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I suck at casting glass
Post 01 Apr 2019, 04:51 • #1 
Guide
Joined: 12/14/16
Posts: 116
Location: Poland
Epic 580 looks like perfect rod, but I have problems to make consistent error-free casts with it.
I often throw tailing loops, and cannot do any long casts (when I'm trying to hold longer line int he air, it is collapsed or leader tangled around fly line).

I can't say it spoils my fishing too much, because when I'm fishing dry fly, I prefer closer distances and slackline presentations, for better control of the drift. I rarely fish on distance farther than 30-40' from me with dry fly. In longer distance casts, drift is spoiled by the current , so it makes little or no sense to throw whole line for practical fishing. But, I want to improve my technique to be more confident in what im doing.

Probably something fundamentally wrong with my casting stroke.
But, I took recently ultrafast graphite rod (Vision XO 9' 5wt) for tests in fly shop, and was able to throw consistent tight loops and reach greater distance, without tangling.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 07:03 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/24/11
Posts: 927
Location: Belgium
Ok - you should be able to analyse your cast and adapt it to just about any rod. If you don't know what's going wrong you cannot fix it. An Epic 580 is reasonably fast so it's hard to understand that it makes a huge difference compared to a 9' 5wt graphite.

Here are a couple of very basic pointers:

1. Tailing loops more often than not are caused by applying power too early in the casting stroke. Start the stroke gently and accelerate to a stop.
2. Adjust your stroke length to the load (wider angle when using more power).
3. Don't rush your timing between backcast and front cast.
4. Look up the Sexyloops website - it gets a LOT deeper into the subject and will tell more than you ever need to know about casting (not too many outspoken glass lovers there but I bet a few are hiding in the closet).

If some reading up and practice doesn't solve the problem consider some lessons. No reason for not laying out 75 yards with an Epic 580 (quite a bit more on tap too but unlikely you will ever want it). Distance isn't very often useful when trout fishing but the line control that comes from learning how to lay out a decent bit of line is nice to have.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 07:14 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/25/18
Posts: 555
Location: Brazoria County, TX
Aren’t tailing loops from a convex rod tip path? You might deliberately try throwing big open loops to get a feel for the rod tip path or maybe you have tried that already? Glass flexes deeper than your ultra fast graphite so the path the rod tip will take will be more convex unless you change your stroke to compensate.

You could try having just a bit of an upward bow in the path your hand takes. Sort of an opposition or counteracting hand path to counteract the greater dip in the rod tip with the glass rod.

When I run into casting issues, I’ll play around with the path my hand takes. I do frequently switch between slower glass and fast carbon rods, even on the same outing.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 07:19 • #4 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16498
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
What's fundamentally wrong with your casting stroke is getting ahead of the rod.
My buddy Mick is one of the most generous-hearted Type A individuals I know, and it all comes out in his cast.
But he eased into cane, so I promise you it's possible to let the rod do the work.


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I suck at casting glass
Post 01 Apr 2019, 08:08 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 08/25/08
Posts: 1433
Location: Delton, MI
Casting glass isn’t a Wednesday power lunch. It’s more like a Sunday brunch.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 08:12 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/21/13
Posts: 704
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Giogio gave you a good answer.

The part that seems to be most relevant for you in particular is the part about using a wider casting arc with the 'glass rod compared with the carbon fibre rod that you seem to have fewer problems with. The width of that casting arc is directly related to how much the rod bends, and since the 580 bends a lot, you need to open up that casting arc to accommodate that bend. If you don't do that, you'll always get a concave tip path (as mentioned by karstopo) which produces a tailing loop.

You'll also need to slide the rod through the air (translate it) more before you begin to roll the rod over (rotate it).

Cheers,
Graeme


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 08:19 • #7 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16498
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I disagree about wider casting arc, though it could be a band-aid for tailing loops.
All rods respond best with smooth, short arm movement and haul (para tapers really shine with it).

