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Basic Principles
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-- Introduction
different styles
the grip
shooting line
power snap
loop shape
across the wind
into the wind
with the wind
side casting
underhand cast
Belgian cast
different lifts
backcast shoot
basic roll cast
roll cast variations
off the shoulder
dynamic roll
Spey Casting
double right
double left
single right
single left
spey fishing
switch cast
snake roll
fly first
mending line
bow and arrow
rotating thumb
tip kicks

flexFly casting works because we use the weight of the flyline to bend the rod, we then force the rod to unbend which casts the line for us. We bend the rod by moving it against the flyline's mass. We unbend it by stopping. The most important part to learn in fly casting is an effective stop.

OK now I've told you this, let me also tell you that it isn't true. What this is, however, is a nice way to visualise flycasting. It gives you 'feel'. If this was actually all there was to flycasting then we would be able to stick the rod in the ground so that it was standing upright, and by pulling the line against the top of the rod until the rod bent to it's maximum, then releasing it, we would be able to make a long cast. Truth is that the tip of the line won't even reach the rod. Try it.

So leverage is also important. Indeed it is an interesting combination, for it is possible to cast with rods which don't bend (broomsticks, short pieces of timber and one or two brands of flyrods), but if you have tried this you will rapidly come to the conclusion that a rod which actually bends is a far better tool.

In flycasting we are using both leverage and the spring of the flyrod. Your average caster gets the leverage bit just fine, but loses it when it comes to unbending the rod.

Anyway the more abruptly we stop the rod, the faster the rod throws the line. Working on this stop is the first secret to good fly casting. This part of the fly cast goes by many names: 'positive stop', 'forced stop', 'tip-snap', 'wrist flick', 'flick of the tip', 'flippetty flip', 'tip-top', and many others - but I'm sure you get the idea.

You know when its right purely by feel: you can actually feel the flyrod unloading at the end of the stop. You should be getting this feeling on both backcasts and forward casts, and every single time you stop the rod. This is the fly casting feeling. Some casters (possibly the majority) go through their whole lives never experiencing this feeling. Isn't that sad? Working on the stop is the quickest way to achieve results: especially a firm stop in the backcast. Often a great way to learn distance casting is to concentrate on a hard stop on the backcast. Just one of many strange paradoxes in life.

I teach this flycasting feeling by false casting a short length of line (perhaps 8 yrds) using the minimum of hand movement. The movement should be slow, gentle and relaxed.

Casting loops are formed when the line travels over the tip of the rod, after the positive stop. Good casting requires a narrow loop shape. The shape of the loop is directly dependent on the path the rod tip travels: narrow loops are caused by straight paths of the rod tip, open loops are caused by convex paths of the rod tip, and tailing loops (where the line crosses over itself) are caused by concave paths of the tip; ie the tip of the rod dips under the straight line path.

Do not fall into the trap of forgetting that the fly rod bends when we cast; therefore forget that rule that the line goes where the thumb goes - this is broomstick logic. When you bend the rod the tip comes closer to your thumb. This is not a matter of semantics, but is a basic principal behind flycasting.

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