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Any thoughts on a casting issue?

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Well, I know it's easier with video, but I don't have that. Was wondering if maybe someone could help me correct a casting problem. On my forwards cast, my fly sometimes dips low causing a circle instead of the open tight loop I'm looking for. With this, my tippet line often touches the main line and the fly sometimes catches the knot. Hope that made sense.

 

My buddy said to cock my hand out a bit on the forward cast and the lines wouldn't be touching, but when he casts, there's no circle, it's just an open loop that unrolls. So I'm thinking it's my timing on my back cast. Again, I'm really new to fly fishing and if none of this makes sense, lol, sorry. I'm just wondering if either of these could be common issues for beginners and someone might have a tip for me to practice next time I'm out at the casting pond.

 

thanks

 

maybe this amazing MS paint picture will help biggrin.png

 

cast_zpscba7d65b.jpg

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Great illustration of a tailing loop. Very common problem with many casters. Below is a link to a great video that shows why it happens and how to fix it. Good luck.

 

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I see your Orvis video, and raise you a Tim Rajeff....

 

Essentially, what you are doing is overpowering your cast. What you are doing is applying too much power too early in the cast. The result is that the rod begins to unload before you get to the forward stop position. This creates a ~ in the rod tip path, which in turn creates a tailing loop in the line. Watch both videos several times, and then concentrate on your timing.

 

Your friend's solution is a way of dealing with a faulty cast, but doesn't fix the fault. It does work, though, and I have done it myself, but it's better to fix the casting fault.

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Looks about spot on to things I'm doing. I think I can get out tomorrow to give it a try. Thank you! I didn't want to try the "cocking my hand out thing" because I didn't think it corrected the problem, as much as just adjusted things to have the problem not cause as many issues. This looks to fix the true issue. Thanks again!

 

Eric

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Your friend's solution is a way of dealing with a faulty cast, but doesn't fix the fault. It does work, though, and I have done it myself, but it's better to fix the casting fault.

 

 

Agreed, great video as well. Thanks to both of you guys! Can't wait to get out and give it a shot!

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I have stitched two of my posts on Tailing Loops from another BB into this post.

 

There are many causes of a tailing loop. In fact you could be doing SEVERAL instead of just one thing wrong. Overpowering is a common but not the only cause. In fact, in the creep and jab that is described in my post, the problem is the creep that forces the jab. A jab is the overpowering of the cast but it would NOT occur if we did not creep. So to cure the overpowering fault of the jab, you need to cure the creep and the jab goes away.

 

What you need is either someone who knows how to analyze a casting stroke OR a video of you casting so we can see exactly what you are doing.

 

 

 

 

Part 1 - More than you ever wanted or cared to know about tailing loops, casting and wind knots:

 

To understand what causes a tailing loop and a wind or casting knot, one must know what a normal casting loop looks like. A normal loop has a "fly leg" that is following or traveling forward and a standing "rod leg" that is stationary and attached to the rod tip. Normally the two legs are separated by the width of the loop and usually in an overhead cast, the upper fly leg is the traveling leg and the lower rod leg is the stationary leg. See # cast #1 below.

 

A wind knot occurs because the following fly leg (upper leg) of the casting loop falls below the standing rod leg (lower leg) AND the legs are in the same casting plane. See # 3 below.

 

BOTH situations must occur, that is the fly leg must cross the rod leg and the legs must be in the same plane. A wind knot cannot occur if the two legs of fly line are in different casting planes.

 

48087099572_817c0b5711_z.jpg

 

Example - By using an elliptical casting motion, the back cast and forward cast are made in different planes and this separates the two legs of the loop formation. Even if the fly and rod legs of the loop formation cross vertically, they cannot catch on each other because they are separated horizontally in space; they are in different planes.

 

To see how this works, make a side arm back cast and then an overhead forward cast and you will see than the two legs of the loop are in different planes. Even if the upper fly leg of the loop drops down on the forward stroke, there is no lower rod leg of the loop to get tangle with because there is a horizontal separation of the two legs of the loop.

 

This type of cast is known as the Belgian Cast. Because this cast separates the planes of the back cast and forward cast, it is an excellent cast to prevent tangles not only for tailing loops but also when casting multiple flies or heavily weighted flies. It is also an excellent wind cast when your back is to the wind and it often called the Belgian Wind Cast for this reason.

