PLEASE NOTE: In order to post on the Board you need to have registered. To register please email paul@sexyloops.com including your real name and username. Registration takes less than 24hrs, unless Paul is fishing deep in the jungle!

basic question regarding tracking

Moderators: Paul Arden, stesiik

Limpe Iven
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:22 am

basic question regarding tracking

#1

Post by Limpe Iven » Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:06 pm

So, one of my casting mistakes (i guess) is tracking.
I learned casting with the rod sideways, most of the time holding the rod in a 45 degree angle, i have issues when i hold the rod upright (perfectly straight up). (learned casting on small streams where trees are abundant, an upright backwards stroke would result in flie and line into the trees)
whenever i make a backwards stroke i tend to flick the rod a little sideways, the loop forms on the side, not above the line, i guess that you refer to that as incorrect tracking (rod tip in the whole stroke forward or backward does not follow a straight path), wich, as i understood is not ok.

So my loops look like this
Image
(picture linked from the www. hope that's ok)

I came across a lot of pictures where many flycasters display this.
So here's the question; when casting for distance (or any cast for that matter) is it a "must" that the loop forms above the line ?

Be gentle, then shoot me.

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 13248
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Dec 16, 2019 6:16 pm

Hi Limpe,

Absolutely not! - however for efficiency, accuracy and distance, it’s certainly preferable that the line travels over the rod tip and it’s usually best that the rod travels a vertical plane too. It would be my recommendation that this becomes your “foundation cast”. It’s probably the first thing an “untrained” caster should work on.

And then... well here is a good article from the Sexyloops archives...
http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/loopcontrol.shtml basically you should learn to throw the loop in all planes while casting the rod in all planes!

The nice thing about throwing over the top of the rod is that you can get really good at it, it’s consistent and it’s certainly what we strive for in both competition accuracy and distance. So it has some pretty good groundings!

When teaching, one of the first things I do is put accuracy targets (often rings) out there. It’s a great game, one of the cornerstones to fly casting and I love it because you can actually measure your improvements over time.

The world championships targets are very interesting by the way. It’s quite an eye opener when you first throw at them. Those are pretty big targets at 1.8m diameter and with 16 shots... well you would hope to always hit at least 16 points!!

https://www.icsf-castingsport.com/uploa ... nrules.pdf

The maximum score is actually 80 points. It’s slightly difficult because you have to make adjustments in the air, which means shortening line on the back haul. I have seen many many scores of leas than 10 points.

Anyway I’d recommend a game like this so that you can see for yourself the value of throwing directly over the rod tip - and of course because it’s fun (and improves your fishing accuracy)!

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Limpe Iven
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:22 am

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#3

Post by Limpe Iven » Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:26 pm

Thanks again Paul, for your explanation!

Got the plane game going, it's getting difficult when i reach the almost vertical plane since i have the tendency to look at every backcast i make wich is getting more difficult when the plane rises to a near vertical point ( i guess that's a leftover from casting in confined spaces, looking at the backward cast-loop in order not to hook a tree or bush).
Looking at distance casting video's i'm amazed by the various styles, some casters don't even look backwards while others watch the line completely stretch.

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 13248
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#4

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Dec 17, 2019 11:58 am

Hi Limpe,

I usually have a look before I cast to make sure it’s all clear and then there is no need really. I don’t look back for accuracy casting. However with distance casting I think it’s important to pick targets both behind and in front and I look at these before the casting stroke. I don’t then watch the line fully unroll because by the time it has I need to be looking at the next target!

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 13248
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#5

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:33 pm

Incidentally I think that’s a pic of Alex Titov? I know Alex pretty damned well and he’s on the Board sometimes.

In FFing there is no right or wrong way to do things and you will see many different styles. There has been attempts to try to understand this and make more sense of it. The best has been Bill Gammel’s 5 Essentials as taking out the core elements. Al Kyte has also done very much work on this.

Here is a good article from Bill https://www.sexyloops.com/articles/bill ... uide.shtml

So in many respects you have to try everything and see what works for you. Me personally I’m a very strong advocate of the “closed stance” for everything up to about 100ft :D I like it because it squares the shoulders and almost forces you to throw the line over the tip of the rod. Most - not all - but certainly most competition accuracy casters use the closed stance.

Where I fish here in the Jungle we have very limited time to make the shot. 1-2 seconds. Consequently we use high speed even for short casts. If you do not throw perfectly straight then your fly veers left or right when the leader straightens.

I would say that over the years that 90% of people who’ve come to me for a lesson have never thrown a fly closed stance. They may have been fishing for 20 years and they’ve always cast open stance. So I deal with that by placing rings in front of them, asking them to throw at the rings, I then change them to closed stance and we repeat the drill. All I can say is that you really have to try it!!!

