Achieving a crisp stop

AlanWxm

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… something else to consider: rather than holding the rod with the reel “under” the handle/grip; turn the reel out to the side.
I pick up the rod thumb on top, reel under; then rotate my wrist so the “fork” between thumb and forefinger is uppermost … probably about a 45-60° turn.
I find this does at least two beneficial things: it restricts the articulation of the wrist joint; it removes some of the mass of the reel which can cause the wrist to flex excessively

Let me know how you get on, Andrew
I'll give this a try. I've also come across the 3 point grip. Planning on giving that a go too.

So that's my next practice session sorted.
 

AlanWxm

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I suspect you are putting far too much effort into your cast because you are try to 'throw' the line forward - a 'throwback' to your previous casting in other angling disciplines.

In fly casting, our role as caster is to create and maintain loops. We create the loop by accelerating the rod backwards to a crisp, determined 'stop' - it is the stop that creates the loop. No acceleration to a stop = little effective line speed = wide open, unaerodynamic, non loop. The effectiveness of your forward cast is determined by the quality and effectiveness of your backcast - no stop, poor loop on the back cast = poor loop on the forward cast = little distance achieved.

The Lee Cummings YouTube 'Triangle Teaching Technique'Parts 1 and 2, that were shown in another thread -


- is a great way to learn to develop good loops, particularly because the loops you are producing are very visible at ground level. The arms of the V are clear indicators of how far to move the rod through the casting arc. The exercise is best done facing a line on a football pitch - the fly line should lie along the pitch line on the back cast and the forward cast. Once you can do that, with narrow loops back and forward, letting the line line lay on the grass between backward and forward cast, then it's time to complete the movements backward and forward in the air - horizontally , keeping the rod tip a level 3ft above the ground and the casting arc within the limitations of the V arms. The move your casting stroke to 45 degrees, then 'vertically'. These drills are done with no more than 30ft of line outside the rod tip.

Once you get to grips with this, you will be amazed at how little effort is needed to create very good, aerodynamic loops, backwards and forwards.
Hi Paul

Thanks for this. As it happens somebody else has already put me onto Lee Cummings Triangle and it was after a few practice sessions with this that I concluded that I have a problem with the stop.

I have a pretty clear idea in my mind what I want to achieve (short arc, crisp stop - flicking paint from a brush, hitting nail in a wall etc.). The problem I have is translating that mental picture into physical action.

The best way to do this is the question I'm asking. Until I develop stronger wrists (weak wrists after all these years - who would've thought 😉) I'm hoping to find a somewhat quicker (even if less than ideal) solution . I'm not looking to become a great caster, I just want to become sufficiently proficient that I can catch a few fish in the coming months.

I'll be trying a change of grip, maybe a wrist strap. Also got a casting lesson in the pipeline

Cheers

Alan
 

AlanWxm

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I’m not going to add to the noise here of helpful advice in the various things to think about to stop a fly rod, theres people like Paul D who are really good teachers and are aware of what advice works and what confuses. You don’t need more.

I know at your stage it’s enough to think of getting from the back cast to the the front stop by accelerating without having to wonder how on earth you factor in hauls and pull backs and drifts etc
. Keep it simple .
When I’ve had problems it’s been through putting into to much effort and too much snap and too much grip .
As things get worse I respond with effort and tension ( I don’t mean too , it’s a reaction)

Anygains I’ve made in terms of better loops or distance have come with less effort, less snap at the end of the stroke and more awareness of timing.

There is a brilliant caster teacher called Jason Borger and he says that the way you spell good casting is C-O-N-T-R-O-L. Without control you have chaos .

And I think that’s what too much conflicting advice causes in our heads, Chaos , and chaos to our loops when we’re not simply controlling the cast.

The stop at the end is just that. It’s a stop where acceleration ends and you go no further. Keep it simple and when you get to have a practice with James and he can SEE what’s actually going on, trust him and listen to his advice on how you should deal or think about that.

I know you’ve been watching Paul Arden whose great and as good a teacher and caster as there is, but I don’t think he’d be advising you of advanced stops yet.
all best
Pom
Hi Pom

You very clearly describe where I'm at. Head full of 101 things to consider and when the cast starts to fall apart (as it does 9 times out of 10) I increase the force, arc , grip etc. etc.

Hence me looking for anything that might simplify things, rather than complicate further. You mention Jason Borger and its his 3 point grip that I'm planning on trying to reduce wrist rotation and crisp up the stop.

