The world's best flyfishing site.

Pennies dropping!


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

Overhead cast the physics.

Line is lying on the water, the lift is made, this lifts the line and frees it from the water surface, the rod tip is accelarated. This pulls the flyline with it. As it does so the rod flexes. The stop is made. The rod tip straightens adding more velocity to the line. The line continues and passes the rod tip. As it passes it forms a loop. The rod is now unloaded and the loop continues to unfurl until it straightens.

Top Man. Brilliant. Now it maybe me, but this is my language. Clear and concise, just how teaching should be. You know, you really should write another book.

Now is the time to drift - but we won't include that here :-)

All clear, cool. This is in fact exactly how I thought it should be, just think we have been around the houses to get here. That said it has been fun and informative and that is what this is all about!

Once the line has straightened the rod tip is moved forwards. This moves the line forwards and bends the rod. Rod tip stops line passes tip creating loop. Loop travels out. Angler lowers rod tip.


I was hoping you'd tell me this :-)

Sorry. I think I maybe writing too much, often testing my brain hard late at night. Will try and reply earlier and shorter. Fly casting is technical, no doubt about it, but I guess the whole point of this is to raise my ( and the readers ) awareness of these technicalities. Of course at the same time I am digesting them with a view to understanding the mechanics right down to the finest detail in order to be able to teach more advanced casters! Agreed ?

Ah, BTW. Yesterday I taught this guy who I got casting to a pretty reasonable level in October 2001, during some shite weather I hasten to add. Anyway he is a busy hotelier and so our session was the second time only he had cast, he has not practised or touched a rod since October. I found it very interesting that within minutes of picking up the rod he was casting and within an hour, doing so to a very high standard for a novice.

1) This made me very confident that the stuff I am teaching people is going in O.K.

2) It also shows how these mind / muscle co-ordination's required for casting a fly rod are very like those used for driving a car or riding a bike.

Plus, I tried the finger up the rod! Brilliant! Very uncomfortable I found and so did my guest but it without doubt smartens up the back cast, so there we are I have learnt a very useful teaching trick. Thank you Sexyloops!

Finally, (thought I was going to write less!), Trick Question. IYHO what do you think of this statement regarding the double haul ....

How it Works.

"When the line hand pulls the line down say, two feet, in harmony with the power movement of the rod, the line in the air becomes heavier by an equal and opposite reaction to energy applied by the downward haul. Because the rod is in-between the angler and the line, it reacts against the momentarily heavier line and bends yet more. So there you have it, more rod-bend for the same arm movement in both directions or, if you like, the effect of a rod-arm twice as long without major surgery! All by simply pulling the line down at the right time to further flex and load the rod."

And with that I will say cheers for now and then it is on to the roll cast. We need to get cracking as I am off to Africa early Saturday morning.

Interesting and partly true for short casts, but it misses the mark: you can attain maximum bend in the rod without hauling try bending the rod against the ground and see just how little force is required to bend the rod to it max flex. Hauling applies line speed directly to the line. It is direct velocity and this is why it is so effective. Where does that quote come from BTW?

Putting it together

Going to try and make these clearer so that we can find out where we are :-) How is the practising?

Finding time is hard because at the moment I am flat out, (which is great because it means business is good!). However I played with the finger up thing yesterday and while teaching started to show my guy to forget the clock thing. Now here is the amazing bit and this is sincere and NOT poetic licence.

It really bloody works. In fact, (see last e mail) this guy really taped it for a novice. Shooting up lovely high back-casts, creating nice loops and .... less questions. He understood casting better without the clock, awesome. You see I think he was visualising shooting the line high, NOT where exactly he was stopping the rod. IT REALLY WORKS! I am going to have so much fun playing with this concept in Africa.

Rods and loops

Sorry I just don't follow. Soft rod, tip goes forwards, opens loop. Even if there is a bounce back the loop has already been opened.Answer me this then, apart from cosmetics, weight etc., why have we changed almost exclusively over to fast actioned carbon rods if we could get the same effect with cane or glass?

Lightness, cost and speed of recovery.

Yep, agreed. Understood.

