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Thread: Tailing Loops

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Gauteng
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    344

    Default Tailing Loops

    Right, so I have been f-fishing for over 5 years now and I still cast like shite so I am undergoing a challenge to improve my loops as well as my double hauls in an attempt to get a 30m cast with decent and straight presentation.

    I went and spent a bit of money on a new rod and purchased a Sonik SK4 #5/6. After a session or two in the park I was casting further than ever before BUT..... there was a nasty gremlin rearing its horrible head! Tailing loops..... You know, where you really give it for that last haul and that line goes really well till the last few meters and then just collides with itself into a nice big heap of crap!!

    So.... I hit my bandwidth with a vengeance and downloaded a monumental amount of casting videos....LEFTY KREH, TIM RAJEFF, Steve Rajeff, Mel Krieger, etc etc etc (please see links below of some decent ones I found). I use Mozilla Firefox and a little add-on that enables me to save the video to my pc (VERY HANDY) so I can view them over (and over) and whenever I like.

    Tim Rajeff - Tailing Loops- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cp36L6ttbxE&NR=1

    Leland Fishing -getting distance - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBKgdd6QA9g

    Mel Krieger - classic one that helped the penny drop - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZDOON6pZ1Y

    NZ casting instructor - watch all 5 parts, very good videography/camerawork and tips- I want to order this dvd - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRxehBEnCX8

    So...... what did I learn.....

    In the first few sessions I went right back down to basics....Lift......stop.....pause......forward stroke....... stop...... put down...... basic stuff!

    Then on to soft gentle back cast with line hand in pocket..pause......forward cast..pause..........back cast..pause........ forward cast..pause...... back cast, pause....... repeat till arm falls off!

    I was trying to focus on keeping the loops clean and tight.

    Then I proceeded to putting the double haul back in, using what I learnt in this video by Mel Krieger...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcE-9WPuZ04. And he is right, it will teach you the double haul in 15 minutes! But you have to practice it for 15 minutes!
    Last edited by dar; 17-05-11 at 10:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    CPT
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    Default

    Nice post, thanks for sharing
    Daryl Human

    The solution to any problem -- work, love, money, whatever -- is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be. --John Gierach

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Gauteng
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    Once I had the double haul back, things started to go pear-shaped very quickly

    I went through a 2 hour jam session where I nearly took my new rod and snapped it in two and cut my line up into 5000 pieces. Frustration was an understatement when your line smacks into itself on every single cast and I just could not figure out what I was doing wrong after all my days of practice and good progress.

    What I realised was this.......

    1. The start of the stroke must be soft and ACCELERATE SMOOTHLY!! Watch this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58DHN...ure=grec_index
    2. The longer the line in the air, the longer the pause, the longer the stroke!

    I was trying to force the cast and as a result I was jerking the rod into the forward stroke. This effectively puts a kind of sine wave (wobble) into the the line and seems to make the end of the line all wobbly and unstable which really gets accentuated at the end of the line until it inevitably smacks into itself.

    As for the second light bulb coming on..... I was stuck in this mode where I was trying to keep the rod tip high between 10 and 2 and it was really messing things up. As soon as I relaxed and got more line out I just let my rod travel further and a bit lower both ways. I am speculating here but I was trying to get a whole range of things done in a short stroke with a lot of line out and it just did not seem to work at all! When I watched the videos I notice that the guys would really extend their arms quite far end even let the rod come down quite low!!


    Another thing I found that was causing a problem with tailing loops is not keeping the line in the same direction on the back and forward cast. I think this was as a result of my rod forming an arc when travelling from front to back. If you view from above, I think my rod tip was making a semi-circular motion as it travelled from front to back. I tried to keep my front shot off the rod tip 180 degrees to the back shot off the rod tip. This helped a lot.

    The single biggest thing that helps with distance and accuracy and really getting my timing better is to not use my arm to cast the rod but to LET THE ROD TIP FLICK THE LINE.

    I was trying to throw the rod and line to get power. When I slowed things down completely and started to try and let the rod bend and load and do 95% of the cast, I was amazed at how that tip is able to shoot the line like a laser when you let it.

