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## Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

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

Hi Phil,

I’m not sure how it happens exactly. We haven’t studied this. For me it’s a question of trajectories (and targets). The reason the line doesn’t kick is because the fly is on the water at Loop Straight. The reason the loop doesn’t open is because the targets are aligned (the backcast must straighten above the horizontal. I don’t know if the tip path has to be long, but do know I just get the tip out the way. (Mind you the tip path is long!!)

I understand the vertical loop with side plane. I use this stuff, inverted as well. It depends if you need a soft delivery or a faster shot. Flat water, spooky fish, I’m going to roll that thing out there.

With regards the Snakehead Shot, there is a pause between strokes but I don’t pause to Loop Straight, instead I “Slide” – ie slipping line – on the forward cast up to (around) rod rotation. I’m not conscious about doing this and only realised I was doing it when I watched a video in slow motion.

I can understand the logic of doing it and why it works. I’ve taught it a little bit. But I think that the other parts have to be in place first and then maybe it also happens naturally. Both Tim K and Graeme have “discovered” it by themselves. So I think it just “happens” as a progression.

I think it’s actually more complex too. I don’t think it’s a matter of either slipping line or not slipping line during the components that make up the stroke. I actually think that there are degrees of friction ie line slip vs applied force to line. And maybe that’s why it all works. For example I have an aerielised Single Spey shot. Even though I am slipping line, I don’t see how I can be turning the line around unless there is some frictional force from hand to line.

I’ll have a better understanding in a few years. I have some regulars where we are getting to this point. But lockdowns and flight restrictions has slowed things down to a halt. I’m going to zebra up a line at some point to get a better idea of what’s going on.

It is fascinating. It’s opened up a whole new game for me. It completely blew away the Ladyfish. That was an interesting fish by the way because fly fishing is more effective than spinning. There are times I think that flyfishing is more effective for Snakehead too.

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

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jarmo
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:48 pm

### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

I had my first "closed stance, cast into tunnel, 1' increments"-exercise session yesterday.

This is obviously a brilliant exercise. I was able to decrease the amount of power, and keep loops very tight, up to 45'. Video confirmed this.

I had a hefty tailwind and was unable to turn the tape (sun, people passing by), so I need to replicate this under better conditions. Still, I had the following problems:
• pick ups open up at 45'; potential fix: lift rod tip higher before pickup backcast
• backcasts start dropping at 50'; potential fix: drift consistently after forward cast
The only problem I have with this exercise is that I was only able to notice these issues from the video, not on the spot. There is so much more control and power in the forward cast that I was able to compensate for those problems on the spot, and did not really see their effect from forward cast loops.

I suspect a good additional on-the-spot indicator of backcast problems is asymmetry in drift.

Paul Arden
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
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### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

Hi Jarmo,

The tailwind is a problem. Throw a high angled upcast and the wind catches it. Throw it over the top on pickup to aim lower and the loop opens.

Anyway let’s fix the pick ups at 45’. On the lift start with the rod tip touching the ground/water. You can reach forward slightly, with your weight on front foot and arm slightly extended. Draw the rod tip straight back from the front target (if this part of the stroke is straight then often the rest of the stroke is straight) slowly lift the rod until the leader picks up close to the fly. Over water you can see a waterfall of line fall from the line. Not too fast, not too slow. THEN:

Make your “squeeze stop” power application by squeezing the lower fingers while still lifting your elbow. This is an abrupt power application. You don’t have to stop the rod completely and can continue to drift upwards, but the rear motion is rapid and abruptly stops.

To teach this to an instructor who is training for the CCI (and in particular has problems with the pickup on grass) I ask him to attempt to shock the rod into a tailing loop. It’s possible to get a tailing loop but almost impossible to do it by shocking the rod cast in this way.

So instead of trying to force the rod through an arc with the arm, this backcast pick up Casting Stroke comes from a very small arm movement and it’s really a flick from the hand. But even that flick is short and controlled. Once the movement is ingrained, as before, take the amount of force out.

Bill Gammel has a nice drill where he asks the student to try to throw a set of car keys over his shoulder. Erm, best not to do this one over water.

This might also fix your backcasts dropping at 50’.

Cheers, Paul

PS I’m not sure if I’ve explained that very well.
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Paul Arden
Posts: 14715
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
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### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

[media] [/media]
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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jarmo
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:48 pm

### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

jarmo wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:26 am
pick ups open up at 45'; potential fix: lift rod tip higher before pickup backcast
Paul Arden wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:54 am
Anyway let’s fix the pick ups at 45’. On the lift start with the rod tip touching the ground/water. You can reach forward slightly, with your weight on front foot and arm slightly extended. Draw the rod tip straight back from the front target (if this part of the stroke is straight then often the rest of the stroke is straight) slowly lift the rod until the leader picks up close to the fly. Over water you can see a waterfall of line fall from the line. Not too fast, not too slow. THEN:

Make your “squeeze stop” power application by squeezing the lower fingers while still lifting your elbow. This is an abrupt power application.
I read your description, and looked at your video pickup with a longer line at this time point (2m 58s):

If I have understood this correctly, you have specified in detail my vague idea of "having rod tip higher before pickup." That is,
• raise rod tip to a position where you have the line straight
• then cast with a narrow arc (incline trajectory).
I am not sure if my description helped. But your video did! I will report back next week. Let me see if I can create a tail. (Scott Gs is pretty good for demonstrating tails. )

Doing this on grass does not help, as there is no initial tension from water.

