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Open loops and the 90-90 position

Hi Paul

Greeting From Naples Florida

I just came across your great casting site. Yours is one of the best and I have seen them all. Perhaps you can help me with the 90/90 cast. When I try this cast I throw a wide loop. When one has the rod and line horizontal it seems impossible to bring the rod tip forward with out throwing a very wide loop. Any Comment?? I am a 75 /85 foot caster but always want to improve.


Marty Edgar

Paul answers

Hi Marty,

I am going to break your question into two parts. The 90-90 position and the horizontal position of the rod at the start of the forward cast.

The 90-90 position is where the upperarm is at 90 degrees to the body, and the forearm is at 90 degrees to the upper arm. It's your typical javelin throwing position. You *can* use it for chucking flylines about. I don't, but there again I don't do any distance competition casting either. The most important part of this cast is that one must remember to lead with the elbow and not with the hand. Just as you would with a javelin.

rod angles and loopsSince the shape of the loop is determined by the path of the rod tip (in relation to the angle of the flyline at the start of the stroke) an open loop in your case is a result of a convex path of the rod tip (a). It is important to match the bend in the rod to the size of the stroke (b).

However by pulling down with the rod on the forwards stroke it is possible to flatten the rod with the drift on the backcast (c). This is how I cast. I get better loops this way.

Many anglers push. I'll do this with tip action rods and broom sticks (d). Tailing loops, of course, are a result of concave paths of the rod tip (e).

It follows that the more your rod bends, the more open the stroke required. For me this is the argument for progressive action rods. You need to be able to cast 5 ft as well as 85 ft (or whatever).

BTW increasing the speed and effectiveness of the haul will have a far greater impact than applying greater power to the stroke.

Hope this helps!

Cheers, Paul

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