March 9th, 1998
You can't expect to always find some great and wonderful new
thing about casting in my column. This is such a column. The
subject is not earth-shattering, not a "pearl-of-wisdom." It is very
true of many average fly casters though.
Feel free to post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!
I have had several folks tell me they don't really like the new
fast fly rods. They prefer the older ones they have. They like the
slower action because they can 'feel' the line in the air on the back
cast. It helps them with their timing.
And they are right, unless they wish to improve their casting;
that's where the trouble sets in. Perhaps at a show or fly shop
they try out a new faster rod. They are used to the slow, easy
swing of a fiberglass type rod and use the same rhythm with the
new rod. The back cast has a loop that looks like a circle and the
front cast piles up ten feet of fly line.
So, who is to blame? Each rod must be cast a bit differently.
With time and experience you get to know how to make them all
cast very nicely — if you want to. You may NOT want to. You may
not want to CAST THAT WAY. Ya don't have to! We all develop, in
time, a way, a method, a style of casting which WE LIKE.
If, however, your casting is not doing what you think it should
then you may have to change the WAY you cast ... and get a new
fly rod that matches the new way. The way you like to cast. Do
you enjoy the slow, easy, full arm motion of a slow rod? Great,
stay with it. But, if you want the wedge shaped front loops that will
pierce a hurricane, you must change.
The biggest single mistake I see at shows is a guy trying out a
fast rod and using a slow rod rhythm. He will not like the rod. He
will not be able to feel the line. A slow rod requires more of the
upper arm to cast; a fast rod, more of the forearm. Perhaps that is
too simplified, but it is close.
If you are going to try out a new faster fly rod, be willing to
change your style to match it. Shorten your stroke, make the tip of
the rod do the work. Load the rod well on the back cast, turn and
watch the back loop. If it is not narrow, hit it harder until it is. You
can feel the line just as well with a fast rod as a slow rod, ya just
got to cast them differently. ~ JC