This weekend gave me the opportunity to repeat the test. The major short-coming this time (you knew there would be one,right) was that I wasn’t fit to do any of the casting. Whilst doing some bike maintenance in the week I bent down to pick a spanner up off the garage floor and felt something go in my back and I’ve been struggling to move properly since. A proper ‘old man’ type injury (I should have made-up something about being thrown from a horse whilst drunken, bare-back riding – Paul would have believed this) but I guess this type of thing comes to us all. That said, Tracy was keen to add to the data so it’s her casting that I’m reporting here.
On Tracy’s suggestion we decided that we’d measure 10 casts at each carry point, a decision that she later regretted. The rod used was a Sage TCX coupled with a Ballistic Pro Performance line, this has an 18m total head length. As with my previous test, the carry was fixed by pulling the line tight against a tape measure, with the caster gripping the line in their hauling hand and the measurer holding the tip of the line against the specific carry being used. The caster then makes the cast without letting any line slip though their hand until the final delivery, at which point the measurer runs down the line to record the distance (there is a lot a going backwards and forwards for the measurer I now appreciate!).
Tracy’s results were as follows:
The first thing of note with Tracy’s casts is just how much more consistent she was than me, although this could be because of the turn-over issues I was having. Certainly of all the casts I measured I don’t recall a single stacked leader. Anyone looking back at my data, from a couple of weeks back, may well be tempted to point out that Tracy cast exactly the same furthest distance as I did, but this needs to be considered in conjunction with the conditions on the day – they were much better for Tracy, so don’t go there! Although some carries look like they have less than 10 data points that’s because there are duplicated distances, apart from the final set at 22.5m where there are only 3 data points. This is where Tracy regretted the decision of doing 10 casts at each point as she simply ran out of energy on her seventy-something distance cast on the trot.
Given Tracy’s consistent layout of the leader, the following chart of estimated shoot is probably much more accurate than the figures calculated from my data:
It’s possible that this data is perhaps easier to put a coherent story to than the ‘noise’ that my casts generated. Clearly we both struggled with the 5m carry, remembering this equated to around 2m of line outside of the rod tip. Bearing in mind that we were both using a stiff rod to start with, it’s seriously underlined at this point. Tracy’s results of between a 20 and 55% shoot are significantly better than mine (~0 to 36%) but again I would point out the better wind J. Tracy’s casts then settle at an average shoot of around 50 - 60% on average until a peak is hit at the carry of 17.5m. Remembering that the head length of the line used is 18m, then it is perhaps not surprising that the best shoot % comes from the carry point nearest to this.
Beyond 17.5m the shoot % appears to fall, although it should be noted that the ultimate distance cast is still increasing. Tracy’s single longest cast, 38.7m, came from the 20m carry although it should be noted that she was flagging (to the point of giving up) when it came to the 22.5m carry, even though she still managed a 38.4m cast from that carry. Perhaps in hindsight the best way to conduct this test is to start at the longest carry and work towards the shortest, that way it’s always getting easier.
This weekend the Welsh assembly have lifted the ‘stay local’ law, so Tracy and I can travel to the river Dee (30 miles from our house) to go fishing. The last 6 months have been tough, for me it’s the longest period in which I haven’t gone fishing since I first took it up when I was in junior school. Casting has kept me sane with the PULD and wiggle cast challenge (which is still ongoing) but I’m so glad that we’ll be able to fish as of today.