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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Having scoffed at the old men years ago when they grumped about aches and pains, and said "you're time will come", my apologies. I tend to do quite a bit of reach mend casts when fishing dry's as it has proven itself time and again to yield the best results. I am noticing that comes with some shoulder discomfort every so often; particularly after a long day on the river. How many of you have (or are) dealing with this?

While at Boeing, the topic of Cumulative Stress/Musculoskeletal Disorder was a big deal with lots of folks affected and lots of efforts being invested to reduce/eliminate. Unfortunately, I could never get the Ergonomists to take a look into fly casting motions. I'm not finding lots on the web about fly casting and CTD, but this article is interesting... plus it was done by Montana State University, so it gets automatic street cred. There are also some good links to other related studies at the end.

http://working-well.org/articles/pdf/Fishing.pdf

The golf industry has spent a great deal of R&D in swing research, largely high speed video based; both to improve golf score but also to correct bad mechanics that cause injury. If that same technology was developed for fly casting would you want to have your casting style analyzed?
 
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My casting analysis is dead simple. If I hurt, my casting form and or technique is off. No joint issues when my casting form is right. Of course I avoid using "stiff as a fireplace poker" extra-fast action graphite rods. Even proper casting form generates some shock load. That load is either absorbed by the caster's joint(s) or a medium action rod. Fast action rods don't absorb it, so the caster does, and then wonders why his wrist, elbow, or shoulder aches.

I wish I had a good enough eye to analyze the finer points of casting technique to help other casters improve, but my eyes can't see beyond the basic casting strokes it seems.

Sg
 

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My casting technique isn't pretty, never has been but I manage to get a line out. Years ago I was fishing with a "stiff as a fireplace poker" fly rod. My right shoulder got sore and kept hurting more. A buddy suggested a slower action rod. Amazingly that seemed to fix me up. So I think @Salmo_g nailed it, at least for me. Not sure if it makes that much difference for a reach mend, but maybe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
None of my rods fall into the fast category except for a 796 RPL+ which is basically a factory mint closet queen (I should sell it). I suppose my BIIx is a fast action rod, but I don't fish it that often. Of late, I have been using my 904-2, GL2 and 906 RPL. I'm pretty sure these fall into the medium to medium-fast group and I've been using them for the better part of 20 years w/o any chronic pains.

As I mentioned, I do use a reach mend quite a bit. Perhaps I've unknowingly modified that motion? Great, the plantar-fasciitis goes away (good input from many on that BTW) and now this starts. Chucking streamers does not require any reach mends, just ducking each time that missile whizzes by your ear.

Looks like this markets been cracked -- anyone tried the Sage Casting Analyzer?

www.flyfishinginsidernewsletter.com/030506/
 

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Al Kyte, who is/was part of Orvis pro-staff, did quite a bit of casting analysis from an ergonomic point of view. Search for fly casting ergonomics and I think you'll find some of his research. He's also published some books on casting.
Before and after becoming a CI, I always enjoyed discussing casting with him, especially modifying the casting stroke to compensate for injuries.
 

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"Backhand casts - usually very powerful, a great way to fight the wind and switch sides on a boat" Kyle Smith

Words to live by (above)

When your on your on.. and then there's the other end of the spectrum. Sometimes easier to simply bow out rather than fight it.. and just row the boat. Watching your friends bomb lasers. Last time out I was a rock star.

The more days spent casting the better your cast get's.. or should be anyway.
 

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I rarely have shoulder problems associated with my fly fishing but when I do have issues with joint pain involving casting it is always associated with long days or try to make consistently casts beyond my comfort level. Invariably it is the result of poor mechanics. Have learned over time that at the first sign of pain I focus on better mechanics and casting within my limitations.

More of an issue for my has wrist and/or elbow pain from playing too many fish (is that possible?). The species that have most consistently produced problems for me during the playing of the fish have been sea-run cutthroat, bull trout and pinks. Have re-trained myself in the positioning of my arm while fighting fish. Took care of the wrist problem by sliding my grip up a bit on the cork so that end of the rod butt extends to or just beyond my wrist joint. For the elbow I have learned to tuck my elbow against my slide just above my waist. Since adopting the new fishing fighting mechanics have not had significant issues. Though at the least sign of pain I immediately focus on my arm placement and issue solved. Of course other solutions such as fishing less often or catching fewer fish are not attractive options!

Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For the elbow I have learned to tuck my elbow against my slide just above my waist. Since adopting the new fishing fighting mechanics have not had significant issues.
I stated before that golf and fly fishing share some common aspects... the "flying elbow" appears to be one. From yours and others comments, I'm suspecting excessive use over a short period as being the culprit. If this is a new cross I must bear, so be it ;).
 
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I used one to good effect to combat tendinitis in my left elbow a number of years ago (Doc believed it was caused by excessive amount of time I spent using a scroll saw back then). Made the difference between being able to fight a big Carp or Steelhead or not fishing at all. The occasional steroid shot also helped, but I tried to avoid that. I still use one now when my hand tremors go ballistic & it serves to quell those a bit too. I would advise you to get your shoulder checked-out @freestoneangler as advised above.

At my age, I seem to discover a new ache every morning - must be a badge of seniority, lol. Getting old isn't for the meek . . .
 

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A couple of thoughts...

First, I would totally welcome MA and VA (from someone who is highly skilled) on casting. Anytime I can improve at anything it is a good thing. For several years I had MA and VA while kayaking by one of two national team coaches. In skiing I probably am in clinics 20 days per year, also with qualified coaches. If you are in the place where you think that you don't need lessons or have nothing to learn you are in a place where you don't know what you don't know. I am also starting down the road of FFF casting certification. I view it as a journey of mastery. I view every day as I am a beginner.

Second, the research paper indicated that a very high number of casting instructors had joint issues. If casting is physically taking its tole that person needs to hire a trainer and hit a gym.
 

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Anyone using one of these forearm compression wraps to target elbow pain? If so, how well do they work?

I have owned a few of these over the years. I think they offer some relief while you are wearing it, but they tend to slide down after awhile with repetitive motion. I have had the tendinitis last up to six months at a time or disappear almost overnight. Dr. and Pt. have both told me resting the arm is the only real remedy.
 

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Or see a chiropractor who has the ACA's sports medicine certification, or a doctorate in PT who can do a functional movement analysis on you. You may very well have a nerve impingement that is manifesting itself as an elbow issue. I have seen this happen more than a couple of time.

Also, see post #15 in this thread.
 

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Or see a chiropractor who has the ACA's sports medicine certification, or a doctorate in PT who can do a functional movement analysis on you. You may very well have a nerve impingement that is manifesting itself as an elbow issue. I have seen this happen more than a couple of time.

Also, see post #15 in this thread.
Martyg, I have been there done that except for the chiro. Definetely have nerve impingement and nerve damage. As well as partially torn rotator cuff and broken nuckle, and another finger that was reattached, also a bone chip in my thumb.
edit and some arthritis from the injuries
 
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