Next year there are going to be some changes on the competition front. Tracy has already written about the rod-rating issue and how it’s restrictive to specify casters must use a rod with either #5 or #7 written on it. The tougher issue is the question of lines, here we have a weight specification, i.e. AFFTA, but so many manufacturers don’t adhere to it. Obviously casting a heavy line gives a distinct advantage so it’s here that the rules need to be applied (rather than to rods for which there is no standard). I believe at this point in time the consensus appears to be that, for the #5 and #7 events, specific named lines will be used (those in the ‘B100/110’ classes will still be free to use any AFFTA compliant line though). Lines will be added to the list once they have been properly assessed, but as a starting point it will be the SA MED and the Barrio GT125. If you don’t have these lines you can borrow the club’s in either a #5 or #7 to put on your rod (alternatively you could just use one of the club’s outfits which are always set-up with these lines).
Other rule changes will be published via the Facebook page, so if you’re interested please keep an eye out for them. One that I can announce here though is that there will be a ‘champion’ named after the 2017 casting season. In order to win this you will need to attend at least two competition meetings and perform well in all the individual events. As such, I’d suggest competitors start practising in their ‘weaker’ events because they can’t afford to drop points in any of them.
Something that worked well this year was having more demonstrations at the meetings. Topics ranged from single handed Spey casting on small rivers to chucking the T38 as far as possible. So if you’re an instructor who wants to practice a presentation in front of a knowledgeable but appreciative group of fly-casters then please get in touch, we are more than happy to accommodate you and provide some constructive feedback.
Hopefully 2017 will be as successful as this year for the club. We do need more competitive casters though. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’d be instantly competitive (none of us are when we first start), you’ll be surprised at how quickly the improvements will come once you’re competing regularly though.