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NOW I UNDERSTAND THE UNDERHAND

DanaÕs great videos of himself executing the underhand cast show how closely related the underhand cast is to single hand casting.

Go to a casting club and watch the tournament casters. They use a vertical stroke. Those who have had the pleasure to watch Joan Wulff cast, or read her books, will recognize the vertical stroke.

At the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club in San Francisco, spey guru Mariusz Wrobleski alerted me to the identicality of the underhand cast to the vertical stroke of almost every tournament fly caster.

Look at DanaÕs stroke again. You will notice the upper hand, forearm, elbow and upper arm duplicate the EXACT path of a vertical fly-casting stroke. The lower hand supplies the majority of the power, but the upper hand controls the cast mechanics.

IMHO thinking of the underhand with the above perspective will simplify learning.

Your thoughts?
 

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chrome-magnon man
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more underhand resources

Bob--yup! That's it! I would agree 100%. Henrik Mortensen alerted me to this when I cast with him a few years ago and his complete comments can be found here but I've copied the specifics:

Dana: I've seen video of other underhand casters and they stress the use of the bottom hand and downplay the role of the top hand. Yet in watching you cast it is clear that the top hand does play an important role. During which parts of the cast is the top hand involved, and how is it involved?

Henrik: Downplaying the role of the top hand is a fundamental error. The top hand is critical and is involved during the entire cast. The top hand controls the direction of the cast and through controlling the stopping positions it also controls the height of the loop being formed. As when casting with one hand fly rods, the right hand controls the rod position while the left hand adds power when doing the double haul. It's exactly the same with two hand rods except that the left hand adds power by dragging the bottom of the rod.

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Rob, for some excellent video of the vertical style in single hand casting, look at Paul Arden casting
here. If we superimposed a two hander, or my video over Paul's and slowed his down I think it would become immediately clear that we are doing pretty much the same thing. Hmmm...now that I think about it, what a dandy idea! I'll speak with Paul and see if he'll let me do that...
 

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Rob,
The "vertical casting style" with a single handed rod is much more up and down than say Lefty's method. (Watch Steve Rajeff cast on Mel's Advanced Casting Tape) If you start with your hand at your side with the forearm parallel to the ground this would be the beginning of any casting stroke. (When talking about the use of the wrist the wrist is in a closed position which angles the rod tip down towards the water or the ground).

To complete the back cast you smoothly accelerate, stopping with the hand opposite the ear and the thumb pointing straight up. The upper arm is now close to parallel to the ground and the elbow bent at around 45 degrees - so the movement is really raising the casting arm up from the shoulder. (Regarding wrist application of power - for the thumb to point straight up requires a slight opening of the wrist to a straight position - this snap of the wrist at the end really causes a burst of acceleration).

Once you stop, there can be rod drift to a varying extent depending on the caster - Steve R has very little rod drift - some can drift so the rod is almost paralle to the ground. What is important is you need to stop with the hand opposite the ear. This gives a very tight dynamic loop. The rod drift has nothing to do with a better back cast but allows more acceleration on the forward cast.

The forward cast is simply lowering from the shoulder and keeping the elbow bent and turn the wrist over so at the STOP your hand is just below eye level (You do not straighten the arm in front of you). Once you have stopped you then follow the line down to the original hand/arm position.

With a 2 hander I would think the wrist does not really play much part and really should be held fixed in a straight positon but the rest of the casting stroke is very similar
 

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chrome-magnon man
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cool

I have the green light from Paul so I will put something together so that you can see the similarities between "pulling" or vertical casting with a single hander and underhand casting with a spey.

watch for it...!
 
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