Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Double Hander in the Salt

Here are some good videos I found on casting double hand in the salt. Double hand rods are especially suited for blind casting as it greatly reduces fatigue when you have to fire off cast after cast whole day long. Double hander can also handle wind and distance better. With the advance of Switch rods and modern Spey shooting heads, we no longer have to contend with heavy 15 foot rods that used to dominate the double hand scene not so long ago. 

Switches in the 10' - 11' range is especially suited for light saltwater estuary work whereas those handling big surf may opt for rods in the 12' - 13' range. Advancement in graphite rod making technology has also made double hander a lot lighter than it used to.

In this first video, the caster is using a T&T 10 footer 6wt employing snap-C, snake roll and switch cast with good effect.

In this 2nd video, Andrew Moy demonstrate the technique of double hand overhead casting in the salt. 

Here is another good video on using Switch rod in the shorline surf and estuary by Jeff Putnam with useful tips on how to time your cast in the surf. For some reason I am not able to embed the video here but you can follow this link to youtube:

Note: You can access all my blog post on saltwater spey by clicking on the "Saltwater Spey" link located on the right hand side under Labels.

Monday, December 19, 2011

TFO TiCr X Double Hand Conversion Kit

I have the TFO TiCr-X double hand conversion kit in my arsenal for a few years now but never really thought much about using it for Spey as this rod was mainly designed for overhead casting. Recently, I got interested in progressive action DH rod for saltwater Spey and started experimenting.

A true progressive action rod typically has a relatively stiff butt section with the upper sections bending progressively downwards as more and more load is being applied. This is in contrast to most Spey rods that are designed to be more regressive, loading quickly to the butt. TFO TiCr X rods attached to the beefy DH conversion kit is as progressive as it comes.

I had a chance encounter not long ago with a friend's TiCr X 6wt fitted with the DH conversion kit casting 400 grain Wulff Ambush line and was very impress with how well it loads and fire, easily forming tight loops. Before long, I started digging out out my seldom used TiCr X 5wt and tried fitting it to the conversion kit and to my surprise, it fitted rather nicely.

My on water session with the rod last Sunday blew my socks away. Matched with a 350 grain Wulff Ambush line (plus 15ft versi-leader), the rod was easily firing 100 foot cast post Perry Poke with insanely tight loops. It  has never cross my mind that a 5wt can have such performance. I have previously cast my DH TiCR X 8wt (with 450 grain Ambush line) but was never this impress. I think the key is in softening the top half of the rod to bring out the animal in it. Although the TiCr X conversion kit was originally designed for the 7 & 8wt TiCr X  rods, we know today that it will also fit the X 6wt, the non-X TiCr 6,7 & 8wt as well as the BVK 6 & 7wt rods.

This easily makes the TiCr X conversion kit a best buy from TFO for anyone wanting to make a foray into the double hand world. With just a TiCr X conversion kit, one can affordable own up to 4 Spey rods ranging from 5wt to 8wt with the corresponding single hander to boot. Two thumbs up for TFO!

The DH TiCr X 5wt will make its way to Maldives with me next year to do battle with Bonefish and Trevally. I am looking forward to it. I am sure the beefy butt section will have more than enough juice to handle the occasional big GTs.

Updated 21Sep2015:
Here is a video of TiCrX8wt conversion kit in action fighting Arapaima in Thailand. I was fishing with a 450 grain Ambush line but felt that the rod can handle heavier. I recently have confirmation from a fishing buddy that the TiCrX8wt DH handles 500 and even 550 grain very well.

Updated 29Mar2016:
I recently bought a 510 grain Airflo Skagit Switch to match with the TiCrX8wt DH and it cast great. I find it easy to fire out out 100 ft cast with this set up. The Airflo Skagit Switch is also great with static roll cast with minimum back space. I could easily roll cast 80ft with this line even with minimum D-loop space.

