Fly Casting- Better not stop !

or this guy won’t think you’re doing it right…

following a current website casting thread on the Italian TLT (Total Line Technique) style of casting, one of the better casters of this style posted the video above to point out that this technique doesn’t involve stopping the rod.
well, ok, with the short amount of line he’s casting in the video (if he double or tripled the amount of line he would obviously have to pause his hand in one way or another to allow the line to unroll before starting the next stroke) he does indeed continue the movement with his hand but what he’s really failing to understand is that it’s not hand movement that’s important in defining the ‘stop’ but rather the rod tip.
to put it quite simply, loop formation happens just after the rod tip is at it’s highest speed and when the rod tip has been decelerated in one way or another via the rod butt and this all happens just a fraction of a second before the rod tip is at it’s very temporary ‘RSP’ (Rod Straight Position) on it’s way into counter-flex.

to put it even more simply, if their isn’t a ‘stop’* or a deceleration or reversal direction of the rod tip, (as seen at the beginning of the video) there isn’t a loop, and this regardless of what the hand is doing.

to demonstrate this with beginning students i ask them to do Joan Wulff’s drill, ‘Circles and Eights’. this involves drawing big circles and figure-eights in the air with the rod tip and with a short amount of line. even as they’re swishing the rod this way and that, as long as they continue to draw those figures a loop never happens, it just follows the rod tip.
as soon as they stop the movement or if i place my hand in front of the rod and block it, the line overtakes the rod tip and a loop happens and that’s what a loop is about, ‘stopping’ the rod tip. beginners understand this without words.

the TLT isn’t the only school of casting that claims a non-‘stop’ movement to their style. in a world where the understanding of casting mechanics is starting to develop greatly, maybe it might be time for these schools to analyze not only their casting better but also the words they use to describe it.

* i always put the word ‘stop’ between parenthesis because the rod tip doesn’t really stop. even if it is an incorrect term, this ‘stop’ is just an accepted image that explains this point in time during the cast.



if you too where bored to death by the first video, here’s a little something that involves moving and stopping that’s a lot more interesting.

15 thoughts on “Fly Casting- Better not stop !

  1. Not really fair Marc, as you know that the video just presents a kind of Magliocco double haul but not a TLT style tracking. Bye

    • hi Malik !
      sorry but i don’t understand the ‘not fair’ part.
      the post isn’t about any particular style but more to point out that casting a loop isn’t possible without some form of ‘stop’. if the rod tip doesn’t slow down in one way or another the trailing line behind it can’t pass the rod tip. simple.
      whether its Magliocco or anyone else, if they’re stating either a ‘non-stop’ or ‘continuous tension’ style of cast they’re wrong. slow motion video shows this very clearly.

      hope you’re doing well and hope to catch up this year !

      – did you like the dancing video at least ? 😆

  2. Malik said an important thing. Massimo in this video is casting for double haul.
    Not stop regards fly line not rod!
    In my opinion you can’t speak about Tlt if you don’t know this kind of cast.

    • – it makes no difference whatsoever if there’s a haul or not, that’s not even the point of the article. you might want to read it ?
      – non-stop regards the fly line ? the only time the fly line will stop is when its either lying on the ground or wound on the reel…
      – are you suggesting universal physics don’t apply to the Tlt style ?

  3. Hi Maurizio, Hi Marc.

    Maurizio, Marc is an opened mind man with whom I spoke a lot about TLT style. As I wrote it in April, according to me, this video just shows a poor double-haul (I’m sure that Massimo is able to do much better) and has little to do with the Italian casting style. And Marc is right : the “theory” about non stop regarding the line and not the rod is not really consistent.

    Ciao !


  4. Hi Malik,
    I have been in Castel di Sangro with you and with your swiss friends some years ago.
    No stop is not probably the right way to say the fact. But I am not able to find a word that work better.

