Last time we talked about casting - and how to increase
line speed. Line speed is important for distance casting - or
casting into the wind, or curve cast, tuck cast, recoil cast;
face it, control of line speed is critical, period.
I mentioned one the things we should be looking at is our loops.
That is, the shape of the line as your cast is going out - and
when it gets there. It's pretty well accepted that a 'tight' loop,
(which looks like a candy cane on it's side) is what is usually
needed for distance or casting into the wind. The big open loop,
(which looks like a big letter 'C') has it's place as well,
especially if you are trying to make a gentle presentation of
a dry fly on a short cast.
There is another shape. It's a wedge. On this one, the candy
cane doesn't have a curve - it has a point!
Why do we need it? The point has less wind resistance than the curve.
So how do we get this wedge shape?
Go back to the basics of the double haul. A short tug with your
non-rod hand on the line produces a tight loop. A long pull
produces a big loop. How can we get something else?
One of the advantages of using the double haul is to divide
the work of casting between both hands. And let's face it,
most of us don't have the physical strength to produce the
kind of energy on our cast to get the speed produced by using
both hands (the double haul).
It's going to take both the casting hand and the line hand to
produce the wedge. This is one you are going to have to try,
test and work on yourself to find that sweet spot which produces
the wedge for you. It isn't just strength on this, it is strength
The length of the pull and force used with your line hand needs
to be matched by the power in the stroke of your forward cast.
It is the combination of BOTH which produces the wedge.
There are some teaching who demand the rod stop in a specific place,
or that the butt of the rod is snug against your wrist on the forward
and backcast. I start out with the butt against my wrist, but as
the cast lengthens, (since my shoulder stops the movement) my wrist
bends toward the back and there is a substantial space between my
wrist and the rod butt. As the cast speeds up coming forward,
there is a hammer-type movement at the very end, (STOP) of the rod.
How hard you 'hit' with the hammer produces the wedge.
For the gals, a better mental picture is using a fly swatter.
Same motion, same stroke, except imagine a very big, nasty bug.
Then kill it. The tip of the rod is the hammer or fly swatter.
The trick is to balance the 'hit' with the pull on the line hand.
Too much and you will produce a tailing loop. Too little, a big
Combine the hammer with line speed and you have a winner!
Remember, you are not casting the rod, it's a lever to help
you cast the line. It helps you generate line speed and good
line speed produces the wedge.
Learn line control and all the rest will follow. ~ LadyFisher
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