Arapaima on DH TiCrX 8wt

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Anatomy of a Good Spey Casting Line

Someone once asked me whether we can up-line a single-hand designated line and use it on his double -hander. The simple answer is yes but it will not Spey cast very well due to limitation of the design. It will no doubt over head cast well as it was designed to do just that but when it comes to Spey casting, there are some salient features needed for the line to Spey cast well. I will break up the Spey line into various sections and briefly discuss them here.

1) Section A-B:
This is the back taper of a typical Skagit or Scandi head. The back taper typically should be as short as possible so that it quickly merges with the thin running line (or shooting line). Since the purpose of the Skagit or Scandi Spey is to shoot line for distance, it make sense not to have too long a back taper. Typical back taper can range from a few inches to a no more than three feet. There are however exception to the rule. For the purpose of distance mending when fishing big rivers, RIO for example has incorporated a 25ft back taper to their RIO Switch line. This improved mending capability of course comes at the expense of shooting distance.

2) Section B-C:
This is the meat of the Spey line where most of the mass should be concentrated to optimize loading of  the rod. Once this section of line is aerialized by the unloading action of the rod, it will gain the necessary momentum (= mass x velocity) to pull the rest of the line (C-D-E) along for the ride. You can think of B-C as the drive train and C-D-E as being the passenger carriages on tow. In order to go the distance, this  lead section of the Spey line (B-C) should be as hefty as possible so as to provide maximum momentum for the shoot.

3) Section C-D:
This section of the line serves to link the power section of the line (B-C) to the anchor (section D-E) when a D-loop is formed. This section does not need to be as massive as B-C but should still have sufficient mass to turn over the sink tip (D-E) + fly. If this section is too light, it will fail to turn over the sink tip. If it is too hefty, it will put too much load on section B-C and slow down the overall line speed, resulting in a shorter cast. Rule of thumb is that this section must be less hefty than section B-C but must be at least as hefty as section D-E.

4) Section D-E:
In the case of a Skagit line, this section is the sink tip (or a long versi-leader in the case of Scandi). The main function of this section is to provide anchor for the cast. All spey cast require a good secure anchor to form before power can be applied effectively to the forward cast. If the anchor runs or slip, power of the forward cast will be lost and the cast will not go well. Another important purpose of this section is to turn over the fly. If we are using a heavy wind resistant fly, we will need a heftier sink tip (higher grain/ft)  to provide sufficient momentum for turn over, Otherwise if we are casting dry fly or small nymph, we can probably get away using lighter grain weight versi-leader.

Here are the profiles of some of the better casting spey line out there that embraces this general design philosophy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Skagit Set-up for Switch Rod

At a request of a friend wanting to start up on double-hander, I have put together a diagram to illustrate how a typical Skagit set up looks like. Some Skagit lines like the Wulff Ambush line comes integrated with running line whereas lines like RIO Skagit Short or Airflo Skagit Compact mostly comes as head only (~20ft) and will need a separate running line.

Every Skagit set-up will need to have a sink tip at the business end to bring the fly down. In the case of lighter Switch rods (4wt - 6wt), RIO versi-leader makes very good sink tips and is a joy to cast.

My preferred set-up for Switch rod is the Wulff Ambush line with RIO Spey versi-leader as sink tips. Here is my recommendation for the length of versi-leader to use for Wulff Ambush line up to 400 grain:

1) Floating versi-leader - 15ft
2) Clear Intermediate versi-leader - 15ft
3) Medium to Fast sink versi-leader (2.6 ips to 7 ips)- 10 ft

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goran Andersson on the Deschutes

Here is a very nicely done video on Goran Andersson, the father of underhand casting (Scandinavian Style) fishing the Oregon Deschutes river. A very insightful video on the man who invented this style of casting and how it came to be.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Intermediate Skagit Head

The wait is over..... SA finally introduces an intermediate sink Skagit head!
For the longest time I have been waiting for a fly line manufacturer to come up with a slow sink Skagit head for still water application and SA beats everyone  to it. No longer will I need to cut and join a bunch of lines to create my own intermediate sink head. This new line has Gary Sandstrom (creator of Wulff Ambush line) as the principle designer and I have no doubt will perform flawlessly given his credential. The only drawback for now is that it is only available in 400 grain onwards. I suspect the lower grain heads will probably be available later. More details of this line can be found here:

Latest update .... Royal Wulff Products just released the clear intermediate version of their popular Ambush line - The Ambush Clear Head! The line is available with integrated running line from 5wt (215 grain) to 8wt (290 grain). You can read more about this new line following this link:

With this release, intermediate sink Skagit type head is now available from either manufacturer covering 215 grain all the way up to 680 grain.

