Fly Casting- What does a Tailing Loop look like ?

upon seeing this image on a casting discussion board recently i instantly replied “that’s not a tailing loop !”, further reminding me of just how many people have a false impression of what a TL looks like.
cast_looptypes
all of these images where easily found on the net, have been displayed on sites and forums and seem to be eagerly accepted by a large percentage of those posting and viewing them.
my point here isn’t to go into the causes of tailing loops but of identifying them because to work on a casting problem first requires properly identifying what needs to be worked on before doing anything about it.
Unknownfigure15

more examples by different sources but basically the same as above.

pic1this one’s getting there, could be considered a ‘tailing tendency’ because of the slight dip of the fly leg but most probably won’t lead to any problem. it does however get a few bonus points for having nice background colours.tailingon this one they managed to draw/put the tail on the rod leg !
most definitely a first as a TLs happen on the fly leg of the line…

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now, before explaining why those aren’t tails and why they’re not half as bad as some might have us think lets have a look at some real ones: the really bad nasty ones.
unlike the ones above, tailing loops with a big dip in the fly leg that like to collide with the rod leg and really mess up our cast, scare fish, make friends laugh and sometimes make knots in our leaders. tailing loops can serve no good or creative purpose. they are faults. this is what they look like.

with great help from Bruce Richards, first up are two graphic overlays taken from the video with easily understandable ‘rod tip path throughout the stroke, line path and post-stroke rod tip rebound’ colour separations to help us see what’s happening in real, not something born of imagination.

TailingLoop 1 Bruce RichardsTailingLoop 2 Bruce Richards

what we’ll notice right away compared to the previous images is that the dip in the fly leg crosses the rod leg twice. the dip in the line is there since the rod tip dipped and came back up during the stroke and this dip propagates down the line as it unrolls. the line and leader unrolls poorly and if the unrolling dip is too close to the rod leg there’s collision making bad worse.
some casting-geek colleagues might disagree with the crossing twice part as a for-sure sign of of a TL and indeed, line collision is the real nasty and isn’t dependant of how many times the line legs cross themselves however, my point here isn’t to go into minute subtleties or go against their way of thinking but to help out casters of all levels to differentiate between crossed loops and tailing loops. they’re different beasts.

i won’t go so far as to say that the first images demonstrate ‘ideal’ casting form (whatever that is) but even if some of the drawing authors bothered to include a concave path of the rod tip during the stroke hinting to what is ultimately the cause of real tails, ultimately, what we’re seeing in the drawn line paths are crossed loops and crossed loops are not a fault as long as the line legs don’t collide.

its not very common to see all-in-one-plane candy cane loops, specially with longer lengths of line carried.
crossed loops constitute about 99% (that’s just a guess but the percentage is very high) of all casts from casters of all levels, irregardless of casting school styles, casting overhead or off to the side.

crossed loops are an obvious necessity for all roll and Spey casts, many non-linear presentation casts or simply to cast out of plane to not risk banging ourselves in the back of the head with a heavy Clouser.
the Gebetsroither-Austrian-Belgian-Italian, Kreh, saltwater and almost every style of casting is based on casting in two planes and the result is a crossed loop. to put it another way, on a global level its the norm.

hopefully these few words will be of help, specially to those that might be worried because they’re not casting perfect candy-cane shaped loops.
unless you’re doing big nasty Bruce-Type tails you’re probably not doing so badly after all…

Spey Casting- the Single Spey from a different perspective

apart from affirming that the world is pretty much round and that the universe continuously spins and that the Straight Line Path rule can be overrated at times, there isn’t a whole heck of a lot to learn fly casting-wise here.
on the other hand, as long as you don’t royally mess up, Spey casting is always a beautiful and super-fun thing to do.
i hope you’ll enjoy this pointless aesthetic twisty stuff as much as i do.
JP Single-Spey M.Fauvet:TLC 10-8-14

- being a bigger file than most gifs it takes a complete sequence to get up to speed and visualise properly.
please be patient for a few seconds, i’m new to this and learning the process !

Ambidextrous Double Hand Casting

some super-nice advice, tips and a casting drill to get you off on the good hand when it’s time to cast off the non-dominant shoulder by Hywel Morgan via Fieldsports Channel
primarily based on double-hand casting, its not too hard to figure out that the very same exercise will be just as effective and beneficial with a single-hand rod.
like i always say, its pretty rare to see someone poke their eye out or stick the fork in their ear when they eat with their non-dominant hand meaning, that unless the person has serious motor skill issues fly casting with either hand is just a matter of getting over the mental ‘ican’t do it’ block and simply practicing a little. most of us are blessed with having two arms and hands, why not be a Ninja and learn to use them both ?

J.P.’s Single Spey

J.P. asked me to help him out with his double-hand casting in preparation for a salmon trip to Russia. being the sporty type (rugby), he’s quite in tune with how his body works but for us casting instructors, we know that the brain-order/body-movement correlation can be a long process… and sometimes not.
here’s his upstream, non-dominant hand-up Single Spey after ten minutes of explanations and demonstrations of what is generally considered the most difficult of Spey casts. sure, there’s a few things to smooth out and work on but he’s ready to safely fish.
as my UK mates say, i’m properly chuffed and very much look forward to seeing the progress he’s made since. casting instruction days are always a treat and this one was one of the treatiest.

JP SingleSpey beginnings

 

for the love of water- The River

by Eoin Fairgrieve/Speycast Media

RiverTweed
hard not to love river Tweed and everything that goes with it.
enjoy it in full screen !

if you liked the map click here for a selection of collectable Scottish river maps with all their beats and pools.

Jim’s Reversed Spey

casting and film editing by Jim Williams

when learning or brushing up on any fly casting techniques, one of the better ways i’ve found is to (at least try to) analyse both theory and actual casts from as many perspectives as possible: reversed, inside out, diagonally, on different planes, through ‘third person’ video and in today’s case, backwards.
this kind of casting study might not be everyone’s cup of tea but at least its interesting to see the fly line defy the laws of physics by being pushed instead of pulled. enjoy !

btw, the cast is a Snake Roll off both shoulders.

Shared Mechanics Concepts between Overhead and Spey Casts

by Dr. Way Yin via Virtual Fly Casting

always a bit dismayed by comments both in real and on the internet of how different aerial and spey casts are, this great article by one of the more knowledgable persons in this matter should hopefully set a few things straight both for the angler assimilating one method to the other and for casting instructors who have gone astray.

shared mechanics concepts between overhead and spey casts way yin
hmmm, sounds like The Five Essentials so commonly associated to single hand overhead casting doesn’t it ?
among all the other goodies, of special interest is Way’s disassociating views between the standard roll cast and the delivery/forward cast of a spey cast.
we tend to define a spey cast as a ‘change of direction line move followed by a roll cast’ but maybe it’s time to rethink the last part a little.

way yin 2

click either text block above to access the complete pdf article. enjoy !