No power on forward cast unless knee deep!

iainmortimer

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Two seasons back on the salmon and I am really struggling left hand up with a single spey and right hand up for a double spey if I'm stood less than about knee deep. I'm using a 13'6 #8 rod coupled with a barrio short head spey line, 5' slow sink or inter poly leader and 7' to 10' of tippet. This set up generally allows me to cast very well with enough power to get a couple of clicks off my reel as the line extends but only if I'm knee deep or deeper, or off the left bank.

Put me on the right bank standing with dry feet on a shingle bank, we start on in one pool, and I just embarrass myself (as do other interestingly) because I really struggle to get the line to roll out straight and with any power until I'm stood about knee deep half way down the pool. I've tried compensating by dropping the tip a bit which seems to help a little but then the leader roll's out with a curve upstream and without any real power - often not even shooting 10' of line properly.

How should I be adapting my casting to compensate for low water because this is a right bank only pool and so I don't have the option to fish from the other bank.

Thanks.
 

Sprintavoj

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No expert, but I'd say using a longer head length line would help. 38 foot AFS type head and 10 foot poly leader always works well on my 13 foot rod. (y)
I think the Barrio short head lines really work best with 12 foot rods and below.
 

Safranfoer

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I'm only replying because I had a load of spey casting lessons off a bank following a run on the river and had the same problem - and when I did, I was told to observe my hip placement and anchor placement. Casting off land meant I wasn't as careful with facing hip to target, which threw my anchor and meant I was having to correct my placement in the air (without me even really noticing I was doing it - a small curved swoop), which messed up my timing and lost power as I did so. This may not be relevant at ALL, and if it isn't, I apologise.
 
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Richardgw

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To me it sounds like you are blowing your anchor by putting too much force into the creation of the D loop and/or not pausing slightly before starting the forward cast. When above the water this part of the cast requires a little more care/less power as effectively the rod is longer.

I suggest you concentrate on deliberately setting the anchor and pause very slightly after stopping the sweep to allow both the D loop to form and the anchor gain a grip. Also make sure the forward cast is in a straight (as opposed to a curved) path. Start with a fairly short line to get the feel. Once you start to get it right it should soon become automatic.

I assume you are using the Barrio ISS line with a 39ft head (not the Switch line at 33ft) which will be an ideal length for your rod
 

MCXFisher

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Absolutely: if it feels like you are punching thin air on the forward stroke, then it’s almost certain that you’ve blown the anchor. Take your time, watch the anchor and don’t apply too much power when starting the forward stroke, which should deliver smooth progressive acceleration. It’s often the result of trying too hard to gain extra distance, especially with the right handed Double Spey.
 

salmonaddict

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I would definitely lengthen the leader if you're using a lone with a short head. Aim for a couple of ft longer than the rod. On a 13ft rod a 10ft poly or versi with 5ft of tippett will work a lot better than a 5/6ft poly/versi and 10ft of tippet. As mentioned, the pause is crucial as it will allow your D to form and for your anchor to touch down better and get more of a grip on the water. Something else you could look at is whether you are swinging the rod round too high. When ankle deep try swinging the rod a little lower. Try 1 solution at a time so that you can identify the problem though definitely lengthen the leader slightly 🎣
 

Grassy_Knollington

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I am right hand dominant in everything, casting is no exception. When I start the day casting left hand up I take it slowly and deliberately to make sure I’m getting the movements correct, until the muscle memory returns. Fundamentally I start off each day with relatively less control when left hand up. I concentrate to try and get the control to the same level I have when Right Hand up. Here’s what I find helps, it may help you:

1. Watch your D-Loop, Perrypokemon is 100% right on this one. If you are blowing the anchor you’ll see it pretty quickly. That should also show up the following faults.

- Failing stop the rod at the end of the sweep I have a really bad habit of moving the rod back before the forward stroke. This takes the tension out of the d-loop. At its worst, the resulting slack leads to a big open loop and the line landing in a heap.

