The Perfect Breeze

The Perfect Breeze

Tracy&James | Thursday, 30 January 2020

Yesterday I had a very rare day, a casting session in almost perfect (for me anyway) conditions. When I say ‘perfect’ I mean for the outfits that I chose to cast – the ideal wind certainly changes for me depending on what I’m practicing with. For example, yesterday wouldn’t have been great for me with a #5 MED, but it was just about ideal for the salmon overhead (S55g).

I’m starting to get prepared for the BFCC casting season, which kicks off in March before the UK championships in Cumbria and the World Championships in Sweden.  I’m much happier this year than last as it was about this time in 2019 that I developed tennis elbow.  I’d say the pain is probably 90% gone and, as such, I’m really looking forward to the start of competitive casting.  I still have to be careful that I don’t overdo things though, especially easy to do in enjoyable sessions like yesterday’s when the fly line just seemed to hangfor an inordinate amount of time (obviously because I’ve nailed the trajectory, not because of anything daft like lift :)).

What was particularly pleasing about yesterday’s casting was that I set a PB, these are very rare for me nowadays especially as I’ll be eligible for the BFCC seniors category at some point this year.  I remember the excitement I felt when I first took up distance casting when breaking a PB was almost a weekly occurrence, especially with the 6 different distance outfits to choose from.  However, inevitably the pace of improvement slowed and my best casts got to the point where I needed perfect weather and perfect (well for me) form.  Given an ageing body it’s not surprising that PB’s are few and far between, and to be very much enjoyed as, for all I know, it may be my last (but I’ll keep trying).

My S55g record came as a result of tackle testing – I was given a prototype line to try out and it certainly worked for me, adding over 9ft to my best.  Fly line designs for distance casting is an interesting area.  I suspect if you looked in any serious competition casters kit bag you’d find a myriad of options for the ST27 and S55 events (as well as Spey lines), where the rules allow the participant to change things within a set of loose rules, e.g. maximum weight, maximum diameter,etc. giving options for all weather conditions.  This thenbrings me on to the #5 event, certainly I understand the desire for a level playing field of everyone throwing a specified line, i.e. the SA MED, however I feel things could be maybe be a bit more interesting with an ‘any AFFTA compliant line’ rule.  Certainly for me the SA MED is not the line that I throw furthest in all conditions, some yes, but others, e.g. a howling tailwind, no.

I did finish yesterday’s casting session by throwing the MED over 140ft a number of times.  However, before Bart feints at the thought of his BFCC record being under threat I should point out that this was with the #7 – it was still fun though.

Have a great weekend, and if you’re casting may your PB’s be rattled.