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How Do You Cast Two Handed Overhead Rod?

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TopStriperAngler

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9 hours ago, TopStriperAngler said:

Can't really find a lot out there on this. It's hard. Talking beach rods mostly. I have a Beach Boost 8wt but I'm interested in casting all the various sizes. 

 

 

Not easy.  I had a G. Loomis Beach Rod - 10wt about 15 years ago.  Got rid of it and stuck to my single-handed rod in the surf zone.  I will say this - I had a better experience casting in the bay with it - floating line and Gurglers.

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When I searched the archives here for this subject I found a very old thread where Mike Oliver was talking about his stroke being a work in progress. Someone posted the video below in there and it's still one of the only videos out there. This one focused on using both hands to stop the rod. But he's talking spey rods here and I wonder if it applies. I think I read on his website the importance of being able to control loop size at will--that seems like a good idea. 

 

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Look up the videos by Andrew Moy, his are great and geared towards the overhead casting that you're going to want to utilize in the salt.

 

I'd recommend, if possible, getting a lesson from someone who knows how to do it. What state are you located in?

 

While you're casting with a fly rod, the cast itself is more similar to conventional casting. Unlike double-hauling, where your left hand creates the energy stored in your rod, your bottom hand is what creates the flex of the rod and the energy storage/release--your top hand, to quote a very esteemed two-handed salmon guy that's authored one hell of a book and who also gives lessons, "is only there to govern when and where your rod stops."

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Ok there is stuff. I have stuff posted on Sol but dint ask me where it is. If you want real as in surf that can knock you over there is a vid called mike oliver casting his two hander Montauk 2012 by John Morgan. It is set to the tune of duelling banjos. It’s on Ytube and on Sol somewhere.

I don’t cast same way as Tim Rajeff. He is casting like some spey guys do by keeping his hands inside the box in front of the chest. That works with rods that he produces. But I would not teach this method. The hand movements he shows in my view are  going to cause a lot of guys to windscreen wiper cast. My lower hand follows the upper more on the back cast. I dont want a big movement with my lower hand which is important in accelerating the rod plus keeping the rod tip on a straight line path. I will  take my upper hand further back to. We can cast all sorts of ways away from a windy ole beach and get away with it. My casting arc mostly is bigger and I want to include my shoulders not just my forearms. Dare I say it body turn when possible is very helpful. The casting stroke is pretty much like a single hand rod. The casting physics don’t change or the rules. It’s just a longer rod.

Andrew Moyes is casting with a low back cast and then comes over the top. It’s smooth and I cast this way sometimes. Not if wading deep as I would  be driving my line into the surf behind me. What these vids miss is the reality of water and better still surf. It’s one thing to pick up off of grass and a still pool another surf and with a nice big 3/0 Deceiver  tied onto the leader. I have seen so called Double hand surf casting done in snow covered fields to.  For me it is pretty sad. It is just not doing anyone who has an interest any favours at all.

On average I have found that well inside an hour it is possible to teach most people to cast quite well with a powerful two hand surf fly rod. It is not difficult once you understand what you need to do. Biggest problems are slack wrists, and convex rod path and pushing the rod rather than pulling it through the cast. And both hands are pulling through with final application of power coming in very late just as in a good single hand cast.

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver
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1 hour ago, Ftyer said:

Look up the videos by Andrew Moy, his are great and geared towards the overhead casting that you're going to want to utilize in the salt.

 

I'd recommend, if possible, getting a lesson from someone who knows how to do it. What state are you located in?

 

While you're casting with a fly rod, the cast itself is more similar to conventional casting. Unlike double-hauling, where your left hand creates the energy stored in your rod, your bottom hand is what creates the flex of the rod and the energy storage/release--your top hand, to quote a very esteemed two-handed salmon guy that's authored one hell of a book and who also gives lessons, "is only there to govern when and where your rod stops."