[closed stance is the foot on the rod tip’s shoulder side being placed forward. Open stance is this foot being placed backwards. In other words for a right handed caster casting over his right shoulder the right foot is in front for closed stance. If the same caster casts over his left shoulder, because of the wind for example, then left foot forward is closed stance. The first use of closed stance is very important for me - is right hand, right shoulder. In the second case - right hand, left shoulder, it merits more discussion because there are other factors to consider such as now the body is in the way and how the shoulder works.]

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

jarmo
Posts: 191
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:48 pm

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#6

Post by jarmo » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:01 pm

I have been thinking about this style issue a lot lately, and have also experimented whenever I have had the opportunity (too seldom recently). Here is my meager 2 cents (at most).
Limpe Iven wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:26 pm
Got the plane game going, it's getting difficult when i reach the almost vertical plane since i have the tendency to look at every backcast i make wich is getting more difficult when the plane rises to a near vertical point ...
This. I am under the impression that these are fundamental style choices that have far reaching consequences.

The lure of the non-vertical rod plane is real. Watching the backcast becomes so easy. And watching fixes so many problems for so many casters.

Also, with a tilted rod I can use body rotation to pull very steadily (but strong) on the backcast. Much more steadily than with any other muscles (except for perhaps body translation). Whether that body rotation is good for the lower back is another question, though.

Then again, with a tilted rod plane I lose a good deal of height. And tracking may become an issue.

Currently I am working with 3 styles concurrently:
  • closed stance, elbow in front for short to medium distance and off-shoulder casting (excellent tracking)
  • open stance tilted rod for medium distance and somewhat beyond, to explore power application on the backcast and variations of a longer stroke (seeing backcast)
  • open stance (near) vertical stroke for a combination of long stroke, maximum height and solid tracking.
Assuming no muscular problems or issues with range of motion, the key players seem to be tracking, stroke length, smooth power application, and ability to watch backcast. For me it is 90% about the backcast even with the first three players.

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 13248
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#7

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:46 pm

Nice post, Jarmo!

It’s funny. Watching the backcast can actually introduce errors. Numerous times I’ve had “students” throw really nice backcasts without watching, and then when they look they introduce a tracking error. That’s not surprising because to look behind you you have to turn your shoulders slightly.

There are certainly times when it’s beneficial to watch your backcast - in training - and then some sort of open stance is usually better. But in fishing that’s usually a bad idea. Look first to make sure there are no obstructions of course, but when actually fishing it’s far better to have complete confidence in your backcast, have the back target in your mind (there is always a target!) but practise not looking. If you ever do sight fishing for moving targets looking at your backcast is an absolute no-no, because when you turn to look back again the fish has moved and you need to be aware of the fish’s position at all times.

The only time I watch my backcast is either for blind distance or if have a really tight slot to cast through that needs compete attention. However in both cases I’m not actually watching the loop, instead I’m looking at the rear target.

So I’d recommend not watching your backcast but instead concentrating on your front target and making the backcast directly away from this target. That actually makes tracking easier; the backcast is directly away from the front target and cast straight over the top of the rod. Make sure you lift your elbow into the backcast to help send the line high.

Occasionally I find someone who has an old injury problem with the shoulder, then of course you have to work around that.

Cheers, Paul
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

User avatar
Lasse Karlsson
Posts: 3980
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:40 pm
Location: There, and back again
Contact:

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#8

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:52 pm

I've had people that had a great backcast when watching, and shite when not 🙂

Cheers
Lasse
Your friendly neighbourhood flyslinger

http://www.karlssonflyfishing.com

***Bring Mark back!!!!!! ***

Limpe Iven
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2019 9:22 am

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#9

Post by Limpe Iven » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:35 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:33 pm
Incidentally I think that’s a pic of Alex Titov? I know Alex pretty damned well and he’s on the Board sometimes.
i believe so. stumbled upon it while searching.

The comments have got me thinking,when fishing in open water (no trees, bushes, high banks) i seldom look at the backcast, when casting and trying to refine my casting for either accuracy, distance or delicacy (hence the movie title :laugh: ) it's going all wrong, wrong in a sense that we all are critical on our own goals, i guess, at least i am.

Once more, i'll take the tips and various styles to the grass. Thanks!

User avatar
Paul Arden
Site Admin
Posts: 13248
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
Contact:

Re: basic question regarding tracking

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:44 pm

Lasse Karlsson wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:52 pm
I've had people that had a great backcast when watching, and shite when not 🙂

Cheers
Lasse
Yep that’s the other way it happens :D
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Post Reply

Return to “Flycasting”