Euro Style Underhand Casting

Enlightening video on true Euro style underhand casting (Scandinavian style). Goran Anderson, the father of Scandinavian style Spey casting talks about the grip and introduces the basic Switch cast. The Scandinavian style is distinctive in the way the power comes mainly from the bottom hand (underhand) with a very compact power stroke. In contrast, Skagit style casting make use of both top and bottom hand more or less equally in the power stroke.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wulff Ambush Line

The Wulff Ambush line is my go to line for Switch rod for good reason. It is ridiculously easy to roll cast and make Spey casting a lot easier to learn. It has a 20ft tapered head joined to an integrated running line. The key to this line success is its concentration of mass near the butt end (the part joining the running line). When the head just overhangs the rod tip, most of the mass is right at rod tip making it very easy to  load  with a D-loop.

This line was not specifically design for double-hander. It was meant as a line for tight quarter roll casting and  single hand spey casting. However, with the rise in popularity of shorter Spey rods and Switch rods, this line found its niche. Gary Sandstrom designed the line for Royal Wulff. You can read more about his design philosophy and inspiration here in this newsletter:

For Spey casting with Switch and shorter Spey rods, this line match well with RIO versi-leader from 10ft - 15ft. For floating and intermediate tips, I typically use 15ft versi-leaders. For faster sinking tips, I stick to 10ft versi-leaders. The Ambush line is now available from 195 grains all the way up to 600 grains.

Here is a chart I created to reference Wulff Ambush line grain weight:

*Updated 12 Mar 2015:
Wulff Ambush line now also comes in clear intermediate sink (Ambush Clear Head) as well as neutral intermediate sink (Ambush Neutralizer).

The Ambush Clear Head is a great stealthy line for lake fishing as well as saltwater flats fishing. It has one the best intermediate running line I have come across so far. The running line has little memory, not overly stiff and neither too limber. It does not pile up on my stripping basket like most other intermediate running line. Instead, it will lay relatively flat on the basket and that helps tremendously in reducing tangle on the shoot. I also like the diameter of the running line, it is not too thin and gives positive comfortable grip during strip back.

For those who fish lakes and would like to have a slower sink line (1 ips), then the Neutralizer will fit their need. I typically use Ambush Clear Head for my saltwater flats fishing because of the faster sink rate (1.75 ips) and stealth (clear line).

It is also important to note that the Ambush Clear Head, being of faster sink rate is slight more challenging to Spey cast compared to floating head. It tends to stick to the water a lot more since it sinks faster. When using Ambush Clear Head, I typically make use of the Speed Poke to overcome this problem.

*Updated 29Jul 2016:
Royal Wulff recently added a 3wt (175gr @ 18') to their popular Ambush line. This is indeed good news for those into micro-spey. They also added half weight lines for better tuning. For example 8wt Ambush (290gr)  now comes also in 8.5 wt (325 gr). For those into longer Spey rods, they now have 650 gr @ 30'. You can follow this link to the new Ambush Line Specs

Friday, September 2, 2011

TFO BVK 3wt Switch Rod

I finally found a switch rod lower than a 4 wt to play with - the TFO BVK 3wt 10'6" Switch rod. Don't bother surfing the net looking for this rod because it is custom, or should I say semi-custom. The base for this rod is the TFO BVK 3wt with conversion kit. By adding a detachable lower grip to the set-up, I got myself an ultra lightweight Switch rod that is a real pleasure to cast and fish with. It is especially good for the juvenile peacock bass that over run some of the local ponds here. With the equally light Lamson Litespeed, it is a match made in heaven.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Wiggle Roll Cast

When fishing double-hander with intermediate sink Skagit head (custom cut), I often find myself roll casting  twice just to bring the head (and fly) up to the surface before I could commence with the main cast. Because most of my fishing is done in still water, I don't have the benefit of the current to help buoy  up the head.