- Going too quickly, I get over-eager to get it right and forward stroke before the d-loop has formed.

2. Make sure you’re not pushing with that left hand. Keep the left elbow tight into your body, grip the rod with just a couple of fingers, or loop your thumb and forefinger round the handle.

3. Start getting the movements with just a few yards of line outside the tip then lengthen without shooting line until you have the whole head out. Once you’re happy, remember your cues and away you go!

4. Get somebody to watch you casting, maybe even video you.


All those are just my findings, others may have different experiences.


P.S. I always use 10ft polys with that line, it’s not a s twitchy as a Rage Compact, but it does lIke the 10 ft ones IMHO.
 

iainmortimer

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To me it sounds like you are blowing your anchor by putting too much force into the creation of the D loop and/or not pausing slightly before starting the forward cast. When above the water this part of the cast requires a little more care/less power as effectively the rod is longer.

I suggest you concentrate on deliberately setting the anchor and pause very slightly after stopping the sweep to allow both the D loop to form and the anchor gain a grip. Also make sure the forward cast is in a straight (as opposed to a curved) path. Start with a fairly short line to get the feel. Once you start to get it right it should soon become automatic.

I assume you are using the Barrio ISS line with a 39ft head (not the Switch line at 33ft) which will be an ideal length for your rod
Thanks and yes, it is the ISS line. What you say could well be the issue for I am very conscious of struggling to get the anchor to set - a wee bit more patience with a pause might just be the solution.
 

iainmortimer

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Absolutely: if it feels like you are punching thin air on the forward stroke, then it’s almost certain that you’ve blown the anchor. Take your time, watch the anchor and don’t apply too much power when starting the forward stroke, which should deliver smooth progressive acceleration. It’s often the result of trying too hard to gain extra distance, especially with the right handed Double Spey.
That feeling of punching is the perfect description. Thanks for confirming what was suggested by Richard.
 

iainmortimer

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I am right hand dominant in everything, casting is no exception. When I start the day casting left hand up I take it slowly and deliberately to make sure I’m getting the movements correct, until the muscle memory returns. Fundamentally I start off each day with relatively less control when left hand up. I concentrate to try and get the control to the same level I have when Right Hand up. Here’s what I find helps, it may help you:

1. Watch your D-Loop, Perrypokemon is 100% right on this one. If you are blowing the anchor you’ll see it pretty quickly. That should also show up the following faults.

- Failing stop the rod at the end of the sweep I have a really bad habit of moving the rod back before the forward stroke. This takes the tension out of the d-loop. At its worst, the resulting slack leads to a big open loop and the line landing in a heap.

- Going too quickly, I get over-eager to get it right and forward stroke before the d-loop has formed.

2. Make sure you’re not pushing with that left hand. Keep the left elbow tight into your body, grip the rod with just a couple of fingers, or loop your thumb and forefinger round the handle.

3. Start getting the movements with just a few yards of line outside the tip then lengthen without shooting line until you have the whole head out. Once you’re happy, remember your cues and away you go!

4. Get somebody to watch you casting, maybe even video you.


All those are just my findings, others may have different experiences.


P.S. I always use 10ft polys with that line, it’s not a s twitchy as a Rage Compact, but it does lIke the 10 ft ones IMHO.
Thanks for such a full answer Scott - I’ll give those a try.
 

morphfly

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Two seasons back on the salmon and I am really struggling left hand up with a single spey and right hand up for a double spey if I'm stood less than about knee deep. I'm using a 13'6 #8 rod coupled with a barrio short head spey line, 5' slow sink or inter poly leader and 7' to 10' of tippet. This set up generally allows me to cast very well with enough power to get a couple of clicks off my reel as the line extends but only if I'm knee deep or deeper, or off the left bank.

