Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Dogma: noun: dogma; plural noun: dogmas

1. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

I’m not sure how many readers here on SL have access to “The Loop”? It is a quarterly electronic newsletter produced by the FFI for members who are certified instructors. At least that is how it used to be, but now I think it might also be available to any FFI member? On that I am not sure, but if you have access, or someone you know can share it with you, it might be worth a look-see.

As I said, it is delivered quarterly. Three issues ago there was an article included that was authored by Aitor Coteron, a name that is likely familiar to many here on SL. It was a well written and insightful piece, as you would expect, and it dealt with a subject that is also probably familiar to this audience: how not all parts of the fly leg immediately follow the initial tip path of the rod. It is a subject fully discussed and (I thought) widely accepted after some debate and discussion. The article included many short videos, including not only real demonstration casts but also the SL staple of bead chains in action.


When I first read the Loop article I was not alarmed. I saw it as something I had already absorbed and accepted, not only because of what I had read here on SL, but also because I believed it from my own experiences. I guess not everyone felt the same way?


In the subsequent Loop, there was a letter to the editors that was included. I must have missed it. The author of the letter claimed that the original article was tantamount to heresy and contrary to FFI teachings. Of the six essentials, as taught by the letter’s author, the straight-line path of the rod tip was a fundamental, and essential for a symmetrical loop. If I had read the letter, I probably would have thought that its author had likely misinterpreted Aitor’s point.


To the credit of the FFI, in the recently released Loop, the editors allowed space for Aitor’s response. Which again, as you would expect, was well written and steadfast. I might add that it was co-signed by a number of highly respected FFI master instructors. Also, there was a vague statement that the policy concerning letters to the editors will be changing.


What I found interesting, and actually hopeful, was much like in other sciences, there are always those who cannot stand for any thoughts that seems to go against “established” ideas, and there are also those who cannot help but push the boundaries. If not for the latter, in my opinion, and as documented throughout history, no real advancement could ever take place.