Stickman Rods

i’m very happy to announce the birth of a new fly rod company:
Stickman Rods

fly-rods

-from Akos Szmutni, founder and owner of Stickman Rods-

” Why would anyone establish a company in 2013 producing high-end fly rods when the market is flooded with great products? The truth is Sage, G-Loomis, Orvis, Winston, Thomas&Thomas, Scott and a lot of other companies build really nice rods we would happily fish any time.

That is a tough one to answer but with the help of our design team in Spain we are able to do things with graphite that only a few others on the planet can. Add the input, experience and craftsmanship of the manufacturing and the pro team members and we have the potential to build rods unique on the market. Research and development gave birth to prototypes that we thought were better than any other rods out there. So no matter how irrational it may have looked we had no choice:

We just had to… “ and i’m glad they did.

Alejandro Intern. Adelam meet
most fly anglers have never heard of Alejandro Viñuales as he’s the discreet ‘genius in the background’ type but he’s been working on designing and perfecting blanks for different rod companies for a long time. forever trying out different formulas, materials and how they all come together for the finished product is where this makes him shine. more than a craftsman, he’s also probably the most knowledgable person on the planet regarding fly casting, casting mechanics (even on a super-geek physics level) and one of the best casting instructors there is. put all that together and we’re left with some serious rods to play with. Akos wrote “are able to do things with graphite that only a handful of other individuals on the planet can” in the excerpt above but personally, i’d reduce that hand to two fingers and this is what really raised my interest.

even gladder yet, i was invited to be on Stickman pro staff. so far, my contribution has been an aesthetic one: designing the colour combination and general appearance of the Evil Black model and yes,  If Darth Vader had a fly rod this would be the one !!!”  to be honest, seeing them in photos doesn’t do them justice.

as i intend to write full reviews of these in the future, for the moment i’ll resume the overall casting qualities of these rods as the most pleasant and best i’ve ever used in these line classes. i wouldn’t agree to a relationship with the company if that weren’t the case.

rod components and build are all top-of-the-top notch. available for the moment in 5 and 8wt models in three different colour combinations for both sizes (and a 6wt in the making), personal colour and components variations can easily be arranged.
for more information on the various models, specs, CCS & MOI data, prices, warranty, fly line recommendations, etc, visit the Stickman site. If you are a guide, an instructor or an industry professional there is a Pro Program which gives you the opportunity to have them at a substantial discount.
contact Akos for more details at info@stickmanrods.com or send me an email through my contact form on TLC’s top bar. we’ll do our best to help you out.

Tickled by Boars

i don’t know about you but i could take a break from the common weekend frame of mind that seems to permeate the world right now. what follows should do the trick at least for a little while and it won’t leave you with either a hangover, bad after-taste or any sticky fluids to clean up.
from the continued series of deliriously thoughtful fly fishing insights from the unique mind of Mark Surtees, enjoy !

_______________________________________________________

Deep in the lower Clitterhouse woods, in a bower of Summer Lilac and Dog Rose, Major Buckram Cropstwattle the aged, but otherwise debonair, doyen of the Finchley Church End and Temple Fortune Cuttlefish Fanciers Bridge club twisted and groaned like a wild woodland spaniel tickled by boars.

Beside him the bounteous, bumptious, Bellini fueled widow Mrs Winky Wilberforce shifted her pulchritudinous rump in an act of voluptuous paisley patterned enticement that no simple Cuttlefish fancier could ever hope to resist.

“Migod Winky” he moaned, clutching the agate grips of the trusty ZA self jerker and blinking helplessly…..”we must stop before I infarct”

With one hand gripping a glistening self whittled weaseling trident she leant across the erubescent Major and slowly slipped the other between the studded straps of his battered old ZA “Pulvermachers Bi-pole electro” Casting Support.

“Stop, Bucky ?…” she whispered close, husky…maraschino sweet, “…nnnooo, my love, we have only just begun.”

Expertly teasing apart the pouch elastics, her every touch peach syrup soft, she probed once again with the cherry tipped trident tines at his pre-stressed Pulvermacher dangling gimbals and tensioned the suspensory appliance silks.

