I have been regularly shooting slow motion videos of fly casting for the last ten years or so, and many of my filming sessions show some unexpected things that make me think and learn, and even change some of my previous views. Reality trumps fly casting models every time.
The following video is the result of one of last week’s filming session. At first sight, the appearance of two loops on the very same back cast was puzzling. Then I noticed how my leader was momentarily caught by the grass; how that short pull affected the rod tip; how, as a result, a small wave was formed in the line (a tiny tailing loop in fact) and how all those ingredients resulted in that weird loop configuration.
Did you notice that I love to study fly lines in slow motion? 😎
As a rule of thumb, any curvy shape in the fly leg of the loop is the telltale of some kind of casting problem. The most popular (or should I say unpopular?) of them being the tailing loop. But not all of those shapes are tailing loops. Another usual curvy shape is the dangling end; it is pretty recurrent in long casts —although, depending on the conditions, it can appear in short ones as well. Clarifying the difference between the two is not a trivial issue, as each one has a different origin and —more important— a different cure.