Spey Casting- the Climbing Curve

by Robert Gillespie


whether we’re casting with a single or double hand rod or performing aerial or spey casts the same principle applies. the line generally speaking, will follow the direction and shape the rod tip took as it was pulling it along. *

setting aside other reasons why lines can dip for now, such as starting the lift, sweep and stroke with slack or improper acceleration and focusing only on rod tip path and D loop set ups, if the rod tip goes too low on the back cast of an aerial cast the fly and/or line usually hits the water, ground, bushes, trees, snags and creates slack and in the best case (which still isn’t good) we’d have to do the forward cast at a much higher angle than intended if we want to have a decent and in-control loop (either that or we’d end up with a big ‘ole dome shaped collapsing loop because the cast isn’t following the ideal 180° principle). with rolls and spey casts this scenario is even more critical because the fly leg comes in underneath the rod tip on the D loop set up: it’s already low…

since speys are usually done with water all around the caster, dipping the rod tip  isn’t  as embarrassingly bad as snagging the fly on bank-side bushes and stuff but it still leads to an ugly and inefficient collapsed/crashing D loop anchor that will ‘stick’ too much to the water requiring a lot of unnecessary force to pull it out on the delivery cast and we’ll usually have the same non-180° problem as mentioned above. not good.
as Robert explains, none of this dipping will happen if we continuously move the rod tip in either a climbing slope or curve. ok, that’s pretty logical but it’s easier understood than done, specially with a double hand rod because we’re pushing the rod butt in one direction and pulling the rod tip in another, twisting the torso and chewing gum and blowing bubbles all at the same time. it’s a wonder more people don’t fall over while performing such amazingly complexe motions ! :mrgreen:
funning aside, another way and maybe more constructive manner to think of this exercise is to concentrate on where we place the apex of the D loop.
we tend to think of D loops as symmetric beings that really resemble the letter D but the vast majority of them are more of a wedge like this  > or a close variant of it.
when the apex, or pointy part of the > falls too low we tend to get in trouble. of course, if it goes too high that’s no good either but ‘too high’ doesn’t happen very often and takes a quite very pronounced lift to achieve.

i’ve said enough for now ! this very well explained  Climbing Curve exercise is well worth spending some extra time getting down just right and this, for any rolls or spey casts, single or double-handed. enjoy !

* (ok, not necessarily all of the line but at least the part of the line closest to the rod tip, but for the purpose of today’s tutorial, lets just assume its all of the line. (i had to include this so’s my  casting colleagues won’t jump on me…. 😆 ) anyhow, more on this overstated non-rule soon !)

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