The Major, hypermetropic and pent, could resist no more and he rammed down the belt mounted ZA “Castassist” Ergonergy release plunger with all his remaining power.

Plasma slashed between the positive and negative bolt connectors of the Pulvermachers bi-pole personal teslas.

“AaaWOOOO…FORWARD!!>>>CHARGE THE GUNS!! …” he roared, lurching violently beneath the bucking branches of the ominously creaking Lilac and thrust the crackling self jerker forwards in one final, and enormous, effort.

Afterwards, he span happily from the ZA “Pulvermachers” Dorsal D. Smiling wetly, spent, in a gently falling shower of blue blossom cinders.

“Winky, I say… WHAT A CAST!!…A HUNDRED FOOTER !!…A HUNDRED FOOTER !!..WHAT ?..”

Not too far away, a wild eyed weasel whippet vibrated, tail tucked and a solitary Brent Valley moose considered, just for a moment, making an early start to the annual rut.

Mark

bipolar electric belt

TROUBLE “BELOW” WHEN CASTING FOR DISTANCE ? “DON’T RISK YOUR KNACKERS…..WEAR ONE OF OUR PULVERMACHERS ” FROM ZA PPP LTD PERSONAL CASTING SUPPORT PRODUCTS ZA PPP LTD A “WE’LL HELP YOU HOLD IT UP” KIND OF COMPANY.

Fly Fishing in 3D

“This is some of my fly fishing images split into layers and converted into a 3D effect – The idea is to integrate this effect into some filming projects planned for this season”
this experimental preview treat by Eoin Fairgrieve sure is promising. i’m really looking forward to see how integrates these trippy editing techniques in future films. be sure to watch it in full screen, enjoy !

FREE AND NOT FOR PROFIT

via today’s just-pressed logo

this introduction note by Pete Tyjas caught my fancy as this topic goes hand in hand with the little 60 or so posts of the ‘brainwashem’ young’ series here on TLC designed to attract our younger friends to our passion. i can’t really figure out the ‘why’ aspect but i like the idea that each one of us does a little something once in a while to share fly fishing to someone else. sure, its quite possible we all might be eaten soon by zombies but on the other hand, we might defeat those ugly/stinking-sticky/disgusting creatures and get to continue on with our normal fly fishing lives. something tells me it’s probably worth doing.


” I’ve had some interesting conversations recently about the average age of fly anglers in the UK. It sounds like it comes in near to retirement age and has given cause for concern.

I have worked professionally in fly fishing for over ten years now and when I first started I am pretty sure these numbers were being quoted back then. Before this I have to be honest and say I had no idea.

It was a shock when I first heard this and it still is. Look at the scene in the US or Scandinavia for instance which seems to be booming. Fly fishing in these places is seen as cool, hip and trendy and works hand in hand with the whole “great outdoors” thing.

In the UK we generally don’t have access to big expanses of wilderness but we are lucky to have large areas of wild fishing where you might not see another angler. I count myself lucky to have one such example on my doorstep – Dartmoor.

Not everyone has though and it is where our reservoirs and put and take stillwater fisheries fill a gap. Small stillwaters also work well for the occasional angler who wants a few rainbows for the pot too.

But what of those of us whose lives revolve around fly fishing? We dream about it, tie flies when we can’t go, read books and enjoy magazines to fill the void. Are we a minority?

Not so long ago I was starting to think this but now I am not so sure. We have great schemes like Get Hooked which introduces youngsters to all forms of fishing, Mayfly in the classroom and numerous days run by the likes of the Environment Agency and Salmon and Trout Association. I wonder how many schemes like this were being run 30 years ago?

It seems to me that the dynamic has changed a little and there is a wide range of activities that parents take their children to. When I was younger I’d play football in the winter and cricket in the summer and do some fishing for carp too. That was about it. Nowadays, there are musical instrument lessons, horse riding, ballet, football, rugby amongst many other pastimes, along with tennis which also is enjoying a resurgence too. All along with the often-mentioned computer games.

