Bill Gammel wrote:I see the essentials differently now. I see the SLP as the ultimate essential. This is the goal of a straight line, overhead cast. It can not be accomplished without all of the essentials working together. So I now teach them in a different order. I start out with 15 feet of line outside the rod tip and the line pinned under a finger, however, I don;t mention slack. It just confuses them. I teach them about a smooth acceleration to a stop. I have them do this by sliding loops along the ground. After this I teach them to adjust the width of the casting arc. Then I move them to casting side arm with the line waist high. Here they learn their timing and the pause essential is added. Now they are getting lots reps by false casting. I then move the cast to vertical and teach them about the straight line path (right to left or not throwing a curve cast) Then we add line and I teach them to adjust their stroke while reading loops. Show how all 5 essentials work to gather to throw a u shaped loop. I then emphasize no slack as they learn to shoot line.
I've been teaching using a similar method with a bridge of this and Lee's triangle method (the visual casting arc representation). What I really like about the way you've got it set out Bill is that right from the outset you are teaching variation and understanding in the casting arc/loop shapes from the outset. Rather than just having a focus on the ideal or the goal, there is a conscious yet simple effort to enable the student to understand how they make different loop shapes and how to correct them. All the time whilst learning the movement and the feel of the motion you have taught a better understanding and self correction.
I'm definitely going to incorporate this element into my basic teaching. I had been teaching the varying casting arc and stroke by having the student increase the length of line, then increase the arc and stroke, as well as the other elements, in order to maintain good loops. I'm going to try teaching the variable arc with a fixed length of line as you prescribe though, I really like that. I'd always looked at the one foot at a time drill and varying casting arcs (and power application too) as an improver course of action rather than an absolute beginner type drill but can now see it needn't be that way.