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Tracking correction

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Cris
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:02 pm

Tracking correction

#1

Post by Cris » Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:32 pm

When I’m relaxed and casting in my comfort zone it’s not noticeable but when I’m pushing my casting limits or having to really focus on a particular fish my fly lands to the right of the line, which way do I need to correct ?
Sorry gonna be a lot of probably dumb questions now I’m trying to improve

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking correction

#2

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Sep 09, 2021 5:49 am

Hi Cris,

are you right handed or left handed? Usually it’s backcast target not aligning to front target. So to hook right as a right hander your backcast target was behind your back somewhere. However that’s usual and most track their backcasts off shoulder which would hook left… unless you are left handed.

It’s also possible that you are curving the tip path during the stroke which would cause the line to usually hook right (curving left for a left handed).

Both the above are options to throw curve casts of course. :)

Another option is your loop is tilted and not fully unrolling. Not fully straightening on the backcast can also generate the same result under these circumstances.

This really is where practise time spent throwing at rings vs throwing distance really helps. Is this a distance problem for you? Do you get the same problem using closed and open stance or just one of them?

Cheers,
Paul
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Cris
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Re: Tracking correction

#3

Post by Cris » Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:44 am

Right handed and yes it’s when I’m pushing distance. I’ve never tried to correct it before as it’s very useful casting to spooky grayling in shallow chalkstreams but now I’m trying to cast better an unintentional happy accident isn’t what I want

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking correction

#4

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:57 am

That’s interesting Cris. Try this; find a straight line to cast along such a pavement or football field. Make your normal distance cast but allow the backcast to drop to the ground. Check to see that it is straight and not in behind your back. That’s the first correction to check. It’s unusual to hook in behind but not unique!

In any case going by the previous post I think you need to work on your backcast because this always sets you up for your forward cast. If this is inconsistent then your front cast will always be too!

Assuming it is consistently straight you then need to check that your casting stroke is straight. It’s not uncommon to start the forward stroke with the hand off shoulder and to finish in front of the face. This can curve the rod tip in on the forward stroke which will curve the line and place the fly off to the right.

While it may be that or even both you need to check the backcast first :)

Cheers, Paul
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Mangrove Cuckoo
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Re: Tracking correction

#5

Post by Mangrove Cuckoo » Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:54 am

Cris,

Are you extending your rod hand forward when you are reaching for distance?

If so, try this slow casting pantomine without a rod in your hand...

Push your hand forward with your hand completely vertical above your elbow. You will likely see your hand remain straight.

Try it again with your elbow slightly outside and not directly below your hand. You will likely notice that your hand tends to rotate the palm down at the end. (Pronation)

The latter will cause your cast to jump to the right about when the leader begins to turn over.

It is a common problem with saltwater casters around here. There are two fixes: either keep your hand and elbow vertical, or slightly supinate your hand at the end of your stroke. The former is probably the best course with your lighter rod... ie cast "elbow forward".
"Technique is the proof of your seriousness"

Wallace Stevens

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking correction

#6

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Sep 09, 2021 3:19 pm

Wow I don’t think I’ve ever seen that! How do you think that has occurred? Just to be sure I have this right Gary, the caster is overpowering the cast from inside the rod to outside the line of cast?

Cheers, Paul
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Cris
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:02 pm

Re: Tracking correction

#7

Post by Cris » Thu Sep 09, 2021 8:20 pm

So my wife now thinks I have gone completely mental but after repeated pantomime casting in the lounge I can confirm my hand does track inward
Going to take a rod to work tomorrow and do the back cast let it land bit

Phil Blackmar
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Re: Tracking correction

#8

Post by Phil Blackmar » Thu Sep 09, 2021 11:51 pm

Chris-

Welcome to the club. These are the first signs of OFCD, Obsessed Fly Casting Disease. Your wife will want to have you committed in the near future. :yeahhh: :yeahhh: :yeahhh:

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Re: Tracking correction

#9

Post by Phil Blackmar » Sat Sep 11, 2021 12:08 pm

Cris's tracking problem has been a problem for me for the past year. It only shows up on longer casts or when hitting it harder than usual due to the wind. I learned how to manipulate the rod tip to ensure a better layout, but from a tracking standpoint, the stroke was not "pure". I have figured two things out which have helped tremendously. The first has to with point of view.
eyeline.jpg
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I have found that I tend to push the rod tip to the right which, as It turns out, is due an incorrect perception of a straight line to the target. While I see a straight line from my eyes to the target, the actual straight line of the cast is off a little to the side of my shoulder. A straight line from my eye's perspective would be over my head. This becomes evident when I practice while standing on something straight, as Paul suggested in this thread.

But, the real culprit for me has turned out to be elbow tracking. Similar, but a little different to what Gary was getting to in his note, if the elbow moves in an arc instead of a straight line, the tip will curve also. This is a real problem when the shoulders turn in the cast, such as a longer shot or when using more force than usual. If you watch Paul's elbow in these two pictures, notice how his elbow appears to moves in a straight line (wrong angle to tell for sure) and also see how his elbow does not move in front of his shoulders.
Paul A.jpg
Paul A.jpg (80.23 KiB) Viewed 284 times
Paul B.jpg
Paul B.jpg (78.84 KiB) Viewed 284 times
My elbow moves in front of my shoulders which results in an even larger arc and tracking problem. When I keep my elbow under the rod and either in front of my shoulder or to the side, but not both, I get a lot better outcome.

Cris-watch your elbow while standing in front of a mirror holding the bottom section of a rod making a simulated stroke. If your elbow is moving in an arc, then you have found the problem.

Thanks
Phil

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Paul Arden
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Re: Tracking correction

#10

Post by Paul Arden » Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:25 pm

Ok so here are a couple of pieces of advice. Instead of just concentrating on how to move the body/hand/rod straight, which is extremely difficult to do (but obviously important!), also focus on targets. Your rear target for a distance cast needs to be 50 miles behind you, aligned directly to your front target, which is then 50 miles in front! This alignment is critical. When distance casting train yourself to look at each target before you cast. Look, cast, look (really look!), cast.

That will take a long time to learn but you can drop the line between casting strokes while you learn which makes it easier. Don’t fall into the trap of ever thinking “now I’ve learned it” because tracking is a lifetime pursuit! :laugh:

The second tip is accuracy/pickup. Start by reaching forward (strip in the slack!) and then begin your cast by moving the rod tip in a straight line, drawn directly away from the flyline that is laying on the ground/water. In other words start by pulling the rod tip straight back on the ground. It’s easy to make this straight, and then imagine a bell directly behind and above your shoulder for your backcast target, all aligned. This initial straight pull, prior to the lift, assists in making the lift and then then the casting stroke both vertical.

I’m sure there are other tricks. Casting beside an imaginary wall is one of them. Having foot, knee, shoulder, elbow, eye all aligned is another. But those first two really seem to get the best results.

Cheers, Paul
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