Put me on the right bank standing with dry feet on a shingle bank, we start on in one pool, and I just embarrass myself (as do other interestingly) because I really struggle to get the line to roll out straight and with any power until I'm stood about knee deep half way down the pool. I've tried compensating by dropping the tip a bit which seems to help a little but then the leader roll's out with a curve upstream and without any real power - often not even shooting 10' of line properly.

How should I be adapting my casting to compensate for low water because this is a right bank only pool and so I don't have the option to fish from the other bank.

Thanks.
From what you say your left hand up for single spey on left hand bank and right hand up for double spey. Are you in everyday life left or right handed?
Morphfly
 

sgellert

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There's a couple of decent apps available for analysing your casting stroke, Huddle Technique and Coaches eye, Huddle would be my 1st choice.

Al
Those look very interesting, I tried just filming with my phone on a tripod, and the builtin camera app, wasn't too useful afterwards.
 

Speytime

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Those look very interesting, I tried just filming with my phone on a tripod, and the builtin camera app, wasn't too useful afterwards.
It does give a good insight to your casting stroke, you can watch the details, you can run frames of video back and forth, so for example you can concentrate on the leader landing and lifting in slo mo.
With Huddle I found I was better recording with the phones camera then importing it, afaik it converts it to 240fps.

Al
 

iainmortimer

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From what you say your left hand up for single spey on left hand bank and right hand up for double spey. Are you in everyday life left or right handed?
Morphfly
I’m naturally right handed. I can however cast pretty well left hand up if I’m stood in deep enough water. It really is just when stood on dry land or a couple of inches of water that I struggle
 

Night Hawk

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Two seasons back on the salmon and I am really struggling left hand up with a single spey and right hand up for a double spey if I'm stood less than about knee deep. I'm using a 13'6 #8 rod coupled with a barrio short head spey line, 5' slow sink or inter poly leader and 7' to 10' of tippet. This set up generally allows me to cast very well with enough power to get a couple of clicks off my reel as the line extends but only if I'm knee deep or deeper, or off the left bank.

Put me on the right bank standing with dry feet on a shingle bank, we start on in one pool, and I just embarrass myself (as do other interestingly) because I really struggle to get the line to roll out straight and with any power until I'm stood about knee deep half way down the pool. I've tried compensating by dropping the tip a bit which seems to help a little but then the leader roll's out with a curve upstream and without any real power - often not even shooting 10' of line properly.

How should I be adapting my casting to compensate for low water because this is a right bank only pool and so I don't have the option to fish from the other bank.

Thanks.
OMG that sounds familiar (curve upstream-no power etc). Only yesterday I was so bad with left hand up, I had to stop fishing and just practise my casting with just the shooting head out of the tip ring. After about 30 minutes of continuous casting I got back on track and finished the day reasonably happy (no fish though).

I'm no expert, but I think the problem may be the sweep. Are you pulling with your top hand into the back cast to form your D loop instead of turning your torso? A YouTube video of Bruce Kruk help me a lot, when I remember to apply the principle to my own casting. I hope it helps you too.

 

keirstream

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Iain,
I used to be absolutely hopeless off my left hand until I got the prompt , if I remember correctly from Peter Anderson at the time, to slow everything right down, as slow as you like without stopping the flow, feel the weight of your line flexing the rod and only then perform the forward sweep, gradually building up speed on the forward stroke. Remember not to perform that stroke until you have a nice big, fully formed loop behind you and at that point your anchor needs to be positioned in front of you.
Finally, at that appropriate moment you will gauge yourself with a bit of practice, punch off the bottom hand.
It'll be sweet, I promise you, just make sure that your anchor is secure. If you are skipping you are either performing the cast too fast or maybe, as has been suggested previously, you need a longer tip to get everything in balance.
This technique actually makes you understand better what the perfect cast should be like off either shoulder, many of us rush a cast, that's no good.
I can now cast every bit as well off both hands. (which maybe doesn't say too much):D:D:D
 
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