 

However, the elliptical motion also causes the fly line to twist counter clockwise for a right handed caster. By casting in an ellipse we are moving the rod tip in a circle for each cast and this twists the fly line. If you always use the elliptical cast, you'll need to allow the line to untwist every so often.

 

If we do cast in the same plane as in the usual overhead cast, wind or casting knots occur because of the crossing of the two legs of the cast. What causes the two legs to cross?

 

Well, there are many reasons which have been mentioned by the other posters. The fly line follows the rod tip. The rod tip follows the path of the hand except for one change. As we apply power to the rod, the rod flexes, and when it flexes, the effective rod length shortens so that the rod tip comes closer to the casting hand. See illustration below:

 

34883063044_19e1b24ac8_n.jpg

 

If we move our casting hand in a straight line rather than the convex path above, we are not compensating for the shortening of the rod tip. The rod tip will travel not in a straight path but in a concave path as it flexes and straightens during the straight line casting motion.

 

See Tailing loop and concave rod tip path below.

 

35337477190_3393b7759b_n.jpg

 

The video below with the rod butt fixed to a table must cause a tailing loop because of the rod shortening. A tailing loop HAS to occur.

 

rodney.gif.7a564bb9ede4453ea4cc0bafecb4e85e.gif

 

This concave path causes a dip in the path of the following fly leg of the fly line. At the stop, the rod tip straightens and the standing rod leg line will be above the traveling fly leg line, and as the two lines cross, you get a wind knot. So one cause is a straight line casting motion of the casting hand. The casting hand must move in a convex path to compensate for rod shortening. The bending of the rod must be done smoothly to mirror the path of the rod hand.

 

A second cause is a sudden application of power too early in the casting stroke - this is often called a jab. Again these sudden shock to the rod causes an acute bend and a dip in the rod tip path. The most common cause of this is when we try to cast farther than we commonly cast, and we give the rod that extra punch at the wrong time. The application of power must be smooth so that there is a progressive bend that we can compensate for.

 

34883062894_f1803358e8_z.jpg

 

The third cause is extending the hand forward in a straight line at the end of the cast, especially if you extend the rod tip up because you think a high rod tip will gain you more distance. Casters will do this because they think you can get more distance if you shoot line from a higher rod tip position. However this will cause a tailing loop and a casting knot.

 

What these casters do not realize is that when a rod straightens after the stop, the "effective rod length" (the distance of the rod tip from the hand) lengthens. If you don't tip the rod tip down to compensate for this rod lengthening, the rod tip will be higher than the trailing fly line causing a tailing loop and casting knot. You need to tip the rod tip down just before the stop to allow the fly line to clear the rod tip.

 

Another cause is a poor backcast and poor timing. If you start the backcast too early, you may not have enough loading power to complete the forward cast so your compensate with a jab which causes a tailing loop. If you start too late, the line may have fallen too low and you will get a tailing loop from the low following line.

 

An article in Fly Fisherman Magazine by Jim McLennan's titled "The Creep & Jab" in the March 2008 issue gives another common cause. If a caster creeps after the backcast, they will often jab to compensate for the creep. See a video and explanation here:

 

http://archives.flyfisherman.com/content/creep-and-jab

 

There are a lot of other causes best explained here with video:

 

http://www.sexyloops.com/flycasting/tailingloops.shtml

 

http://www.sexyloops.com/flycasting/tailingloops2.shtml

 

 

Part 2 - If the Tailing Loop occurs right at the stop, I think you are not dipping the rod tip down just before the stop.

 

I have stitched together several of my posts on tailing loop formation at the stop. Please forgive me for some repetition.

 

When the fly rod straightens after the stop, the "effective rod length" (the distance of the rod tip from the hand) lengthens. If you don't tip the rod tip down to compensate for this rod lengthening, the rod tip will be higher than the trailing fly line causing a tailing loop that begins at the rod stop. You need to tip the rod tip down a bit before the stop to allow the fly line to clear the rod tip.

 

There are many names for this flick. Doug Swisher calls it the "micro wrist". See this description from the Orvis Guide to Better Fly Casting by Al Kyte, pp 25/26.

