a short extract from Essence of Fly Casting II by Mel Krieger
what can you say about someone who managed to insult old farts and successfully convey the message across in such a charming manner ?
we can now say that to “get the line out” we’ll need to do a bit more than just ‘stop’ the rod, but the image is a good and lasting one and one that works.
this little clip has always been one of my favorites. thanks Mel.
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.