Casting competition / contest questions - Long Beach club spey tournament

4sallypat

Active Member
#1
So my club is hosting it's first spey casting tournament and I have questions that I hope others here who have competed might be able to chime in on.

BTW I have never competed so this is all new....

In a nutshell it says from their webpage:
Who: Open to All - beginners to expert - Skagit to Long Belly
What: The inaugural LBCC Spey Casting Tournament
Why? Improve your casting (and fishing!) - Learn from among the best. Join us for fun and friendly competition
THREE COMPETITIVE CLASSES! Class A – Open Class B - Intermediate Class C - Novice


1. What areas do they judge - accuracy, distance, or..... ???
2. How do the equipment levels affect judging ? Short light trout spey all the way up to 16' 10wt big sticks ? Ultra short skagits, scandi, mid belly, long heads ???
3. Class levels - how do you classify entrants into novice, intermediate or open class ?
4. What is an Open class ?


thanks all!
 
#3
I would ask the comp organizer those questions. The club could be using SOR rules, or just some made up rules to make the event fun. Either way, sounds like a fun event!
 
#5
I've always advocated for "stock" divisions at events, say a 13'6" or shorter - 8wt or lighter division using only factory stock rods and lines. The equipment being used at SOR is highly specialized and costly. I believe the stock division(s) would get a lot more participants because they already have the gear are comfortable using it. Casting a competitive comp setup following SOR rules is anything but easy and most casters would struggle to even get the line off the water and cast just the head!
 

4sallypat

Active Member
#6
I've always advocated for "stock" divisions at events, say a 13'6" or shorter - 8wt or lighter division using only factory stock rods and lines. The equipment being used at SOR is highly specialized and costly. I believe the stock division(s) would get a lot more participants because they already have the gear are comfortable using it. Casting a competitive comp setup following SOR rules is anything but easy and most casters would struggle to even get the line off the water and cast just the head!
Yes, I agree because I have seen these "pro" casters practice on our casting pond for the events. They use very exotic rods and lines which are intimidating to those who are "amateur" or recreational casters. And the funny thing about them is that they never fish for real fish - they just cast.

BigK1 showed a link above that has a very good regular folks event at Golden Gate pond- this one sounds like fun and practical rather than elite exotic casters.....

"The “Spey for Trout” competition will be held again and it will be all for fun
• Three person teams (Fly Shops, Rod/Reel/Line Manufacturers, Clubs - team members may be recruited)
• Maximum 12.5 ft Rod Length (must be available off-the-shelf)
• Floating line required – any type (must be available off-the-shelf)
• Any type Spey cast technique, but must employ an anchor
• Three targets at 50, 65 & 80 ft, one cast at each target
• Casting order determined by draw
• Team with highest accuracy score wins"
 
#7
That does sound like a practical division. One for larger rods would also be well attended.

With regard to "elite exotic casters" I will share some of my own experience. Competitive casting is actually EXTREMELY practical for fisherman. It forces you to be absolutely correct as the comp setups are incredibly unforgiving. If you can consistently cast a comp rod then everything from a skagit head to a long belly is a total no brainer on the river. I was recently joking with Gene Oswald that you can hide a lot of faults with a FF70 that eat you alive with a comp setup.

And yes, casting further can provide you with the opportunity to catch fish that most others cannot. Also, if you can cast well for distance then more typical fishing distances are automatic. Don't know about down in California but up here in the Northwest I don't know of a single competitive caster that doesn't fish a lot. In fact I know several who spend a month or more on the Clearwater every year. I've had the opportunity to fish with a bunch of guys who compete at SOR including several who have qualified for the mens finals multiple times and one guy who has won it twice. When you see them fishing the first thing that comes to mind is "that's the best caster on the river". Everything is easy and consistent, they don't miss...100 casts in a row and they are all perfect regardless of the type of line they are using. That kind of consistency leads to more fish in hand and is the reason that all the competitors I know got into competitive casting in the first place. Guess that's my $0.03 worth.

TMc
 
#8
With regard to "elite exotic casters" I will share some of my own experience. Competitive casting is actually EXTREMELY practical for fisherman. It forces you to be absolutely correct as the comp setups are incredibly unforgiving. If you can consistently cast a comp rod then everything from a skagit head to a long belly is a total no brainer on the river. I was recently joking with Gene Oswald that you can hide a lot of faults with a FF70 that eat you alive with a comp setup.
Yup.

FWIW, I'm an average caster...when NextCast was having semi-regular casting days in Pdx, I attended a number of them. I had just started trying my hand with stuff other than skagit and scandi heads and was struggling quite a bit. I was using 6126 beulah platinum and had started to think that it just wasn't up to the task of casting the 45ish foot line I had (which is hardly long, some might just consider it a long scandi). I can't remember who I handed my setup to first (it was either Greg Bencivenga or Bryan Styskal) and they proceeded to cast it 100+ feet within a minute or two. They gave some casting instruction and said while it probably wasn't an ideal setup to cut my teeth on that it was nicely matched and once I got the hang of it I'd be good.

I also had the opportunity to cast some comp rods and lines which was quite the eye opener. Very unforgiving and even a minor flaw at any point of the cast was very detrimental. If you're anchor isn't right you can't just hit the forward stroke a little harder to make the cast go.

I do think a 'stock division' would be great fun and probably get more people to turn out and participate, if only because more people are actually capable of casting the setups. If those 'elite exotic' casters participated they'd likely dominate that division as well.
 

speyfisher

Active Member
#9
So my club is hosting it's first spey casting tournament and I have questions that I hope others here who have competed might be able to chime in on.

BTW I have never competed so this is all new....

In a nutshell it says from their webpage:
Who: Open to All - beginners to expert - Skagit to Long Belly
What: The inaugural LBCC Spey Casting Tournament
Why? Improve your casting (and fishing!) - Learn from among the best. Join us for fun and friendly competition
THREE COMPETITIVE CLASSES! Class A – Open Class B - Intermediate Class C - Novice


1. What areas do they judge - accuracy, distance, or..... ???
2. How do the equipment levels affect judging ? Short light trout spey all the way up to 16' 10wt big sticks ? Ultra short skagits, scandi, mid belly, long heads ???
3. Class levels - how do you classify entrants into novice, intermediate or open class ?
4. What is an Open class ?


thanks all!
Hi 4silllypat,

I was member of the Long Beach club for years, great bunch of people, I learned a lot from them. I used to attend the Spey-O-Rama every year too. They are also a great bunch & a lot of fun. But casting is one thing & fishing is quite another.

Poppy (Mike Cummings/Red Shed) has a saying about how you get the line out there,,,http://poppysspeycastingforum.forumchitchat.com/ He hosts the Clearwater Spey Gathering where they have THE CLEARWATER OPEN AKA REDNECK-O-RAMA (ha, ha) quite different than SOR.

There is also the Sandy River Spey Clave http://flyfishusa.com/pg/246-Sandy-River-Spey-Clave-2018.aspx in the spring, held @ Oxbow Park on the Sandy River. Not competition, but a sharing of information on all things regarding two hand rods.

A lot of the steelhead/salmon rivers have long standing traditions associated with them. The Clearwater is all about long rods/lines & skating flies. Show up on the N. Umpqua with a Clearwater rig & you'll be picking your D-loop out of the trees. And no weighted flies in the summer. Some rivers are fished almost exclusively with sink tip systems & large, heavily weighted flies.

Say hello to everyone down there for me. I wish you well with your spey casting tournament.