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Hypothetical question on mechanics

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Mangrove Cuckoo
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Hypothetical question on mechanics

#1

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Fri Dec 11, 2020 2:22 pm

Just for kicks I'd like some thoughts on theoretical casting mechanics?

But, instead of the current popular topic of maximum distance lets change the parameters slightly:

Instead of a weightless, windless fluff, lets assume the fly has some significance compared to the line, like maybe a
popper on an 8 wt...

And, instead of trying to achieve the longest cast lets think more along efficiency, like maybe you want to cast all day
while making a PUALD around twice every minute with above said popper...

and, instead of being able to make a few steps, or even shift your weight, imagine you are standing in a canoe...

As you can see, this is an absurdly theoretical question, but I have some evidence that it can be done! :whistle:

While I have not paid attention in years, over here in the US the CCA at one time had a competition category called "Bass Bug" which, if I remember correctly, was an accuracy comp with a standardized bug and the number of false casts were limited. And, as to not shifting your weight, the last time I watched Mac Brown give a demo he seemed to unconsciously minimize his weight transfer when concentrating of something else in the cast. He kinda looked like a Masai warrior standing on one leg with the other foot propped against the one touching the ground!

For those reasons (and some others) I think the above scenario could possibly be a real world challenge. If so, how would you modify your casting motion to work within those parameters?

Thanks!
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

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Paul Arden
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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Dec 11, 2020 5:00 pm

Hi Gary,

Good question!

Me personally, that’s my go-to foundation stroke. Elbow and eye aligned to target for close to mid range, slightly out for longer shots, knees bent. Accuracy style, which I use pretty much for everything up to about 90’.

Compact stance, shoulder block, high backcast, normally a vertical stroke with the line over the tip as default.

That’s mostly what I teach too - here anyway! Instead of opening up people’s casting strokes, most of what I teach is to make them more compact.

I teach; pick the target, imagine a bell 180 degrees from target behind you (don’t look!), lift to the popper, ring the bell, deliver to target. There is a strong smell of elephants. Anyway compact, straight lines, two targets.

In my experience the vast majority of anglers have never fished closed stance. I’m not always closed myself because of the balance of the boat, but I am always closed with the shoulders for short to mid range shots. Tracking is everything, especially with a popper that kicks.

I tend not to teach mechanics or at least I don’t make that a lesson foundation. I focus on hand, eye, body, tip, target, mind.

What I would say is that if you are balancing on a kayak it must be similar to balancing on a 12 ft tinny. For me that’s like standing on a snowboard. And bringing that awareness into balance is always good.

What are your thoughts?

Cheers, Paul
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John Waters
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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#3

Post by John Waters » Fri Dec 11, 2020 9:58 pm

The Bass Bug Accuracy is a great event Gary, cast only in the US but nevertheless, a super test of casting skills. Interesting question, what do you mean by "theoretical casting mechanics"? It would be simple to say that the any real world casting circumstance or objective defines the movement range, the duration, the force applied and the speed generated but that may not be what you are asking. Bit like a cricket fielder attempting a run out from close to the wicket or from the boundary.

John

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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#4

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sat Dec 12, 2020 12:55 am

Paul,

Thanks! Stance is a main part of the problem. You cannot alter it. Your feet have to be on opposite sides of the midline and equidistant from it. And while that may be perfect as a closed stance when casting ahead to 12 o'clock, you seldom cast in that direction. (Unless you have to minimize "rocking" and you have the opportunity to position before the presentation). Usually you are casting at around 90 degrees to 12, but it can be anywhere from 8 to 4.

It is very "upper body" casting. Imagine casting while sitting on a bar stool that doesn't swivel.

John,

Yeah, "theoretical casting mechanics" is pretty vague. How about the last line, "How would you modify your casting motion to work within those parameter?"
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#5

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:58 am

So no distance requirement, not rocking the canoe, and its all about efficiency in terms of being able to do it all day. Flick of the wrist, leader only , and just sit down, standing takes too much 😉 not very effective for most fishing but efficient use of energy 😊

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Lasse
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Paul Arden
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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:00 am

Hi Gary,

I’m assuming you need to stand up to sight these fish, same as here, where I not only stand but stand on the seat :) I have fished quite significantly from kayaks, but trout fishing mostly in mid-West and Canada. Although I did have a month in the Keys. It was not possible to stand on mine, or at least not for very long, which made sight-fishing virtually impossible.

The “neutral” stance is difficult! I also have to make these change of angle shots where the body is obviously in the wrong place. I am always one foot back or forward for balance. Standing “neutral” has never felt stable for me, but you have no choice :D I would still bend the knees though, at least when taking shots.

What I do is to twist from the waist so that the right shoulder (right handed casting) is forward. Port side - elbow forward casting. Starboard side - I cast back of the hand on top, backcast delivery.