Fishing has always been there in the background and sometimes the love for it is lost for a while and then rediscovered a little further down the line. It might be one of the reasons the average age of anglers is higher but since embarking on ESF I have met plenty of fly anglers in their 20s to 40s who fish hard, sleep in cars, chase the hatches and live for fly fishing.

It has left me far from despondent about the state of fly fishing and those entering it. We have to be honest and say it is a niche pastime but I have been greatly encouraged to see not one but two new TV shows featuring fly fishing in the last few months. One of those was on terrestrial TV too which is surely a positive. Kudos to TV execs for making such a bold choice.

So, we enter 2014 and I can’t wait to go fishing in the company of friends and hope I get the chance to bring more people into our great pastime.

Good fishing! “

Pete Tyjas


and that’s just the front page of this great online magazine. be sure to check out all the rest by clicking the logo above or HERE 

Frank Sawyer Catches a Fish

and a pretty nice one too.
i kinda get the feeling that this lovely fish didn’t get to back to waterhome but here’s one of the extremely few films we have left of Frank Sawyer fishing a chalkstream, maybe even where he worked.
as a bonus to the fishy stuff we’ll notice that the guy had very good casting wrist control. a nice little reminder that proper form isn’t anything new.

this is a real treat, enjoy !

hitting a wall

whatever activity it may be it happens to all of us at one point or another. in fact, it happens to me several times a day… but ! today’s fly casting analysis video, while still remaining a bit obscure to me shows us a creative test of doing this wall-hitting on purpose with a fly line:

“Fly leg momentum after the loop is obstructed”

interestingly enough, i’ve done the very same thing many-many times in more of a “i can, therefore i will” mood and because the loop ‘crumpling to bit’s looks cool but there was never any actual study of fly line dynamics type of thing intension involved. leave it to the creative curiosity genius of Lee Cumming‘s brain to try to come up with a purpose with things like this. i’ll view it a few hundred more times to see what i can get out of this before smashing me own head against the wall…

the perfect Jump Roll

performed by Christopher Rownes

also known as a Switch cast and Dynamic roll by some, i prefer not to use those terms because of all the confusion they usually create.
simply put, a Jump roll is the other form of roll cast.
instead of dragging the line back on the water to create the D loop, the ‘jump’ part means lifting the line from the water, placing the anchor, creating the D loop in line with the intended front cast direction and going into the forward cast before the D loop crashes on the water.

although hard to disassociate from the Spey cast family, it really isn’t one because this isn’t a change of direction cast. sure, we can deliver the line in a slightly different direction than where the line was lifted but that angle change is very limited.
however, the Jump’s siamese twin of sorts, will be the Single Spey which is based on the same principle but involves a curved sweeping motion and consequent D loop angle change during the ‘Jump/Lift’.

in his dvd set ‘Modern Spey Casting’, Simon Gawesworth highly recommends practicing this cast regularly and to use it to warm-up to start off the day. i couldn’t agree more. it’s not the most useful of actual-fishing casts as it means putting the fly back where it came from and usually causes some commotion on the water’s surface during the lift but ! getting it down right involves good and proper everything: power application, timing, rod tip tracking, smoothness and probably a whole bunch of other elements that’ll come back to me once i’ve published this post…

more than just ‘line-pretty’, this image shows excellent anchor placement involving anchoring only the leader and not the fly line. this provides more than enough ‘stick’ to not blow out the D loop and makes the front cast more efficient and quasi-effortless. superb form indeed.
in this image we’ll also notice that the ‘kiss and go’ principle is far from being a rule or even a necessity as we clearly see the forward cast was started and finished well before the line anchor touched down: a ‘go and kiss’.

’nuff said, here’s some line-candy. enjoy !

