop and cast I really lose all timing and the counting makes matters worse.

I just go out with the knowledge I have gained and hope it works that day. If not, I chalk it up as failed mission and hit the lake for casting practice and watch the DVD's and videos here to look for hints as to what I was doing wrong. Practice is the key for me. If I do not practice between outings, all is lost.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Klem,

These are exactly my thoughts and why I mentioned timing being the various points of movement during a spey cast in the post of mine you referenced.

The only thing I would add to this post of yours is in the area of tempo. The tempo by necessity changes with the stiffness of the rod being used, the length of the cast being made, and the belly length of the line being cast. A stiffer rod requires a faster tempo, as does a shorter cast, and casting longer lengths of belly require a proportionately slower tempo as dictated by rod stiffness.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Rod action and tempo

Yes! All I am referring to is the tempo must increase slightly throughtout the casting motion and that the timing is a separate issue within the tempo. Each rod/action, length of line, line system, casters ablities and condictions (wind etc.) are variables in the tempo of the cast. Thanks for your input flytyer. Klem
 

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each rod action length,etc

exactly!,,all different rods, lines,tips ,leadwrapped bugs,as well as what cast you're doing all adds up to no one absolute `method' ?,the seemingly endless combinations demand a little experimentation with how you feed the power/stroke the rod to make the `bug(s)' land properly ,,i'll play with adding power to the end of the cast or using an initial tug with the bottom hand to load the rod,and sometimes i just say to myself`i'll take it" :chuckle:,,both hands on!,,that's the best way :devil: ever add a `halfstep' to your forward drive?
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I start with a set of excercises that puts a notion of placement and stroke into place first, then move on the whole cast. Timing is not a concern during the excercises, purely mechanics. Then we will try to put it all together. The objective is to establish a few mnemonic devices before going for the whole enchilada.

At that point, timing becomes critical...

It's good to have a number of approaches since no two people absorb information exactly the same way. I have found Derek Brown's "waltz timing" to be very effective - sans the brougue. I only use the brogue when saying "nodding donkey". ;)

Lift-two-three, loop-two-three, cast-two-three, drop.

Then refine from there as you have aptly described. This refinement should build a third layer: (1) initial exercises (2) timing all-together (3) refinement.

In this manner timing structure is kept simple, and correct. Nuances like drift/lifting the end of the sweep to form a d-loop are things done within the timing structure but not the timing structure itself. In musical terms, I guess it would be analogous to comparing the notes to the beat.

Great topic!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When to put into place timing,

Juro, I teach the casting stroke backwards : stop, rotate (push/pull when the rod is vertical) key position to stop, circle-up to stop, lift and pull with anchor placement and finally put the cast together. Also, I teach the overhead casting for loop formation, timing, power application and TRACKING. I have to give Al Buhr credit. He lives very close to me and we cast together on occassion. I have followed his style and teaching.
Your insite is right-on! Mechanics first then timing and finally refinement. The refinement is maybe the point to my post. How much and when to accomplish line moumentum and placement. We can't refine unless there is an awarness to what should be happening. I emphasis smooth, seamless connections between all elements/stages of the casting stroke. When teaching music, I have students work on small sections then gluing those sections together. I guess that teaching style has carried over to my casting teaching style.
By the way, I enjoy your insite, writing, and general responses to everyone's posts. Keep up the good work and thank you. I'm trying to learn all I can as a student of Spey/Two-handed casting. Klem
 

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JD
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music theory 101

Klem said:
Yes! the tempo must increase slightly throughtout the casting motion and that the timing is a separate issue within the tempo. [/I]. Klem
In order to keep a constant load on the rod, the stroke must not stop or slow down. That is the theory anyway. However, in the creation of a very long D loop, time must be allowed for the loop to form before starting the forward stroke. The same as with overhead casting, time must be allowed for the backcast to straighten out. This is where drift comes in. The speed and length of the drift must change comensurate with the amount of line in the D loop. The purpose being to keep the rod loaded throughout the stroke.

Now this only pertains to casts, such as the Grant switch, Single Spey, Snake Roll, where the forming of the D loop and the final, forward cast immeadiatly follow the setting of the anchor. Double Spey, Snap-T (C), Perry Poke, all of these casts, the rod is allowed to unload and then must be re-loaded as the D loop is formed.

The Basics of music timing are very simple. You are taught that 4/4 timing means four beats to a measure, and a 1/4 note gets one count. Simple enough, right? Same as with Derik Brown's waltz timing for the switch cast. But then you find that there are, in addition to 1/4 notes, whole, 1/2, 1/8, 1/16 notes. Not ony that, there are dotted notes, triplets, tied notes, that extend into the next measure. And if that is not enough, here comes syncopation!

O.K. enough already. What I am getting at is that all of these, whether, music or casting, are just little subtleties. They are beyond the basics. And although we can devise ways of describing these subtleties, they become mastered in performance, only with practice.

Derik's waltz timing anolgy is a good tool for beginners. But leave it at that. The only way to get all of the rest of this stuff is to spend time on the water. Good instruction will speed up the learning curve, (you don't have to re-invent the wheel) but nothing beats time on the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Beyond music 101

JD, as you pointed out each measure has four beats in 4/4 time with different possible note values to add up to four beats. the ties, triplets, duplets and synocpation add variety. Beyond the strict note value you have accents of different emphasis. These accents really add to the feeling of the rthyhm (the activity above the beat/pulse/tempo). OK, now does this relate to Spey casting? Spey casting is basically a switch cast preceded by a set-up motion/cast to store line for the final foward cast. Whatever set-up is used, there are accent points to redirect the rod's tip. These accent changes the line montemtum so a proper set-up is made and the line relines to the 180 degree relationship. From the circle-up compontent, these accents/thrust/effort develop good forward stroke and loop.

Long strokers unload the rod to form a quality > loop and that's OK. A pause develops so the line can form a good > loop like in the overhead cast and the reloading naturally develops has the > loop reaches it's peak backward thrust. This is when the forward movement starts. All this is within the slighlty increasing tempo of the casting motion.

Where are the accents points? I suggest the following points: any time the rod changes planes, the point when you redirect the direction of the rod's tip and when you load or unload the rod. All this is not gospel, I'm trying to figure out my casting and the dymanics of spey casting. Your inputs helps me filter ideas, concepts and theory. Learning is the goal! Klem
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right on hammer...agreed...the fish don't know what happening above the water...all they see is the dumb fly; hopefully. Klem
 
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