A Little Exercise

As an attachment to the previous articles on tailing loops (here and here) now an exercise on diagnosing a common casting fault. You are a casting instructor and your student is getting a recurrent tailing tendency. I shot this clip yesterday, playing as student and instructor at the same time. After dozens of plays I still can’t say what the origin of the problem is, even seeing when it is produced (watching carefully you can see the slight rise of the rod tip and the subsequent wave in the line).

What I know is that I was playing with the haul, trying to release the line just at loop formation (wherever that is). That could have resulted in a premature end of the acceleration of the hauling hand and the immediate tip rise. But, honestly, I don’t know and find incredibly difficult to diagnose and cure this kind of things.

21 comments on “A Little Exercise

  1. flyslinger says:

    Hi Aitor

    It looks as if you are starting your haul too soon and too abruptly, causing the tip to dip before the rod is perpendicular, it’s easier to dip the tip there with only a minute bend in the rod, than it is after where the angle between the line and the rod makes for a stiffer rod and a bend moving faster up the rod. Almost using pullback and sticking the rod up at the end there doesn’t help either. 🙂

    Cheers
    Lasse

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  2. Malik says:

    A usual, very interesting Aitor, thank your for the discussion.

    First of all, I am not sure that we should, here, really speak about a tendency to TL or… many cast presented as correct show some tendency to TL.

    Sometimes, I have a very pragmatic approach of the problems : there is a lot of example of problems of which we do not know the causes, but about which we know that by such or such way we manage to resolve it, at least to some extent.

    1) Here, I would say first that it seems to me that you continue to apply some power to the rod after the loop formation. According to my experience, this could cause some light losses of tension somewhere in the loop which can, in some case, contribute to cause a tendency to TL. Not sure if you really do it here and if you do it, if it plays an active role on the TL tendency in this case.
    2) Then, I also note that you raise a lot your rod — and then your rod tip — between 00:02 and 00:04, after the formation of the loop : combined with the “mechanical” tip rise due to the interruption of the haul at the moment of the loop formation, I think that tends to pull the rod leg of the loop upward, while the second part the fly leg (the final part of the fly leg), as it happens very often on a switch cast or belgian cast, “delays” setting itself in the trajectory of the front loop.

    A simple solution, would be here, in my opinion :
    a) to do a slightly longer and softer haul, combined with
    b) a slightly longer casting stroke (which is probably a bit short regarding the length of the line in movement) and
    c) to replace this sort of false-pullback you make somewhere at 00:19 by a real follow-through, slightly lowering (and not rising) the tip of the rod after the loop formation

    What do you think about that ?

    Best regards

    Malik

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    • Aitor says:

      What I think is that I like you pragmatic approach 🙂

      1) In my view any wave in the fly leg can only be generated before loop formation; after that, whatever motion the rod does will affect the rod leg.

      2) To be honest I don’t know why I raised the rod so much. I placed the camera in a tripod and began playing with different things.
      Since waves in the fly leg come from the tip rising, anything making the tip to rise is a problem. But I refer to point 1): The only rising that can form a wave in the fly leg must occur before loop formation.
      I don’t get what you mean with that “delay” of the end of the line.

      Thanks for your input, Malik.

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      • flyslinger says:

        Hi Actor

        Why do you only see the rise as a way to form the wave? I’m just as interested in the dip, as that’s where the line is accelerated in the direction of the coming rodleg.

        Cheers
        Lasse

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      • Aitor says:

        Hi Lasse,
        Think of a curve mend versus a reach mend. Very similar.

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      • flyslinger says:

        Hi Aitor

        Can’t see the comparison sorry 😦

        Cheers
        Lasse

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      • Aitor says:

        Both mends make a wave, but the apex of each one points in opposite directions.
        Must film something about that to clarify. 🙂

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      • Malik says:

        Hi Aitor,

        My pleasure.

        1) I’m 100% with you about the point 1, my point was only to say that a loss of tension in the rod leg of the loop after the loop formation (due to a wrong application of the force) could have some strange effects on the loop and could enter in the TL complex process.

        2) As you know I’m not a spey cast expert, but I will suggest that the kind of “upside down loop” of the backcast of the switch, i.e. with the fly leg of the D loop clearly situated under the rod leg, can have some consequences on the fly leg during the front cast in case of slight bad timing, anchorage problems or too short casting stroke. By “delay” I just mean that with a switch you need some space (or time) to re-aligne all the line in the direction of your front cast, depending of your point of anchorage and of the length of the fly leg of your D-loop —  an issue that you don’t have with a classical backcast if your timing is correct. So, when I look attentively at your video I see that the end of your line is still presenting a closed bracket shape — something like that ” ) “— at the moment of the loop formation. So it is to late to correct it and I suspect that this bracket shape ” ) ” we see at the end of the line at the moment of the loop formation could be the main origin of the “wave” in the fly leg.

        By the way, according to me the “dip” explanation of Lasse is complementary, not necessarily contradictory with the other attempts of explanations.

        Bye !

        M.

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  3. Aitor says:

    1)I agree. Too many variables at play.

    2) Do you mean that the D loop is still present at loop formation, and that line configuration could be the origin of the tail?
    I think that this is a common thing to all spey casts: you make the casting stroke and the anchor leaves the water afterwards.

    In my view the main point in any tail is the rise of the rod tip. If you go frame by frame over slo-mo videos the wave always appear when the tip rises, not when it dips. This case is an example.

    Thanks for your input Malik!

    Like

    • Malik says:

      Hi Aitor

      “2) Do you mean that the D loop is still present at loop formation, and that line configuration could be the origin of the tail?”

