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Basic overhead cast. The lift, casting stroke, casting arc and set down.
In part one I gave a brief definition of casting terms.I'll go into more detail over the coming months. In this post I'll detail the parts of the basic overhead cast:
As this is aimed to help beginners and novices I've tried to keep the language and terminology as simple as possible
In my explanations I use the word 'force', other instructors may use different words - energy, effort, and power are commonly used, all mean basically the same thing. I also use the term 'Acceleration Stroke', other instructors may call this the 'casting stroke'.
Lift - From a start point where your rod tip is close to the water use the lift to get the line moving and free it from the stick of the water's surface tension. Not using a lift often leads to noisily ripping the line from the water, use of force at the wrong time and can cause an uncontrolled fly whipping through the air. - Important note - the lift and acceleration stroke is a continuous movement, there is no pause between the lift and acceleration stroke.
Acceleration stroke - The acceleration stroke continues seamlessly from the lift but this is the point at which you start to accelerate the rod to put a bend in it. The start and stop positions (casting arc) of the acceleration stroke is variable and will depend on a number of factors . The stop must be abrupt (a dead stop not deceleration) to allow the mass of the fly line, having built up momentum during the acceleration stroke, to continue its journey behind you. The acceleration stroke on the forward cast starts when the line has finished extending on the back cast, but before it starts dropping, and ends with another dead stop. The fly line shoots forward creating a loop, Important note - A controlled progressive acceleration is key.
Casting arc - This is the angle of the rod at the start and stop points of the casting stroke. This is really important; if the rod tip dips below a straight line path (SLP) during the acceleration stroke it will form a tailing loop (and tailing loops, not wind, are the cause of wind knots). This is caused by the casting arc being too tight. To stop tailing loops either; reduce the force applied, aerialise less line to prevent the rod bending so much and dipping below the SLP, or widen your casting arc to compensate for the increased bend in the rod. If the arc is too wide it may create open or wide loops. These are slower and easier to control and are good for casting teams of flies, but because they are slower to unroll and not aerodynamic cannot be used for distance casting. distance casting needs a fast, aerodynamic loop and these need a straight line path of the rod tip.
Set down - As the fly line unrolls in the air and drops follow it down by gently lowering your rod tip down to the water.
A well known fly fishing guide and instructor John can often be found fishing or guiding on the Welsh Dee or passing his knowledge to others at game fairs and country shows.
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