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### What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:27 am
Hello everybody! I have managed to confuse myself, and I wondered if somebody could help me out?

Let's say I wanted to pick up a length of line already on the water, and I wanted to achieve horizontal loops both backwards and forwards with my rod completely vertical. Now, for the first pick up off the water I would slowly lift the rod to lift the line off the water, then I would do a relatively short upwards flick to send the line going upwards and backwards in a straight line path.

For my stroke, my hand travels up and down an imaginary slope (a bit like Mel k) however mine is quite a shallow up and down angle (pull through stroke).

If I wanted to keep false casting horizontal loops, would I still be making all consequent back casts in an upwards direction? I.E. Following the first pick up straight line (and just extending this straight line) or something different entirely?

Also, for horizontal casting, should the rod tip follow a perfectly horizontal line out in front of me? Or a sloping angle upwards?

I've heard lefty say tip goes up and tip goes out, but I imagine that is a mental aid. With the pull through stroke that I use with my hand following a diagonal line, the rod bends, and consequently the tip travels in a straight line even though I am moving my hand up and down.

Sorry if this is confusing, I hope someone can clarify some things for me!

Also with a push through stroke, for example someone's hand traveling on a straight horizontal line, what are they thinking for the back cast? If they throw back horizontally, by the time it has straightened it will be dropping, but if they throw upwards by the time it has straightened it will be horizontal. Is this correct?

The straight line path is quite confusing in terms of the back cast. Do you throw slightly up for all casts that require horizontal loops?

Thanks guys, I'm probably second guessing myself as usual!

All the best

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:29 am
I must add that my loops are horizontal but I'm trying to understand and analyse my own stroke

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 5:25 am
Hi Nicholas,

I'm quite confused by your question, so can I ask for some clarification please?

When you describe your loops as "horizontal", are you saying they are oriented so that the loop is lying on its side?

If so, doing that with a vertical rod is one of the "faults" I see from many saltwater fly fishermen on their back cast. These guys are asking me to fix that fault, not duplicate it on the front cast.

Or are you defining the direction of travel your loops are taking when you call them "horizontal loops"? That is, upright loops that move horizontally ....
Also, for horizontal casting, should the rod tip follow a perfectly horizontal line out in front of me? Or a sloping angle upwards?
In this case, depending on the distance you're casting, both front and back casts may be aimed upwards. Gravity is always there, so to counteract it, you'll need to aim both F & B casts upwards beyond a certain target distance. Close targets will not require an upward trajectory on the front cast, but the back cast will be aimed quite high (if you're doing it right.)

The term "straight line path" in the literature is actually describing the path the tip takes: It's "straight line tip path". At some point in the casting action, the tip should be travelling in a straight line. But remember, straight does not mean horizontal! It's a straight path in the required orientation, and it's usually inclined in one or both casting directions. (It doesn't feel that way, but it is the case.)

Cheers,
Graeme

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:49 am
Hi Graeme,

"defining the direction of travel your loops are taking when you call them "horizontal loops"? That is, upright loops that move horizontally" That is what i meant, Graeme. Please see the attached photo. I.E my fly leg is directly over the rod leg, but they are moving along the horizon hope that makes sense?

Somebody asked me "what are you thinking/doing to achieve these horizontal loops? I.E with no dangling end, however i do know that dangling ends aren't a problem. It really did make me second guess myself, because what i'm thinking doesn't correspond to the 'theoretical' straight line path do you think it's a good idea to think in terms of the fly line rather than the rod tip?

That's what confused me a bit. When i'm casting 'horizontally' i actually think 'cast up, cast straight out' i wonder what you are thinking when you cast? Of course if my target is 10' in front of me, in order for my back cast and forward cast to be 180 degrees away from, and towards my target, my back cast will be very high and i would aim my forward cast at the water.

Now of course, you can't go too far (cast up on the forward cast, and cast up on the back cast) otherwise you would get a tailing loop (rod tip path). But you do have to aim slightly up, let the line drop to a straight line (horizontal) and then continue that straight line with the rod tip. For example if i wanted to suddenly change the trajectory to go very high (pile cast) i would let the line drop significantly and then aim upwards, i would also drift as well.

I apologise if that is even more confusing!

