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BULL DOG!!!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Here’s a little exercise I do with clients and students to help them understand how your dominant hand effects how the rod bends and the efficiency of that bend.
Please give it a try yourselves :nerd:

https://vimeo.com/430563680
 

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I get what you are saying about the focus, and perhaps how that may help teach you to make both your sweep and power stroke. I know for sure that what I focus on mentally often helps/reminds me to do certain things correctly.

However, I will point out that it an unavoidable law of physics in that particular exercise that if you hold the rod handle in the same position, regardless of whether you are “pulling on the top hand” or “pushing on the bottom hand” that the actual applied FORCES by the hands are the same in each case, as well as the flex.

But I get that it is a way to start getting people to concentrate on what their lower hand is doing and how it feels. Another way is to have them do some casts where they are barely hanging on with their top hand. But it all come downs to not moving your top hand so damn much! :)
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
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Discussion Starter #3
I get what you are saying about the focus, and perhaps how that may help teach you to make both your sweep and power stroke. I know for sure that what I focus on mentally often helps/reminds me to do certain things correctly.

However, I will point out that it an unavoidable law of physics in that particular exercise that if you hold the rod handle in the same position, regardless of whether you are “pulling on the top hand” or “pushing on the bottom hand” that the actual applied FORCES by the hands are the same in each case, as well as the flex.

But I get that it is a way to start getting people to concentrate on what their lower hand is doing and how it feels. Another way is to have them do some casts where they are barely hanging on with their top hand. But it all come downs to not moving your top hand so damn much! :)
Botsari have you tried it?
If the top hand is your fulcrum point and bottom hand moving against that fulcrum you can feel the difference but like I’ve said go try it then we can talk :nerd::wink2:
 

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Bots, I remember taking physics in high school about a lifetime ago, but that's about it, so take this for what it's worth. But if your lifting with the top hand against an immobile bottom hand, don't that make the bottom hand the pivot point, the fulcrum, with essentially no movement beyond, so a lever of sorts placed with no mechanical advantage. If pushing (or pulling) with the bottom hand against an immobile (or relatively, in terms of the actual casting movement), you have the mechanics advantage of an effective lever, with a fulcrum. Someone older than me said something about, Give me a lever and a fulcrum on which to place it....
 

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What I said is also absolutely true, and required by the laws of physics - in this case static mechanics. If your hands are literally in the same spots, both on the rod, and in space, no matter what you think you are doing, the force on each hand, and the rod flex, is the same. That is all I’m saying. How it feels based on the original intention, or whether you got it to that precise position by lowering your lower hand or raising you upper hand (or waving it about at random before arriving at the same configuration) is a psychological rather than physical reality.

Now if you are in fact in a different, more extreme final hand configuration then I would argue that also might be considered “cheating” in this exercise simply because you could have arranged to arrive at that position by any of a infinite number of routes, including one where the last step was raising your UPPER hand. In this case the hands aren’t really in casting position anyway, so the exercise is not teaching that per se.

Again, I’m not arguing with the efficacy of the teaching method as I’m definitely not qualified to judge that, only at the analysis of what is actually going on physically.

We could also do an analysis of the work done by the leaver action, which has nothing to do with the final load of the rod, the final balance of forces, or the final rod flex. That also is easy to do, and without getting into it I don’t think the analysis is going to be what is implied by SLSS - the lever arms, as he seems to be describing them, have the same length BTW. But even so I don’t think that has any bearing on the original point which I take to be this is a way to load a rod more, not a slightly less tiring way.

Personally I’ve always thought focusing on the lower hand is a great tool prevent sloppiness because if you use both hands, and with varying relative amounts, the actual lever point (hence the geometry of the cast) can move around, and especially as the lower hand is hard limited in its motion helping to ensure a hard, high stop. But these are not physical limitations on anyone with enough discipline that advocates using “both hands equally” like Simon Gawesworth in getting equally good results. FWIW I find that I generally do NOT have enough discipline - or at least consistency. The dominant hand is a harsh mistress. :). So I do find focusing on the lower hand often fixes my sloppiness when it gets out of hand. But when I cast left handed the problems solve themselves.

I think I have discussed this with people in the past, but in addition to lever arms there is the center of mass of the rod and reel, and this is always close to, if not right at the upper hand when casting. So using less upper hand movement and more lower hand movement will have a very different feel than the other way around. Depending on your personality type it may not matter, but you will certainly have to fight the CM inertia of the rod/reel more using a lot of upper hand. Perhaps fight is the wrong word - you will feel it more, but you can also work it into your stroke as well.
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
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Discussion Starter #7
What I said is also absolutely true, and required by the laws of physics - in case static mechanics. If your hands are literally in the same spots, both on the rod, and in space, no matter what you think you are doing, the force on each hand, and the rod flex, is the same. That is all I’m saying. How it feels based on the original intention, or whether you got it to that precise position by lowering your lower hand or raising you upper hand (or waving it about at random before arriving at the same configuration) is a psychological rather than physical reality.

Now if you are in fact in a different, more bent configuration then I would argue that also is “cheating” simply because you could have arranged to arrive at that position by any of a infinite number of routes, including one where the last step was raising your UPPER hand.