I find double roll casting tiresome after a while and soon started experimenting with a different  roll technique. I finally settled on this technique that I find very workable and named it the Wiggle Roll Cast because of the wiggle I throw into the loop prior to the actual roll cast.

This roll cast is not just limited to lifting intermediate head but is also useful in lifting fast sink tip. Neither do you need to limit yourself to one wiggle. If need to, you can even throw in a double or triple wiggle to help surface the fly. In this video, I am casting a floating set up and very respectable distance can be gained with this cast as it affords a deeper and more dynamic D-Loop compared to the standard static roll cast.

Updated 22Jan2015: Here is a better version of the video in slow motion. I am casting with a TFO BVK 3wt Switch rod with a 235 grain Ambush line.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Double Spey Cast

Here is great video for learning the Double Spey Cast with detail explanation and casting demonstration. It also covers common mistakes and how to correct them. Short of buying a DVD, this is your best bet in learning the Double Spey.  

Updated 15Oct2015:
Here is another good video on the Double Spey by Jon of Ashland Fly Shop

ABC of Spey Casting with Steve Rajeff

Here is great video featuring  Steve Rajeff explaining the three predominant style of Spey casting - Traditional vs Scandinavian vs Skagit. If you always wanted to know but do not have the time or patience to read about the differences between the various style, just watch this video and you will be wiser for it. He also talked about why Skagit gravitate towards a deeper bending rod vs Scandinavian preference for a faster taper rod to focus the loop.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

RIO Modern Spey Casting Trailer

This is probably a good DVD to get if you want to get started on Spey casting. Watching the trailer, you will get a quick overview of all the various type of cast out there with a spey rod. Some not so common cast being covered are the spiral spey, wombat cast and jelly roll. In the last section, there is good coverage on single hand spey casting as well.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

RIO Scandi Short Versitip

Here is a new exciting line from RIO specifically designed for switch rod. For the longest time, my go to line for switch rod is the Wulff Ambush line. The Wulff Ambush line has a nice aggressive taper to it and cast beautiful loops without being clunky, unlike the RIO Skagit short. The Wulff Ambush line is probably the predecessor of a Skandit line (a cross between Skagit and Scandi). From the taper information available from this video, this new RIO Scandi short versitip looks more like a Scandit line to me. The long front taper should guarantee nice clean loops. The head is 23 ft and can be matched to 10ft versitips of various sink rate to cover depth. This line is should also serve well for single hand spey.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Here are two good instructional videos I found on Snap-T. Expertly done and well explained. The 2nd video below is from Vimeo which I am not able to embed here but click on this link >> Link to Snap-T video in Vimeo<< and it will bring you to the video. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Snap Poke

I recently came up with this cast when I wanted a faster the way to do the poke so that my bulky heavy  fly does not get a chance to sink too deep before the forward delivery. The inspiration for this cast came from the Tongariro Roll Cast and the Snap-T. 

In lake fishing, some of the bulky baitfish pattern that I was using simply proved too challenging to extract from the water once they are sunk more than a few inches below the surface. Instead of using a heavier setup, I find that as long as I can get the fly to stay very near the surface before the forward cast, I will have no problem casting them.... hence a faster poke is born. The snap move allows the poke to be perform almost simultaneously with the pull back stroke. This cuts the time of the poke almost in half. The Snap Poke is typically performed after a roll cast to surface the fly.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wombat Cast

Here is a cast I find useful for lake fishing. It is essentially a Snap-C going into a Perry poke. The name for this cast probably first surface in RIO's Modern Spey Casting DVD and since then, there has been rumbling among internet Spey community on what is the point of this cast. 

