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Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

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Morsie
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Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#1

Post by Morsie » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:32 am

Teaching 2 hander casting is a very different kettle of fish, especially to those who have used single hand rods for many years. How do you teach students to not push over with their top hand? I introduce it through the roll cast, and that works OK until the moment any "next stage" movement is introduced. All the explanation and demonstration in this one rarely works, the instinct is to top hand it. I guess it follows on from the habit of pushing over with the rod on the delivery cast when using a single hander - every forward cast with a 2 hander is a presentation ..........

Morsie

John Waters
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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#2

Post by John Waters » Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:50 am

I get them to focus on blocking with the left hand with a crooked elbow. If that does not do the trick, I get the student to wear a weighted glove on the left hand. That works.

John

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Lasse Karlsson
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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#3

Post by Lasse Karlsson » Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:37 am

Start them of with their non dominant hand first.
Getting to use the box/underhand technique sometimes works too, especially good with beer bellies...
The good old casting hammer as a last ressort 😉

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Lasse
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Paul Arden
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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#4

Post by Paul Arden » Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:20 pm

That’s good to read. I was going to ask if anyone started with the DHD with non dominant hand placed uppermost.

The debate about upper/lower hand really started about 25 years ago. Opinions have changed in that time!

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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#5

Post by jarmo » Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:10 pm

What Lasse said: dominant hand down, closed stance, keep both hands in front.

What may also help is emphasising the forward movement of the bottom hand during the sweep, so that when you rise to key position, there is a lot of "pulling room" available for the bottom hand. For a student, this is less likely to work with a switch cast, because if a student emphasises bottom hand push, especially with a short line, the anchor is likely to fly to kingdom come. So what can be of use is to proceed to waterbourne anchors first. For multiple reasons, my preferred choice is Perry poke. (Easy in stillwater, can be repeated into the same casting direction, relatively small sweep space - less likely to blow anchor when pushing bottom hand out, one out of the two best line management casts for DH work.)

Morsie
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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#6

Post by Morsie » Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:53 pm

The debate about upper/lower hand really started about 25 years ago. Opinions have changed in that time!
50/50 is a good result Paul, in fact any bottom hand at all early on seems to be a good result. Its the big push over with the top hand that's the problem. Makes me want to go and buy some bondage gear.

Using the underhand method was my own personal breakthrough, and keeping the elbows tight in and using body, but getting students to do this is next level confusion.

I may just have to film this particular guy so he can actually see what he's doing.

At the time switching to non dominant side was not possible due to the wind strength and direction.

What I had was a big bottom hand into the Dloop stroke with a descending rod tip, level drop - and then a huge top hand effort into the FC. It certainly has you re-learning teaching as well.

My concern with teaching the Perry Poke too early Jarmo is that it will become a habit and get overused. Have you seen that?

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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#7

Post by John Waters » Fri Jun 18, 2021 1:57 am

Is his bottom hand static/blocked when he applies the big push over with the top hand? If so, is the bottom hand at hip height, chest height or other?

John

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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#8

Post by jarmo » Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:27 am

Morsie wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:53 pm
My concern with teaching the Perry Poke too early Jarmo is that it will become a habit and get overused.
I have (accidentally?) avoided this problem by not teaching it as a change of direction -cast. I use it as a back and forth, rinse and repeat, sustained anchor substitute for the switch cast. Since I do not teach it as a fishing cast, some teaching time might be wasted here.

From a practical perspective, the student sees it as a line management and salvage cast. (It is also a very effective sunk line lift cast.) I guess it is possible to learn to always salvage. If an instructor wants to discourage this, it is possible to give strong negative feedback in such a case. Various options for this have been described in educational literature over the years, although, for some reason, less frequently recently. ;)

Placing the anchor accurately with the poke is not the easiest of tasks, at least for me, which it may also reduce its long term use in fishing.

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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#9

Post by Paul Arden » Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:07 am

It reminds me of the pushing/pulling debate that came up about the same time actually. Mel Krieger came over to the UK and taught me about pulling. Fantastic. Completely transformed my casting. And so I started teaching it. For many people it was the same. But there was a lesson where it just didn’t work. A banker or a lawyer or a sergeant major (it doesn’t matter which was the first because they’ve all been problems since :p) – and to teach this particular guy I reverted to PMP’s “thumb on a curtain rail until you run out of arm – and then turn the thumb nail down.” Worked a treat. And has done ever since for lawyers/bankers/sergeant majors.

I was part of children’s teaching days in ‘97. Taught 1000 kids one year. Nuts – but lots of fun and I met instructors from all over England. Which was fascinating in itself. One was an old boy APGAI Salmon instructor and we were discussing “the current” top/bottom hand debate and he told me that he taught casting with the DHD pushing the top hand exactly as he cast the SHR. No doubt his clientele was all lawyers, bankers and Sergeant Majors. What does your chap do for a living? :???:

Ok Morsie you win. I ordered a 15’ DHD yesterday. I gave my last one away. :pirate:

Cheers, Paul
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Morsie
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Re: Teaching Top hand v Bottom hand

#10

Post by Morsie » Fri Jun 18, 2021 11:26 am

What does your chap do for a living? :???:
Special forces cop. 6'8". Very big levers. When he pushes his bottom hand out to circle up its a catastrophe if he doesn't go UP.

Very glad to hear you're going down the DHD path Paul, we all get drawn there like moths to a flame - where we get burned.

It seems to me that the two greatest obstacles to becoming even an OK Spey caster with 2 hands is the action of circling up, which although simple is very foreign, and then the action of pushing over the top with the top hand on the FC. Bloody hard things to teach, especially where going UP in the bc is not part of even your single hand style. Lefty's style has a lot to answer for this. I had a couple of lessons in Scotland a couple of years ago with Andrew Toft and Brian McGlashan and they both said to me many times "You need to go UP laddie". Its not called a CIRCLE UP for no reason, in fact I think I'll start calling it a circle AND up. The pushing over thing though....... I do have my own practising, learning, and teaching exercise which I'll film, and its something I revert to any time my FC becomes top hand dominant, but jeez getting students to do it.........

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