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Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

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SevenWeight
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Location: Homosassa, Florida

Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#1

Post by SevenWeight » Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:49 pm

Hello everyone ... my first post here, even though I've lurked quite a bit.

I'm trying to significantly improve my casting and want to get a good foundation in place. It's clear that I have a tracking issue which manifests itself as a "hook" in the line on my forward cast. Initially I thought it was a result of overpowering the cast for a given distance and causing a recoil in the line. I'm left handed and the fly would "kick" to the right of the intended target. By backing off the power I was able to get the leader and first few feet of the fly line to land straight, but a "hump" of between five and eight feet of length appears a few feet up the line. (This on a 40-foot cast.) So I think I've just managed to just move the "wave" (if that's the correct term) back toward the caster. In any case, I'd like to address this and would like to know what kinds of drills are recommended. I've tried two things:

Casting with the butt of a rod in front of a mirror, trying to keep it straight.

Laying the line on the ground on the back cast. That's not telling me much and certainly not training my muscles :-)

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James9118
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#2

Post by James9118 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:50 pm

It sounds a bit to me like your seeing a wave caused by the counterflex of the rod. Because we all tilt the rod slightly when casting the rod tends to counterflex across the body of the caster. There's a couple of things you can try such as casting more vertically, damping out as much of the counterflex as you can or moveing the tip in an up/out manner as the stop is made.

easterncaster
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#3

Post by easterncaster » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:50 pm

7wgt.,

Are your back casts straightening?
Are your back casts hooking?

And no, the drill to drop your casts on the ground do not help here. You'll need an informed human witness, or technology to record a true cast sequence.

tag,,,
Craig

Geenomad
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#4

Post by Geenomad » Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:49 am

SevenWeight wrote:Hello everyone ... my first post here, even though I've lurked quite a bit.

I. It's clear that I have a tracking issue which manifests itself as a "hook" in the line on my forward cast.

I'm left handed and the fly would "kick" to the right of the intended target.
I'm left handed too mate and had a tracking problem and the same right hook on the forward cast. FWIW, in my case I traced it to an outward roll of the wrist on the back cast.

To explain, a bit, I have a fairly vertical action and had no great problem on shortish accuracy casts. it kicked in noticeably when I started going longer than say 60'. The analysis was basically that I was unconsciously rolling out the wrist to get past the "block" when the forearm meets the biceps. If you watch your action on the back cast, no mirrors required, you should hopefully find where and why you are going away from the 180deg of the intended forward cast. HTH.

Cheers
Mark
"The line of beauty is the result of perfect economy." R. W. Emerson.
https://thecuriousflycaster.com

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Paul Arden
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#5

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:02 am

Hi seven weight,

It's possibly a combination of things, as James points out the hump can be caused by counterflex from a canted rod plane. However the curve is most likely a tracking error, i.e. your backcast now being directly aligned to your forward cast and slightly off shoulder. This is a very common error.

A good drill for short casts, is accuracy target casting, making sure that the rear target is directly away from the forward target (and high of course), with a vertical rod and the loop travelling directly over the tip. In fact this drill will be excellent for 60-100 foot casts. I, and most others, prefer closed stance for this - i.e. in your case left foot forward. My recommendation would be to invest time in training on this first. A closed stance with a fast haul and a nice loop will easily throw 90 ft with a 6 or 7wt line. With a really clean loop and well timed haul you can be looking to pass 100ft. I would absolutely dial this one in first.

Next would be to open up, probably using open stance. This can create a bunch of new problems - some of which you have now. There are lots of solutions but if you we can get that 60ft compact shot landing straight, and extend its distance with a faster haul, then you'll be in an excellent position to really open up on the cast!

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

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Paul Arden
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#6

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:06 am

And SevenWeight... almost forgot... Welcome to the Board!!! :cool: :cool: :cool:

Where do you fish, Mark?

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

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SevenWeight
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#7

Post by SevenWeight » Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:55 pm

Thanks for the advice and ideas James, Easterncaster, Geenomad and Paul. Lots to sort through and respond to here so I'll do a more complete response, however I think that the "counterflex" concept is on the right track (no pun intended). Earlier this AM I had a chance to make a few casts and tried a "band aid" that I used once in the past: pronating my casting hand on the forward cast ... in other words, rotating the palm downward (toward the ground/water) during the rotation phase. That tends to straighten out the forward cast but again, might be what in the golfing world is called a "band aid" ... a trick to correct an issue that is more foundational and should be fixed at its source.

Paul ... I'm the guy from Homosassa, FL ... we've exchanged a few e-mails about the app :-)

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gordonjudd
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#8

Post by gordonjudd » Thu Dec 15, 2016 6:03 pm

That tends to straighten out the forward cast but again, might be what in the golfing world is called a "band aid" ... a trick to correct an issue that is more foundational and should be fixed at its source.
SevenWeight,
It is great that you are playing around with different approaches to fixing your "hooking" problem.

If pronating your wrist at the stop tends to fix the problem could the "foundational source" be that your normal stop has a supination of the wrist?
The analysis was basically that I was unconsciously rolling out the wrist to get past the "block" when the forearm meets the biceps.
Mark makes a good point and is the first place I would check.

A lot of good casters do change the axis of the reel to a vertical orientation on their back cast and then supinate the wrist coming forward so that the reel axis is back to being horizontal at the end of the cast.
Image
I have never been able to figure out how to do that wrist rotation without producing a hook on longer casts, but obviously it can be done.

If you have someone that can take slow motion videos of you casting both from the side (to see how much the axis of the reel varies) as well as from the back and front of you to see tracking errors I think you will sort out your problem.

Gordy

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Walter
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#9

Post by Walter » Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:03 pm

Trying to identify where a tracking error is happening by simply observing your stroke can be tough because it can happen very quickly. You know the error is there because you can see the hook or slice in the way the line lands and you know its the path of your hand causing it but it may be happening too fast to observe and it can be difficult to isolate it to a specific portion of hand/wrist/elbow/shoulder movement.

Here's a simple way to identify where the tracking issue is happening. Pretend your index finger is your rod. Stand next to a vertical surface like a wall. Pantomime your casting stroke with your finger/rod tip just touching the wall. If your finger tip leaves the surface during the stroke you have found the place where your tracking error is happening. You can further break it down by doing just wrist casting, elbow and wrist, elbow only or shoulder only casting to find the offending joint.

Once you have located the exact cause of the problem you can use the exercises in the other posts to fix the problem. You can also practice the finger on the wall exercise with the finger lightly touching the wall throughout the stroke. If you are currently experiencing extreme arctic weather like we have in Calgary you can to this without going outside which is a nice bonus.

Good luck.
"There can be only one." - The Highlander. :pirate:

PS. I have a flying tank. Your argument is irrelevant.

PSS. How to generate a climbing loop through control of the casting stroke is left as a (considerable) exercise to the reader.

Geenomad
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#10

Post by Geenomad » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:03 pm

Paul Arden wrote:And SevenWeight... almost forgot... Welcome to the Board!!! :cool: :cool: :cool:

Where do you fish, Mark?
Sorry Paul, on re-reading this I wondered if my initial assumption that it was directed to 7wt (and not me) might have been wrong. I mostly fish FW lakes and SW flats when I pay the money and get the chance.

Cheers
Mark
"The line of beauty is the result of perfect economy." R. W. Emerson.
https://thecuriousflycaster.com

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