I too question the necessity of this sequence of move until I started playing with snap C / T to re-position my fly so that I can cast to my right after fishing out my left (without resorting to a cackhanded cast). The most obvious way is to do a Snap-C / T immediately followed by the forward cast. However, I often find this sequence unsatisfactory as the anchor is not well placed after the Snap-C and often result in a busted anchor cast or lousy turn-over due to the "Bloody-L" effect.

After some experimentation, this Wombat cast quickly gains favor. It allows me to quickly re-position my fly and re-align my anchor for a good clean cast. One useful point to note is that the Snap-C should be made with the rod initially pointing left so that the fly+leader+sink tip can land to your front-right (as oppose to landing to the extreme right or rear-right). Once that is achieved, the poke move that follows will allow you to tighten up the fly+leader+sink tip to line up with the forward cast.

Roll Cast vs Switch Cast

I often get questions from people starting out in Spey casting to explain what is a switch cast. Here is a video I made to illustrate the difference between a switch cast and a roll cast. Switch cast is the foundation of all Spey type cast and is often the first cast to learn when starting out Speying. While a traditional roll cast is limited in its D-loop size, a switch cast allows for a much deeper D-Loop to be formed and can achieve better casting distance. The switch cast is also sometimes referred to as a jump roll.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spey Casting Practice - Perry Poke

Here is a video I made to highlight some of the salient points of a Perry Poke (wrap style). In learning the Perry Poke/Wrap, I find it useful to remember the following points:
1) Dump the line in a smooth arc preferably no further than a rod length away from you. Dumping the line too far ahead of you may compromise your D-Loop formation.
2) Pay attention to where you fold the line during the dump as that would be your anchor/pivot point. As a rule of thumb, the joint where the sink tip (or versi-leader) meets the Skagit head would be where you want this fold to occur.
3) The sweep should be should be as smooth as possible transitioning into the forward cast. It is useful to think of the sweep and the forward cast as one continuous stroke with no pause in between. When done right, centrifugal force generated from the sweep will throw the fly line (skagit head) radially outwards, forming a D-Loop that swings round from your front to your rear.
3) Power the forward stroke when the top leg of the D-Loop just about line up with the targeted cast direction. The timing here is crucial to get a good cast. If you wait too long, the D-Loop would have swung round too far and tends to wrap around you in the forward delivery. If you exit the sweep too early, the D-Loop may not form properly and you would not get good loading.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Trick Cast - checking your fly

Here is a very useful trick cast to learn. It applies to both single-hander or double-hander. Ever since learning this trick cast, I no longer need to strip my fly line all the way back to check or change fly. All you need to do is to leave about 30 to 40 feet of head out of the rod tip and give it a quick snap and the fly + leader will go airborne for you to catch. Just make sure that you focus on catching the fly line or leader instead of the fly because you will likely fail miserably if you try to catch the fly and ended up looking idiotic.

What I find useful to do when there is wind or fishing at night is to use the section of the rod above the handle to try to snag the leader as it fly towards me. I find this a more reliable method then using hand. This means that if I am a right hander, I will snap the fly towards my right shoulder and extend my rod to catch/snag the leader. A very neat trick indeed.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Spey Casting Practice on Grass

Here is a video footage I made showing the effectiveness of the anchored grass leader system posted earlier (see blog archive). The venue is the field in front of Coho Fly Shop Singapore. Spey casting practice just became a lot easier and convenient with this set up. Snap T, C-Spey, Double Spey, Switch cast, Perry Poke / Wrap, Cackhanded cast are all possible with this set up.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Waterproof Phone for Anglers

Nothing to do with Spey casting but wow....a rugged waterproof mobile phone? Definitively a must have for anglers. More than once I dropped my phone into the lake/pond while fishing and once I even had to dive in to retrieve it. This new mobile phone from Sony Ericsson is godsend and someone must have heard my prayers. Soon to be launch with the latest Android OS, 5MP camera, HD video recording and scratch proof screen that works even when wet. I want one for sure....

