10:00 ?

For me, it is quite obvious that 10:00 is the first compulsory stop. It’s a bit like grandma’s 10 o’clock recipe, book under the arm and whoever deviates from it is immediately chastised. So, whether a novice or an advanced caster, this is how I start, rod at the water level and we go up slowly (slowly!) until 10:00. Of course before that, I took care to show them the ideal length of the line, the arm stretched vertically and the line touching the water. 10 o’clock is then the perfect position… Perfect for a few seconds, maybe even less?
My last student was not convinced at all.
I continue my diatribe by taking the line out of the water up to the knot with the leader to avoid having to tear the line out of the water and finally having the arm, and the rod, go over the vertical under the impulse. It is at this moment that I introduce the importance of avoiding all the parasitic movements, twisting of the body, movements of the wrist, rotation of the shoulder, etc.

I have started this way so many times that it is a long and quiet river.
But, no, for my student, his two courses and his own experience, nothing could be done. For 2 days, not only did he not stop at the sacrosanct 10 o’clock, but he continued to savagely rip the silk.  Despite all this, his cast still regularly finished very well: a long loop closed enough to cross and a power to carry the fly.

In spey, it’s easy to show, you take the line out of the water to leave only the leader and you have to find the right balance, the minimum impulse to be able to move the nylon from its current position to the anchor position. Let’s forget about energy to create the D-Loop for a moment. The demonstration is simple, the recitation just as much, the line must hover just above the water and come to rest at the anchor. I show it, it’s very visual, the fly comes out of the water half a inch, hovers nicely and comes to rest taut nylon in its new position. The hollow at the top serves to fix it.

In traditional casting, the demonstration is more difficult. The speed between the water and 10h must be perfect to load the rod AND keep it loaded. The only purpose of stopping at 10 o’clock is to give the line time to come out of the water completely without letting the rod straighten. Finally, the acceleration between 10:00 and 12:00 must finish the job and use the weight of the line to load the rod forward to its maximum. At this point, all that remains is to stop the rod at noon to transfer the maximum of this energy in a spring effect towards the back. In the same way, the magic is to find the synchronization so that the rod goes from the front to the back and that all the time the line is extended, it keeps the maximum tension until the moment when all the line stretched to the back, we begin the movement towards the front which will reinforce the tension of the rod. A new stop, and the rod gives back all the power and throws the line and fly forward.

Going back to the course, what he didn’t understand was my insistence on talking about 10:00. How could this position solve the problem, regardless of the length of the line? In fact, he must have thought that since he had much more line than my ideal length, lifting the rod at 60 degrees couldn’t get it completely out of the water. So I had to reverse my talk and stop with the position and talk about dynamics. Lifting the rod to get the line out of the water at the right speed to keep the rod banded until a slight movement of the hand is all that is needed to lift the leader out of the water and begin the acceleration to the vertical.

It just so happens that all of this happens around 10:00 a.m., but that must be a coincidence.