Undoubtedly James will have the answers when we get together

Cheers

Alan
 

AlanWxm

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Not long after I started out fly fly fishing and after several lessons, I was encouraged to cast off the opposite shoulder to cater for those days when the wind is not favourable. What I did find in those early days was that often my delivery was better casting off the left shoulder, RH caster. This I discovered was because my RH stopped short of colliding with my left shoulder, hence a nice crisp stop on the back cast etc. Give it a go and then transpose the same casting arc and stops off the right shoulder, if not then visualise...
That definitely sounds worth a try on my next practice session
 

andygrey

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Squeezing the handle at the stop can be counterproductive as it will quite often create a small unwanted movement in the rod and actually dilute and 'confuse' the stop and also can result in unintended wrist movement.
One piece of advice I give is to practice holding the rod as lightly as possible (to the point the cork is actually moving around in your hand) and rather than thinking about stopping the rod, think about stopping the hand. If you stop the hand crisply then the rod will follow suit. Sounds bloody obvious but I've seen plenty of people improve their stops this way.
 
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The Endrick Spider

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Not long after I started out fly fly fishing and after several lessons, I was encouraged to cast off the opposite shoulder to cater for those days when the wind is not favourable. What I did find in those early days was that often my delivery was better casting off the left shoulder, RH caster. This I discovered was because my RH stopped short of colliding with my left shoulder, hence a nice crisp stop on the back cast etc. Give it a go and then transpose the same casting arc and stops off the right shoulder, if not then visualise...
I was 16 when I first started fly fishing, (1958) and it was on my local river. There was no one to teach me anything so I had to figure it all out by myself. After my dinner I would rush down to the river where I would start off using a wet fly fished downstream. The river flowed from my left to my right and with me not knowing anything about casting over my left shoulder, started off by casting using my left hand. At that particular time, not being able to afford a pair of waders, could not cross the river. When it was time to head back for home I made my way back by fishing upriver mostly with a dry fly. Not knowing any different, just changed hands and started casting with my right hand. This went on for years but much later on my application to join the Caurnie Angling Club came through where I was now going to be fishing Antermony Loch which is only 4 field lengths from my front door.
I am now fishing on a still water where it came as a bit of a shock to see anglers trying to cast over their left shoulder, some facing the bank and casting in reverse. From day one I have always cast using either hand and could not understand the antics of these people in their effort to cast a line out safely. I was always under the impression that other anglers just did what I was doing and that was just cast with whatever hand it is that was required. I am not going to say that I am a great caster by any means but what I can do is step in anywhere and put out a half decent line under any conditions. Because of arthritis in both hands it is now a bit of a struggle to cast 20 yards, (using either hand) which with my reaction time to a taking fish being much slower then for me this is plenty of distance. The most important thing of all, it is not so much the catching of fish that is important, it is the fact that 64 years on and I am still enjoying what I am doing just as much as what I did when I first started to cast a fly.
Giving advice is something that is not my scene but what I will say is, (and I am speaking from experience) if more anglers where to take the same attitude as what I do when going fishing, instead of putting oneself under pressure by thinking you must catch fish, just relax and enjoy your day. What you will find is that you will end up catching more fish than what you would have done had you been all tensed up.
 

Rhithrogena

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The flicking water off a brush, mud off a stick, dog ball-thrower analogies are all good ones, but you need to get a brush/stick/ball-thrower and actually DO it to feel the motion to support the learning.

Young kids do this automatically. Millions of years of evolution have allowed humans to perfect this throwing motion.
It's easy to overcome instict with thinking about stuff too hard 😉
 

fishing hobo

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Squeezing the handle at the stop can be counterproductive as it will quite often create a small unwanted movement in the rod and actually dilute and 'confuse' the stop and also can result in unintended wrist movement.
One piece of advice I give is to practice holding the rod as lightly as possible (to the point the cork is actually moving around in your hand) and rather than thinking about stopping the rod, think about stopping the hand. If you stop the hand crisply then the rod will follow suit. Sounds bloody obvious but I've seen plenty of people improve their stops this way.
As you have said, hold the rod lightly. Very difficult when you start out Andy. I don't squeeze so hard at the stop that it cauaes really awkward rod tip movement. Again, what is comfortable for one person doesn't necessarily translate to another. Stopping the hand advice is a nice simple advice for somone starting out.
 