 

The Orvis Guide to Better Fly Casting

 

"Most instructors teach a firm wrist throughout the forward cast to reduce 'wristiness,' but they probably hope students will move the wrist enough to help speed up the tip. I am careful to avoid the term locked wrist, because some students do exactly what you say and then have trouble loosening their grip enough to use the wrist at all. And if you even mention wrist movement in your teaching, students will often overdo it. Knowing this, some instructors teach students to press the thumb. In doing so, they teach a little late wrist movement, without having students even think about the wrist.

 

Longtime Orvis Master Instructor Bill Cairns has taught tightening the thumb and forefinger, bringing the the wrist into play and stopping. Doug Swisher referred to this quick wrist movement as a micro-wrist. and Joe Humphries refers to it as a tap……

 

Jim Green also emphasized pressing with the thumb to create a little wrist movement before stopping it immediately before his hand. So the "positive" in his positive stop is a little wrist pivot that not only stops the rod, but helps force the tip over the resistance of the butt of the rod."

 

Here's an excellent article on casting by Simon Gawesworth

 

The Fly Cast - Fly Fisherman

 

In the article is this illustration #5 below. The dotted is called a chord, a line which joins two points on an arc, and it represents the "effective rod length" of a flexed fly rod. The caster must accelerate the rod smoothly to prevent a sudden shortening of the "effective rod length" that will cause a tailing loop. When this compressed rod straightens at the stop, the straightened rod will take the rod tip above the level of the trailing fly line unless the rod tip is rotated out of the way just before the stop.

 

Load-Loop-2.gif

 

When the rod tip travels in a straight line, loop size is controlled by a micro flick of the wrist just before the stop. This micro flick speeds up the rod tip and moves it out of the way of the following fly line. It tips the rod tip down a bit and controls the loop size. Otherwise, the "effective rod length" lengthens as the rod straightens at the stop. The rod tip moves above the level of the following line and a tailing loop develops.The size of this flick controls the loop size.

 

Note that in the photo of Jason Borger below, he has already flicked his wrist down at the stop.

 

34883065154_73e13f042f_z.jpg

 

The Illustration below is from Jason's book on casting and corresponds to the photo above.

 

34883064914_49fab77a85_z.jpg

 

Fly casters who think the wrist must be absolutely locked are surprised when they learn of the late micro flick. But it is a necessary move for a good cast and to prevent a tailing loop.

 

The Federation of Fly Fishers Master Casting Clinic Study Guide states:

 

"The wrist is better suited for quick, final movements than for those requiring sustained, evenly applied force. ------- Other instructors believe this wrist action is so important that they emphasize it in their teaching. Lefty and Joan Wulff cast with different styles, yet both have stated that they use large muscles to provide force and direction to throw the line, but a late, quick wrist movement to control the size of the casting loop. ------- Longtime East Coast instructor Bill Cairns has similarly described this wrist action. Doug Swisher has taught it as a "micro-wrist" movement and Joe Humphreys as a "tap". ------ On the forward cast, I want to build in wrist action as part of the stop. To do this, I need to channel a student?s wrist movement into a late time frame within the cast."

 

I use a wet paint brush as a good way to teach this wrist flick or micro wrist. I ask the student to stand in front of a wall and flick water off of a soaked paint brush so the water lands on the wall at about eye level.

 

rodney.gif

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Some of you advanced casters are familiar with the Sage Casting Analyzer.

 

Explanation of the casting analyzer graph is below. It is the perfect symmetrical casting graph.

 

 

castingsignature.jpg

 

Forward creep on the analyzer graph would be forward movement (line moving slightly above the X axis) during what should be the flat baseline pause phase after the backcast stop of the casting stroke and the beginning of the next forward casting stroke. This will result in a jab, seen as spike in the acceleration phase of the next forward cast.

 

Rod drift, which is an intentional slow movement of the rod further backward after the backcast stop would result in the graph line moving slightly below the X axis during the pause phase after the backcast stop and before the acceleration phase of the forward cast. The drift is an intentional movement to gain greater stroke length for the next forward cast. It allows the caster to make a longer and smoother acceleration for a longer forward cast without the need for a jab.

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My buddy said to cock my hand out a bit on the forward cast and the lines wouldn't be touching, but when he casts, there's no circle, it's just an open loop that unrolls. So I'm thinking it's my timing on my back cast. Again, I'm really new to fly fishing and if none of this makes sense, lol, sorry. I'm just wondering if either of these could be common issues for beginners and someone might have a tip for me to practice next time I'm out at the casting pond.

