Just spent some time on the roof having a cast. Things didn’t start well. Tried to go for all out distance straight away and it was a disaster. Putting the thinking cap back on and a few minutes spent false casting 10 metres of line and the loops sharpened up nicely. Went for distance again, not pretty.
My pal was filming so I could get some footage to analyse and see what was wrong, but the line wasn’t showing up very well. The footage of myself did however show that, as usual, tracking is a big problem. This is particularly bad on the back cast where the loop never ever seems to come over the top of the rod. I think I tend to fling the rod around in a right-to-left arc through the stroke. Needs practice. But, by the end I was nicely opening out the stroke and getting a reasonably late butt rotation which put out a few nice loops.
After a while the front cast started to look rather tasty. Then suddenly, from nowhere, a bit of an epiphany. Something psycological clicked in my head and the loops absolutely zinged out. The wide casting arc needed for long casts tends to give you a wide loop immediately at the stop, but with a proper power application and lots of line speed it’s a great sight to see the loop ‘morphing’ back together into a sharp point. I think the difference was that I started to show the line who’s boss. In the past, at distance, I tended to feel like a passenger, desperately flinging the rod about and producing general comedy. But today I managed to take more control, and really lead the line properly. In real terms, I think this meant a much more ‘active’ stroke. It’s not more power, but more control. The power is concentrated right at the very end. You just sort of tuck your elbow in slightly, drag the arm forward and then right at the end flip the rod over and point to a target. This ‘pointing’ thing is often mentioned by Paul and I think it does help. The difference in line speed was incredible. I’ve read miles and miles of stuff about late butt rotation, but I think this was the first time I properly managed it. The main problem in the end was that my running line kept getting tangled at my feet. Very annoying.
I can smell that 100ft is close. I reckon today, with less tangles, 90ft was on the cards. Just a little bit of improvement in tracking and the back cast and my winter goal might be achievable after all. Right at the end I went back to a few metres of line, and the control I had was fantastic. You feel like you can do anything at all with the cast, which in the end is the great benefit of learning to cast properly. Even the curve casts seemed to work out. It’s worth it, you know, this practicing.
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