fishing hobo

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I was 16 when I first started fly fishing, (1958) and it was on my local river. There was no one to teach me anything so I had to figure it all out by myself. After my dinner I would rush down to the river where I would start off using a wet fly fished downstream. The river flowed from my left to my right and with me not knowing anything about casting over my left shoulder, started off by casting using my left hand. At that particular time, not being able to afford a pair of waders, could not cross the river. When it was time to head back for home I made my way back by fishing upriver mostly with a dry fly. Not knowing any different, just changed hands and started casting with my right hand. This went on for years but much later on my application to join the Caurnie Angling Club came through where I was now going to be fishing Antermony Loch which is only 4 field lengths from my front door.
I am now fishing on a still water where it came as a bit of a shock to see anglers trying to cast over their left shoulder, some facing the bank and casting in reverse. From day one I have always cast using either hand and could not understand the antics of these people in their effort to cast a line out safely. I was always under the impression that other anglers just did what I was doing and that was just cast with whatever hand it is that was required. I am not going to say that I am a great caster by any means but what I can do is step in anywhere and put out a half decent line under any conditions. Because of arthritis in both hands it is now a bit of a struggle to cast 20 yards, (using either hand) which with my reaction time to a taking fish being much slower then for me this is plenty of distance. The most important thing of all, it is not so much the catching of fish that is important, it is the fact that 64 years on and I am still enjoying what I am doing just as much as what I did when I first started to cast a fly.
Giving advice is something that is not my scene but what I will say is, (and I am speaking from experience) if more anglers where to take the same attitude as what I do when going fishing, instead of putting oneself under pressure by thinking you must catch fish, just relax and enjoy your day. What you will find is that you will end up catching more fish than what you would have done had you been all tensed up.
It is much easier to learn to adapt when you are young. I had to cast with my left at one point when I was in my 40's when I just started as I ended up with trigger fingers and it was sore casting with that hand. Once it got better, I stopped casting with my left as it wasn't natural for me. I have thought many a times how much easier it would be if I could cast with my left hand when wind blows onto my casting arm which is often but because there are ways around this as you mentioned, I've never gone back to using my left hand.
 

andrewparkeruk

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The flicking water off a brush, mud off a stick, dog ball-thrower analogies are all good ones, but you need to get a brush/stick/ball-thrower and actually DO it to feel the motion to support the learning.
Totally agree. The analogies are too easy to wheel out. If you are a casting coach, and you are going to draw the analogue, have the devices to hand.
Be careful with accuracy tho’; take care with darts and dartboards 😁

PS I used to use balls of screwed up paper and a bucket. It helps to identify people who have never thrown to a target, and it is something which can be practiced during the week. Moving the bucket further away teaches the concept of adjusting trajectory and force
 
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ohanzee

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On the stop, one to ponder, you can of course make the forward cast where the rod 'stops' pointing in the direction of the cast with the stroke just ending there, arm more or less just straight out, it's a solid stop that gives a very narrow loop and shoots like a bullet.
 

andrewparkeruk

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@fishing hobo are you using age as an excuse not to learn a new trick? It may take you longer than it may once have done, then again, maybe not

I was in my late 50s when I taught myself to use the “other” hand. I think learning with the non dominant hand can also improve the dominant hand
 

Rhithrogena

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Totally agree. The analogies are too easy to wheel out. If you are a casting coach, and you are going to draw the analogue, have the devices to hand.
Be careful with accuracy tho’; take care with darts and dartboards 😁

PS I used to use balls of screwed up paper and a bucket. It helps to identify people who have never thrown to a target, and it is something which can be practiced during the week. Moving the bucket further away teaches the concept of trajectory and force
I (very-occasionally these days) play cricket for a pub side and despite many years of attempts, some of our batsmen 'couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo'. Some people will always struggle with physical skills. These are the people who are likely to pay for lessons 🤔
 

andrewparkeruk

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On the stop, one to ponder, you can of course make the forward cast where the rod 'stops' pointing in the direction of the cast with the stroke just ending there, arm more or less just straight out, it's a solid stop that gives a very narrow loop and shoots like a bullet.
Alan you will be suggesting people cast 170° 😳😁
 

PaulD

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Totally agree. The analogies are too easy to wheel out. If you are a casting coach, and you are going to draw the analogue, have the devices to hand.
Be careful with accuracy tho’; take care with darts and dartboards 😁
One of the things you quickly learn as a teacher is that what you are saying in your head may make a great deal of sense . . . but the blank expression on the faces of a goodly proportion of a class of 10 year olds quickly suggests that the vocabulary being used isn't projecting the message.

It's the same with analogies. very few people paint ceilings with brushes, mostly preferring the roller and increasingly fewer people had experience of flicking ink soaked blotting paper off rulers during their school days.

Probably the worse crime is 'Instructor Speak' - the, "I have no foundation in scientific knowledge but I'll try to impress you with quasi-scientific words and phrases which actually mean less than nothing in practical terms."
 

ohanzee

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Mentioned this one before but it worked in the moment, an instructor finished a takeaway coffee while watching a floppy nowhere stop, he handed the empty cup to the culprit and told him to fill the cup and throw the water out to 40'.
 

fishing hobo

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@fishing hobo are you using age as an excuse not to learn a new trick? It may take you longer than it may once have done, then again, maybe not

I was in my late 50s when I taught myself to use the “other” hand. I think learning with the non dominant hand can also improve the dominant hand
Lazy, I guess. Trying to learn DH rods now and that will need me to use the nondominant side to cast off.
 

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