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Perfect tracking?

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thedeadskunk
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Perfect tracking?

#1

Post by thedeadskunk » Sun May 31, 2020 5:35 pm

Hi all, This is my first question put to the board: How does one obtain perfect tracking time and time again?

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Paul Arden
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Sun May 31, 2020 8:32 pm

Hi Paul,

For distance I think that best way I think is to pick two targets far off in the distance, one behind you and one in front, perfectly aligned with your rod arm in between. Look to the target before making your casting stroke.

With accuracy you don’t want to look behind, so draw back from the front target and have an imaginary target in your mind for your backcast.

There are drills of course: rigging, mirrors, laser pointers, but I just prefer targets! Most people don’t look to the target, which is why they struggle with tracking. They are watching the line or the rod tip.

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

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nicholasfmoore
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#3

Post by nicholasfmoore » Sun May 31, 2020 9:39 pm

As Paul A mentions, targets are the best. For distance, put your rod on the floor and sight down the blank from butt-tip and then tip-butt. Find two targets that line up, usually it will be trees.

I fixed mine years ago by using a rod butt in the mirror and putting some white tape on the top, it took a lot of hard work .

A common tracking fault i see is a result of a thumb on top grip, open stance and straining to look at your back cast.

You could also stretch out a tape measure, stand halfway down it, make a couple of false casts and let your back cast fall to the ground. Make sure the rod tip is over the tape.

The easiest way is probably casting to targets, both for accuracy and for distance.

So to answer your question, casting to targets is a surefire way to throw straight.

All the best!
Nick M

"Memento Piscantur Saepe" :upside:

thedeadskunk
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#4

Post by thedeadskunk » Mon Jun 01, 2020 4:41 am

Many thanks.

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James9118
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#5

Post by James9118 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:17 am

Personally one of the exercises I like is to look at the quality of the loops you're casting. I know this goes against Paul's advice to pick a target in the distance (which is great advice), however I think most of the visual feedback you'll get regarding your tracking is in the shape of your line. Are the fly-leg and rod-leg aligned and parallel? Do they stay that way all the way to the point they unroll straight? etc.

Cheers, James

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Paul Arden
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:47 am

I'm not sure if that goes against it or instead tells you that you have done it :) I agree that the unrolling loop tells you everything, in fact I was going to mention this in the head length question but it didn't really fit with the question. But I'll mention it here now anyway!

There comes a point when extending carry when the loop suddenly takes on a noticeably different set of dynamics. The loops morph into sharper narrower points. The MED is a good example since that is one that is commonly used and it's very noticeable. I believe that this happens when at max counterflex all the line in the loop is running line and the end of the head is at the very top of the loop. For the MED5 and a 170 stroke that happens at around 86-88'' carry (measured line hand to fly line end). Extending much beyond this tends to make the loop unstable. With a slight tail wind I will try to carry a little bit more and the wind seems to sort it on the forward cast. No wind or a head wind and I will try to cast very tight so that there is no running line between the top front of the loop and the end of the head. I actually find the MED to require quite close precision to this. 125 and Thunderbolt don't require such precision - I think this may have to do with differences in the rear taper but I think to really figure this out you would need to spend a few days at a manufacturers rolling off and playing with different tapers. Of course the real problems occur when you have a significantly shorter head. If the head is very short then you need significant overhang for distance and that's very unstable, but if you don't have overhang then the loop unrolls too early.

Anyway long explanation for a short answer that studying loop morph will not only tell you the length of the head but also how best to cast it :)

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

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nicholasfmoore
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#7

Post by nicholasfmoore » Mon Jun 01, 2020 2:56 pm

James9118 wrote:
Mon Jun 01, 2020 7:17 am
Personally one of the exercises I like is to look at the quality of the loops you're casting. I know this goes against Paul's advice to pick a target in the distance (which is great advice), however I think most of the visual feedback you'll get regarding your tracking is in the shape of your line. Are the fly-leg and rod-leg aligned and parallel? Do they stay that way all the way to the point they unroll straight? etc.

Cheers, James
That's a great point, James, and one i failed to mention. It's very true of course. :laugh:

All the best!
Nick M

"Memento Piscantur Saepe" :upside:

nicholasfmoore
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#8

Post by nicholasfmoore » Mon Jun 01, 2020 3:18 pm

125 and Thunderbolt don't require such precision - I think this may have to do with differences in the rear taper but I think to really figure this out you would need to spend a few days at a manufacturers rolling off and playing with different tapers.
Funny you should mention that, i use the thunderbolt all the time, for casting and fishing. I used to use the MED, but your line has completely replaced it as a fishing line.

I like the fact that you can play with overhang on yours, and it's incredibly stable carrying different lengths. The ballistic line is one of my other favorites, like the MED, this does require quite a specific overhang. James has had more experience with these lines, so it would be interesting to see if he agrees with me or not in that regards.

I'm with you on short headed lines. I don't like them. I much prefer a long headed weight forward, or even better a double taper. I've never found a quick way to work out what overhang length is best for the line to delay turnover. It always takes me a while. How do you do it?

Speaking of overhang, i had a play with the wulff triangle taper before i gave it away to a friend as i didn't like it. I had a go at trying to carry this, it was very clunky but i managed to carry a lot of it by following through backwards and forwards, a bit like the 170. This allowed me to keep tension in the running line. As you know, you need to minimise the slack that forms in the running line as overhang increases. Very clunky and quite difficult, the Rio SHS is even worse. Of course, it's absolutely not the best way to cast them for maximum distance, but it sure is fun! :laugh: Who can carry this whole line? I know someone can ;)

All the best!
Nick M

"Memento Piscantur Saepe" :upside:

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Lasse Karlsson
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#9

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:28 pm

I'm with you on short headed lines. I don't like them. I much prefer a long headed weight forward, or even better a double taper. I've never found a quick way to work out what overhang length is best for the line to delay turnover. It always takes me a while. How do you do it?
Haul length plus the amount of line you pull out of the direction to the intended taget, so you just start the loop in the taper.
Letting go at the right time is the best way of delaying turnover.

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Lasse
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Lasse Karlsson
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Re: Perfect tracking?

#10

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:29 pm

Carry, backingknot in hand or outside the tip?

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Lasse
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