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Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#381

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:11 pm

Unfortunately I can’t seen your video on my phone Jarmo (well I can but not the details!). I would be interested to see a video of you casting shot from this distance and angle…
29BE571E-56D2-4A4C-8768-AC06C51018B1.jpeg
But shot from the opposite side.

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

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jarmo
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#382

Post by jarmo » Tue Jun 15, 2021 1:01 pm

Paul Arden wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:11 pm
Unfortunately I can’t seen your video on my phone Jarmo (well I can but not the details!). I would be interested to see a video of you casting shot from this distance and angle…But shot from the opposite side.
I will take a video with the camera closer and on the correct side at some point. Out of curiosity, I just took a quick crop from the clip above. If you can not see this properly, feel free to remove this message altogether (since it will only waste bandwidth in that case).


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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#383

Post by Paul Arden » Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:27 pm

Yep I can see that thanks! It appears your reel might be doing funny things!

There are lots of styles and modifications. Personally I wouldn’t rock as much for this sort of distance and would try to keep the weight mostly on the front foot. At 50’ there might be a slight weight shift

An slightly alternative forward stroke to play with would be something like this…
822AF1D8-E3C5-42B6-B26F-3AB6DC520ECE.jpeg
822AF1D8-E3C5-42B6-B26F-3AB6DC520ECE.jpeg (34.78 KiB) Viewed 337 times
So long as the loops are fine and consistent, I think that’s the most important thing. It looks like a nice technique to me. It certainly looks to me that you’ve put the work in and it shoes good teaching form to me.

I wouldn’t let the reel slide around however, especially not in an exam!

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

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jarmo
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#384

Post by jarmo » Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:05 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:27 pm
It appears your reel might be doing funny things!
It rotates under gravity when I relax my grip completely in between strokes. I can relax less. I have a talent for not relaxing.
Paul Arden wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:27 pm
Personally I wouldn’t rock as much for this sort of distance and would try to keep the weight mostly on the front foot. At 50’ there might be a slight weight shift
Ok, I will try to reduce body movement.
Paul Arden wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:27 pm
It looks like a nice technique to me. It certainly looks to me that you’ve put the work in and it shoes good teaching form to me.
Thanks! What you see here is the tip of a Titanic-class iceberg, because I have experimented with all stances, strokes and grips I have been able to find, including the one in your picture above. I have used a lot of time to explore this.

But the 50' task changed yesterday, by accident.

I was practising delaying haul on the forward cast. There were serious gusts of wind, swirling around from different directions. To cope with these gusts, I put extra oomph into my pickups, a longer and faster haul.

I noticed that these powerful pickups reduced my stroke length / size in the entire casting sequence. The reduction was larger than I would have expected. One of my few lightbulbs went on: what is the significance of this for non-hauled false casting?

I shortened line length to 50', and focused on a powerful and tight pickup. And observed the same effect: a solid pickup decreased stroke length in the entire casting sequence. A natural consequence of this, at least for me, is the easier casting of tighter loops with correct trajectory.

So what had I missed? Tension. Creating, maintaining and tempering tension are familiar from spey casting, but I had missed their role completely in overhead casting.

I went out again this morning for a short session to verify the observation. Pickup at 50' is not easy, and I had to really focus on making it so fast and tight that I could feel the tension when drifting for the first forward cast. But when this succeeds, the impact is radical: shorter stroke, tighter loops, and improved trajectory control throughout the entire false casting sequence.

Well, if this were easy, we would not be interested, but perhaps it should have not been this difficult. Do not do it my way, go see your casting instructor. :)

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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#385

Post by Paul Arden » Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:17 am

This is what it’s all about! I never stop experimenting. It’s that wide trial and error base that is great when teaching because chances are you’ll have tried and gone through something similar to what your student is doing.

Jarmo, as I’m sure you know, you need to do this over water too. Gentle pickups into tight backcasts over water helps you over grass. It’s easy over grass to be too fast with the lift, which can result in the backcast arc starting from the tip touching the ground, instead of from a raised moving position, with the line off the water. That wide arc starting from the tip down will always give a wide loop - and it’s very common.