Might be true for speys and I do spey cast single and double hand. But in TH in the surf that upper hand shares the load a lot. It is not just a navigational tool and a blocking agent. There are no passengers in both spey or TH overhead Out front. 
The flex is already in your rod tip before the lower hand comes into final play. If not enjoy nice big open loops.

 

Mikey

 

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2 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Might be true for speys and I do spey cast single and double hand. But in TH in the surf that upper hand shares the load a lot. It is not just a navigational tool and a blocking agent. There are no passengers in both spey or TH overhead Out front. 
The flex is already in your rod tip before the lower hand comes into final play. If not enjoy nice big open loops.

 

Mikey

 

I’m going to respectfully disagree with you, purely based on what I was told by those far more experienced than I am as well as my own observations after using a two hander in the salt for probably the last four or five years…without the bottom hand acting as a lever, your cast is going to be diminished. 

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Ftyer

 

It is ok to disagree with me. But if I were to agree with you then we would both be wrong.

My own experience  goes back to at least 2009.  Since then I have plied you’re east coast surf and developed suitable two hand rods to cope with Out Front conditions. I have not said the bottom hand does not contribute. It does  but not in the way you are describing. We can cast very well and very far with only top hand. A controlled top hand that puts the rod in a straight line path.  If we have the top hand just along for the ride and rely solely on the lower hand then I know that performance measured in terms of distance will be diminished significantly over using both hands to their fullest potential. The clue is in the name. Two hand rod. If you wish to believe others that’s fine. What I would ask is what is their Provence of casting and fishing Out Front in all conditions.

This is not Scandi casting where the bottom hand plays a bigger role. We are casting much bigger payloads. I took the trouble to get casting qualified which has certainly upped my own casting knowledge so I do not depend totally on others or books. . I read and study other caster of course as part of continual personal development. I doubt  that many others have the length of surf time with these types of rods as myself.  But I have had over 12 years of disagreeing with the vast majority many of who had obviously never cast a TH Out Front here on Sol.  It’s all there warts and all. Some were anti it others were spey casters  or knew spey casters and argued the case for spey casting in the surf which is fanciful at best. 
Hard for me not to come across as defensive or arrogant and this is certainly not personal. I might be wrong. But I have put myself on the line and offered to cast alongside guys who have argued very strongly against my lived experience  but they declined. One of them was a  spey casting instructor.

Andrew Toft has good technical info on overhead casting of double handers which is easy to find with google.

Mikey

 

Edited by Mike Oliver
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6 hours ago, TopStriperAngler said:

Here's an old thread on videos of two handers in surf. These old videos are still around and there aren't many new ones floating aroudn either. 

 

I had a quick look at this old thread and it brought back a few old memories. This was one of the more constructive discussions we had. Herbs link has gone to a dog in the dunes. LOL.

 The overhead cast is not hard to do but a lot easier if you can find a competent teacher. Even better if the lesson can be part on the grass or sand and part in the water. For added realism. Good if there is surf to.  Overhead casting with the double hander on rivers is not so common as most guys will prefer to spey cast be it air born or sustained anchor type casts. So it can be difficult to find a good teacher for the overhead. One with actual surf experience an added challenge. But you can sort it.

mike

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@Mike Oliver thanks for detailing your approach. I did find those John Morgan videos--wild! I could observe in those videos your open stance and that you were doing something much more similar to a single handed cast than as compared to some of these things seen with others on video here.

 

You mentioned Tim Rajeff's casting style producing windshield wiper cast. Yes, this is bedeviling me. And easy to have virtually no loop with this. Have also explored more of an extension on forecast where the lower hand moves forward relative to body which rotating away from the top hand--an effort to lengthen the stroke and avoid the wiper. Tend to generate quite bit of power but a p-shaped loop that the wind utterly plays games to.

 

A fun subject nonetheless. I am not fishing out front with this yet nor want to but really view my 8wt as a replacement for the singlehander. Even with not great loops or distance right now I sort of prefer the two hander. So much easier on the old shoulder. Little annoying to hold in shoulder when using two hands to present fly.

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