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…