Camhabib

Help with line strike during cast

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I’ve been trying to get out for a few minutes every day to practice my casting since getting my own rod and reel last week. While I’m starting to get a feel for what to (and not to) do, I’m having an issue where my line will collide with the tip of my rod every few casts. Wondering if there’s any common cause for this or anything I can do to avoid it from happening? I’ve attached a couple short videos below, one of a “good” cast, and one where I believe you can see a line strike. Any help would be greatly appreciated before I wind up breaking my new rod. 
 

FullSizeRender.MOV

FullSizeRender.mov

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You’re a week into this. Expect to have some issues until you get quite a bit of practice in. I was unable to view the clips so I won’t speculate. Just keep practicing. I also wouldn’t worry about damaging the rod by having the line hit it. Now, a fly hitting it could be a different story. 

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Posted (edited)

Cam

 

Almost certain it is of poor rod tracking. Your forward and back casts are seperated by 180 degrees. We all get tracking problems at times. It is very likely that your back cast is not going opposite your front but out from your body to the right. The line then had to come forward on a curved path and outcome is you hit the rod or line.  To check. Make a back cast and let the line drop to the floor. Check alignment. 
Plenty of drills. But for now stand in frontt of a mirror and pantomime your cast. Make sure the rod butt goes on a straight path..

 

mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Posted (edited)

My first question would be why you are doing so many false casts?  My teachers were Lefty Kreh and Mike Corblisse, when he had a fly shop and guide service out of Brick, Nj with Butch Colvin.  I learned two things from both of them - the first was that if your start-and-stop mechanics are good, all that is required is a roll cast pick up into a single back cast and then shoot on the forward cast.  Even if you strip the line into the head before the roll cast, between it and maybe 1 additional false cast, the entire head should be outside the line tip for your distance achieving back cast/forward cast and shoot combination.  I find that the more one false casts, the greater the possibility that the line will come "off- track", that is, the back cast and forward cast will no longer track in a straight line.

 

Whenever I practice casting, I refresh my muscle memory by first doing as Mike suggests above, but with some additions - I get my line head outside the tip and let the line drop.  Then I put my hauling (left) hand in my pocket and grasp the line to the rod handle under my right hand.  If the line is in front of me, I make a back cast and let it drop to the ground, while observing the line - repeat for the forward cast - the emphasis is on feeling the rod load from a proper start and stop, and seeing the line lay down straight.  Mt next phase is to now execute a large number of continuous false casts, feeling for the rod loading, watch for the line to completely straighten in the air before reversing direction, and looking for the rod tip to track a straight line.  I only move to actual roll-cast off the ground, single backcast and shoot forward when I am satisfied with my performance in the "basics breakdown phase".

 

Two final notes-

  • Strive to be able to practice with your eyes closed, depending purely on feeling the rod load in your hand before reversing the cast direction.
  • Just my opinion and practice - when I want true distance I use a shooting head (almost exclusively intermediate) and thin shooting line.  When I want to drift and mend the fly, I use a full fly line, either floating, intermediate or sinking depending on the current and depth of my fishing location.  Since I mostly fish Flatwings, I estimate that I am fishing floating lines 80%, intermediate 15% and sinking head with intermediate running line 5%.

 

Hope this helps

Edited by FlatWing

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1 hour ago, Mike Oliver said:

To check. Make a back cast and let the line drop to the floor. Check alignment. 

Plenty of drills. But for now stand in frontt of a mirror and pantomime your cast. Make sure the rod butt goes on a straight path..

Great tip, I’ll try stopping on my back every so often and see what direction is lays in. I’ve been practicing in a bit of wind so I’m waiting for a less windy day to see if some of these errors may also “self correct.”

40 mins ago, FlatWing said:

My first question would be why you are doing so many false casts? 

I was doing as you later suggested in your post, making several false casts to try and build some muscle memory and work on my loop formation. In casting, I’ve been trying to keep it to as few false casts as possible to avoid getting into situations like this. I’ll have to review a few roll cast tutorials as mine seem a bit underwhelming at the moment and it does seem like a very effective technique in both moving as well as picking up the line. Great tip about eyes closed, definitely going to give that a shot. 
 

Appreciate it everyone!

