Teaching Fly Casting To Beginners And Experts

Teaching Fly Casting To Beginners And Experts

Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 15 March 2017

During the last days I was teaching fly casting - both single and double handed - to beginners, advanced and experts. Obviously I need a serious knowledge to be able to succeed on all levels of teaching fly casting. So I should be able to understand the basic (common) definitions being used to teach, right?

Yesterday I ran a preparation course supporting my students to pass the Certified Fly Casting Instructor exam held by the International Federation Of Fly Fishers (IFFF). To be well prepared (and up to date) I looked up their set of fly casting definitions. In addition I looked up the requirements for the practical part of the Casting instructor exam (CI) and the Master Instructor exam (MCI).

In summary most requirements for the exams are well (and easy understandable) defined as far as I can tell. Excellent work by the IFFF!

In the CI-exam sheet (task 22.) I found "Creep" to be listed within a list of casting faults. The candidate then has to explain and demonstrate these faults to the examiner. I was wondering here, because by their own definition the IFFF didn't qualify creep to be a casting fault per se but as "rod rotation during the pause in the direction of the next cast". That would mean creep can be used to reposition the rod for a perfect size of arc being left for the next cast in order to shape a nice tight loop.

In addition I found the "casting stroke" to be defined as the rod movement one needs to create the loop. Creep is not part of this rod movement/not part of the stroke.

Following the MCI-exam sheet (task 18.) "creep" is a cause for tailing LOOPs by resulting in an insuffucient arc. The IFFF wants the candidates to be able to demonstrate 3 common causes for tailing loops:

(1) Insufficient rod arc, with no creep; (2) Insufficient rod arc, due to creep; and (3) correct rod arc, power applied abruptly.

Insufficient arc?

I prefer to put this different: An inappropriate arc is one being a) too small to hit the desired line speed, b) (in combination with inappropriate positioning of the rotation within this arc) being too wide and resulting in a none desired (too) wide loop or c) being too much out of (one and the same) plane at some point. Does any of these arcs result in a tailing loop? No.

My take on this after a huge number of students within the past 20 years of teaching fly casting:

99% of my students used a size of arc being wider as it would have to be in order to create the desired line speed. I mostly recommended to shorten the arc a bit. A fair number of students had smaller to medium waves in their fly-legs in some of their loops. Those waves were caused by too uneven force application during rotating the rod to create the desired line speed. This too uneven (too sudden burst of) force application resulted in a slight dip within a convex rod tip path.
In order to have the wave in the fly-leg crossing the rod-leg (by definition this is a tailing loop) a significant dip within the convex tip path was needed. I didn't see this happen often. I doubt I ever saw this happen any other but by a significant sudden burst of force application while rotating the rod in order to create the desired line speed. Those students creeping the rod early forward while the line was still unrolling mostly used a pretty low stop on the next cast in order to still have enough arc left to make the cast. Only in exams I saw candidates demonstrating shortening the arc radically on both sides due to creep followed by a pretty high stop (often additionally lifting the rod hand upwards) - all this to shape a serious tailing loop which the exam asks for.

Back to the insufficient arc I don't understand this to cause a tailing loop as long as the force application is kept smooth - which is a very important key point for proper fly casting.

By the way I have no clue what the IFFF understands by a "correct arc". I can use a lot of different sized arcs to shape nice loops.

Some time ago I wrote a front page about creepy tailing loops. I still believe to have been spot-on.

Now this is Sexyloops and I am wondering if any of the fly casting experts discussing fly casting details on the board can explain me how to demonstrate a tailing loop caused by creep and not a too uneven force application (as I see it happen in my lessons).

All my best

Last days...

fly casting tuition bernd ziesche