      Yes, at least at the origin of the “tendency” to the TL. The two legs do not collide just because they are not in the same plane from the formation of the loop until the fly leg becomes shorter than the rod leg. If the loop were perfectly parallel (in relation to the plane of the rod), let’s say between 00:21 and 00:31, we would have, in my opinion, a TL.

      I think that the dip-and-rise movement of the tip during the casting stroke can play a role in the formation of the wave and will probably give a TL if the casting stroke is to short in relation with the length of the line. But I don’t think it is, in this case, the main origin of the wave.

      But may be I’m wrong and all my view are pure b…..t. 🙂

      Whatever, thank you to offer us such an interesting food for thought.

      Best Regards

      M.

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      • Aitor says:

        Hi Malik,

        I think that a lot depends on how we define a tailing loop.

        For me it isn’t about the fly leg crossing or colliding the rod leg: if we look at any roll or spey cast that crossing happens all the time without being a problem. In my view a TL is just a wave in the fly leg of the loop.
        I think that most of the time it is caused by a faulty acceleration during the stroke, but I have chosen this clip cause I think it shows some other issues. Real ones, not staged.

        Too short a casting stroke is a good point given the “sticking up/pull back”, but, as you say, I think that isn’t the problem.

        Thanks for your food for thought! 🙂

        Like

  4. Harry says:

    Keep up the great work of investigating issues with the help of your hi-speed camera. I’ve started using Ubersense with casting clients to help pinpoint issues but your thoughts on TLs will improve my instruction. How about some work on rod hand path and impact on loop shape?

    Like

  5. Aitor says:

    “Why do you only see the rise as a way to form the wave? I’m just as interested in the dip, as that’s where the line is accelerated in the direction of the coming rod leg.”

    Lasse,

    Obviously the dip is important: without a previous dip there can’t be any rise of the rod tip. But the wave appears when the tip rises, not before. Think of a tail as a capital “V” shape: the dip sets the left side of the “V”, the rise sets the right side.

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  6. Malik says:

    Hi Aitor

    Just watch once again your “Slipping anchor” video https://vimeo.com/38657861

    I wonder if a part of the tail wave of the rod leg in “Troubleshoting” could not be also due to a slight lost of line tension caused by a slipping anchor. (Sorry for the accumulation of hypothesis :-), it is my less pragmatical side)

    Bye

    M.

    Like

    • Aitor says:

      Hi Malik,

      I had never related tailing loops to slipping anchors. A very interesting point.

      Just two ideas come to my mind:

      1.- Slipping anchors happen after the stroke. That would mean that tailing loops can be independent of rod tip path.

      2.- Not sure about slipping anchor resulting in loss of tension: the line tip going backwards also results in the rod leg of the D loop getting longer.

      Thank you for your input! 😉

      Like

  7. Malik says:

    Hi Aitor,

    Thank you very much for your answer.

    “1.- Slipping anchors happen after the stroke. That would mean that tailing loops can be independent of rod tip path.”
    – I’m wonder if we are sure that a slipping anchor can not also happen during the stroke ? Sorry if it is a classical debate among speycaster :-).

    “2.- Not sure about slipping anchor resulting in loss of tension: the line tip going backwards also results in the rod leg of the D loop getting longer.”
    – I think that the anchorage can also be defined as a way to keep line tension in the D loop in order to have an effective casting stroke when we apply the force. So, if I am right (and may be I’m not), a slipping anchor will put some slack somewhere in the line and compromise the effectiveness of the stroke.

    According to me, TL can also be sometimes the result, direct or indirect, of a loss of tension somewhere in the fly leg. For instance, I have observed that, on a classical overhead cast, a bad timing (i.e. to start the forward cast before the correct unrolling of the back cast loop and vice versa ) is often at the origin of a loss of tension, which I understand (for the moment) as a cause for a strong tendency to TL. The question is to know if this loss of tension is an effective cause a per se cause or only a “permissive”/indirect one for this tendency — as the caster, for instance, feel the loss of tension and then tends to apply to much force in order to put some tension again in the line.

    Have a nice evening

    M.

    Like

    • Aitor says:

      “I’m wonder if we are sure that a slipping anchor can not also happen during the stroke ? Sorry if it is a classical debate among speycaster.”

      It is just what I’ve seen so far analyzing videos. I don’t know of any debate about it but I am sure that most of speycasters disagree 🙂

      That loss of tension (due to a slipping anchor or bad timing on an overhead cast) and its consequence is something that deserves some study.

      Let’s say that I slip my anchor even during the forward stroke, should I always get a tail? Will try to film something.

      IMHO when you get a tail due to starting too early in an overhead cast the reason is that you are accelerating just a short part of the line, the part of the line still moving backwards is a passenger of the cast: it will decrease line speed as it incorporates itself into the forward cast.
      That is why it requires less effort to make an overhead cast than a roll cast (even on grass and anchored).

      We should discuss all of this at a table with some weiss bier. It is easier that way. 😀

      Like

      • Malik says:

        Yes, I agree, with Weissbier or vino tinto 🙂
        Unfortunately i can’t go to the EWF this year, but I will have some time this summer !

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  8. Aitor says:

    “The question is to know if this loss of tension is an effective cause a per se cause or only a “permissive”/indirect one for this tendency — as the caster, for instance, feel the loss of tension and then tends to apply to much force in order to put some tension again in the line.”

    Yes, I agree. In my view it is the feeling of no-resistance what makes the caster to apply more force.

    Like

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