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Casting Loops

As we have already discussed a casting loop is the loop of line that is formed when the line travels over the top of the rod. The dynamics of this loop are the main differences between good casters and crap casters. This site is called Sexyloops. Which is what it's all about really.

Sexyloops asides, there are three main types of loops: open or non-loops, tight loops and tailing loops.

The one you would like to have is a tight loop. Tight loops are aerodynamic and efficient. They are result of a straight path of the rod tip during the casting stroke (in-line with the angle of the backcast). Don't fall into the trap of forgetting that the rod bends when you make the cast (some instructors have done so). Rods do bend and this is not a design flaw but a very important quality!

Open loops are created through convex paths of the rod tip.

Tailing loops (the line crosses over itself) are created when the tip of the rod dips under the straight-line path.

Interestingly, beginners rarely throw tailing loops. This is a fault that generally develops later. Open loops, however, are rampant.

False Casting

OK, you've made a few pick-up and lay-down casts. Now it's time to keep the line in the air. The way to do this is to cast backwards and forwards in a narrow arc, allowing the loop to straighten out both behind and in front.

The important thing here is to be aware of the amount of hand movement and force that you are applying. I am looking (and so should you) for the minimum amount necessary of each. I am very conscious that my hand hardly moves for this exercise. The amount of effort you actually require to cast 10 yards of line is very slight indeed.

Every single person I teach initially applies too much power. This applies equally to beginners, intermediate and advanced casters. Even trainee instructors!

This is how it works.
You cast.
I say: 'Less power.'
You cast with less power and say, 'Ah, yes, now I see.... much better. Thank you.'
I say: 'Less power.'
You say, 'Less???'
I say, 'Yep.'
So you cast with less power and say, 'Wow, fantastic NOW I have it!!'
I say: 'Less power.'
You say, 'No, not possible. Definitely can't do less.'
I say: 'Yep, you definitely can.'

Anyway this goes on for a while. I have the routine down to a tee. So when you practice this go through it in your mind.

I can assure you that by the end you will still be applying too much power!

Minimum power

Try and cast the loop so that it doesn't straighten! Then stop with a slightly crisper movement and you should have it.

If the line collides with the tip of the rod when false casting, then you are in the right ballpark. So this is actually a good sign! In order to overcome this problem, try coming slightly downwards with your hand during the forward cast.

Flycasting feeling

The main reason for me introducing false casting so early, is that it gives the 'fly-casting feeling'. Every time you stop the rod it should 'bounce' in your hand. This bounce is the unloading of the stored energy. If you are not getting this feeling then you are either holding the rod too tightly, or not using it effectively. Go and search for this feeling and once you have found it hang on to it! You want to get it every single time you stop the rod.

When practicing false casting most beginners tilt the cast so that the backcast is low and the forward cast is high. If this happens to you, then consciously rotate your cast forwards (aim lower).

Once you have established the flycasting feeling and are casting controlled loops during false casting, then you should go back to the pick-up and lay-down cast. Make sure that you remember to start the cast with the rod tip touching the water and that you remember the 'lift' movement (they always forget this...).

Steve: At no point have you mentioned the '10 to 2' bit. ( This is not here to provoke you to make controversial remarks ) but the observation stands all the same. My first lessons were entirely 10 to 2 and with a wrist strap actually which makes it sound hind of like 'Oliver Twist' but I think I may be asking a lot of questions on this one part. (Unlike Karen, Steve is not a complete beginner)

Paul: Many instructors do teach using the rigidity of a clock face. I don't. This is because rods are progressive and you can choose how much it bends. A rod with a greater bend requires a longer casting arc. I will talk about this in the next lesson.

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