What, exactly, is Underhand Casting?
What separates underhand casting, Goran Andersson style, from Modern Scandinavian casting, or any other kind of casting, at least at the outset, is the use of very short shooting heads couple with long mono leaders. We are talking 15′ to 24′ feet long monofilament leaders. This lends itself well to fly fishing for spooky Atlantic Salmon.
But modern Goran Andersson style underhand casters, such as Klaus Frimor and others still use the Goran Anderson underhand casting style to cast full sinking lines and sink tip lines to Atlantic Salmon in Europe and Steelhead and Atlantic Salmon in America.
What separates Goran Andersson underhand cast from other styles
Technique-wise, particularly with a two-handed rod the lift is started with the butt of the rod in front of the body and, in fact, usually touching below the belly or on the front of the hip.
The lift is slow and usually high, the body is rotated towards the target. When the path of the rod crosses the nose of the caster (as described by Klaus Frimore) the bottom hand sweeps away from the body in a half circle, there is no dip in the sweep, when the rod is in the firing position the butt of the rod is pulled down back into the body. Watch the video for a better description of the Goran Anderson Underhand casting style.
Here is what Janusz Panicz Emphasizes about Underhand casting:
1. Underhand casting (originated by Göran Andersson).
– shorter/fast-action rods
– short heads
– short casting stroke
– long leaders
– use of bottom hand alone to sweep and to propel the line into the forward cast
– maintaining high rod tip position from the lift into the forward cast
– slow and relaxed hand movements from the lift into the firing position
– short distance between the top and bottom hands on the grip
– high line speed
– airborne anchors
BTW underhand style has its use with both SH and DH
Another Experienced EuropeanUnderhand Caster offered the following commentary on the benefits of Goran Andersson’s style of Underhand Casting:
Firstly in my case, it is the lack of physical effort required. Secondly, it is an extremely accurate way of casting because of the vertical or near vertical forward cast. Also because it is only the monofilament leader that touches the water there is virtually no water disturbance, especially important when the water is low. The long leader improves presentation and I believe less likely to frighten the fish in clear water conditions.
You are quite correct in saying that a long monofilament leader is predominantly used for the style. Seventeen foot would really be a minimum depending on rod length, your height above the water and weight of the fly. You can use poly tips but they reduce the versatility of the leader sliding in the water surface. I think its lack of popularity is probably the leader length as some struggle handling twenty odd feet of leader, get the cast wrong and you end up with wind knots. Underhand casters can be very pedantic with leader length. Chopping and changing depending on weight of fly, depth etc. The leader is absolutely the vital element to this style.
Incidentally, I know Klaus Frimor, he was born with a fly rod in his hand. He is now probably the worlds foremost underhand caster, an absolute maestro with a fly rod, superb fisherman, and gentleman to boot….Llandogo (Speypages contributor)
I stuck my neck out and did an Underhand Cast, Goran Anderson Style Youtube Video with the caveat that I’m not really an underhand casting guy. I have learned much from my correspondence with Janusz Panicz when he taught me about Modern Scandinavian Casting these past couple years. He helped me to understand when I was blurring the lines between the two styles so I have a little better understanding now. Some of the differences between Modern Scandi Style and Underhand are shooting head length, leader length, the grip, the lift the sweep, hand movements, body position.
So there is a difference between Underhand Casting and Modern Scandinavian Casting. There are also some similarities.
I thought I would pass this along to clear at least a few things up, with the understanding that it may make things a little more confusing. If its bad I’m willing to take the heat. It’s the least I can do for the good of mankind.