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Loop Control [a different approach]
by Jeff Barefoot
[Versión en español]

Ok Sexyloops junkies, if you're like me you come here to scarf up any new titbit to become a more proficient angler and increase your odds of pinging those little fishes.

Well, as some of you may have found out the true measure of proficiency can be summed up in one word: “CONTROL” - control of the equipment and the environment in which we use it. Skills earned puts the element of control in our favor and improves our chances of mastering the environment we fish in, instead of the environment beating us into submission and sending us back to the crowded easy spots. You know the spots, the so-called “Glory Holes” where so many jockey to get into.

Not that I have a problem with easy, but let's face the facts: big fish get big because they survive to grow big. Find a prime lie that is tucked in a spot protected by technical diverse currents and/or intimidating casting hazards such as evil overhanging branches and chances are that maybe Big Moe is chilling out untouched. Don't put your tail between you legs. Prove that you have a pair. Improvise, overcome, adapt and just go for it. Worst thing that can happen is you have to rescue your ammunition out the brush and blow the hole.

Ok, If your still in the beginning or early stages of the game you'll want to first build a solid foundation by working on mastering the control of basics such as tracking the tip in a straight line [SLP], proper application of power, etc. [Paul, put proper link here]

Once you have mastered the basics and feel hunger for tougher challenges you must be willing to think past conventional wisdom, break some “rules” and make some of your own by tapping into your creative side. Aside from practical physics, your imagination is the limiting factor in what's possible.

What do I mean by be creative? Well, abandon the idea that we must always throw the loop off the tip of the rod in the same plane that the rod was swung.

What I'm talking about is we are at liberty to throw the loop off any angle [loop plane] we chose regardless of the rod plane. I call this altering the loop plane. Take a peek at [Fig 1] - here are some possibilities.

a great diagram by Jeff

We're looking from behind a right-handed caster's back at the back of his head, in the direction that he is casting. The black lines represent the different [rod planes] going from the caster's offside horizontal, then increasing further up to vertical, then increasing back down to horizontal on the caster's on side. The blue lines represent the different planes we can throw the loop off the tip. [loop plane] 


From the standpoint of [fig 1] let's design a straightforward accuracy cast to get us all on the same page No problem everybody knows this one. Vertical rod plane and vertical loop plane. The red line coming off the vertical rod plane represents the vertical line plane in fig 1. Hopefully this puts us at a common point of reference.

Now let's look even closer at what I mean by altering the loop plane or throwing it off different planes of the rod. Lets say we want to execute an overpowered curve or hook cast where the layout will result in the fly landing to the casters right. The only thing that really has to happen is a tip path that ends while being accelerated to the right. So this in effect is a loop that unrolls for the most part horizontally from left to right with a surplus of line speed to more than fully unroll the loop. What does not matter is what angle [or rod plane] the rod is in to achieve this horizontal loop.

Let's explore some possibilities in [fig 2] - again we are observing the cast from behind the caster looking forward in the direction to which he is casting.

another of Jeff's great diagrams - this time the caster's a woman, not a lot of people would know that

No #1 would be the easiest for most. It would be the classic off side /shoulder [backhand to some] overpowered curve hook that keeps the loop on the same plane as the rod. This is probably the most common method used for this layout.

Now as we bring the rod plane up from position 1 to 2 to 3 to 4 and so on all the way to pos 7 it takes us further and further from our comfort zone of throwing the loop off the tip in the same plane as the rod, but instead altering the loop plane further and further.

What's really interesting is as we move from position 4 down to 5-6 and finally 7 we can achieve this tip path by also using the power application characteristics that give us a tailing loop. That's right, shorten the stroke, or misapply what's perceived as proper power application and create a tail. [Paul Insert your tail loop link] Now no #7 becomes in my opinion easier.  Also a sideways clockwise elliptical backcast to delivery cast seems to help the description of how to execute this cast, which I have named the “Tailing Loop Hook”. You have to find your own way to discover how to describe “how you do it”.

The most successful explanation I have used to teach this cast to another caster is to turn the classic vertical tailing loop on it's side [horizontal] and throw the loop over the top of the rod.

If you're not convinced as to how useful this cast can be, then let me draw up a scenario for you. Imagine you have to hook a curve around the right of a tree to entice a possible “Biggie” The surrounding brush leaves you with only this spot to cast from. The problem is you're a right hander and another tree is just to your left keeping you from casting from your off side. You can't bring the rod to the vertical or slightly off vertical on side either because of the same tree has overhanging branches from allowing this either. Your only option is your onside horizontal. Can't go with the underpowered curve either because the tree trunk you are trying to go around is in the way. The “Tailing Hook Cast” comes to the rescue.

No #7 in [fig 2] is the “Tailing loop curve/hook” that I think embraces the concept. It is this cast that stoked Paul to asking me to write this little piece. We've discussed this concept on The Board a couple of times with some understanding and some misunderstanding. [Paul insert board discussion links] Paul is presently experimenting with an ingenious alterative to using this altered loop plane concept except in an underpowered version [insert link your puddle link] Just another example of the endless possibilities if we tap into our creative side. So get out there and push the envelope, and if you come across something a little different bring it back here for us to play with.                                                                               

Jeff Barefoot

Related links: there's so many to choose from, but in this cast Carlos is using a tailing loop power application, whilst bringing the loop under the tip, to form his left hook puddle.


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