Casting Tip November 2012  & January 2013

by: Bill Armon CCI

This month we will talk about Timing, Grip, and Hand/Rod Stop Position.

The three principals mentioned last month were:

   1) Pause too long on the back cast NOT too little
   2) Use a loose rod grip to start then squeeze the grip at the hand stop position. Do this on both the fore and the back cast.
   3) The thumb should be parallel to the water/ground at rod stop position on forward cast.
   4) Practice should have a purpose. It is best to isolate a particular principal / skill to work on. Make your sessions 15 minutes every other day.

One of the more common mistakes made is to not pause long enough when changing directions either from back to fore or if false casting from fore to back cast. A good cast can be made if you pause too long. A good cast will not occur if you change directions too quickly as slack will form in the line causing the rod to unbend/ unload at the wrong time. Perfect timing is to change directions just as the line straightens but if in doubt error on the side of too long a pause and a good cast can still be made.

Start the stroke with a loose grip. This will help to keep things smooth and to not start too quickly. When you reach the position where the hand should stop – squeeze (fast and hard) the rod to a “stop”. This will get the rod to unbend / unload correctly. The same motion is used in both the fore and the back cast. Immediately after the squeeze release and go back to a loose grip. Doing this will help to dampen the rod vibrations and will lead to a smooth line with no waves causing a better presentation.

If you stop the rod hand at the correct location, when using a thumb on top grip, you will find your thumb is parallel to the ground or water surface. If your thumb is pointed down you are stopping the rod hand too low on the forward cast. Try this and you will be amazed at how well it works!

Casting on the lawn is no longer possible until daylight savings time returns. Next month we will discuss the fifth item on the list of “five things that will improve your casting”.

Practicing with a purpose is one of the tenets of improving at a skill. A good example is to practice starting low. This should become a habit for all casters but usually the habit we adopt is to start too high (and often too fast as well). But, if we make the purpose of a practice session to start low (every time), we may be able to develop this into a habit. Whatever you feel is a weakness in your casting -make this the purpose of a practice session. This will lead to improving faster than just “practicing casting “.

Remember, practice does not make perfect it only makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

This is the reason for the last of the recommendations given at a class at this year’s FFF fly fishing fair in Mt. Home, AR (i.e. – Southern Council Conclave). The theory here is that the first fifteen minutes of every practice sessions is the most valuable. By stopping after 15 minutes hopefully no bad muscle memory will develop. By practicing every other day practice will always be looked forward to and practicing will not become a chore.

Again, thanks to David Diaz MCCI for the ideas presented in this series of tips.

Don’t miss the annual dinner – always a good time! Next month mending.

Return whence you came.