Exploring Around the Next Bend

This section is meant to encourage those who are searching for better methods to fool their favorite prey. It may be on flies, presentation, obtaining impossible drifts, casting methods, or rigging lines and leaders for special uses. As we come across articles and stories of special interest we will present them here. If you have a 'special' method which works for you, please feel free to send it to the publisher@flyanglersonline.com

February 28th, 2005

Reel Out
By James Castwell

I want you to visualize something, right now. Throwing. You need more information, right? Ok, let's make it a ball. Go ahead, you've got the ball in your hand, make it a baseball, now wind up and mentally give it a good pitch. Humor me on this; do it again. Visualize your hand, the ball the ball going back past your right shoulder reversing direction and coming forward, and finally rolling off of your fingers. That is a pitch. A right-handed pitch.

Alright, now visualize this please. Trust me here, we are going someplace with this. This time make it a dart. Ok now, go ahead and pitch the dart at an imaginary dart-board. One more time please. This time really aim at the board, hit the center ring.

Whoa... What are you doing? You changed your grip on it! And you didn't swing your arm around like with the baseball. You used a very straight line motion with your arm and wrist too. Why did you change things? I don't have to answer that, you know the answer yourself. Because each method worked for the job asked for. So, how about fly casting, any connection?

You bet there is. Try to follow this in your mind, then I will show some pictures to help you as well. Agree first that line speed is important to any cast, the most speed with the least amount of effort is optimum. A straight line will produce that optimum.

Your fly rod is out in front of you now, thumb on top, reel hanging down. Pull back. The tip goes down. You raise the rod farther to vertical. The tip is bent even more. You bring the rod back farther, your hand is by your ear now and the reel has rotated to the top of the rod, the rod is bending even more now. If you stop right there the rod will straighten, the line will continue going back. The energy stored in the blank now uncoils in exactly the opposite direction from which it was loaded.

Now bring the rod forward to vertical, now farther to the front stop position and stop. The rod again uncoils releasing it's stored energy, helping the cast go straight and true. That is the way it should be to be the most economical. Sadly often it is not the case. Here is what most of us do, even old-timers, especially old-timers who started out with un-economical rods and had to exert additional force and attempt to lengthen the rod by extending their arm. They swing the reel out to the side on the back-cast and return it on the fore-cast. So what? It twists the rod during the cast, both ways. Will it work? Sure, I bet 98% cast that way, maybe more.

What happens is this. As the rod bends on your first lift the rod is compressed against the guides which are on the bottom at the start of the cast. Then you go into the back-cast and swing the reel (guides are on the same side as the reel is) out to the side. The rod wants to straighten but you have twisted it now and are forcing it to unload at 90 degrees instead of the 180 as it should. Fair enough except now you make a front cast and do the same thing. Starting with the reel out, you power forward and twist the rod to the down side where you started out. Again the rod has to unload at 90 degrees.

Will all of this make much difference? Some. I prefer to be as economical as possible and so I do not swing my reel out. I find my casts go straighter and farther with less effort. One reason so many do not bother doing this little advanced step is they do not know better. For years the print media has been showing pictures showing the casting being done poorly, here is an example.


The first picture shows a cast about to start, all is well


This shows the reel already swung to the outside, remarkable!


And this is hilarious, no excuse for this at all.

So there you have it. Just one of the little things the better casters do that you probably have not noticed. But, then again, little things can mean a lot I guess. ~ JC

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