Again, I’m not arguing with the efficacy of the teaching method as I’m definitely not qualified to judge that, only at the analysis of what is actually going on physically.

You sound like most engineers I work with :chuckle::surprise::chuckle:
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
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Discussion Starter #9

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You sound like most engineers I work with :chuckle::surprise::chuckle:
And you sound like, something familiar. Oh, I remember, the “six casts”. You are demonstrating something that is important, but by trickery rather than logic - or physics. However, whatever works! :chuckle:

Slapping the upper hand with a ruler when it moves too much might also work.
 

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fly fisher 'til it's over
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If I'm not mistaken, the fabled "six casts" was actually being demonstrated by Sir Travis, Earl of Casting.
 
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BULL DOG!!!!
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Discussion Starter #13
And you sound like, something familiar. Oh, I remember, the “six casts”. You are demonstrating something that is important, but by trickery rather than logic - or physics. However, whatever works! :chuckle:

Slapping the upper hand with a ruler when it moves too much might also work.
Wow if your mistaking me for Travis in anyway I take that as the highest compliment out there :grin2:
Thanks Bots
I almost regret comparing you to enginerds um I mean enginers:wink2:
 

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No, I never mistook you for Travis, it just reminded me or our discussion those 6 casts, and I knew you would recognize the reference since it was you that (most recently) reposted Travis’ video, um, like last week.
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
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Discussion Starter #15
No, I never mistook you for Travis, it just reminded me or our discussion those 6 casts, and I knew you would recognize the reference since it was you that (most recently) reposted Travis’ video, um, like last week.
So bots since we’re discussing this and that have you ever tried either personally 0:)
 

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So bots since we’re discussing this and that have you ever tried either personally 0:)
Yes I have tried consciously moving my anchor around to see the results literally hundreds of times with dozens of lines, though I have never deliberately flubbed certain of those casts to convince myself or someone else that one way was clearly better than another. I have also occasionally tied my tippet to a log and bent a rod to judge its relative action. But no, I have never tried to convince myself that the STATIC bend in a rod had to do with anything other that where my hands were holding that rod, because it is an impossibility.

But I’m sure it is not that hard to trick people into putting their hands, perhaps unknowingly, in a different final position - but not all of these ruses will be in any way related to a lesson on the importance of using your lower hand. Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me. :tsk_tsk:

Of that makes me a slower learner, so be it. :)
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Yes I have tried consciously moving my anchor around to see the results literally hundreds of times with dozens of lines, though I have never delivered flubbed certain of those castS to convince myself or someone else that one way was clearly better than another. I have also occasionally tied my tippet to a log and bent a rod to judge its relative action. But no, I have never tried to convince myself that the STATIC bend in a rod had to do with anything other that where my hands were, because this is an impossibility.

But I’m sure it is not that hard to trick people into putting their hands, perhaps unknowingly, in a different final position - but not all of these ruses will be in any way related to a lesson on the importance of using your lower hand. Your Jedi mind tricks don’t work on me. :tsk_tsk:
Those that can do and there are those that can’t who like to argue about it online kind of like someone else I know:tsk_tsk:
 

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Good stuff here. Simple and effective way to feel rod bend using top hand (tip section bend) and bottom hand (lower butt section bend). If I'm not mistaken this is also something that Hugh Falkus honed in on for his teaching regarding where to 'break the rod.' Another way to think about it is the top hand thumb is pushing against the top rod cork handle while the three lower fingers (middle/ring/pinky) are pushing against the palm of the bottom hand. The intent maximize rod bend around the reel seat. I flip this around for teaching the forward cast and use the term 'pulling down' on the rod, not pushing.

A 'light bulb' usually comes on when you get someone learning to spey cast FEEL lower rod bend and SEE the difference it makes when casting. A serious ah ha moment.
 

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Outerhebrides
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Obviously impossible to contribute anything new here, but the thread reminds me of something I picked up along the way - that by moving one's top hand down it is not only harder to use the top hand too much but easier to feel the rod loading. I was out on the river with an unfamiliar older and slower rod the other day, and was completely overpowering it. I moved my top hand three inches or so closer to the reel and the rod felt immediately much different, and cast better. I am sure that if I used that rod for a week I could sneak my the top hand back up the grip, but as a transition strategy it worked well.

I begin to suspect that spey casting; indeed fishing is not actually the point here, but rather the Quixotic pursuit of an admittedly unattainable state of perfect grace. Certainly gives us something to do when the steelhead are ignoring us. Which is a lot of the time....... I recommend reading The River Why if the spey casting is not treating you well.......

The lockdown continues, except for inflatable dinosaurs on the Clackamas River near Portland, Oregon, which are not socially distancing......
 

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Here’s a little exercise I do with clients and students to help them understand how your dominant hand effects how the rod bends and the efficiency of that bend.
Please give it a try yourselves :nerd:

This is what the "shotgun" lift trains you to do, and the way Dec Hogan puts it (and I'll paraphrase): that in fly casting you are pulling [read: leveraging] flyline with either hand at different times. So - different terms but the same idea.

I've done this or something similar somewhere along the way, Im sure. But this is how you can relocate the fly close to you with minimal effort if you ever wanted to try so you'd know.

Vic.
 
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