'the perfect Jump Roll' Chris Rownes

the Cunning-Ling cast

an Off-Tracking Curve Cast demonstration by ‘Doc’ CK Ling

to me, ‘Cunning-Ling‘ sounds a lot better than ‘Off-Tracking Curve’ but let’s just say that the latter gives us the idea that it’s a presentation cast and not something else…
i had come across this cast several years ago during line layout research sessions and it sure is nice to see someone perform it so well on video for all to see.
easy to do and easily repeatable, this short range curve cast works well with all leader and fly types. this brings it into the world of real fishing casts and not show-off ones that are of little if any use on the water.

anyhow, back to tracking and off-tracking:
we know that to cast a straight line we need to track the rod straight. this is what we call the 180° principle and it’s one of the hardcore foundations of fly casting. once we’ve learned to track and cast straight (and learned it well), the next step in the evolution of a fly fisher is to learn to go freestyle and be creative with what we previously learned and one of those, and in my opinion a very important one, is to learn to cast the line in voluptuous curves that will dazzle the fish. (well, the fish aren’t supposed to see any of this so not really but it’ll for sure put your ‘linear’ friends to shame and you’ll catch more fish and have more fun and satisfaction at the same time)
to do this we need to break away from the ’2 Dimensional’ aspect of straight line casting and go straight into ’3D’ mode because we’ll need to move the rod tip out of plane, what Ling refers to as Off-Tracking.
what we’ll see below is on the final stroke, the rod tip swings around behind him going from (his) left to right and this makes the line end up going from right to left after the casting stroke. when ‘off-tracking’, it’s good to keep in mind that line layout directions will be the reverse of what the rod tip did.
we’ll also notice that this and some other presentation casts take up a lot more aerial space to perform them, something we’ll need to take into account and check feasibilities before planning it’s execution.

another aspect i really like with this particular curved line presentation is that it’s composed of both a cast (the curved front part of the line is created during the casting stroke) and a mend ( the part of the line closer to the rod tip is repositioned after the casting stroke).
the mend part allows us to place the back part of the line judiciously to either avoid obstacles or to position it in an ideal manner to reduce or increase drag.
clever indeed and just another demonstration that there are a lot more efficient line layout possibilities than most fly anglers might think and all it takes is to break out of the box. (and a little practice !)

CK Ling is an IFFF-MCCI (International Federation of Fly Fishers-Master Certified Casting Instructor) from Malaysia. both Ling and Dron Lee are responsible for the UFO (United FlyAnglers Organisation) Malaysia (cool name) International Fly Fishing Festival. i was invited last year to demonstrate presentation casts but wasn’t able to go but the invitation still stands so…

Line Dancing

with Pavel Kupstov

a lot could be said about Pavel’s excellent technique but for today let’s just sit back and enjoy a little fly line ballet.

brainwashem’ young- Isabella’s Spey

papa Matt Tripet says “My little Isabella is rocking some wonderful Spey casts!” and the rest of us can just stay in the background, admire and woW in anticipation of seeing just how good she’ll be at this by the time the little darling’s ten…

brainwashem' young- Isabella TLC 18-12-13

Fly Casting- The Pull Through

here’s part two of yesterday’s Some thoughts on Instruction and Descriptions from Mel Krieger about the often brought up Pushing vs Pulling which basically consists of:

- when Pulling we’re translating the rod throughout the majority of the stroke and rotating it at the end :Late Rotation:
as Mell notes below, an easy way to see this is if the rod tip is behind the hand throughout translation.
Pulling requires a greater (and more efficient) involvement of the arm, the shoulder muscles do most of the work and the elbow either goes up and down (overhead casts) or out and in (non-overhead casts)

- when Pushing we’re starting the rotation much earlier and counter to above, the rod tip will be in line or in front of the hand throughout most of the stroke :Early Rotation:
Pushing doesn’t require as much whole-arm work. not all casts require a lot of arm movement but on the other hand,  arm-lazyness is a really good way to mess up and make lovely tailing loops. an added bonus to these screw ups is that Pushing/Early Rotation may/can/might promote creeping.

breaking down the basics of the movements involved to these simple definitions means that this is easily observable regardless of casting style: overhead, side casting, casting in different planes or with a single or double-handed rod.

now, what’s the point and why the vs as if they where at battle ?