Stiffness and overhang

But I think stiffness is relevant.Turn a KTL back to front and try and cast it.Not possible.Surely this is similar to the WF extending from the rod tip.Great example of this is watching someone false cast many, many times until they have more running line out of the rod tip than they can handle. It collapses in a heap."

Rod action and arc

If you were to use a softer rod you would have to open up the arc more... right?

By drifting? Or when stopping. This is a little confusing.

The casting arc... you would cast using a greater arc to accommodate for the increased bend. Have you read any of Mel Kriegers work? Jason Borger?

No. Going to get on line next and order both works, if that is possible as I am not sure if JBs book is out yet.

Rod flex

Check out the first page of the casting tips on site for diagrams. The penny dropped just there - it's the same thing. The greater the bend in the rod the greater the casting arc required for a straight path of the tip.

Not checked the diagrams yet, but can visualise this now and quite easily. Really looking forward to out meeting on 15th April. Doing anything on the 14th ? We could do a day then too and jam in some fishing if you fancy it. BTW you really must get yourself up here later in 2002 so I can get you into Saltwater Fly, (plus a few veggie curries and the odd beer). I mean you could use the help, right?!

Where I am slightly confused is on the rod stopping section of your thoughts.

You stop the rod, the line passes the rod, the loop is formed. The more abrupt the stop the more efficient the energy transfer.

Easy. We (YOU!) are getting this thing organised now. The barriers are coming down and I am starting to THINK!

When you make your initial backcast,where are you expecting the rod to stop?And then for the forward.What about for a fast rod,and a slow?

There is no fixed point. I shall explain this when we meet. The penny will drop here too. All that matters is the path of the rod tip. EVER.

It has dropped, already. What's EVER?

Give me some ideas about slowing down.Would I be right in thinking that casters who push are working on more leverage rather than flex?


Ah ha, more pennies!

Engineering and rod flex

I covered something similar to this in University - so ok I wasn't always a trout bum - and when the weather stops raining I hope do some video analysis.

Cool. You went to Uni! So do you have a degree then?

Nope; decided to do something else.

What did you do?


High backcasts and late stops

Umm, trying to think this one out. Think you are going to need to show me. You see the way I think about it is that you stop the rod early to get a high back cast, after this you can do what you like to create more time. Drifting for example to tighten loop and give rod more time to load.How do you get a high back cast if you stop at 2??

So long as the rod tip travels upwards during the stroke it doesn't matter where you stop.

Right, piece of cake! I FEEL the AAPGAI power!

Drifting and what it achieves

Drifting doesn't do either of those things you mention. Check out drifting in advice section.

Precisely. Drifting provides the caster with more time and a greater arc to flex the rod, right. The key is that the initial stroke MUST be up. Correct ?

The real key to drifting is that it takes out excess energy

Rod Loading

When we make a backcast we load the rod and when we make the forward cast we load the rod again. In the overhead cast we load the rod twice, right? What I meant was some people think that the back cast loads the rod like a spring and the forward cast unleashes it - which is wrong.

Of course it is! This is really making sense. I am always telling novices about the rod loading on the back cast and not paying enough attention to the physics. Think about loading the rod both ways and your on the way to being a better caster, right?

This reminds me of something. I always back shoot on a DH now. Never used to, until you showed me the benefits of it. Before I was only giving the rod line on the forward section. Do you see my point here. Unwittingly I have been teaching my people the importance of loading the rod on the back cast, while actually realising the benefits of loading the rod twice during my own casting. Who's idea was this AAPGAI teaching on the web stuff? Damned good idea! Chinese Style

How do you tell which rod is which? (reference to previous question on whether the spine of a rod makes a difference to the cast - P.)

Cast it straight. Cast it 90 degrees. If you perceive a difference then cast it straight.

Will try this. And understand it already (I'm having a good day!). Moving onwards

If you are happy with the above then let's move on to roll cast.... are you happy with the above?

Very. It has taken a while to sort the WFTC but it has been worth it and I feel I am thinking on a higher level. That was the aim, right? Cheers, I am going to open a window, grab some breaky, confirm some bookings and then it's roll cast time. Cheers Matey, really, really, enjoying this now.

Return to whence you came