Thank you very much

All the best

Nick

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:14 pm
Ok I was a bit stuck there too - thanks for the clarification

The backcast has to be angled above the horizontal if you want it to straighten at the horizontal - so yes to your first question

Arguably the same would apply to your second question too but I would rather see the loop aimed horizontally and then dropping below it.

At least that would be casting for the sake of casting and nice loop formation. I mostly hit and teach hitting an imaginary bell on the backcast and a real target on the water on the forward delivery.

Thatâ€™s an outstanding loop shape you have there by the way! Particularly so because itâ€™s originated from a suitably high backcast.

Itâ€™s interesting that we used to teach that the loop should unroll 2-3 feet above the water surface and then the line and fly all land simultaneously like a thistledown. Nowadays I aim that my loop straightens with the fly 2-3 inches above the water surface and lands first - thatâ€™s Gourami fishing for you

Cheers, Paul

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:22 pm
No Worries, i don't make sense sometimes

Thank you, Paul! It's never fun when you second guess yourself.

That's interesting, what do you mean by that and how are you positioning the bell? Are you imagining hitting a bell with your hand, or moving the clapper? Also how high is it? No problem if you don't want to give away your teaching secrets, it's a really great analogy!

That means a lot coming from you, so thank you! That's the Hardy HBX by the way, however it's quite soft in the butt section, which i know you don't really like. For a fishing tool, it's very nice.

Do you still teach that when you are teaching someone presentation? (to aim way above the water) or do you tell them to aim at the target on the water? Knowing you it will be exactly 2" above the water, not even a 64th of an inch more

Thanks, Paul

All the best

Nick

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:33 pm
Fly first is a great way whatever the species... having spent some of the winter practicing your core skills Paul, the pick up and lay down, fly first got under my skin Iâ€™d never really thought of fishing that way before, Iâ€™d always put slack in the system through other methods.
But fly first, and a slightly longer delay in lowering the rod sticks a load of slack in the leader and line... it probably turned into my most used cast for rising fish, the other aspect is it feels a very direct way to fish... nice

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:48 am
I have no teaching secrets! Most of what I have learned has come from others anyway

The bell is positioned in the air behind the caster and aligns perfectly to the forward target. The fly rings the bell at the end of the backcast. Where I fish this is perhaps the most Important analogy I have right now.

I think virtually all presentation casts need to be aimed higher on the forward cast. Certainly Curved casts, collapsed Casts, mends less so but it helps.

I agree with Boisker but I also use it for straight line casts. If I put the fly straight to the target I will have some slack because of the rod angle, which I can then remove with a strip as I lower the rod, or make use of - with dry fly I never finish with the rod tip touching the water anyway.

There is a huge advantage to this cast here in the jungle. Hearing the fly land is very important for Gourami. If the fly lands first they come looking for it. With the leaders we have if the leader lands first they come looking for the leader! Also itâ€™s very much more accurate to fire the fly to hang a couple of inches above the surface. With the speeds involved here having the line straighten three feet above the water leads to inaccuracy as well as time loss.

Cheers, Paul

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:36 am
Oh Excellent!

That's a very cool analogy, Paul. I tried it the other day, and it's incredible how us humans convert thinking into doing, especially when there is a very good analogy! How are you getting on with the fishing over there?

I can imagine timing is critical with those fish, every second counts. I do find aiming a little bit higher for curved casts much easier, i do for mends as well but i think that is just me being me of course, it depends on the conditions.

That's interesting, Paul. So in essence every day you go fishing is an accuracy competition

Thank you for the explanation!

All the best

Nick

### Re: What are you thinking when you false cast?

Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 7:58 am
Every second counts when you have a maximum of only two of them

Iâ€™ve missed/lost 5 fish in the last days. I think I need to redesign my fly. I now believe that the buoyant flies sit at the roof of the mouth, and when they open their mouths that can pop out. So Iâ€™m going to tie a hook up there too!

Ringing the bell is one of those great guiding fly casting teaching ideas. Quick fix on the water need results. Maybe different to teaching away from the water when you can dedicate more time to problem solving. But still applies there too of course. Itâ€™s good for changing angles too of course; the bell always aligns to the target and not the pickup.

Cheers, Paul