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Stopping the rod is essential


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Ronan's report

Wednesday 14 August, 2013

Proper fly casting to me means to control: A) line speed, B) loop shape and C) trajectory. I like to call them the BIG THREE. If you can control them, it usually won't be a problem to perform a smooth and effective presentation of your fly.

In order to learn how to control the big three, I like to start my teaching with a set of key concepts (or essentials, if you like):

1) Proper line tension

2) Proper timing

3) Smooth acceleration to an abrupt stop

4) Rotation at the right time

5) Adjust the arc + stroke to: line speed, trajectory (and rod bend)

6) Keep the rod in plane during acceleration and deceleration

Mike Heritage lately started a thread about the essentials and especially about the "stop".

Very interesting discussion! We can find a lot of great instructors representing quite some different ways of teaching in that thread. Some may teach you a "stop less" cast, while others may teach you a "smooth stop". Personally I would mainly teach you the "abrupt stop" to be essential in proper fly casting. That to me is a casting concept and not a casting principle (which would hold true under all possible circumstances coming to my mind).

"Stopping" the fly rod to me is a process, which has been well described here.

Having watched tons of slow motion videos of many of the greatest casters I have been casting with, it to me is essential, that we all cast with an abrupt stop. Now you may ask, what an "abrupt" stop refers to? My answer is: The rate of deceleration is relatively high compared to the rate of the previous (smooth) acceleration. To me it's as simple as that.

Being able to control the stop in my book is very important in order to control trajectory, loop shape and line speed. Line speed? Yes, matching the stop is what has huge impact on the available size of arc for acceleration. An "abrupt" stop (high rate of deceleration) will allow you to use the size of arc mainly for acceleration. And that to me is one of the big keys to learn in fly casting.

In the end this is only how I personally understand the "stop" and its importance in fly casting. I think it's really worth to stop by and read Mike's thread (the one I linked above) in order to learn more about the stop!

All my best


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