There are many times when we are asked to try to
help a bit with someone's casting. It's surprising
how often, when casting, they will make one cast
and then drop the fly line on the lawn in front
of them. A presentation of some sort. When I ask
them to please do some more casting, they repeat
the same move by picking up the line from in front
of them and with one back cast lay it out in front
of them on the grass again.
Since I am trying to get some idea of loop size,
loop shape and line speed, this "Pick-up and Lay-down,"
casting does not help at all. It is, I suppose,
understandable that a person might want to make
a cast or presentation as quickly as possible,
but to do so at the expense of a properly
executed cast is not a good thing.
Years ago I overheard one of two owners of a
pro-shop explaining to the other about the beginners
casting class he had just run. He had them doing the
'Pick-up and Lay-down' for an hour. Cool. That
should run them back to spin fishing in a hurry,
it for darn sure would me. I know I will hear from
some casting instructors on this, but I will say
this anyway. I think teaching casting that way is
wrong and counter-productive. It does not include
any stopping of the rod at any point.
It is possible to get some line to go forward by the
simple action of just swinging the rod, but not much.
(High-speed Italian underlining method excluded) If
the "Pick-up and Lay-down" is taught with a solid
stop on each end it might be more acceptable but
still does not address the proper mechanics of casting.
It tends to show the cast as a two part move, one to
the rear and one to the front. Nothing could be more
detrimental as this then must be unlearned by the
student if he is ever going to actually learn to
fly cast. The basic cast is, of course, a four-part
move. Even more for the advanced caster. The only
place where it may have some value would be for
some accuracy practicing.
If you are about to spend a few bucks on some casting
lessons, ask what is going to be taught, exactly. Don't
settle for a reply of, "Hey, this a great course for
the beginner, we cover all the basics!" Make them
spell out what each of the parts will be. If they can not,
or will not do that, 'Pick-up and Lay-down' your feet.
And take your money with you.
~ James Castwell