So even on grass you always need to imagine you are picking up off water.

I may have mentioned it in this discussion already, but I teach the tight pickup backcast to instructors by asking them to try to shock the rod to throw a tail. It won’t tail - or it probably won’t! And then just to do the same thing but with less force, and being a bit smoother. Think about stopping the forearm and allowing the controlled wrist to fire the line back.

(It wasn’t my invention to try to shock the rod to throw a tail. I believe I picked this up from Philip Maher a long time ago. Since then I’ve found it extremely useful, particularly for this grass stuff).

I’ll see if I can make a short video later. That would be a small miracle!

Cheers, Paul
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jarmo
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#386

Post by jarmo » Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:53 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:17 am
This is what it’s all about! I never stop experimenting. It’s that wide trial and error base that is great when teaching because chances are you’ll have tried and gone through something similar to what your student is doing.
I agree, as a lifelong learning experience. From a life-management point of view this makes less sense. One of the great things about this site, though, is that you can be openly nuts. :)
Paul Arden wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 7:17 am
I may have mentioned it in this discussion already, but I teach the tight pickup backcast to instructors by asking them to try to shock the rod to throw a tail. It won’t tail - or it probably won’t! And then just to do the same thing but with less force, and being a bit smoother. Think about stopping the forearm and allowing the controlled wrist to fire the line back.
Yes, you told me about this, and this is the way I try to do it. But it is very difficult at 50'.

I can take an open stance and look at the pickups to verify that the following works:
  1. lift rod tip very slowly from the ground to perpendicular (to pickup direction)
  2. "hit it" (sorry John) hard with the wrist.
The resulting loop is tight, fast, and will not tail. But it requires very good timing, and considerable power. Too much power for my taste. I can not do it with the three-point grip, I can not get enough power. I need to use thumb-on-top and an index finger pull.

I tried using the sequence of stops to help in wrist turnover, and had some preliminary success, but this too is difficult.

Perhaps the acceleration can be started slightly before the perpendicular to smoothen the end of the pickup? I will test this.

If you do a video, please do it at a distance of 50'. :)

I need to learn this "high tension" pickup at 50' properly before I proceed with the rest of the 50'+ tasks. I now feel that pickup tension is the basis on which the entire sequence of casts is built. I also suspect that the pickup has to be faster and tighter than any of the other casts, because it needs to support the drift for correct forward cast trajectory. It is likely that a level 2/3 examiner will set me straight on this real soon.

If that tension is not there at the very start, I need to lengthen my stroke, and possibly widen the arc as well, trying to introduce tension (take out the "slack") during the false casts. This will possibly require a longer stroke to begin with, or stroke modification on the fly, and can result in tracking errors, larger arcs and larger loops, and/or downward trajectories.

I also tested the effect of this initial tension on some other tasks, like varying the rod plane, and the distance cast. I feel the situation is similar: a solid initial tension makes the entire task considerably easier.

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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#387

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:01 am

If it stops raining before dark I’ll make some 50’ pickups!! :) My lift is to the fly. It should be a fairly constant speed, not too fast, not too slow – carefully watch how the line peals off the water. Once the leader is lifted, or sometimes even the fly, I make an abrupt backcast. The backcast stroke feels little more than an upward squeeze of the hand for me. If I need to pick up more line I reach forward slightly to make the rod tip move further for the same angle – in other words a longer “arc” as physicists use the term, not fly fishers :laugh:

Anyway the point of that is to say that I think that the lift angle to the start of the Casting Stroke is predominantly dictated by the amount of line being picked up, not the backcast target which is secondary and actually depends on the amount of line being picked up.

Short line, short lift, high backcast. Long line, long lift, lower backcast (but still always aimed above the horizontal).

The way I look at it, is that once the line is actually picked up, it takes very little effort to turn 30-35’ of flyline into a narrow loop. Where I see many people struggling with this, is that they use too wide an arc and excess force to compensate. Maybe try an exercise; make a slow lift followed by the minimum force (and minimum size casting arc) to make the backcast. Don’t worry too much about the line dropping, you can always add a little bit more speed afterwards. But try working with minimums and then play with adding acceleration keeping the cast arc the same. There is lots to play with in there.