There is a good band-aid to prevent breaking your wrist, which I gave to a friend at TroutFest last month.
If you rotate your wrist so you can't see your thumbnail (reel slightly toward your cheek), you can't break your wrist.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 08:27 • #8 
Master Guide
Joined: 07/27/18
Posts: 358
Location: Probably at a Diner in Eastern PA
Another thing you can do is underline the rod. It will reduce the load and bring the emulation more in line with what you are used to. Kinda defeats the taper, but it will make the cast more enjoyable and the rod will still fight like glass. (Well fast glass)


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 08:42 • #9 
Master Guide
Joined: 07/27/18
Posts: 358
Location: Probably at a Diner in Eastern PA
And btw the industry continues to push beginners and young people into learning on broomsticks (hello Orvis, Sage, et al.)
I’ve seen a generation of new anglers who are either center pinning flyrods with 3 flies a bunch of splitshot and overpriced bobbers, or sighting fish with a telescope and wondering which rod will give them the best double haul 100 ft casts.
So it’s not that you suck, more that you got sucked in.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 08:48 • #10 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7798
Location: US-ME
Great points so far. Don't impose a "casting stroke." The rod tells you how to cast it: gradual application of power, never rushing the rod. I'll make some points intended as different ways of describing the same points already made--just in hopes one of them clicks for you. "Backcast:" think of it as the "upcast." Rather than moving the tip back and trying to "throw" the line back, think of it as moving the tip up, lifting the line to cast it straight up. Start with a flat rod, and cast the line straight up. Once you can do that, you have a feel for the rod and a ballpark arc and acceleration for the tip. But you will feel the rod load from the butt section, which is where the lifting begins. viewtopic.php?p=235530#p235530


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 09:02 • #11 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16498
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Haul is what you automatically do with your line hand just by holding the line - your line hand loads the rod.
Slowing down and smoothing out everything you do with your rod hand (not making it bigger), and concentrate on timing with your line hand may solve everything.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 09:15 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/21/13
Posts: 704
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Carry on.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 09:30 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1696
Location: South of Joplin
I suck at long overhead casting too ( 'glass or carbon, although I'm fair at rollcasting and that makes up 98% of my fishing) what seems to help me most is making a very "up" back cast and looking over my shoulder to watch that back cast unroll. Much too often it takes longer than expected for the line to straighten. Over powering the fore cast is my other worst fault, watching the rod again lets me notice when the rod is bent too much.
I'm going to give you a suggestion; get someone to video you casting, both long and short and if you have two rods, get video with each of them- when you watch the video you can see what you are doing and that may not be what you think you are doing.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 09:39 • #14 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16498
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
bulldog1935 wrote:
There is a good band-aid to prevent breaking your wrist, which I gave to a friend at TroutFest last month.
If you rotate your wrist so you can't see your thumbnail (reel slightly toward your cheek), you can't break your wrist.

Most back-cast problems are in breaking wrist, but aiming up on the back-cast works. In a hairy back-cast situation, I will address and accurately aim my back-cast, casting across my chest, and not even look at the forward cast until I'm ready to present (or shoot).
That's another thought, make sure you're casting across your body rather than casting perpendicular to it.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 10:37 • #15 
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Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7798
Location: US-ME
Here's another way that might help in thinking of the motions and origin of the cast in tension of the line hand (the "haul" as mentioned above, however minimal). The cast/loading the rod, begins between the line hand and the stripping guide, loading the rod from butt to tip. Think of the energy developing in that way--from butt to tip. A fish tightens from tip to butt; a caster tightens and imparts energy from butt to tip.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 11:25 • #16 
Sport
Joined: 10/30/18
Posts: 47
Location: Gateway to Death Valley
bulldog1935 wrote:
I disagree about wider casting arc, though it could be a band-aid for tailing loops.
All rods respond best with smooth, short arm movement and haul (para tapers really shine with it).

There is a good band-aid to prevent breaking your wrist, which I gave to a friend at TroutFest last month.
If you rotate your wrist so you can't see your thumbnail (reel slightly toward your cheek), you can't break your wrist.