You have the great option to throw left handed as well, so left shoulder forward from the waist, squared casting for the starboard side.

That’s what I do anyway. Lower centre of gravity, twist from the waist to square as much as possible to the target. Make deliberate use of backcast deliveries (there is no time to change hands here!). And I often end up doing some really weird stuff to get the fly there (Aerielised Speys) – it’s all about the fly and making sure it gets there. It’s why I love free-risers. You don’t know where they are coming up or when, and you have one second to get in front of them.

What I would add is that backcast target becomes absolutely critical. Pick the front target (not the fish!), imagine the back target 180 degrees away, any body twist can either happen before the backcast or during, but not after. From that point onwards it’s usually always a straight line.

When you see the fish do you have time to reposition the kayak to set yourself up for a better shot? Or do they figure out that you are there?

Cheers, Paul
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John Waters
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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#7

Post by John Waters » Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:34 am

Like Paul and Lasse have said, your casting is determined by both the cast's objective and the situation in which the caster is delivered. Depending on the circumstances, the length of each movement and the speed of that movement is ramped up or down. Balance is also a determinant, I like to sit down when fishing from a boat, cast within the situational limits and relax and enjoy being on the water. Although movement components change, I am not sure they change to the extent that the caster is unrecognisable. I reckon I could identify Steve Rajeff's, irrespective of the fishing situation he was enjoying at the time, i.e. standing, crouching, or sitting.
It all comes down to the what the situation requires and how you manage that.

John

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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#8

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:07 pm

Thanks guys! Gotta give your ideas some thought...

For clarification, we seldom throw poppers to sighted fish. If we are sight fishing, the fish are usually very shallow and spooky so they are usually sighted from a distance, then approached and fished from the seat with very gentle flies. (Lar's beautiful FP fly would be excellent for this btw).

Popper fishing is a moving target game, except that the target (structure) is stationary and the canoe is what is moving... shoreline "painting" is what we call it. We do stand to be able to better see where we want to place the fly, and for easier distance. It is a continuous PUALD accuracy game, with curves or tucks thrown in for spice.

Paul, you said, "What I do is to twist from the waist so that the right shoulder (right handed casting) is forward. Port side - elbow forward casting. Starboard side - I cast back of the hand on top, backcast delivery.

You have the great option to throw left handed as well, so left shoulder forward from the waist, squared casting for the starboard side."

So... no torso rotation? Just arm and wrist? The backhand delivery is OK for straight shots, but I damn near permanently injured myself trying to learn curves with that! Great for tucking under branches though.

John,

We discussed the mechanics of the NFL football pass a while back. That whole upper torso rotation with balancing elbow movement is what I am playing with. Keeping my mass centered for balance but getting a lot of input from my body, instead of my arms, seems to really make casting easy... but of course tracking becomes the challenge.

Do you think this will work eventually, or am I wasting my time?

Lasse,

Distance is not a big deal. Its the usual target casting range of 40 to 60 feet. Sitting is definitely the easier option, but sitting at the water level reduces my range and vision. The biggest problem is that a good size snook can tow a canoe a number of feet, so the further from shore you start (and the further from shore you tease it into eating) the better your chances it can't get back to safety before you can take measures.
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Paul Arden
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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:06 pm

Torso rotation for me on the backcast, possibly, but I personally minimise it when taking shots - especially when the arm is out of plane. So torso rotation on the backcast is to get into position. We are talking what? 80’ casts? I can be compact for that.

Backhand curve casts? Yep that’s a challenge :D I can’t do them either and need to cross-body!

Cheers, Paul
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Re: Hypothetical question on mechanics

#10

Post by John Waters » Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:21 pm

"We discussed the mechanics of the NFL football pass a while back. That whole upper torso rotation with balancing elbow movement is what I am playing with. Keeping my mass centered for balance but getting a lot of input from my body, instead of my arms, seems to really make casting easy... but of course tracking becomes the challenge.

Do you think this will work eventually, or am I wasting my time?"

Hi Gary,

I think the more we move from an arm centric to a body centric casting technique, the better. You are correct about keeping your mass centred for balance, it is the key to effective movement.

In an earlier post, Nick referred to losing his balance during the cast. Any incorrect tracking of your centre of mass will cause that. At the risk of being slightly heretical, the tracking of your centre of mass is as important as tracking of the rod.

The more your arm drives the cast, the greater risk of injury and the quicker you become exhausted. It is a downward spiral, the arm is the first to tire, so don't have it drive your cast. Increasing tiredness, aches and pains are not what you want when fishing for any period, in any situation.

Rotation need not negatively impact tracking. I applaud your willingness to improve your casting through alternatives, you are most certainly not wasting your time. There is only one fact to consider, if you continue to replicate what you currently do, you cannot expect any change in outcomes.

John

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