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## The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

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Paul Arden
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### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

Of course I’ve tried it! It’s not for the longest carry, it’s for tight loops.
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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John Waters
Posts: 959
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:16 pm

### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

Hi Graeme,

At least 10 years ago I had an afternoon cast with Matt and we discussed the lift he was employing whilst casting a 5 weight MED. I was interested in better understanding that stroke because it was different from the one I was and still do, employ. In that discussion Matt explained how he believed that rod tip lift on both the back and forward casts increased the tension on the rod tip and assisted the loop morph. Since then I have experimented with that stroke often, but always found the rod leg travelled below the rod tip on the back cast. That low fly leg is visible on your clip of Matt casting. When I compare that profile to videos of some European casters who are casting the 5 weight MED, the fly leg does not travel below the rod leg, rather, the fly leg travels backwards above the the rod leg. That is my experience and I find the lift reduces the stroke length and hence, the line speed is diminished compared with the stroke without the rod lift. No problems with shorter carries but at 90 feet, I cannot generate the line speed and the profile needed for minimal sag on the backcast. I also find that lift is limiting when I cast shooting head lines for distance.

I may be missing something but I cannot progress past that limiting arc when chasing a sag-free backcast with a long carry.
When we open up here in Melbourne, I'll give it another go but I will need to change something to get a different outcome.

Always interested in your thoughts,

John

Paul Arden
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Location: Belum Rainforest
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### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

I may have missed something here - up and sideways. Sideways would be a tracking deviation to change the plane of the casts? That deviation causes “boing” management problems at Loop Straight, it also causes problems with tracking because a canted loop straightens at a different point to a vertical loop.

Lifting the rod butt... I sometimes employ that technique trying. But that’s not a carry issue, that’s a delivery setup issue. However I find that it inhibits the full free-flow of the casting stroke and ultimately reduces carry. Of course I play with it, just as I still play with Slide Load, Thrust, Swoop etc

I play from an elevated position. When you take the ground out of the equation it’s possible to explore all sorts of techniques and still regain control over the line (that would otherwise hit the ground). I really can’t recommend this highly enough (:p). The only difference between doing it up a ladder and doing it on the floor is line speed.

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

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Graeme H
Posts: 1967
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

John Waters wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:32 am
That is my experience and I find the lift reduces the stroke length and hence, the line speed is diminished compared with the stroke without the rod lift.

...

I may be missing something but I cannot progress past that limiting arc when chasing a sag-free backcast with a long carry.
When we open up here in Melbourne, I'll give it another go but I will need to change something to get a different outcome.

Always interested in your thoughts,

John
Hi John,

I think the thing you might be missing (?) is the relaxation of the lift before beginning the subsequent casting stroke. That is, gain tension as the cast progresses but drift the rod back into a more favourable angle prior to casting again.

Doing this, the arc is by no means limited. In the casts you see from this point forward in the video, note how Matty has lowered the rod in readiness for the next cast.

Regarding the fly leg travelling below the level of the rod leg: Well, yeah, Matty has lifted the rod leg. If he didn't, the fly leg would be above it.

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

Graeme H
Posts: 1967
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

Paul Arden wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 5:54 am
I may have missed something here - up and sideways. Sideways would be a tracking deviation to change the plane of the casts? That deviation causes “boing” management problems at Loop Straight, it also causes problems with tracking because a canted loop straightens at a different point to a vertical loop.

Lifting the rod butt... I sometimes employ that technique trying. But that’s not a carry issue, that’s a delivery setup issue. However I find that it inhibits the full free-flow of the casting stroke and ultimately reduces carry. Of course I play with it, just as I still play with Slide Load, Thrust, Swoop etc
Perhaps it might help to think of this action as a long narrow mend that is pulled out of the rod leg before the cast completes due to fly leg speed? In a similar fashion to that described above, I return the rod tip back to the "neutral" position prior to making the next cast. When I'm doing this (and Matty does this too) I lift the rod tip and drift it back before the cast, but I also do the same thing sideways.

All of this happens after loop formation and has no effect on the orientation of the loop. That is still vertically oriented.

I'm not trying to lift the rod butt. I'm trying to lift the rod tip through rotation. If there is some lifting of the butt, that's incidental for me.

All I'm doing is maintaining tension in the rod leg. This is an active endeavour as opposed just standing by passively while waiting for the loop to extend.

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

Graeme H
Posts: 1967
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

I'm seeing this bloke with no hair also lifting the rod tip as the back cast rolls out but to a lesser extent.

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Paul Arden
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### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

Well if I’m doing it, it must be good
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

Flycasting Definitions

Mangrove Cuckoo
Posts: 431
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:51 am

### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

Graeme,

So...

The lift takes place after loop formation? In that case it is a mend... a vertical reach mend. I have, in fact, also used that, but I thought I was simply adjusting the location of the tip and essentially repositioning the tether point of the rod leg. It does appear to "tighten" the loop, but I thought it was more about bringing the rod leg up than increasing tension.

The way you are explaining it, it sounds like it is almost a delayed pull back. Interesting.

So... which way do you move the tip horizontally? I assume it has to be toward the body or the legs would collide?