Another way to avoid breaking your wrist is gripping with you index finger on top of the grip.

https://swiftflyfishing.com/blogs/news/get-a-grip-fly-casting-grips-part-iii-finger-on-top-grip


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 13:02 • #17 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/25/18
Posts: 555
Location: Brazoria County, TX
I love the finger on top grip, good tip that. Full Wells grips make the finger on top grip uncomfortable for me, but I doubt the OP’s Epic 580 has a Full Wells grip.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 15:02 • #18 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 7798
Location: US-ME
Finger on top might work for the OP. Well worth trying depending how/when the wrist is opening too much or interrupting contact with the rod and flow of power. Finger on top risks a weak pick-up for the "up" cast, as I called it above, allowing the wrist to flex/weaken in the opposite direction of the power application ("up,"/back). Thus, potentially, weaker backcast although the wrist is harder to break as it finishes. Instead, think of a hammer driving a nail protruding at 45 degree angle. The thumb is on top of the grip, handed cocked through the wrist with downward pressure. Lift up, keeping the thumb rigid and palm wrist cocked down. I think this is the strongest position for a progressively powered, no-slop backcast. A strong up/backcast is the basis of the opposite motion forward after a pause. During the pause, the thumb helps stop the butt of the rod as power is imparted to the line up the rod and through the tip. Now hit the nail.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 15:20 • #19 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1370
Location: Netherlands
Fast answer: get in touch with a casting instructor

Slow answer:
I think your casting arc is too narrow. With a longer rod the distance of the tip traveling is longer, but with a shorter rod (like the Epic 580) it is probably too narrow.
When trying to make a cast too fast/swift with a narrow casting arc, the tip will collapse resulting in a tailing loop.

Make your casting arc a little wider (larger pizza piece :) ).
Combine this with the 'start slow, end fast'

Good luck!

Ps. I have an Epic 580 too. Great rod!
Image


Last edited by ibookje on 01 Apr 2019, 16:26, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 01 Apr 2019, 16:00 • #20 
Guide
Joined: 12/14/16
Posts: 116
Location: Poland
Trev wrote:
I suck at long overhead casting too ( 'glass or carbon, although I'm fair at rollcasting and that makes up 98% of my fishing) what seems to help me most is making a very "up" back cast and


+++
I have that tailing loop problems only when do overhead with longer piece of line in the air.
I'm pretty OK with the same rod, using roll or spey casts


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 17:00 • #21 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16498
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
the tip collapses because he pushes the rod too hard, it doesn't matter how far you arc it - might even make it worse because of trying even harder to get there.

Whatever is going to make him feel the rod load rather than trying to force the rod to load is going to solve this, and learning how to load it smoothly with short arcs and haul is going to let him feel the rod load in both hands. .
Too many cooks in this kitchen.

My casting stroke was refined by years of fishing Teeny lines (first on Orvis Fullflex A), but the same feel I'm looking for in my line hand applies to all rods and all lines. Slow down the rod hand, keep it smooth and short, and look for the feel of loading the rod in the line hand.
It works well enough I can take a CGR with a foot of front taper out the tip, be through the belly on the 2nd stroke, and shoot twice the belly on the 3rd.

I honestly can't remember the last time I tied a wind knot with any rod.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 01 Apr 2019, 17:25, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 01 Apr 2019, 17:05 • #22 
Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 340
Location: Reston VA
The fact that I started 60 years ago with glass rods and stuck with them well into the graphite era --- it's just a fad i told myself -- probably accounts for 'mastery' --grin -- of glass. Thus, what muscles I have left have more old glass than new memory.

Heddonist


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 17:20 • #23 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/21/12
Posts: 366
Location: US-NY
I'd say you're starting your forward cast too soon and also another vote for widening the arc.

I can cast an entire dt line with a 9' 5 wt graphite rod or an 8' 5wt glass rod. My stroke definitely has a bigger arc with the 8 foot rod.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 17:37 • #24 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16498
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
and I can cast an entire DT line with 8-1/2' South Bend cane.
When you're dealing with a long flexing rod, the flex of the rod gives you more arc - slow down everything you're trying to do with your arm, and learn when to add line speed with your line hand. Just trying a clean sheet of paper is going to make you look for the feel you need.


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Post 01 Apr 2019, 17:58 • #25 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/21/12
Posts: 366
Location: US-NY
I understand how to haul line. For me to carry 75 feet of fly line with an 8' rod I need to have a wider arc than if I am carrying 75 feet of fly line with a 9' rod.

This isnt what I think, this is what happens. The experiment has been done. That's just me.

If you can make the same stroke and time or power your hauls to compensate for the shorter rod, that's fine too. It doesn't work for me, I get tailing loops.


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