The phone looks really good too. Here is the SE promo video with Maria Sharapova:

Why I Love Switch Rod

Watching this video, I can't help but think how I love the Switch rods. What is there not to love about it...its a lot lighter than the traditional Spey rod and a lot more versatile. I think it revolutionize Spey casting,  bringing double hand casting to a lot more people regardless of whether they fish flowing water or not.

As demonstrated by George Cook here, limited back cast room, the bane of single hand overhead  casting, instantly becomes no problemo with the use of a switch rod. I regularly fish ponds and lakes with my 4wt 11ft TFO switch and had a blast doing it as back cast room is no longer a concern. This often gives me an edge over other anglers being able to access pockets that are relatively unmolested (Big Grin).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nice Spey Casting Sequence

I really enjoyed watching this video with lots of nice spey casting sequence. Beautiful river, great  scenery. Thought I will share it here.

Anchored Grass Leader

In my attempt to practice Spey casting on grass, I found the experience less than satisfactory even when I use grass leader. About a week ago, I had a flash of brilliance and came up with this anchored grass leader concept that has proven to work well.

In this system, a long 30-40 feet mono leader that is staked to the ground is used to create the anchor effect that is sorely missing on grass. With the leader 30-40 feet away, you easily see your loop sailing out 60-80 ft when the cast is performed well. This system allows me to practice and teach Perry Poke, Perry Wrap (down stream Perry Poke) and Switch cast on grass. With the Switch cast, I find it helpful to include a short length of elastic cord between the sink tip and the mono leader to take some shock out of the system.

With this system, I get to practice my cack-hand cast in a controlled environment and made good progress within a short time. I have also successfully taught friends the Perry Poke and Wrap on grass. With the anchor securely fasten, new "Speyers" can focus more on their stroke, rod movement, D-Loop formation etc. Try it, you might like it.

Note1: When practicing forehand cast (assuming right hander), aim your cast slightly to the left of the stake to prevent the loop from crossing/crashing. If you are practicing cack-hand, aim to the right side of the stake.

Note2: For this system, you should get better feel of the casting tempo if you use a longer head spey line. For example, When I practice with a 11' switch rod, I get better feel on timing and stroke if I use a Skagit head of 27ft vs a 20ft Skagit head. This is because a short head requires very compact stroke and the whole event happens too fast. A longer head gives you a more relax tempo to work out the kinks in your stroke.

Here is a link to my video on casting practice using anchored grass leader:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tongariro Roll Cast

When I first saw the Tongariro roll cast, I thought to myself what a violent cast......
Much later after learning to Perry Poke and understanding the mechanics behind the cast, I re-visited the Togariro roll cast with better appreciation on the rational behind the cast. Here is another video by Andrew Blake with the cast done more err....gently?

The Tongariro roll cast (TRC) is essentially a Perry Poke or vice versa (don't ask me which came first). With the TRC, the poke is done with rod tip very close to the water, minimizing airborne time of the line, allowing water to grab the line sooner for the back cast. This way, the back cast can start almost immediately after the poke. In contrast, a Perry Poke will have the fly line airborne longer as it drops to the water and there is a perceptible wait before the caster can commence the back cast. So, essentially the TRC is quicker to fire off and if you have a heavy fast sinking nymph at the end of your leader, that is a big advantage.

Here is a video on the standard Perry Poke where the fly line stays longer up in the air before touch down. The caster is forced to wait a bit before commencing the back cast. Not a bad thing if you want to allow the anchor to set.

The Switch Cast

Switch cast is the foundation to almost all Spey cast. I say almost all because there are a few exceptions namely Double Spey , C-spey and Perry Wrap. Learning to do switch cast well is essential to learning Spey cast. Switch cast is also sometimes referred to as Jump Roll, inferring a more advance method of roll casting. Indeed, when executed well, the result is a much bigger D-Loop compared to the standard roll cast. So far, this is the best You-tube video I have seen demonstrating a good Switch cast.

