I’m using a 20′ mono leader to experiment with Underhand and Scandi casting in this video.
I slapped it together to play with using underhand techniques to experience the effects of a very long leader (to me) I ended up with some pretty impressive knotage on the leader before it was all said and done.
I didn’t take the time to step the leader correctly, the results being that I produced some very funky forward loops.
In the future, I will put more effort into a proper leader and probably shorter, say, around 15′ to 17′.
If fishing permits and for sure for casting practice, I recommend playing with various mono leader lengths on the end of a dry line just to experience how it affects your forward flying loops and casting.
For fishing, I like to use the shortest length of mono leader I can get away.
For swinging wet flies to eager fish, I also prefer a straight mono leader such as 7 to 10′ of Maxima Ultragreen which, for me, works fine for the Scandi style I use.
A tapered leader is probably better but mine usually end up knotted up so bad I opt for the minimalist approach of a straight mono leader.
I seriously doubt 20′ of straight mono leader would work for underhand casting so I will have to sweet talk one of my leader making friends to trade me out of a few proper underhand leaders.
I am not a professional instructor. But I truly believe Albert Einstein’s quote that if you can’t explain it to a six-year-old you don’t understand it yourself. So I try to share what I have learned from my personal experience to help people who are struggling or striving to learn.
Here are some things that have helped me improve my Scandi casting, underhand casting, and in most cases general Spey casting, including Skagit and single hand spey casting. I feel they are important to pass along to others on the same journey.
The bottom leg of my D loop or V loop is shaped by the path of my rod during the sweep whether it bein the form of a climbing curve or incline rod tip path, which means the rod sweeps from low to high. A windshield wiper movement to form the sweep is an example of what not to do.
You can minimize overuse of the top hand to set your anchor by using the bottom hand, particularly in Snake roll or Spiral single Spey type casts.
In a Single Spey cast, I try to utilize the inclined path of the rod tip and speed of the sweep, largely influenced by rotating my body, to set the anchor.
A big D loop and light anchor makes for efficient, effortless casting.
If you have small D loops and sticky anchors you will be tired after a Day of fishing.
A wide casting angle, meaning a forward cast that begins at around 2 o’clock and ends at approximately 10 o’clock will prevent tailing loops and allow for plenty of bottom hand power, providing I use smooth acceleration in the forward cast.
If you creep forward and cast from 1 o’clock to 10 o’clock you may experience a tailing loop or worse. I sometimes inadvertently stop the rod tip much lower if my hands creep forward during a cast to avoid a collision loop.
Creep and tailing loops sometimes show up in my videos. If you check around on Youtube will find lots of casting faults. I’m working to keep these at a minimum!