Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by James Waggoner, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Actually, I was just working on the basics with a Switch Cast, so river orientation is not critical. The switch cast is just an exercise to develop the basic lift, loop creation and fire, that all change of directions casts, like the single spey, are based upon. I do try to find places to practice both river right and left casts, when working on my single speys and snake rolls. I also take the opportunity, regardless of river direction to always spend sometime "Switch Casting" left and right handed to build muscle memory.

    Thanks Klick, keep it coming.

  2. James,
    Here's a technique for practice that I've found helpful, and it relates to your most recent post about practicing the switch cast:

    Locate a flat expanse of non-moving water (nearby lake, flooded field?) with lots of back and side room, and perfect your switch cast there from both sides, both hands up. If you're fortunate enough to practice on a calm day, you'll also have the benefit of removing nearly all the uncontrollable variables from your exercise (current velocity, current direction, current irregularities, stance and body position variability, etc.).

    Another benefit of stillwater practice is that it promotes more precise positioning, tempo, and force, since the moving water is not present to help or hurt, and the path of the forward cast is a truer product of your mechanics, since no current is present to shift the anchor. When you return to the river, you'll be more aware of how the current direction and speed affect your casting techniques, and how they change the timing and anchor placement as well as distance achieved. You'll find yourself categorizing specific movements and positions into "must do", "never do", and "I didn't know that"...

    It's no coincidence that many of the videos featuring champion distance casters performing are filmed on lakes.

    Hoping that may prove useful,

    James Waggoner likes this.
  3. Greg, I've been thinking about going to LaCamas lake for casting practice since the river closes for a month tomorrow, but those are some more good reasons to hit the lake. I did run down to the river again today for about two hours. Had an awesome day on the water casting. I took the 11/12 CND off and went back to the 10/11 Carron, world of difference. I was casting tighter loops and working less to accomplish the same distance. I figure the heavier CND was really good to help me get the feel of the load and develop my timing, which I believe it did.

    Klick, worked on my elbows and controlling them, great tip thanks. I felt more power in my casts, and less effort, as I kept my elbows closer and lower. Big contributer to tighter loops as well.

    Well, once again, I failed to get video. Not that I didn't try, dead battery this time! Maybe, someone else on the forum, from the Vancouver area, that likes to practice spey casting would like to meet somewhere and trade pointers and camera duties? PM if interested.

    Thanks everyone!

  4. What is a switch cast?...I'm lost.
  5. A "Switch Cast" is a very basic practice cast that helps the caster develop lift, loop formation, forward cast and tempo; sound casting fundamentals. There is no angle change so rotation and alignment are not a factor and casting doesn't have to incorporate a reset of the line after each cast, as the line just goes back to where it started from.

    Also it's a great cast to work both sides of the body without having to change river orientation. Most casting videos, start with this cast or the simple roll cast. Works well on grass...and don't forget a great way to practice the Snake or spiral cast too.

  6. Thanks James...I've always called that a roll cast. I know what you mean now.
  7. Rolf a switch cast is the same as a single spey with no change of direction and is more dynamic than your basic roll cast (which all two-handed fly casts are born of).
  8. they call it a jump roll in Europe. Switch cast here.
  9. So it seems we all agree...a switch cast is a roll cast, so why do we call it a switch cast?

    Something to ponder while awaiting James' next casting session. Seems this thread may have become too dependant on James. Any others out there willing to "show or tell" how best to deal with the long line?
  10. Switch and Roll are actually pretty different. Ian explained the Switch cast pretty well. The roll cast isn't as dynamic, the fly doesn't "Jump" into position but slides into postion on a slow tension build up and small D-loop. I will agree that the "Jump Roll" and "Switch" are synonymous. The name Switch perhaps because of the back and forth, like a swich back road or trail.
  11. thank the switch rod marketing hype for the confusion. the switch, or jump roll, is a touch and go cast. the roll cast, it would seem, is a sustained anchor cast.
    and i think anymore, when people talk about switch casting, it may not have anything to with speycasting. just a catchy way to describe casting a switch rod with either single hand, or double handed overhead, and roll casts. i dont own a switch rod, only short two handers. and i never use a switch cast, only a jump roll.:D
    James Waggoner likes this.
  12. Yeah, What Klickrolf said....would very much welcome some more long line casting input.

    Fundamental principles gained, in the tread, so far:
    1. The correct lift - Pointed out by Bruce early on. Cure: Watch "Spey Masterclass with Derek Brown. Available at the Red Shed.
    2. Casting tempo - Along with the correct lift, the initial lift should be slow and smooth, the loop formation phase will most likely speed up into the firing position where a slight pause or drift will occur before the forward cast.
    Principlely, that's what I've gained this far. I will add there were countless "Tips" that had excellent value too.

    Did I miss or forget anything? OR do you have something to add? We've touched on it but would like to hear more about "Slack" and "Creep".

