Fly Casting- 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

– there was more to Yin’s article via a link when this article was published but that site doesn’t exist anymore. sad indeed but we’ll just have to do with what we have.
nevertheless, the condensed version still leaves a lot of food for thought.

17 thoughts on “Fly Casting- Shared Mechanics Concepts between Overhead and Spey Casts

    • hi Peter ! always nice to hear from you.
      i’m of mind that neither are wrong and both correct. here’s why.

      – as you wrote, ‘Casting stroke length is proportional to the amount of bend in a rod‘ is indeed correct as it allows to be spot on at different stroke speeds (rhythm).
      applicable in both aerial and rolls and Speys, this will be imo of most value for aerial casts where line out of the rod tip varies greatly.

      – ‘Casting stroke length is proportional to the amount of line carried‘ fits in much better with rolls and Speys where fixed lengths of line during sweep(s) and D-loop setup are a constant.
      let’s take the example of the Scandi/Underhand style. its all about using the exact same length of line and exact same casting motions every single time. (i find this style tedious and extremely boring btw… 😆 ) imo, thats more to do with how much line is carried more than rod bend.

      those are just two examples but i hope you’ll understand my approach to this. imo, as instructors, we need to detect when one phrasing will be more appropriate than the other for the task at hand at that student’s level.

      lastly, and this strays a wee bit but from the topic but it still fits in (to me at least !) to be honest, i never bring up rod bend at courses or demos unless asked. rod bend is there, its needed and inevitable but i far prefer to just concentrate on what the rod tip is doing. i hope that makes sense.

      bonjour à Monique !

  1. ok Lasse ! care to tell us more about what you meant by line length and long stroke long line, short stroke short line please ?

  2. Unless someone can make a proper loop with a short stroke and a long line, I’ll go with the Doctor.

    • Why would that be shitty Marc?
      Steve has a short stroke by most people’s definition even when he’s carrying more line than the majority of flyfishers can handle…

      Didn’t see your other question, LL and SS is a nice rule of thumb when beginning, but learning to minimise your stroke as you get better is a great way of making more playroom to get control in further down the line. And as we know that same work over greater distance is good sometimes, it also goes to efficiency and accuracy.


      • its bunk (not shitty ! 😆 ) because Steve’s carry stroke is indeed shorter by almost anyone’s standards but opens up greatly on the delivery shot. remember the overlay images from a while back ?

        thanks for the rest. how would you rewrite Way’s statement then ?

        side note- just curious, are you not getting comment notifications ? i recently did a systems overhaul and was wondering if its all working well.

        • Bunk means shitty according to urban dictionary 😉

          And all bets are of in the delivery of a max distance cast 😉

          I do get the notifications, but sometimes they can get lost 🙂

          Expand Bill’s 5 with a look in 3D. I see no difference between single and double or air versus water casts. Why complicate matters? Unless you want to tout your own ego….


  3. might be of interest to consult a real dictionary now and again…

    bunk 2 |bəNGk|
    noun informal
    nonsense: anyone with a brain cell would never believe such bunk.

    • I did, and oxfords didn’t make sense, neither did any of the other dictionaries, that’s why I went with urban….


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