  5. hi guys,
    thanks for coming back to this topic Malik. 🙂
    i’m still having a hard time understanding why you two seem to focus on the double haul when its not the subject… 😆

    anyhow, since it was originally posted more than years ago i’ve re-read the post several times to see if i or my colleagues had reached any different conclusions since and no, its simply not possible to form a loop if the rod tip hasn’t slowed down or has been ‘stopped’.
    ‘No Stop’ simply isn’t possible.
    this has absolutely nothing to do with a particular casting style, techniques, casting planes or anything. its a universal rule that can’t be disputed.

    do yourself the favour of trying to form a loop without decelerating, reversing the rod tip (as in switching from the back cast to the front cast) or ‘stopping’ the rod and let me know what happens, ok ?
    for an even better understanding, another thing to test is to use the exact same Tlt casting stroke you’re familiar with but with a much longer length of line. at a certain point (length) you will have to include a pause or you will be reversing the line before it has unrolled and you will be casting a slack line.

    when you realise this, you will see that ‘non-stop’ is a very incorrect term. rules can’t be rules if they don’t apply all the time.

    now, here’s the problem. ‘non-stop’ is how it feels because every single time its demonstrated its alway with a short amount of line but that’s not what’s really happening. indeed, the hand doesn’t stop moving (and it doesn’t stop moving when Massimo is demonstrating the ‘stop’ either… 😉 ) but once again, the hand is just a ways to a means: the rod tip.

    here’s my friend Aitor Coteron demonstrating an Elliptic cast (and Tlt is just another form of an Elliptic cast, just like almost every other style of casting in the world)). watch how the rod straightens between casts, its very easy to see. for the rod to straighten, it first needs to unload. that’s the ‘stop’. what we’ll also see is the concept of ‘constant tension’ or ‘non-stop’ simply doesn’t exist.

    thanks for your comments and Malik, i know i’m a turd for not keeping in touch but i’m working on being a better person in 2015 😀

    Ovals from Aitor Coteron on Vimeo.

    • oh, and yes Maurizio, as with just about any fly casting style i am able to cast in the Tlt manner. it has its place at times, specially in the Pyrenees stream i have near home.
      in a way, the real beauty of learning to cast in all styles is-
      first, its more fun
      second, it allows the caster to be a better fisher and catch more fish !
      thirdly, the realisation that all styles and casts are built of the same components. they’re all special and great but there’s no magic.

      if you’re interested in seeing what those universal components are, click HERE

  6. Hi,
    I can accept that “no stop” should not be the right way to say this situation.
    But the cast that you show in your video is very different from Tlt style.
    In a part of this blog I can see Malik (Sim suisse) that practice Tlt cast.
    If you look at slow motion you can see that he move rods always.
    You may see that loop is forming during deceleration, not only at stop moment.
    Why this?
    Because in Tlt style you have to have costant tension… You change direction of your rod when fly line is not arrived at the end of the way.
    This is one of the must for Tlt.
    I don’t know if Sim change this thing now but Roberto Pragliola say this.
    This the only way for charge ultra rapid rod with a #3 fly line.
    I don’t think that is the only way to form loop but if you want to increase tension you have to mantain tension.
    In Tlt style you don’t make a traction to fly line.
    Ps: Excuse for my english… I never use it

    • ok, nevermind.
      there’s no point in continuing this conversation with you, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.
      thanks for sharing yours thoughts Maurizio,

      • Hi Maurizio, Hi Marc,

        As far as I’m concerned, I dont like the expression of “non stop” because it has generated a lot of didactical and technical confusion. I never use it without some precisions in my classes or when I present the essential of the style. Obviously, in TLT, the loop is formed exactly in the same way as in any other technique :–) : grosso modo a loop will appear as soon as the speed of the rod tip is inferior to the speed you former gave to your line. The only difference is that, in the TLT style, you don’t end the casting stroke with an abrupt or crispy stop, but just decelerate after having applied the maximum power by the way of a very brief “thrust” — which is normally followed by a follow through (a kind of drift) in the direction of the target.

        According to me, there is sometimes some confusion between “stop” and “pause”, despite we all know that they don’t have the same functions in a casting sequence. The fact that in TLT style, the “classical” stop-and-pause is replaced by a deceleration-and-follow through doesn’t mean that the pause has disappeared : as most of the TLT basic casts are short distance casts (10-12 meters, including a pretty long leader), the length of the line is short, and thus the pause is very brief — so to say, “encapsulated” in the follow through, exactly as the stop is “encapsulated” in the deceleration.

        I wish you both a merry Christmas and a HNY — and yes, Marc, it will be great if you become a better person in 2015 ! 🙂

        Best Regards


        • hi Malik ! sorry, holiday horror has taken over my life lately… 😀
          i’ll get back to this when it all calms down. my best to you and yours !

Comments are closed.