well, Pushing isn’t a crime in itself but it leaves us with more limitations if that’s the only way we know how to cast, specially when we’re aiming to cast in tight places, create tight loops, trying to cast far or maybe into the wind.
what Pushing/Early Rotation generally does is give us bigger loops but that’s not a sin either because bigger loops (i mean nice purposefully formed and controlled loops, not ugly fat non-loops) are often a common sense safety necessity when casting heavier/bigger flies or when fishing teams of several flies or simply on the front cast when there’s wind from behind. (the bigger loop gets pushed by the wind and line, leader and fly(s) land nice and neat, the wind does half the ‘work’)
just to show that pushing isn’t all evil, it’s probably the best trick of all for good, consistent casting at accuracy target rings. most if not all the better accuracy competition casters do this. these comps aren’t about delicate presentation as the line is slapped down to the target and rotating throughout the stroke enables a better judgement when hovering (judging the distance to the ring) but wait ! doesn’t this sound like terrestrial imitation ‘plopping’ or when casting streamers to the banks from a drift boat ?

i believe that by now we’ll agree that Pulling Through the stroke is what we want to learn and have as default style and change over to Pushing when the need arises. (i really like ‘Pulling Through’ as it leaves an immediate understanding of the action. thanks Mel !)
i hope you’ll benefit from my ramblings and Mel’s wisdom. enjoy !

” And now to one of the most elemental and important aspects of a fly casting stroke, often overlooked by experienced caster and even many instructors. It is a pull through motion – the casting hand preceding the rod tip through most of the casting stroke – the turnover and stop taking place only at the conclusion of the casting stroke. A push through movement in the casting stroke has the rod even or ahead of the casting hand through much of the casting stroke – somewhat akin to a punching motion. While it is possible to cast fairly well with this push through motion, especially with the stiff powerful fly rods that are currently popular, the pull through casting stroke is superior.

Some analogies might be useful to more fully understand this concept. Imagine a brick on the end of the line. A hard push through motion will very likely break the rod, while a pulling motion could easily move the heavy weight. Imagine a three foot length of rope pulled through to smack a waist high board. Pulling the rope through could almost break the board while pushing the rope through would be futile.
A bio-mechanical company working with Olympic athletes and professional baseball teams concluded that the closest athletic event to a distance fly cast would be a javelin throw. Try this: Lay out 70 or so feet of fly line on a lawn behind you, fly rod pointing to the fly, and throw a javelin, turning the rod over only at the very end of the throw. You may be pleasantly surprised with this extreme pull through casting motion. Now try the same cast with a push through casting stroke, noting the significant reduction in speed and the very likely resulting tailing loop.
Shorter casts are more subtle, utilizing a fairly short pulling motion at the beginning of the cast. Many instructors teach a pulling down with the caster’s elbow or hand during the casting stroke, resulting in an excellent pull through movement. Longer casts however, require pulling on a more horizontal plane; the longest casts very close the same plane as the projected forward cast.

Start all fly casting strokes with this pulling motion – a short pull with short casting strokes and a long pull with long strokes. Combine this pulling motion with a good rod bend and you’re almost assured of an efficient cast. “

Good luck!
Mel Krieger

Fly Casting- Some thoughts on Instruction and Descriptions from Mel Krieger

an excerpt from The Essence of a Fly Cast – Mel Krieger via Christopher Rownes

words, words, words. we need them to teach fly casting but if they’re not carefully chosen they can lead to confusion.
for instance, a pet peeve of mine is Joan Wulff’s ‘Power-Snap’.
in my mind, and something i’ve often witnessed in person is, when described to a novice caster those two words connected together often result in too much power and too much snap: things that get them in trouble real quick.
another one is the infamous ‘stop’ which we’ve already scratched the surface on that deserves an in-depth article of its own but in the meantime, what this article mostly reminds me of is there’s two basic approaches (or maybe mental-frames) to how the rod moves and how it affects the line. i like to refer to them as-

Hand-Centric and Tip Centric.

in the first case, instruction and casting movement is envisioned around what the casting hand does and in the second, what the rod tip does.it goes without saying that the hand needs to move the rod butt to eventually make the rod tip move but i by far prefer to focus on what the tip is doing because it’s the rod tip that’s the final element affecting the fly line and this greatly affects our (or at least my) understanding of concepts such as the ‘stop’, rod bend/rod shortening, straight or curved line path, rod straight position, counterflex or: just about anything that has to do with the casting stroke.
besides, thinking about your rod tip is a lot sexier :cool:… than the usual dirty, ill-manicured hand !
needless to say i’m happy to see a similar hand/tip approach coming from a Top-Gun like Mister Krieger. i sure wish i could have met him.

