Here is a clip from Aitor Coteron’s Vimeo Channel with the accompanying quote from Aitor Coteron about the point he is making in the video.
If you strive to keep the load of your rod after the sweep up to the start of the forward cast, because you heard that is proper spey casting technique…. forget it, it is not possible!…Aitor Coteron…
He adds: And don’t worry, it doesn’t matter at all, even if using a Skagit outfit.
On one hand I pretty much agree with him. On the other hand the video would have made more sense to me personally if it were done on water because even if the rod does become unloaded (which it does) between the sweep and forward cast, it does seem like its slightly different with waterborne Spey casts. Not that it matters.
I don’t even think there is a question in touch and go casting that the rod unloads, it absolutely unloads, except sometimes there is enough tension in the system, or lack of slack, that the rod may feel a little loaded all the time. Especially if your a little loaded, which you shouldn’t be, even if your a little frustrated with this casting thing.
I spent years, YEARS, trying to keep my rod loaded (whatever loaded means) throughout the entire cast with less than stellar results. Now, I’m talking Skagit casting here where Ed Ward preaches constant motion and constant load. I could do it, or at least come as close to making an entire cast with the rod somewhat loaded, as much as humanely possible, but the casts didn’t fit the bill of delivering a honking payload with much authority most of the time.
I will say that if you try to cast a huge payload with a small rod and line you definitely have to keep everything moving so the tip and fly don’t sink so far that they kill the cast.
As far as the constant load, (cl) continuous motion (cm) controversy I don’t worry about it. The friends I fish with most likely don’t even know about it. When my rod becomes unloaded during the phase between sweep and forward cast I just try to keep a little tension between the rod tip and the line so as not to develop a ton of slack, although some casts seem to fly pretty good, even with a little slack, but I would not recommend slack, (at least not yet) particularly if your trying to chuck the proverbial dead chicken style Steelhead fly. Even in my most Skagity casting I prefer a pause for a fraction of a second before the forward cast. I’m more concerned that I give my D loop time to develop so it gets nice and tight before the forward cast. I don’t ever want to pause long enough to let my tip and fly sink too much, or my D loop collapse. I’ve found that when I do sweep with Skagit gear the head, sink tip and fly all to move backwards in the form of a D loop for a second and I have to drift back with it or pause and wait for it to get tight before I cast it forward. If I try to throw it before its ready my payload may lose traction, or I cast the D loop before its ready, which doesn’t end well.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Ed Ward is great, and very smart. In his videos he sometimes pauses for a fraction of a second before the forward cast.
I thought this quote from Ed was a good one …
Yes, I still use the cm/cl (constant motion/continuous load) terminology. However, whether or not the cm/cl process is truly, technically, actually constant motion and continuous load may be a debatable matter that will have to be left up to more technical sources than I to prove or disprove. But, even so, my point in all of it is the fact that if there is indeed some pausing of motion or load in the cm/cl process, it is of such a brief span of time as to be unmeasurable by the vast majority of casters/anglers. If it is in fact unmeasurable by human senses, then in a context of teaching casting, its existence is pretty much moot in my opinion. However, as regards my current casting terminology, even though I still use cm/cl, I have also been adding in the use of ‘tension’ to describe the cm/cl process in an alternative way…Ed Ward on Speypages.
Ok, that’s about as technical as we are going to get here in regards to Skagit Casting. It’s a very easy way to cast so there is no sense making it sound difficult. Just keep your D loop properly inflated and you’ll do fine. If it hurts after the end of a day of fishing don’t get loaded, get some help, because whether you think your rod unloads or not, chucking Skagit line should be easy. Really easy.