Cast­ing school


Trout & Salmon (UK) - - Contents -

Eoin Fair­grieve on how to avoid slack line and crashed an­chors

Find out how to avoid slack line and crashed an­chors at the start of the sin­gle spey cast

THE SIN­GLE SPEY is ar­guably the best pre­sen­ta­tion cast in the sp­ey­cast­ing fam­ily. It causes min­i­mal dis­tur­bance of the wa­ter’s sur­face dur­ing the set­ting up of the D-loop. In one con­tin­u­ous mo­tion, line is lifted from the dan­gle and repo­si­tioned slightly up­stream of your po­si­tion to form a loop of cast­ing en­ergy. Once the line mo­men­tar­ily an­chors on the sur­face, the for­ward cast is ap­plied and the weight of line stored in the en­er­gised back-loop loads the rod. Though this se­quence ap­pears straight­for­ward, a com­mon fault is the crashed an­chor, where the line bunches on the wa­ter prior to the for­ward de­liv­ery. This is­sue can be traced to one as­pect of the up­stream cast­ing cy­cle. As the rod is lifted to re­lease the line from the wa­ter in prepa­ra­tion for the up­stream sweep, the rod tip is lifted too high. This has the pos­i­tive ef­fect of lift­ing the line from the wa­ter, but you’re now bound to ex­e­cute a sub­stan­tial con­cave dip in the up­ward path of the rod track to re­po­si­tion your an­chor slightly up­stream of your lo­ca­tion. This move­ment tends to form a high, but shal­low D-loop. It’s also likely to re­sult in a length of line a few me­tres from the tip con­nect­ing first with the wa­ter’s sur­face and the re­main­ing line, leader and fly bunch­ing up be­hind it – hence the term “crashed an­chor”. Slack line is the curse of any cast­ing cy­cle: loss of ten­sion in­vari­ably re­sults in a loss of power dur­ing the for­ward de­liv­ery. With the sin­gle spey, if the line bunches af­ter the up­stream an­chor con­nects with the wa­ter, valu­able for­ward cast­ing en­ergy from the rod is wasted re­gain­ing com­plete ten­sion in the line. This ten­sion is needed to be­gin the trans­fer of en­ergy from the rod through the line to turn over the for­ward cast. To re­duce the risk of the loss of po­ten­tial wa­ter cov­er­age, look to al­ter your up­stream set-up of the sin­gle spey. Avoid lift­ing the rod too high. With mod­ern fly-line heads tend­ing to be shorter, it’s per­fectly pos­si­ble to lift out­wards and up­wards on an el­e­vated di­ag­o­nal climb­ing path to place the an­chor up­stream of your po­si­tion. This low-to-high di­ag­o­nal lift to around about the two o’clock launch po­si­tion has two main ben­e­fits. Firstly, the pro­file of the cast­ing loop is more pointed and takes on a V- rather than a D-shape. This back-cast loop con­fig­u­ra­tion is very ef­fec­tive at trans­fer­ring en­ergy into the for­ward cast. Sec­ondly, and rel­e­vant to the crashed an­chor, the con­tin­ual lift­ing track of the rod tip will al­most cer­tainly al­low the fly-line to con­nect with the wa­ter straight and un­der good ten­sion, op­ti­mis­ing an en­ergy-ef­fi­cient for­ward cast. This lift­ing con­cept works well with float­ing and in­ter­me­di­ate lines. If us­ing denser heads with heavy flies, sim­ply roll-cast the line straight down­stream to place it on the sur­face, then per­form the sin­gle spey. Lift­ing the rod too high and then dip­ping it will cause the line, leader and fly to bunch and form a “crashed an­chor”.

A cor­rect an­chor is made just up­stream of the stance. The rod is in the two o’clock po­si­tion and the D-loop is form­ing un­der ten­sion be­fore the for­ward cast.

Start by lift­ing out­wards and up­wards on a climb­ing di­ag­o­nal path un­til the rod is in the two o’clock po­si­tion.

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