Mel’s approach on this and a whole host of other matters remain some of the better ones i’ve seen and leaves a lot of food for thought. enjoy !

All fly casting, no matter how descriptive and analytical the directions and teachings, must finally conclude kinaesthetically – that is by feel.
The only way to learn this unique feel of casting a long weighted line with a flexible rod is to experience it; not unlike the learning process of riding a bicycle for the first time. Convincing or inspiring the learner to jump on the bike and go for it may well be the ultimate instructional mode. Casting a fly is identical, and again like riding a bike, virtually every person who is not severely handicapped can learn the timing and feel of fly casting simply by casting.
There is of course a place for other instruction even in this basic learning cycle that may help the learner focus his or her efforts and hasten that learning process. That would include analogies, visuals and key words and phrases, techniques that are also used for intermediate and advanced fly casters. Although most of these instructional tools are valid and useful to the learner, there are times when they can actually inhibit learning and possibly lead to serious casting faults. The following are some possible examples.
“Throwing a ball” is an excellent analogy for communicating the athleticism and fluidity of a natural throwing motion. It can, however lead to the use of too much wrist movement and a throwing motion that fails to utilize the bending and unbending of a fly rod.
Words like “whump,” “snap,” “flick,” “flip” and “pop” are commonly used to convey the feeling of bending (loading) and unbending a fly rod. Again, they are mostly good words, but often misconstrued to indicate a too-quick loading and unloading of the fly rod, resulting in a dip of the fly rod tip and tailing loops. Spelling whump with two or three “U”s – “whuuump” or possibly “snaaap” might be of help, especially for longer casts.
Phrases like “accelerate to a stop,” “speed up and stop” and “start slow and end fast” are common instructional tools that accurately depict the tip of the rod during a casting stroke. Many learners however, attempt to emulate those slow to fast directions with their casting hand, often with poor results. A more useful instructional phrase might be “a smooth even hand movement to a stop.” The result will actually be the rod tip accelerating throughout the casting stroke. Another common phrase that has almost become a mantra in fly casting is “Applying power too early in the casting stroke creates a tailing loop.” This statement is actually incorrect. It is possible to apply maximum power in the beginning of a casting stroke. The key to a good cast is maintaining or even increasing the rod bend throughout the stroke. The real culprit in this tailing loop concept is unloading the rod too soon.
In the pull through casting stroke, the casting hand precedes the rod tip through most of the casting stroke and the turnover and stop takes place only at end of the casting stroke. Lay out 70 or so feet of fly line on a lawn behind you, fly rod pointing to the fly, and throw a javelin, turning the rod over only at the very end of the throw. You may be pleasantly surprised with this extreme pull through casting motion.
Let’s look more closely at a fly casting stroke. The first step in all fly casting strokes is “bending the rod. Significant movement of the line only takes place after the rod bend. Starting a casting stroke too slowly, or for that matter too quickly, commonly results in a poor rod bend and an inefficient cast. Think of starting strong or heavy, forcing a bend in the rod as the casting stroke begins. A somewhat better description of a casting stroke might be “bend the rod and sling the line” or “bend the rod and accelerate to a stop”, or whatever words work for you following “bend the rod and …”. Casting the fly line from the water and changing the back and forth direction of the line helps to start the casting stroke with a good rod bend. Notice that many casters make their best back cast from the water. That’s because the friction of the water puts a decided bend in the fly rod early in the casting stroke! A roll cast however requires a more forceful rod bend as it does not have the loading advantage of a water pickup or an aerialized line between back and forward casts.

The roll cast can be an excellent entry to the unique feel that exists in fly casting. Forcing the rod into a bend and keeping it bent – finally unloading (stopping) in the intended direction of the cast – almost like putting a casting loop in the fly rod itself.