  13. I've got short two handers too! Not a switch, Baby or Junior Spey...just shorter two handers. I will admit, I do call them "Switch" rods when talking to others so they understand and I don't have to have a lengthy conversation about how and when a spey rod becomes a switch. Lots of confussion generated by this term as attested by countless threads...."Can I put a spey line on a switch?" or "Will I be better off starting with a Spey rod not a switch?". If anything they should call them "Indicator" or "Beader" rods as most posts in regards to lining a switch say something like.." use this line because XXXXX and it'll turn over an indicator and large beads." AHA! maybe that's why they call them "Switches" you can switch between flyfishing and gear fishing at will. Okay, I'll get off the soap box and take it to another useless thread.

  14. James,
    My .02 on "Slack" and "Creep":

    Most casters think of slack in terms of it being caused by pausing during a casting stroke. While that can be a cause, a more common one is a lack of smooth acceleration during the powering of a stroke, i.e. jerking (sudden and unrecognized over-powering), which causes slack when the line catches up with the jerked rod. It can happen on the backstroke as well as the forward. Al Buhr does a great job describing "action/reaction" principles related to two handed casting in his book.

    Once a jerking or erratic acceleration has been introduced, it will almost certainly spoil the cast, as your muscles sense the loss of tension and try in vain to correct "on the fly" by jerking again!

    The "tell" of slack is visible shock waves in the airborne portion of the line (though other things also cause shock waves). No slack, no shock waves. Practice casting overhead til you rid yourself of shock waves, then memorize the acceleration pattern that worked, and transfer that to your touch and go and sustained anchor casts. It reminds me of towing another vehicle from a dead stop--slow, steady, gradual acceleration works best.

    In my own two handed casting, slack is most likely to sneak in at the very beginning of the forward stroke, especially if I'm trying to exert too much force (jerking) in an attempt to make a longer cast. Practicing with your stiffest, fastest rods will show the effects of overpowering more readily than softer action rods.

    "Creep" (to me) is starting a stroke too soon in an effort to re-establish tension from an insufficiently tensioned previous cast movement (forward or back, as above). Once again, your hands and brain recognize insufficient tension, and attempt to correct almost involuntarily. If the backcast is sufficiently tensioned, the forward cast is little more than maintaining tension and gradually adding more. This dovetails in with my model of a cast with a "refined" personality.

    Another book with great information on correcting casting faults: Troubleshooting the Cast, by Ed Jawaorowski, who studied under Lefty Kreh. Pretty darn good credentials.

    Sorry, .02 turned into way too many words...

  15. Thanks for your Two cents, I'll have to check into those books. I definitely know what your talking about, when you say your "Muscles sence the loss" and try to compensate, I try to catch myself when doing that.

    Thanks, James.
  16. A few very talented golfers can correct their swing "on the fly" in a way similar to a professional stunt driver keeping a car under control, but for us mortals it's probably better to build on a consistent set of movements and, as James said, bail out when things get out of control and start over.

    The slack that develops from jerking in the forward stroke is often misdiagnosed, since it most often originates out of view of the caster, while the effects of the same error in the backcast are easily seen, thus more often corrected. It will show up though, as shock waves in the lower leg of the line as the forward cast prepares to unroll, sending the caster a clear message that some component is out of proportion.

    Sometimes I have to remember to fish while I'm casting, too...
  17. Yes, the shock waves are evidence of something wrong. I see them too...luckily they disappear from time to time. So it's got to be about tempo...variations/deviations. Raising the rod just prior to delivery helps tighten things up.
  18. Klick,
    I have no proof to support the following statements, but my gut tells me that:

    The older, slower recovery rods that bounce badly at release exxagerate shock waves, especially when the forward delivery ends closer to horizontal (e.g. early bamboo efforts).

    The use of less elastic shooting lines such as flat mono exxagerate shock waves since they are poor "shock absorbers". Perhaps that's why raising your rod tip helps "tighten things up" (by acting as a brake)?

    Shorter rods with their shorter casting strokes into shorter lines exxagerate shock waves, and require more precise timing.

    Not to disagree with your contention regarding tempo variations being a culprit, but tempo variations combined with sudden increases in applied force and rotational rather than linear rod tip path is the enemy. (I pray the last part of that statement doesn't summon Beetlejuice!).

    A line in flight and under tension behaves somewhat like a chain, in that different segments of it surge at different times and amounts based on (changes in) force input and elasticity related to diameter, core construction, covering, etc.. Too many factors for me to process...

    I see too many casters of long lines failing to adjust their mechanics from their short rod/short line casting experiences. Others have said it, and better than me. Slow down to just above the threshold of insufficient energy input, then increase by bits. Use your larger muscles in the correct order (legs, butt, torso, arms, hands). Give up a little distance in exhange for a lot of style.

    Peace and Good Will,
  19. Casting the longer belly lines if the timing and tempo is off or slack happens, combined with a sudden application of force etc etc- between the lift and the sweep will cause shock waves that blow the cast in the single spey right off the bat.
  20. You're right, Tim.

    In a perfect world, there is no "between" in the sequence of lift and set. I watched a good caster's hands while performing a single spey and noticed a definite rolling of the top wrist away from the body during the lift and into the sweep that eliminated any potential hesistation, and probably increased tension slightly. The bottom wrist probably levered as well, but I couldn't pick it up.

    If I tried to describe the rod tip movement, I'd say the top of the lift "bent over" like the top of tall grass in a strong wind.


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