In the past, translation used to be considered as a minor element inside the casting stroke; a stylistic choice. Fortunately, this view seems to be changing.
Failing to give translation the relevance it deserves looks weird to me, if only because being late rotation generally accepted as an important element in fly casting, the only thing you can do before starting rotation is translating, that is, you are never going to get late rotation without some translation first!
This past week-end I had a couple of casting sessions with an advanced student of mine. When trying 20+ meters long casts he was plagued with tailing loops, both on the back and on the forward casts. He is already well aware of the source of tails, its direct relationship with force application and why the increase in rod butt speed during the casting stroke must be progressive, without any peak before the end. The question is: how do you achieve that progressiveness?
We discussed translation and its benefits; then we practiced some drills to add some more translation to his current casting stroke . On Sunday morning we went back to the casting field. Guess what? Tailing loops had ”magically” disappeared.
Magic? Not really.
In my view, the fundamental aspect of this translation/rotation relationship is that both elements overlap at the end of the casting stroke.
It is not translation/end of translation/rotation/end of rotation, as if it were a sequence of independent events.
It is translation from the start to the end, with rotation overlapping translation late in the stroke.
Something like this:
A little bit too much of wrist and…:
Adding some translation to lengthen the rotation phase is a relatively easy way of getting rid of tailing loops. When a too “forceful” use of the wrist results in tails, adding some length to the “base” of that “V” described by rod butt rotation allows us to rotate along a longer path, and, consequently, with smaller force.
Less force along a longer distance is easier to control than more force over a shorter path. That is the magic.