I know I’ve mentioned it a few times but I would not practise just 50’ pickups. I would always go, 20’, 25’, 30’… all the way up to 50’. I would also look at 55’ pickups. Anything to break it up. Sometimes it’s difficult or inconvenient to find water to practise I know, but I think it’s really important to spend significant time doing this particular exercise over water. A PUALD over water I think is a core casting skill. You can have a lot of fun hitting targets with the WC Accuracy set up. You can also practise 50’ PUALDs with this arrangement. (Max target distance is 15m which is 49’3” :pirate: ).

Cheers, Paul
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jarmo
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#388

Post by jarmo » Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:19 am

Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:01 am
The way I look at it, is that once the line is actually picked up, it takes very little effort to turn 30-35’ of flyline into a narrow loop.
It sounds like my initial, slow part of the lift is too slow, because I need a lot of power in the "power snap" stage. The end result is what I want, but the method must be wrong.

How can I end up in this kind of a hassle over such a minor detail?
Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:01 am
If it stops raining before dark I’ll make some 50’ pickups!! :) My lift is to the fly. It should be a fairly constant speed, not too fast, not too slow – carefully watch how the line peals off the water. Once the leader is lifted, or sometimes even the fly, I make an abrupt backcast.

...

Sometimes it’s difficult or inconvenient to find water to practise I know, but I think it’s really important to spend significant time doing this particular exercise over water.
You have talked multiple times about doing this on, and the fact that this should be done on water to realize how it is done on grass. I do not understand this yet: I feel this is a lot harder on (dry) grass, with no surface tension, and the tip of the line is sliding faster towards you during the initial stage. I guess I have to try on water to make the connection.
Paul Arden wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:01 am
Anyway the point of that is to say that I think that the lift angle to the start of the Casting Stroke is predominantly dictated by the amount of line being picked up, not the backcast target which is secondary and actually depends on the amount of line being picked up.

Short line, short lift, high backcast. Long line, long lift, lower backcast (but still always aimed above the horizontal).
Makes sense.

Thanks!

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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#389

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:10 pm

It’s really important over water, partly because that’s how it’s going to be used, but also because you may get tested this way. I really banged on with the FFI for many years because I was passing CI candidates who could pick up over grass but not cleanly over water. Some of them are Masters and examiners now so I’m sure they’ve since learned :laugh:

When I took my APGAI exam 25 years ago, in my particular test they wanted to see no splash on the pick up whatsoever. I think it’s really good practise. The lift should be gentle and clean. It also gives you a different focal point because now you are concentrating on the cleanest lift possible instead of the nicest back loop. And of course ultimately you need both. I know you will become completely obsessed by this aspect too, so it’s a good thing :laugh:

The same thing was happening with Single Spey casts too by the way. I was seeing grass Speys sliding the line along the grass. That doesn’t work over water!

Anyway I actually think it will really help you. That’s probably why I’ve mentioned it twice already :cool:

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

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jarmo
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Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

#390

Post by jarmo » Thu Jun 17, 2021 2:59 pm

I just had a "pickups only"-session. On lawn - sorry, they had just cut it, I could not resist the smell. Started at 30', proceeded to 53'.

For a moment there I felt like a precision instrument - which I am most certainly not. This is so delicate! When the stars aligned, the following worked:
  1. Lift rod parallel to ground, so some line lifts up.
  2. Rotate very slowly, avoid "bending" the rod.
  3. Somewhere before perpendicular, rotate a bit faster (for some acceleration).
  4. At perpendicular, wrist snap, preferably preceded by stopping other movement (to help in turnover).
Lifting to the line-leader-connection feels like a running race where you need to walk. When the tip of the line is at around 40' at the start of the pickup, it slides by more than 10' towards the caster during the lift. So I feel like "faster, but slower, but faster, but...". :)

Those would be the first 50 or so repetitions out of the 100000 needed to replicate this under exam conditions without crumbling to pieces at the sight of the tape.

Great stuff, thanks Paul.

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