Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Speed Poke - A speedier way to Poke

View this at Youtube for better quality

Here is a cast that I rely extensively on when I was fishing in Maldives. The one week plus that I spent in Maldives this year flats fishing Spey style really brushed up all my strokes, especially my cack hand cast. I am really glad I put in enough hours practicing before the trip.

On the surface, this cast looks just like any normal Perry Poke but there are important differences. I call this cast the Speed Poke because all the crucial moves are speed-ed up with the objective of minimizing the sink time of the heavy fly. When Spey casting a heavy fly like the Clouser, the deeper the fly sink during the anchor set-up phase, the harder it is to yank the fly out from the water during forward cast. This will result in a what I would call a stuck anchor situation where the fly would not have enough energy to turn over properly.

When doing the Speed Poke, from the moment the fly lands in the water after the anchor placement move, everything has to move fast to minimize sink time. How I achieve this is by:
      1) starting the forward poke a split second before the fly touch down
      2) starting the rip just as the leading edge of the fly line touches water, before the main bulk of the fly line piles

In contrast, a normal Perry Poke would only start the forward poke motion after the fly touch down and the rip back would only commence after all the fly line has completely piled on the water ahead. These two adjustment to the poke makes this cast effective in handling heavy fast sinking fly.

The speed poke also makes the casting of intermediate sink Skagit head such as Skagit Extreme Intermediate and Ambush Clear Head, a lot more effective. Unlike floating heads that can sit on the water indefinitely, intermediate Skagit heads sinks during the forward pile. This results it more stick and makes it harder to rip and energize the D-loop. The Speed Poke solve this problem by only letting the line touch water momentarily but not long enough to become sticky. The video below emphasis this point more clearly.

Here is another video of the speed poke performed in saltwater flats fishing


  1. Yuem.

    I'm learning so much from the site, excellent thanks.

  2. Yuem Mah,
    Thanks so much for you videos and site about Spey Casting in the salt. Your one of the few people who has any kind of videos or info on using double handed rods in the salt. Most people over-hand cast. I'm going to start fishing for stripers off the beach in San Francisco. The problem that I have with overhand casting is that I'm left handed and the wind during the spring and summer always blows from my left side which is dangerous when your casting big flies. I thought that Spey casting (which I can do effectively with either arms would solve this problem). I still haven't attempted to do this yet in the surf and the surf is pretty rough at Ocean Beach off San Francsco, but your videos haven't given me a lot of inspiration and excitement to try. Thanks so much... Wesley Wong

    1. Thanks Wesley for your encouragement. If you want to Spey cast in the surf, I highly recommend Switch rod matched with short head Skagit lines like Wulff Ambush Clear / Skagit Extreme Intermediate. I find Intermediate lines work best in the surf. Of course, if you are left handed and with wind coming from the left, you will need to master your cack-hand Spey cast in order not to have the line wrap around you during the cast.