Fly Casting- Bouncy-bouncy, Boing-boing !

here’s an interesting topic from a thread i’m participating on a fly fishing forum.
since this subject has come up quite a lot in recent courses i’ve given, i thought we could talk about it here as well, hoping it might help those who have similar issues.
my reply in A

Q ” When I look at videos of instructors online, I notice that the bottom of the loop always follows a nice straight line when it’s unrolling. I do have that with my back cast but with my front cast the bottom of the loop is always wobbly/ wave-like.  I think it must have something to do with my stop on the front-cast but can’t get a good grasp on it. “

A – try relaxing your hand immediately after the stop. you can try this right now. grab a pen or just a rod butt section and pantomime the FC.
once you’ve squeezed your hand to make the stop, relax that squeeze. the idea is to hold the grip just enough to neither let the rod drop on the floor :mrgreen: or let it torque (the reel swings left or right along the rod’s axis)

later, do this with the full rod, (no line !) and look at how the rod reacts.
if you continue squeezing hard after the stop the rod keeps on boing-boinging up and down.
had there been a line cast all those boings would make corresponding waves in the rod leg.
if you immediately relax the grip, the rod stops it’s movement much earlier and we get a lot less waves. we call this ‘damping’

and this is what the effects of an un-damped and damped grip looks like. from friend and colleague Lasse Karlsson’s series of great videos helping us understand how fly casting works through high-speed video. (and some pretty good casting to boot…) thanks Lasse !

and just to to clarify this leg business, a casting loop has three parts:
Rod Leg– the line between the the rod tip and the Loop Face
Loop Face– the curved or pointy part !
Fly Leg– the line between the Loop Face and the Fly

some narrow-minded old-schooler instructors call the legs ‘top’ and ‘bottom’ but that can only be of use for vertical casting. they get completely lost and usually fall over when it comes to explaining roll casting, speys or simple side casts as they have to stand upside-down or lay down to not contradict themselves…