    Conclusion
    Now, lets get one thing straight here, I cannot cast and this is not an instructional guide but it might help you realise that there is a helluva lot more to casting than you might think. If you ask me to show you a tight loop right now, i will not be able to do it. But I can tell you one thing - I have done it and I have cast a whole fly line out with the backing coming to a abrupt halt and zinging the reel, and I curse because I did not have more line off. It does not happen often and when I try and do it I cast a tailing loop and fluff it completely, but when I am practicing in the park I get those moments when I can feel the rod taking over (when I allow it to) and it unleashes that line into the straightest loop you can imagine, it comes pretty close to hooking into a whopper of a fish. I need to practice a LOT more and concentrate on allowing the rod to shoot the line I am confident I will be able to cast a tight loop with a great presentation on demand.
    Last edited by dar; 17-05-11 at 11:18 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    KZN North Coast
    Posts
    1,052

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    Cool post!

    I too am a mediocre caster, and I've never really bothered to try and better it. But I'll tell you what, it turned me into one heck of a stealth fisherman. I can't cast to the far fish, but I can sneak right up on them!
    You are a perishable item. Live accordingly.

  5. #5

    Default

    Ha ha, Mel Krieger was a classic and still is, such a character... "you old f@#ckers!!" Brilliant.

  6. Default

    Dar, very cool post...

    If I might, here are the three key fundamentals to casting a fly rod, all covered in a casting lesson.

    1. Cast Like A Girl, most men believe that they can mussel anything into submission, it’s not true when casting a fly rod.

    2. Keep It Compact, not only your body, as in keep your elbow in and feet relatively close together, but also keep the casting movements short and compact.

    3. Accelerate To A Stop, all movement in the casting stroke are an acceleration to a stopping point, thus releasing the line.

    Remember that the fly rod is a spring and your movements need to impart energy into that spring, the stop then releases the energy into the line in the form of a loop and the tighter the loop the more that energy is concentrated.

    There is a fourth element, which is all about timing and release, but is you stick to those three simple fundamentals, then your casting will go a long way(so to say).

    Regards

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Gauteng
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matyx View Post
    Ha ha, Mel Krieger was a classic and still is, such a character... "you old f@#ckers!!" Brilliant.
    Yes, that was a classic, I thought I was hearing it wrong till I went back and replayed it. I believe he is dead now or am I mistaken?

    Talk of casting like a girl......http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0l9Z...eature=related
    Last edited by dar; 17-05-11 at 12:21 PM.

  8. #8

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    Yep, he died a while ago in 2008. But as they say, his legend lives on. I love the way he described stuff, so blunt and to the point!
    I'm glad you are getting to the bottom of the mistake that you were making, always lakka to figure these things out, shot bud!
    I think that its important to check your casting periodically regardless of how long you've been fishing, its easy for bad habits to slowly creep in to your style and start messing things up.
    Last edited by Matyx; 17-05-11 at 12:33 PM. Reason: PS:

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Cape Town
    Posts
    9,048

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    I can share your frustration.
    In my casting, I developed a tailing loop.
    Like you, I tried everything.

    improved the rod speed, apply the power stroke earlier/later.
    Did the Belguim cast etc etc. went for casting lessons to sort out the fault.
    If pro golfers can go to a swing coach, I can go for casting lessons.
    You know it, I tried it.
    Then one day I asked Sean Mills to have a look, maybe he can spot the difference.
    One cast and he said "slow down"
    I tried to get faster line speed, to make sure the line straigthen completely.
    I reduced the speed of the casting and VIOLA, no more tailing loops.

    A couple of years ago, I was fortunate, to spend 1,5 hours with the European casting champ of that year.
    You mentioned about keeping the line in the same plane.
    A little excersice he gave me was to stand next to a high wall. With your casting arm and rod next to the wall.
    Excersise your casting standing next to the wall.
    Very quickly, you make sure that your rod is in one plane only.
    This will improve your accurancy and help with the overall cast.

    Every wiggle or deviation from the vertical or single plane/cast, manifest somewhere in the fly line or leader setup.
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Gauteng
    Posts
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    Default

    That's it! Thanks Korrie, I will keep that in mind when I go cast tonight.

    Slowing it down is crucial..... it just makes everything smoother and helps so much with the timing and rhythm.

    Thanks for the input!

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