 

thanks

 

maybe this amazing MS paint picture will help biggrin.png

 

cast_zpscba7d65b.jpg

 

 

Cocking your wrist out a bit will angle the loop to the side of the casting hand and avoid the loop hitting your head, but your friend is INCORRECT about it preventing a tailing loop. Unless the back cast stroke and forward cast stroke are in different geometric casting planes, a tailing loop that catches the standing fly line leg can occur.

 

Don't believe me? I can cast side arm which is the ultimate cocking of the hand and arm and still form a tailing loop.

 

Consider that the fly line does not know or care what angle the rod and rod tip are moved. It only cares that the rod tip travels in a straight line and then tips away to allow the loop to form. So tipping the rod angle a bit to the side does not matter. A long as the rod tip is going back and forth in the same line regardless of rod angle and the loop is forming in the same plane, a tailing loop can form.

 

Your friend does not realize that it is the path of the rod tip that determines where and how the loop will form and not the rod angle. Only when the rod angle differs enough between the forward and back cast to separate the path of the rod tip, and therefore, the loops horizontally and vertically in space can the loops never catch each other.

 

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I think his thought was just getting the loop to sway away from the line so it didn't touch on the fowards cast. He's not a pro, but he casts a lot better than I do. I never tried what he said because like you guys said, it didn't correct the real problem. I'm going to take a few notes from this post and head out to the casting pond. Some of the things in here are a bit overwhelming for a rookie guy like me, so a few adjustments at a time and some practice on those will be my first step. Hopefully I can fix it. Thanks again for all of the info and help. I'm heading out to the casting pond tomorrow. I'll report back...

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I think his thought was just getting the loop to sway away from the line so it didn't touch on the fowards cast. He's not a pro, but he casts a lot better than I do. I never tried what he said because like you guys said, it didn't correct the real problem. I'm going to take a few notes from this post and head out to the casting pond. Some of the things in here are a bit overwhelming for a rookie guy like me, so a few adjustments at a time and some practice on those will be my first step. Hopefully I can fix it. Thanks again for all of the info and help. I'm heading out to the casting pond tomorrow. I'll report back...

 

The fly leg cannot stay away from the rod leg if the two legs are in the same casting plane and the rod tip path causes the two legs to cross. The rod angle is not the issue, the path of the rod tip on the back cast and forward cast are.

 

When you angle the rod off of the vertical casting plane, the orientation of the casting and loop plane will be along the rod angle, but since both the rod and fly leg are on that same geometric plane, the legs still can cross. Vertical rod for both the forward and back cast = vertical casting plane. Angled rod for the forward and back cast at the same rod angle = angled casting plane. When the rod angle stays the same for both the forward and back casts, there is a single casting plane and a tailing loop can occur.

 

Change the rod angle between the backcast and forward cast and you separate the two casting planes. Belgian cast = sidearm backcast and overhead forward cast = no tailing loop possible.

 

Think about this - why do you get tailing loops ONLY on your forward cast?

 

If your casting stroke was symmetric, should you not get one on your backcast as well? The reason is that your stroke is NOT symmetric and you probably are laying your wrist back on the cast to open the loop on your backcast. It is a common fault and results in an open loop and poor aerodynamics on the backcast. A weak backcast result has less kinetic energy and less momentum that you can use to preload the rod for the forward cast.

 

Think of it this way. A poor backcast results in the caster trying to add more power to the forward cast to get the distance they want. The need to add extra energy because the backcast has not straightened the line and provided a reward momentum AGAINST which you will load the rod for the forward cast. Some of the initial forward rod motion of the forward cast must go to removing slack and straightening the line from the backcast . So you waste stroke length and need to punch/jab the rod resulting a tailing loop on the forward cast.

 

The way to improve the forward cast is to improve the backcast. The backcast is the platform from which you launch the forward cast. So work on your backcast to help cure the tailing loop. A person that is not versed in casting would never think of a fault in the backcast could be the major cause of a tailing loop on the forward cast, but it can.

 

Here's a post on another BB by a beginner in Turkey who posted a youtube video and we were able to help him get sorted out. I posted some suggestions on page 1 and 3 of the thread as silver creek. There are also some teaching videos posted that you can look at. I suggest you post a video of yourself if you cannot get some personalized instruction.

 

 

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/general-discussion/305263-examine-my-cast-please.html

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