 

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What helped me a great deal was to run say a long tape measure on the ground, then as you are casting watch the line as it travels forward and backwards.  It should follow the straight edge.  What I was doing wrong was actually back casting away from my body, then coming forward. I was losing distance and power as I was not going in a straight line.

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Posted (edited)

Cam

 

Hard to teach by words. The very best way to teach yourself an overhead cast is to start with your two feet comfortably apart side by side on the grass. You have just 20 feet of line outside the rod tip. You make a back cast very low to the ground. You stop. You then make a forward cast. You let line drop to ground and you stop. Rule is only back cast onlyforward cast. In this very open stance you  can see all of your rod path without having to turn your head or shoulders which can cause bad tracking errors. You can see your loop shape. You are less likely to over rotate  the rod as when we cast in this way we make more naturally a straight line rod path. You can see the rod tip path easily.

Now do this in the usual vertical plane and the tendency is for the wrist to open. Plus even with an open stance you are not able to observe the rod tip path through 180 degrees. Plus it is extremely difficult to see if you have a tracking g error. Side casting it’s obvious.

 

Ok so you make say 20 only back and 20 only front casts very low to the ground. When you have them 180 apart and looking good you make one complete cast. You evaluate each one.  Then you raise the plane a bit higher until you get to the vertical..

This drill I was taught and now teach professionally. It works. You go straight into overhead you can’t see what’s right or wrong.

I use this drill every  time I practice and when my overhead cast goes south.

You can’t beat an Instructor to get good. Self teach is very very hard to do to a good level. You need two sets of eyes.

 

mikey

Edited by Mike Oliver

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What Mike says and get a piece of clothesline rope and lay it out in a straight line on the ground. With the tip of the rod above the line and no higher than your waist and your fly line on the ground along the rope in front of you make a back cast and try to land your fly line on the rope on the ground in back of you. From there move the rod forward to a stop and try to land the line on the rope in front. You will quickly learn the required tip path needed , along with the correct wrist movement to land your fly line on or very near the rope in both directions. Then move the plane up as Mike says while retaining the fundamentals learned. 

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1 hour ago, Mike Oliver said:

You can’t beat an Instructor to get good. Self teach is very very hard to do to a good level. You need two sets of eyes.

Understood, and thanks again for the tips. Do you (or anyone else) have tips for a trustworthy casting instructor in the New England (Boston) area? I got some names for guided prior, but feel like a good guide isn’t necessarily a good instructor. 

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Posted (edited)

Cam 

 

I live in the U.K. so not able to help with an Instructor. I believe in the USA the recognised org is FFI. If an instructor fishes the salt as well so much the better. 
Hard to say how many lessons anyone needs. The two most important casts are the roll cast and the overhead. Once the overhead is going well then you can learn how to single haul and then double haul. I teach the hauls again by side casting. Only haul on the front. Drop the line. Only haul on the back cast drop the line to the floor. When you can do this well try joining the cast up. You are  only casting about 18 inches off the floor. When you are getting  good at joined up back and front casts you start to raise the plane higher until you reach the vertical.  If your cast goes south go back to the start.  Twenty feet of line is good. Stop after each complete cast. Evaluate it before making another. This is huge.  Most guys just go bonkers making cast after cast.. This does not work. 
The next important cast as Jeff has suggested is to turn your back on the sea make a normal overhead cast and you let go on the back cast. We use this cast when the wind is blowing onto the same side as our casting arm. An incredibly important cast.  It stops you getting hurt. and your rod broken. 
 

mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Posted (edited)

Nice job on this question. I watched video on super slo mo. I had an idea originally but now I'm not so sure. LOL. Was watching this video: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by TopStriperAngler

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On 11/26/2022 at 9:52 PM, Camhabib said:

Understood, and thanks again for the tips. Do you (or anyone else) have tips for a trustworthy casting instructor in the New England (Boston) area? I got some names for guided prior, but feel like a good guide isn’t necessarily a good instructor. 

This is a good resource for finding an instructor close to you

https://www.flyfishersinternational.org/Get-Involved/Connect-with-FFI-Members/Casting-Instructors

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I'm few years into fly fishing and not considering myself as a good caster. But my first impression after watching these clips, you have to slow down. Looks to me too much power in the beginning of stroke. But it should accelerate smoothly thru the stroke and stop sharply at the end.

Once again, I’m not an expert, it’s just my impression.

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