I do that with a horizontal loop to avoid collisions on very tight loops, but I do not return the tip. Again, your idea that it increases tension is not something I had considered.
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

Graeme H
Posts: 1967
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:54 pm
Location: Perth, Western Australia

### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

Yep, it is a mend of sorts because I'm doing things that would change the position of the rod leg in space even though I have no intention of landing that mend.

I suppose we could call it a delayed pull back, but it seems a little more prolonged than I would offer as "pull back" myself. To me, "pull back" is abrupt and occurs immediately after the stop and is minimal in duration. This seems more deliberate, and for me, it is definitely an attempt to increase tension in the rod leg throughout most of the cast.

The rod tip does come inside, closer to the body's position. One of the best casters I've seen using this is Christopher Rownes. The second cast in this video shows it well and he is using it throughout the video.

Where this really shows itself to behave as a transverse wave (to me) is when the cast is made with an absolute minimum amount of power, reducing the line speed to just enough to complete the cast. At this extreme of casting power, it's easier to see how tension impacts upon the loop propagation and how tension can be used to both improve my own cast and teach others how they can improve theirs.

Here, we can add tension with the rod tip and complete a beautiful, effortless cast, or we can throw the rod forward and prevent the loop reaching the leader. If we also rapidly run forward (in the park, not on the water! ) we can actually make the loop completely collapse in an unrecoverable fashion. The fly leg carries on for a bit before "giving up" and crashing into itself like a mess of wet spaghetti. The loop (wave) disappears and the whole line falls to the ground. In other words, remove the tension from the string and a wave can't propagate.

So now when I'm teaching people, I can improve their cast by stripping the surplus power from their cast and keeping the rod tip high to maintain tension. It's a task-based lesson in which I'm asking them to prevent the loop reaching the leader. Within a few minutes, students are making much better casts because their application of power is appropriate and smooth. (I usually don't mention anything about waves. I'm just asking them to do something that I know will take advantage of the behaviour of transverse waves in a string under tension.)

Cheers,
Graeme
FFi CCI

John Waters
Posts: 959
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:16 pm

### Re: The practical side of considering loops as waves: Teaching and Self Improvement

Thanks Graeme, I got a lot from the videos you posted, appreciated.

Matt does indeed lower the rod in readiness for the next cast, however, in my view he does limit one important arc required in casting when you are chasing an extra few metres. He opens his rod arc but not his forearm arc. That is not an issue in shorter casts, in fact it is an advantage but limits the cast for distance.

Let me try and explain my thoughts about casting arcs and their impact.

There are two important arcs in casting, one is the rod arc and that is the focus for relative short line casting like in the videos of Matt and Christopher. The rod arc gets the majority of focus and attention in instruction because of the distances cast. That is the arc that Matt increases with his wrist movement. However, the other arc that does not get the focus it requires is the forearm arc and the more metres you want to add to your cast, the more important that forearm arc becomes. The forearm arc is the one I was referring to when I stated it was limiting in my above post. The forearm arc is the power arc, hence its importance when you want to add a few metres. Matt’s video shows a restricted forearm arc technique which is the one we all use for short line casting. In that case the forearm transcends an arc that creates an angle forward of the vertical, however, as you extend the line length, it is important to extend that forearm arc from behind the vertical. If you examine Matt’s forearm movement you will see it does not open behind the vertical much at all and that is limiting for distance, hence my reference to reduced arc.
The same with Christopher's forearm arc, all forward of the vertical like is the case when we cast relatively short distances. but limiting when we are adding metres to the cast. The linear path of the elbow in both videos is quite short in length and that also limits distance.

As Matt moves through his false casts in slow motion you will see that the lift of the rod leg remains relatively constant, however the height of the fly leg on the backcast reduces each cast. On one back cast the fly travels backwards between the hand and the stripper guide and on later backcasts the fly travels backwards at hip or lower height. I presume Matt is extending line with each backcast but cannot be certain of that.The negative impact for me of the rod tip lift to try and increase tension is that it truncates the forearm arc behind the vertical and hence truncates the stroke length. Like yourself and others, I instruct casters to do that on shorter casts but I instruct the opposite for longer casts. It is the same with drift on the backcast for distance, you need open both the rod arc and the forearm arc.

Other sports show that lifting the elbow restricts the effectiveness of the forearm in any development of power in the stroke.

Here is a distance stroke with a different fly leg path

Compare the fly leg path to this stroke which has both a larger arc and a longer stroke. The fly leg is always above the rod leg on the backcast, even though the length of line being cast is increasing with each false cast and there is no lift of the rod tip or truncation of arc or stroke.

Here both the forearm arc and rod arc, as well as the stroke length are greater than that used by Matt or Christopher. When this caster has extended his carry fully on his second and last backcast, there is no lift upwards by the elbow and hence, rod tip, in order to seek to impact tension and here backcast fly leg is well above the rod leg. The differences in the elbow shown here are also far more suitable to using the torso than in the shorter, more limited stroke. He does not have to do anything to increase tension, the speed he has generated in the loop does that without pre or post loop formation tip lift.

It is exactly the same in javelin at the the start of the throw step. The fly rod position should replicate that position and angle at the start of the delivery cast after a maximum carry backcast.

Apologies, I do not know how to insert the video I have referred, into my post. I am sure there is a way but given my abject lack of knowledge about such things I could only include the reference to each in the hope you and others can view them from their browser. Maybe another Forumite may be able to show them directly in a post for me.

Thanks again,

John