Note how the line is being picked up by initially raising the rod tip followed quickly by a side cast (backwards) with rod tip tracking a straight line horizontal path.  In my practice with Skagit heads, I find this horizontal straight line path of the rod tip rather crucial to get a good D-loop. If the rod tip is swept upwards instead, I somehow loose loading with the D-Loop. Sweeping downwards is of course a no no as it will drive the D-loop down to the water. I find that this applies to the Perry Poke as well. After the forward poke, as long as I am conscious of tracking a horizontal straight line path on my back cast, I will get good loading for my forward cast.

Vodoo Cast

The Vodoo cast was just....well.... real vodoo when I first saw it on You-tube. The line was just flying around doing all kind of crazy loop-d-loop before the forward cast. Not necessary for fishing but impressive nonetheless. Finally someone has step forward to de-mystify the Vodoo cast. The video is quite well done and has managed to break down the cast into manageable bites. Finally I can practice some Vodoo myself.

Update 1 Sep 2015: The above video no longer exist in You-tube. Here is an alternative video : You can see the Voodoo cast being executed at 2:25 of the video.
*Tip: Use the speed setting of the Youtube video to slow down to 0.25x speed and you should see how it is executed.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

To Wrap or not to Wrap

This is the best You-tube video footage I found so far showing the wrap style of Perry poke.

Maybe I should call it "Perry wrap" instead because there is hardly any poke in the move. This video footage is truly inspiring as it illustrate the power/line speed generated from centrifugal force in sweeping the rod around in a circular arc. 

Here is the another style of Perry poke where the emphasis is more on linear back and forth motion.

The line is dump right in front of the caster and the back cast is more like a Belgium cast (side cast)  where a loop is thrown backwards before commencing with the forward cast.

The main difference between the "Perry wrap" and "Perry poke" is that in the Wrap, the rod is kept continuously loaded (by centrifugal force) throughout the sweep; whereas in the linear style Perry poke, the rod will unload on the back cast to throw a D-loop backwards and quickly loads again in the forward cast the instance the anchor bites.

I find both style useful for various fishing situations. The Wrap style is more relax and graceful whereas the Poke is more compact and requires less room to execute. I will generally gravitate towards the Wrap unless space is limited and, or I have a fast sinking big fly that needs to be yanked out of the water ASAP, in which case the Poke can be executed faster before the fly sinks too deep.

Spey cast Ogii Lake in review

Upon reviewing my video a year back when casting in Ogii lake Mongolia, I easily caught my own mistakes. In my forehand cast, my anchor point was too far out resulting in a shallow D-loop formation. Bringing the anchor point nearer would have resulted in a much better cast with a deeper D-loop. The sweep following the Perry poke looks OK as my rod tip tracks on a horizontal plane but at the end of the sweep, I made the mistake of dipping the rod tip (slightly) during the transition to forward stroke.

Spey Casting Ogii Lake, Mongolia

Helping friends with their spey cast, I now know that this dipping/downward motion of the rod tip at the end of the sweep is not a good habit to have as it tends to drive the bottom leg of the D-loop down towards water, adding unnecessary stiction/anchor to the cast . This appears to be a very common mistake to new "speyers" as their natural instinct tells them to open up their casting arc in preparation for the forward stroke.

By analyzing video footage of good skagit caster and experimentation, I soon realized that the rod tip should track an upward spiral motion during the transition from sweep to forward stroke. The smooth execution of this upward spiral motion of the rod tip during the transition stage is important as we are changing casting plane from a sweep (rod tip tracking a horizontal plane) to a forward cast (rod tip tracking a vertical/off-vertical plane). When this transition is executed smoothly, all the rod loading that is generated during the sweep is carried over to the forward cast. What this does is to pre-load the rod even before the forward cast starts. All that is needed after this is to power the rod forward with a lower hand pull followed by a high stop and good tight loop will sail AHA moment.....:)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Spey Casting in JB Pond

JB pond is a great place to practice Spey casting. This photo was taken by Mervin with his mobile phone late in the evening when we were done fishing and gathered to hone our Skagit cast. This is a great shot capturing the moment when anchor, D-Loop and rod loading all happening simultaneously. I only wish that it was taken with a higher resolution camera....then again you can't always have it all :)