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The Basics


Initial casts
Knowledge 1
Knowledge 2
Knowledge 3
Knowledge 4
Knowledge 5
Penny drops
Will Nick pass?
The roll cast
Thank you!
The build up
The exam!

The Experience

Nick lands a brown trout
Nick and a pike
Nick saltwater flyfishing
Nick is in!
Nick... again
Saltwater surf action
Nick checks his backcast
Powerful specialist side casting technique
Good luck Nick :-)
Nick lands a brown trout
Nick and a pike
Nick saltwater flyfishing
Nick is in!
Nick... again
Saltwater surf action

Continuing on from last week, Nick writes:

Hi Paul,

Took a look at the site, looks really cool.  Bollocks to your comments about Karen and Steve though, have you taken a look in the mirror recently !  If you ask me, YOU are the Mugwai.

Right, here are my responses to stage 1 of our journey.  I will then hit the casting.

"I just took a 9ft aftm6 since that is all I use anyway."

So why are they asking for at least a river and a stillwater rod?  Or, were they happy that a 6 falls nicely in the middle of both (although a little heavy for river work in my opinion)

(My opinion was that it fitted both. I guess it depends on the size of the river :-) What do you normally use for teaching? - Paul)

"OK what's the yarn for?"

The yarn rod is excellent for demonstrating loops (especially indoors) and also shows that if the timing is correct that even a length of highly air resistant wool can be cast.

(I've played around with these before when Redington brought out their Kidstart... quite effective I think - Paul)

"I don't equate speed with action   and will show this on site in the next month or so."

I don't equate line speed with just the action by any means.  I certainly believe it helps, but speed is really generated by the casters technique, with things such as wrist snaps and of course a very fast haul.  Most people haul too slowly in my opinion.

(Sorry I didn't explain that very well. I mean action of the rod, ie whether it is tip action, progressive, mid to tip, through action is not the same as speed. The speed of the rod is how quickly it unloads (which can be measured as it's vibrational frequency. A graphite rod is quicker than a cane, although you can buy graphite rods that flex more. - Paul)

"Why DT btw?"

In what context ?  If you mean "what's the benefit": good presentation provided by drag back effect of the thick belly section on the rings.  Thus slowing the bottom loop down and causing the top loop to turnover.

If you mean "why do I need knowledge of a DT": In case I get asked!

(Sorry I meant why WF :-) - Paul)

"The problem with the AFTM is not the concept, only that    it's implimention   is by nature subjective."

By this do you mean that the weights can overlap and that trying to think in grains of wheat is confusing?  Or what?

(No I mean that although the AFTM is very specific, the number on the rod is someone's opinion. - Paul)

…For this reason it is best to cast with the thumb   on  top of the rod facing forward towards the tip. "- I don't understand the connection - can you explain please :-)"

The connection is that with the thumb up the rod the rod will feel balanced in the hand.  Further more the leverage produced by the rod when casting will be better with this grip than if one placed the hand further down the handle.

(Interesting. Personally I don't place the thumb directly on top, but the palm underneath. I don't think that this matters but it may be interesting to go into this into greater detail - what do you think? - Paul)

"If you have a pupil who continually takes the rod tip too far backwards, this grip (finger pointing) sorts it out"

So does putting a strap around their arm, asking them to bring the rod to their eye or not let their hand go past their head.  But I take the point.  The only problem I would have with using finger up the rod when starting a novice is that they may find it tricky to switch over to the thumb, which I think most casters agree is the best and most obvious grip.

(Personally this is new to me. Like you, I have been doing other things, but I think that this is quite a common technique in the US and it works and very well indeed. I picked it up through Jason Borgers new book (excellent btw). The wrist strap I do not like at all; it inhibits good stroke. Rod to the eye or forehead I don't like since it puts the hand inside the elbow. Finger on top stops the rod going to far back and is brilliant. Don't foresee any problems changing the grip after the stroke is built in, but not sure that thumb on top is necessarily the best grip anyway. Depends on your casting style. - Paul)

"Or gripping the fly in the free hand and flicking the line out"

True, but I find some novices actually have trouble controlling the line in the first place.  Using the method I detailed above I then like to teach a roll cast.  Very important for straightening the line and of course the safety aspect of actually having a straight line when commencing the cast.  But yes, with a more advanced angler of course holding one end and flicking out is of course the best way to get started.

"No gaping holes."

Well, in that case the above was probably a little long winded and unnecessary, but what the hell it is all good practice just in case ME has remembered that I think a syllabus is a prospectus.

(I'll remind him if you like :-) - Paul)

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