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So what is the Stopless Stroke?


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Ronan's report

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Possibly the latest appearing FP in history, because I've only just closed the Rainforest Bar! Yesterday Bruce wrote about the confusion around the name the "Stopless" cast. But it's not the name that's confusing, it's the fact that we teach that the "stop" is the key to casting that is the confusing issue. And it's the instructors who are confused! They think and teach that you have to stop the rod for it to unload, but the truth is it's going to unload anyway. It's either going to unload because it's a Forced Harmonic Oscillator or just because of the angle the rod makes to the line. I defy anyone to keep a bend in a rod through normal casting.

All we are really doing when we teach someone to stop the rod, is to narrow his power application. The stop is not important - it's what happens before the stop that's important. A really hard stop is definitely not what we want - we know that - the rod goes into shocked vibrations. However because the bottom (/rod) leg of the loop is controlled by what we do after the rod has passed Straight Position (RSP), after the unload, then what you are doing with the rod butt becomes important. For beginners' teaching we teach to simply stop any continuing motion. In more advanced times we teach drifting.

However with stopless we are doing something rather different. Instead of stopping the rod (to match casting arc to rod bend giving an intended straight tip path) what we do is to accelerate through this point, and allow the rod to unload itself. There is no hand muscle tension. Indeed we are still accelerating the rod butt as the rod unloads (Ian Walker proposed this some 15 years ago). At no point is any attempt made to throw a tight loop, in fact the tip can be driven into the ground! But because we are carrying 90ft of flyline (hauling hand to fly line end) even though we may have 15 ft in the rings and a drop of 10 feet from the line's path to the ground, we still have some 75ft of flyline left laying straight and flying in the direction of the target.

And that's all there is to it. The stop has become redundant. We can knock hell's bells out of it too. The haul assists in retarding unloading. But the net result is increased line speed and that's why it works.

Is it different from conventional stopped casting? Yes and no. Yes absolutely in terms of what is commonly and falsely argued in terms of how the flycast functions (the stop is always irrelevant). No in terms of force application. The force application is the same, just through a much wider arc. Does it feel different? Absolutely. Does it feel stopless? Yes. Can you do it with carrying less than 90ft? On the delivery yes. Should we be teaching it? Absolutely! Is Bruce wrong? Well let's wait until next Sunday to find out!

Cheers, Paul

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