Modern Scandinavian Spey Casting. Focusing on the lift.

I have been working on starting my cast with my hands lower and to the side, slowing down my lift considerably, sweeping at an incline, extending my bottom hand arm, mellowing out on my forward cast, keeping my hands more in front of me, using less top hand and more bottom hand on the forward stroke to accelerate smoothly to a crisp stop. Very Occasionally I remember to do all of that in one cast. Like my 14 year old son Charlie says, “there’s a lot to remember.

In short I’m basically trying not to cast like my hair’s on fire…part of the time.

Sometimes I pull it off but if I’m not extremely focused from the very start to the very end of each cast cast I end up cutting corners during some integral phase of the procedure or at the very least hammering the forward cast too hard.

It’s an effort to slow myself down enough to forego some coveted repetitions in order to target the weak parts of my cast which is the lift because early on I failed to realize that the lift is just as important with short Scando heads as it is with long belly spey lines.

It begins with the hands low and to the side, with the body twisted towards the dangle, with my weight on my front foot and the upper torso canted forward.  The rod tip starts low without any slack in the line.  The rod is lifted slowly at an angle, not straight up and down.  There can be no rush once the weight of the line is felt in the hands. It must be smooth and blend seamlessly into the sweep. The correct lift is the beginning of letting the rod do the work and the foundation for a powerful and efficient cast.

6 thoughts on “Modern Scandinavian Spey Casting. Focusing on the lift.

  1. Correct me if I misrepresent you here, but I think its important for your readers to understand what is meant by your phrase “lifting the rod at an angle”. One potentially helpful way to describe it is from a particular perspective. For example, I (you?) could say that while the rod is being raised, it is oriented slightly outward while the tip top rises vertically from the surface when viewed by the caster as he looks downstream, but the rod tip also draws slightly upriver at the same time when viewed from shore because the upper section of the rod travels a greater distance than the butt section. Its a minor point, but possibly important to a reader.

    1. Thanks Greg for that clarification. I think sometimes its easy for beginners to think that the rod tip is lifted straight up pointing down stream before the sweep begins. Thank you for your contribution as always!

  2. Hi Tim, It is a pretty short head what you are using, but for longer ones you should try a Crescent Lift: instead of lifting the rod up you describe a sort of “C” towards your bank. That removes the whole line from the water prior to the sweep, so it helps in gaining control.

    Cheers.

    1. Hey Aitor it is good to hear from you. As a matter of fact I did some filming of a Crescent lift today and will get the video up shortly. I will post the video next week or sooner and I would like to get your take on if I’m doing it correctly. I will say it is amazing for anchor placement! Greg Holt has been after me to play with it and the results are excellent. Thanks sir for logging in and commenting. It is very much appreciated!

  3. It looks pretty relaxed to me.

    In my own casting (which is certainly no better than yours) I can lift on an angle (slanting the lift out towards the center of the river) as long as the head is short enough to allow the entire working line to clear the water before it leaves the surface.

    However, when I cast “longer” heads (55 feet for me is “longer”) I have to lift vertically before rotating the hips and torso, otherwise too much line is still left in contact with the water and when it releases during the re-position, it lurches upriver rather than accelerating gradually, leaving line further from me without enough tension. The body recognizes this and attempts to “catch up”, causing all kinds of problems.

    Your overall description sounds great, and the proof of smoothness in the video supports that. If you “punch” your forward stroke more than what is necessary for the distance desired, its probably because you enjoy the feeling. I do too…

    What is the make-up of the head, tip, and leader and what is the rod, please? It would help me to understand whether the amount of movement is correctly proportioned to the tackle chosen.

    1. Thanks Greg, I appreciate the comment from a caster of your caliber! Scandi and Spey casting with a Beulah Classic 12’7″ Rod and Scandi short versitip with floating tip and my 13.6 Prototype rod, Scandi Short Body, 17′ floating tip. Varivas mono running line, due for a change!

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