I had this thought in mind when I was practicing at the weekend. This was my first solely distance focussed session of the year, during which I made exactly zero distance casts. Instead I flopped a line forwards and backwards concentrating purely on the position my feet, legs, body, arms etc. were in at all stages. I suspect someone looking from the side-lines would have assumed that I was a complete casting novice, seeing me throw big, fat loops that landed on both the back and forward casts, but that’s ok with me because at this point in time I’m up for changing every single aspect of my distance cast, and sometimes you need to take a step back before you can progress.
Incidentally, for this sort of practice I find using a shooting-head line advantageous. The one I use is cut from an old #5 MED that I retired from competition use due to deterioration of the coating in the rear taper and running line. Using such a head means that I don’t ruin good lines through practicing on muddy fields and, even when just flopping the line about, I get good feed-back into the hauls.
One of the reasons I know I’d like to change my cast is that I study videos of what I’m doing, as well as film of other people. From these I can see there are gains to be made that will improve my line speed, tracking and perhaps loop-shape. These gains won’t be massive, but if I can improve by 1 or 2% in four or five different areas, then perhaps I’ll have a better chance of winning. I suspect that every distance caster out there would have a similar view of their own casting – i.e. they’ll be able to spot many aspects of their own cast that they don’t particularly like. In that regard we’re no different from improvers wanting feedback on their own casting videos (as can be done on the board), so if you’re worried about posting a video then remember we’ll find just as many faults in our own casts as we will in yours (or I certainly will).
Next week I’m planning on some more knot testing, this time on hook/fly attachment knots. Paul has already suggested I test the Eugene bend, a ten-twist tucked half-blood knot, a Kreh loop and an unnamed knot in an illustration that he supplied. If you have any others that you’d like to see pulled to failure on my Instron machine then let me know.
Today’s picture is the progress I’m making on stocking our fly boxes in readiness for the Bahamas. The ones on the yellow foam all have weed guards whereas the ones on the blue foam do not. The ratio of the numbers on each probably reflects the type of flat we know we’ll be fishing whilst there.
On a final note, the BFCC event calendar has almost been finalised for the year, so if you’re interested in going along to a meeting take a look at the website or the FB page where details are listed.
Have a great weekend, James.