Fly Casting- Thoughts on the Drift, Rotary and Parallel

some excellent analysis by Steve and Tim Rajeff via Fly Casting Forum

as a reminder, here’s the generally accepted definition of Drift:

Drift: To position (or reposition) the rod between casting strokes.
Moving the rod (tip) to adjust Casting Arc, Stroke Length or Casting Plane. Drift applies little or no force on the line.

although not a necessity for every casting situation, we’ll see from the second part of the definition above that this technique should be well engrained and in every fly angler’s bag of tricks.
some purists will state that it’s not needed even for the longest casts but i can’t think of a single distance caster that doesn’t drift on at least the last back cast before delivery… besides, without going into the specialised world of competition-style distance casting, simply put, drifting makes  a lot of casts easier and cleaner. something we all aspire to, specially when fishing. why miss out ?

apart that it negates creepy creeping and greatly reduces tailing loops, parallel drifting promotes (actually necessitates) a greater involvement of the whole arm and its joints which leads to fluidity and smoothness for both the caster and line path. pretty darn good results considering how easy and effortless this action is.

if drifting isn’t part of your repertoire do yourself  the favour of practicing and keeping it in a near-to-access part of your casting brain. it will come in handy. promise !

THE TWO KINDS OF  DRIFT

The puzzle of  every teacher is how to introduce drift without ruining the short stroke that has been taught. The best answer to this is to teach drift way after the student is thoroughly grounded in casting and hauling etc..The interesting thing about drift is that first of  all there are two ways to drift and second, drift adds so much power and control when distance is on the menu.
The first type of drift ordinarily discovered by the caster is rotary drift – produced by angular motion of the rod from wrist action. This drift can be found in any length of stroke and tends to open up the loop in both directions.

This wrist generated angular drift is frequently followed by a tailing loop as well.

The other kind of drift is what I call the parallel drift. This will be seen in many illustrations of casting strokes and is the gem of the drift game. I don’t see it as much as the rotary drift and the reason is that it is hard to do from a mechanical standpoint. Every caster starts out wanting to cast with the wrist and one reason for that is that it is less effort to rotate the rod from the wrist than to put out the foot pounds needed to move the whole rod back, by the use of hand movement, thus adding a few inches or a foot or more to the space available for loading the rod on the forecast. The hand has to be out by the shoulder and moving from a point a foot or so in front of the head to a point as much as six inches or a foot behind the head, depending on how limber the caster is. This requires work and requires rotating the wrist forward, rather than back in order to keep the rod moving parallel to itself as the forearm is moving and rotating backward.

There are various degrees of this motion available depending on how far out from the body the cast is being made. For accuracy casts with the rod side foot forward the hand will be beside the head and moving back and forth in a plane that misses the ear, just barely. For great power, with an open stance, the rod might be outside of the shoulder in the baseball throwing motion used for great distance. In either case conscious effort to make the rod run back parallel to itself is needed . The wrist will resist cocking so far forward while the hand is moving backward. There will be instances where after the limit of  parallel drift has been reached  some rotary drift will be added to the back cast. This can get the rod back almost horizontal and in a position to come forward with the leading elbow motion that helps produce line speed. While the elbow is leading the hand forward the rod is moving forward parallel to itself before finally going into rotary motion again, leading to the final tip snap.

So, the parallel backward drift is mirrored on the leading elbow forward stroke.

This parallel drift will loosen up the arm and shoulder joints in time and should be approached gradually. It is amazing how the body wants to return to bending the wrist back rather than to perform the arduous parallel drift maneuver. But in time, the very pleasing results from this move will produce a conditioned response. If I do this uncomfortable parallel drift I will have a great back cast and forward cast.

The final dividend from  the parallel drift is that  it allows the caster to feel the tug of the line better, because the rod is closer to perpendicular to the line. The closer the rod is to ninety degrees from the line the easier it is to feel the line straighten out. Sometimes you can  drift a little more with the wrist as you feel the line straighten if there is enough speed on the back cast.