Paul Arden
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
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### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

You’ll (most probably) have to be softer/smoother with the G but the essence is the same. It will be interesting to know if you can tail this rod in this manner. What you will get is a lot of waves in the rod leg of course. But then you just back off with the power.

The Lift is interesting. And I’ve often heard it said to lift the rod to a certain casting position (even among instructors) ie lift to the start of SLP trajectory or some such idea. That’s not what I do. I lift to the fly. So for a short pick up the lift transforms into the Casting Stroke at a lower position than it does on a longer pickup. But in both circumstances the Casting Stoke is a “blocked” upwards flick. With a very short pickup the rod tip doesn’t even pass the vertical on the Casting Stroke.

With the shorter pickup, done in this way, the backcast travels at higher trajectory than the longer pickup. But that’s just fine if you are placing the line back where it came from, because you want to return the fly using that same lower trajectory delivery (that you can see on the video).

The other thing I teach is to raise the elbow into the backcast stroke. This helps to send the line higher and tightens the loop (by straightening the tip path). Having an imaginary bell to ring in the air behind is central to everything I do and teach. The closer the front target, the higher the bell. The further away the front target, the lower the bell. It’s never below the horizontal for this sort of work.

Cheers, Paul

PS over grass I think it’s important to imagine you are over water!
It's an exploration; bring a flyrod.

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Paul Arden
Posts: 14715
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
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### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

Edit: I think I understand your question, Jarmo. The Lift blends into the start of the Casting Stroke. The longer the length of line to pickup the longer/higher the Lift. The Casting Stroke that follows each for me is very similar. There is obviously more force to send 15m of flyline up than 1m but the essence of the stroke is the same. What has fundamentally changed is the length of the lift.

A common fault I see, especially over grass, is to start the Casting Stroke from the tip positioned on the grass. This results in a casting stroke with an arc of something like 135 degrees. That’s an open loop from the pickup!!

So it’s important to lift slowly to the fly before making the Casting Stroke.

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

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jarmo
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:48 pm

### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

Paul Arden wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 8:25 am
I lift to the fly. So for a short pick up the lift transforms into the Casting Stroke at a lower position than it does on a longer pickup.
I think this is the main difference. Perhaps because what you describe is counterintuitive to me but also makes sense - at the same time. It is counterintuitive because it feels like a smaller arc for a longer line - because of a higher lift for a longer line. But it also makes sense because once I have the line straight and under control, it will do what I want - therefore a higher lift for a longer line. If I have understood this correctly.

I have you guys for advice and video for a referee. Thanks!

Paul Arden
Posts: 14715
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:20 am
Location: Belum Rainforest
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### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

Hi Jarmo,

I agree and I can see how we are reducing the available arc for our casting stroke. However we are still not talking a particularly long length of line on the pickup. I pick up from the 17 or 18m mark in competition. There is not a lot of force required for sending this length of line back into a tight loop. Your typical caster uses excess force through a massively wide arc. All that is actually required for this length of line is an abrupt wrist flick at the end of the stroke through a (relatively) narrow casting arc.

If you really want to fire it back then reversing the torque with pull-back is the way to go.

A good exercise is to see just how little force is required on your longer and longest carries.

Getting this first backcast fully under control I think very important. Otherwise you are always trying to gain control while lengthening line. Far better to get it under control from the very first backcast and extend from there. I sometimes see distance casters trying to 170/Stopless cast from the pickup. Then they need 4 or 5 false casts to gain control. That’s an inconsistent and complicated way of doing it.

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

Flycasting Definitions

jarmo
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:48 pm

### Re: Tracking ... tracking ... tracking

Paul Arden wrote:
Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:58 pm
I agree and I can see how we are reducing the available arc for our casting stroke. However we are still not talking a particularly long length of line on the pickup. I pick up from the 17 or 18m mark in competition. There is not a lot of force required for sending this length of line back into a tight loop. Your typical caster uses excess force through a massively wide arc. All that is actually required for this length of line is an abrupt wrist flick at the end of the stroke through a (relatively) narrow casting arc.

If you really want to fire it back then reversing the torque with pull-back is the way to go.
I have no objections. I am fascinated to see how far this drill and these new ideas will take me, literally, although I only aim for 55' (non-haul). I made great progress already in that first 20 minute session.