I want to throw a bone to my friends who come to this site regularly. Although I have made so many mistakes here, including negligence and incompetence (loosing my email list, maybe twice) people regular users still check in and I want to show my appreciation by dropping some value bombs by way of sharing what has been working for me in my casting.
Spey casting tip for the LineSpeedJedi blog audience, this tip has helped me increase my distance with long lines and keep me out of the brush with Skagit heads. Its geared a bit towards advanced casters but can help every learning stage.
I’m not saying its not subject to change but I have improved my casting with every line system and with every payload I fish or cast.
I ‘ve made lots of videos in an effort to sort out the different styles of Spey Casting from Micro Skagit single hand casting to Underhand casting similar to what Goran Anderson preaches, to Modern Scandi Casting which is more encompassing as far as variations in line lengths, payloads etc, to Casting long belly competition lines. I try to sort all of that out so beginners are not confused which they are, and intermediates are also confused.
I sent a message to Tommy Arrkvisla on Facebook requesting to borrow a video, he thanked me for asking but had other possible plans for the video so I could not share it, and, he added, he teaches it different than my technique, in so many words.
But Tommy did admonish me to keep doing what I’m doing because I think he appreciated the fact that I explain the different styles of casting. So though there are apparently a few haters out there, possibly because of the name linespeedjedi, errantly misunderstanding the fact that I merely espouse myself to be a lowly jedi knight and not a Jedi Master. Some people don’t know ‘nuthin’ ’bout jedis.
But when THE Jedi Master (one of a few) holder of world records and world championship Spey casting competitions and lifer in the world of Spey Casting, and fishing, and a rep for some of the top of the line Double hand Spey rods in the whole wide world, says, you must continue doing what you are doing, It makes one spit ones coffee out of ones mouth in surprise. So I sally forth in my quest to educate would be spey fishermen before they just rush out and buy all kinds of expensive equipment before they know what they are getting into. They never learn, but hey.
It is not uncommon for someone who fishes two handers regularly and should know better to say something like “Hey, is that a long belly Scandi you are casting there? I have yet to figure out how to answer that without a rant, so I usually sidestep the issue
So here are a few things I want to share with you. They are just my opinions, my way of looking at things and although they may be subject to change, I doubt they will.
A shooting head is a shooting head, is a shooting head. Skagit heads and Scandi heads are pretty much interchangeable. The shorter they are, the more the lines between them are blurred. Unless they get too long. Then they become long shooting heads or short belly spey lines or really long Scandi lines.
Longer lines become easier to cast when I adjust my entire cast, beginning at the lift throughout each phase of the cast, to compensate for the longer line, without looking like a completely different caster.
Short Skagit and Scandi lines can be cast Skagit style, and there are as many styles within Skagit casting as there are casters. Or you can cast them underhand style, such as Goran, or Klouse, or Use the modern Scandi technique used by one of my mentors and a Scandi Jedi Master to me,(although he would never call himself that) Modern Scandinavian Casting, which has a strong bottom hand emphasis but is pretty versatile.
You can also cast them with a Standard Spey cast, meaning using proper, technique, tempo, stroke length, and limb usage combination, for lack of a better explanation.
Styles have limitations but proper technique has no limitations outside of those set by the laws of physics.
There are certains dynamics that affect casting every line out there, and payload, or at least that I might cast.
To me the most important parts of the cast start with a lift that sets me up for success on my sweep. So it must be high enough, but not too high, and smooth enough, but it can never bee too smooth.
The lift sets me up for a sweep that at some point, can go from low to high to form the bottom leg of my V loop.
The circle up or drift into the firing position should allow me to drift as high as necessary, or not, if fishing circumstances or personal choice dictates otherwise, so I can be in perfect position to launch whatever cast I need at the time.
Up to this point, I want my hand in front of my body and face at all times. This means I need to use my bottom hand if I want to accomplish this, and I must use in in every phase of the cast.
With a longer line I simply cannot be in my desired casting position without focused and dominant use of my bottom hand. That is why I’ve finally come to appreciate the switch cast, particularly with long lines because it forces me to use my bottom hand throughout, and a lot, before I arrive at firing position properly, it also forces me to shift my center of gravity i.e. rock my body in order to lengthen the distance the rod tip travels during the sweep and forward cast.
Bottom line for me. Hands in front. throughout the entire cast, regardless of the line length. Another mentor, Bruce Kruk of the Galeforce casting team has drilled this into my head. This practice keeps the sweep going up, up, up, to form the bottom leg of the V loop and prepare for a high drift, or circle up which will increase the length of the forward stroke.
During the sweep, locking my elbow to my ribs, or in reasonable proximity and not letting my elbow come behind my back, while allowing my top hand to do what it must as a swivel, including sweeping out to the side as far as it wants, which is not far, because my elbow is locked to my ribs.
I do best when I concentrate on all of this while keeping my hands as far out in front of me as humanely possible. I’m not positive as to why it works so good for me but it does.
This includes my forward stroke. Before I rotate the rod at the end of my forward stroke I want that baby stuck out as far in front of me as possible. It feels as awkward as heck to begin with. The lift, sweep and drift felt incredibly awkward when I was first learning to perform them with my hands in front. It took me well over a year to even begin to get somewhat of a handle on the idea and the awkward feel, to cast with my hands even further out in front is a work in progress.
If you watch Janusz cast you will notice that he drifts very high and slightly forward before his forward cast, with short lines.
Uploaded by Janusz Panicz on 2015-08-31.
I do that also with longer lines but drift forward and drive down before I rotate the rod and make an effort to pull down with my bottom hand until the rotation part when I pull up towards my armpit, when I can remember to do of all of that at the same time.
It works well for me with short lines and I will try to show you what I mean using this unlisted video for my loyal friends here at linespeedjedi.com