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Sliding Load

Unless you are an excellent caster the following should not be attempted, and even then perhaps not!

These men are dangerous, especially the one on the endThe sliding load is something which keeps coming up in form or another. There have been several posts on the Board and it's not something I have seriously considered, being in my opinion the antithesis of drifting. Well not up until now that is.

But when you're fighting it out against others along the inch tape you try everything. Especially if you're being outcast.

And Rudi Ferris informs me that he casts against the energy stored in the backcast. It's not preload, it's surge.

I'd love to be able to ping a 5-weight 120 ft by the end of this summer. My best casts in yesterday's shootout were 2 yards short. Incidentally I'm happy to throw figures around, because there is a lot of misinformation out there. If you can stick a 5-weight 100 ft, measured up against the tape, you are a very rare caster. I will try anything to cast further. Even sticking my bum out.

Right now I'm experimenting with slide loading. Slide loading is feeding line during the early part of the forward stroke. Hang in there…

The elusive 40 yards markerThere are two ways to do this, one is keeping the rod angle the same, and the other is rotating the rod. It is said that this facilitates a more positive timing, but that's not why I am trying it, nor how I am trying it. And note well: I do not practice this nor do I teach it. In fact I wouldn't even recommend it unless you are seriously into trying everything and are extremely comfortable with your stroke.

Here is what I am trying: for maximum distance I am shooting line into a hard backcast, drifting, and beginning the forward cast slipping line through my fingers, until the butt reaches the perpendicular, when I'm exploding into the forward stroke combined with a lightening fast haul and immediate release.

I've mentioned this a little on the board, but yesterday in our shootout, with certain rods, it outcast my usual long stroke delivery. All I can assume that done correctly the tip speed is increased, and this is what counts. This goes against most of what I have written on the subject of flycasting. I have lost most of my stroke, but gained a few feet.

Of course I may change my mind on this, and probably will – in fact I don't even have a mind to change.

Just so that were all on a level playing field: 9ft 5-weight rod, WF line such as an XXD AFTM 5. No benevolent wind. Preferably not too much dampness either. 9 ft leader. Bit of fluff. You can only ever measure casts against the inchtape; trying to work out how far you have cast using the flyline as a measure just does not work.

I'd love to get some feedback. Some of the best competition casters in the world post regularly on the Board. Both Lance Egan and Ian Walker cast further than I can and they do so in competitions, which really puts you on the spot.

This year some casting friends and I are going to have a few get-togethers and a proper competition – we believe that this is the best way to improve and we're all looking for that edge. It is in planning stages now and we should have some dates shortly. If you're interested let us know :)

Carl lines one up, whilst Jon and Pete take cover in the trees

Of course this is not fishing, but so what? I spend most of my time fishing and it's great to have a hobby!

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