Spey Casting Youtube: Circle up, or Drift

I just published a Spey Casting Youtube video about the drift or circle up.  The circle up is the part of the cast that gets you from the end of the sweep to the beginning of the forward cast.


According to the Flyfishers International website, the definition of the Drift is: 

Drift – Rod rotation and/or hand translation during the pause in
the direction of the current cast. 

Also if we are talking about the Drift we need to talk about Creep:

Creep – rod rotation during the pause in the direction of the next cast.


10 thoughts on “Spey Casting Youtube: Circle up, or Drift

  1. After reading and studying these graphs and definitions, I knew something was bothering me but couldn’t put my finger on it until just now:

    Definitions of both drift and creep that fail to consider the maintenance of tension are incomplete in my own opinion.

    Maybe that’s nitpicking, but someone could read those definitions and think purposely inducing slack is acceptable. I think it is potentially troublesome.

    Rant concluded…

  2. Hey Tim,

    I had some correspondence with you a few weeks ago about the transition from sweep to forward stroke and because I like the Skagit style, I favour the circle up method. I followed your advice about facing the mirror ( my nose pointing at the 12:00 position) and by taking the butt section to the 4:00 position and then go in to the key position for the forward stroke. The visual was invaluable to see how small the movement was. As well, exercising the D-loop drill and timing the forward stroke correctly has helped tremendously. Thanks for your help !!

    1. Thanks, Paul for the great report. I’m glad to hear you are improving. You make a great point. It’s a very small, simple movement to get from the sweep to the key position for Skagit casting. I hope people see your comment. I think it will simplify casting for them. I’m very happy to be a help in advancing your casting. Your previous comment was one of the main reasons I did the video, so I do thank you for that and for watching the video and taking the time to keep the conversation going. Thanks, man!

  3. Ha Ha! I see your dolphin-noses!–I thought I was the only one who could draw dolphins at will! (they may be a “tell” of inconsistent tension or previous excess or abrupt power application). If they disappear when you “back off” a bit, that will tell you what caused them.

    Good stuff Tim. Those are very precise definitions and deserve serious thought. As they relate to our individual styles and techniques, perhaps also mentioning how important maintaining tension (avoiding slack) is to success. Any movements in the direction of the intended cast that lack tension are undesirable and possibly unnecessary.

    1. Great points Greg. Thanks for the comment. I immediately thought of you when I saw the dolphin nose and I seem to be running across others who have experienced the Dolphin effect too lately. Yes, the absence of slack is important and I will have to make a point to expand on that too. You can see a good example of slack in the D loop on the first left-hand up cast in the video. I need to work on that in the worst way! More fodder for further consideration on upcoming videos! Thanks for the great comment.

        1. Great Stuff Aitor, thanks for posting in the comments section. Your conclusions make me feel I’m on the right track. Love the super slo-motion stuff. Thank you, Sir!

  4. Hi Tim,
    There is another important consideration to take into account regarding this issue:
    Making the sweep and the drift as the same motion (accelerating all the way up to the end) gives a D loop as a result. When making two different motions (sweep stops and, immediately drift starts) gives a V loop.
    I prefer a V loop most of the time.


    1. Excellent point Aitor! Probably the most important point of the entire subject and I totally missed it. I like the V loop as well and find myself using it more as I improve my casting. will try to get some better footage of the shapes of the loops and expand on the topic. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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