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A Golf Swing Tip That Will Improve Your Fly Cast

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April 29, 2011

A Golf Swing Tip That Will Improve Your Fly Cast

By Kirk Deeter

Golf and fly fishing are very similar… one sport played (mostly) dry, the other played (mostly) wet. They’re both about physics, and what happens between the ears is critical. As such, there are many lessons to be learned on the links that can be applied to the river, and vice versa.

For example, I often compare the golf swing with the fly cast. In both cases, it’s all about the “lever.” Look at the photos here, and track along with my logic...

This is me, swinging a 5-iron. I’m right-handed. The major flaw in my golf game is when I try to “wrist” the swing, using my right (dominant) hand to power the shot.

By doing that, I actually take the energy and accuracy away from my stroke. This "chicken wing effect" is ugly (I know). On the left of these side-by-side photos, I’m “wristing” my shot. As a result, I hit the ball to the right (a slice), and I lose at least 30 yards in distance.

But when I figure it out (in the right photos), I keep my left arm dominant through the swing, and thus make my arms (and not my wrists) the power lever, I hit the ball straight, and it flies 180 yards, as intended.

Transpose that to the fly cast. I’ve heard, over and over, that a good fly cast is “all in the wrist.” And that’s complete baloney. You can get away with “wristing” a cast at very short range, but when you want to unfurl a longer cast, you need a large “lever” to power that cast, not a small one. Use only your wrist, and you have no more than six inches of flex and power to make your shot. Make your arm the lever, by maintaining a semi-stiff wrist through the casting stroke, and you also put appropriate energy into that long fly rod, where it belongs.

If you have problems with tailing loops, open loops, or your cast falls short of the mark, odds are when you look at your wrist, it appears something like this.

Make your wrist look more like this, and you’ll get more from the fly rod as you cast.

So when you cast for distance, think “big lever, little lever.” Big is good, little is bad. Remember that, and you’ll shoot your line farther, straighter, and more consistently on-target...I promise.

Comments (42)

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

AGH deeter, do I luv to disagree with you. Look at the hips in the early photo that turn out of the way to hit the ball, and allow the club to track towards the target. Then look at the hips that you say you overpowered with the right hand..they didn't clear out of the way. My fault with the no wrist fly casting concept is..it doesn't create line speed. It creates tension in the arms trying to restrict the wrist. Every use of a "bat", a lever, uses the wrists to create club head, lever speed..a tennis racket, baseball bat, a golf club, but in fly casting we want to teach a no wrist concept. It is all about tracking the rod tip on a straight line path, and you can do that IF, you start with a straight out wrist, not cocked up, and the forearm comes up and back, and the shoulder LIFTS up at the back/stop of the stroke. The right wrist can then rotate creating power in say a 45 degree angle, and the forearm and the shoulder will prevent the rod tip from tipping over. Short casts, no need for much wrist at all. The rod, in your bottom photo will never tip over that far if the forearm comes up and back and the shoulder lifts at the top of the stroke.. rod will be angled back to say 1:00 in an overhead cast, and that is enough to clear the fly, and create a tight loop.

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from kirkdeeter wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You can disagree Sayfu. I think that's cool. You're wrong... but it's cool.

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from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Your golf game must be better than mine becaue I would say both sports are played (wet) in my case..... but that just gives me a chance to scout out the best fishing holes on the links

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Deeter ..Wrong? I was a golf instructor as well, and the hip turn in your two examples makes your point improper.(for no better word.) The lack of hip turn in the one caused the club to be thrown outside the line, and the ball pushed to the right not your wrist.... Wrist moves.. forearm comes up and back,... shoulder comes up, and the wrist will snap to a stop with the rod tip staying on a straight line, not like in the photo...and that's a fact (when fly casting)

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from jdstarke wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I gave up golf because it was so frustrating! I can make a bad cast with a fly and still be happy with the day!
The only similaraties is that you get to enjoy a cold beer at the end of the day!

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from Koldkut wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Say, why is your shoulder doing anything in a fly cast?

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I was coaching a casting clinic for young children 8-14 a couple weeks ago. The hardest thing for the kids to learn was keeping the wrist straight or fairly straight. Wish I had this tip earlier. The important thing was we had a lot of fun and lots of kids were introduced to a fly rod.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

koldbut. Why the shoulder? Because as your forearm moves up and back if you do not lift your shoulder, and raise the rod tip, your wrist WILL tip back throwing the line down in back like deeter says. If you make a short cast where the angle of cast is steeper then no problem, you don't have to lift your shoulder. But as you lengthen out the cast, and the angle flattens out some the shoulder has to come up. I have arthritis in my shoulders, and I eliminated the pain by not raising my shoulder when I make a longer cast, say 40 ft. and further. My backcast stunk because of it because on that last 6" of backcast the tip would be thrown down, the loop would open way up, and be thrown down as well following the rod tip. I watched a video of John Wulff awhile back, and she solved my problem completely. I could even post the link of Joan demonstrating the backcast just as I told Deeter. Straight wrist at the start, the wrist rotates as the forearm comes up and back, and the shoulder raises at the end of the stroke. That keeps the rod tip on a straight path. What that amounts to also, is body parts working together just like the golf swing has body parts working together. In casting, it is the wrist, forearm and a the shoulder. On distance casting I even rotate the hips which helps my backcast go straight back because I cast 3/4 to the side, and the cast tends to go off to the side. It has been my opinion for sometime that we make a big mistake by limiting the wrist involvement. Every athlete uses the wrist when using a bat (lever) but fly casting instruction often states the wrist as the problem, and to not use it. You greatly hamper your ability to cast very far doing so. It is just a matter of coordinating the wrist with the other body parts. The wrist tipping back to 1:00 creates the loop size that allows the line and fly to form above the tip. Use no wrist and a big fly, and cast up to 12:00 stopping the rod, and the big fly can break your rod.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

buckhunter...good you got them interested. Now if they continue their interest, and improve their casting, they WILL use there wrist. I doubt that anyone can cast, say 50 ft. without a lot of wrist involvement. Why not learn early on what you will soon turn to shortly thereafter?

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from Koldkut wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

A wise man once wrote "There are casts that catch fish and casts that do not." while another even wiser man said "There exists what might be termed a classic stroke, much like Tiger Wood's golf swing, you can use a variety of techniques to get the fly where is has to go.....If your casting is different from that of your buddy, that's not a problem. It just has to work for you, and not anyone else." If you saw my cast, you could preach until your blue in the face, it's a good cast, maybe not a John Wulff textbook cast, but in point 1 above, some of my casts do manage to catch fish.

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from Koldkut wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

meant to add, I don't move my wrist much while casting. With streamers, you want the loop to open up, and with double and triple fly rigs, a larger loop keeps me out of trouble more.

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from rdorman wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

makes perfect sense Force=mass x acceleration and since acceleration is equal to change in velocity/change in time...thus Force=mass x (change in velocity/change in time) So thus the stiffer wrist changes velocity more in less given time...not to mention the vectors involved...and it's assistance in maintaining a plane

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

koldkut..Didn't get that one. If you want to open up your loop you rotate your wrist more not restrict it. And if someone throws streamers a lot dial up the Belgium Cast...It's the cast to use for streamer casting.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

rdorman..Wow! Hope no one is reading this topic section wanting to learn to cast. A flexible wrist greatly accelerates clubhead spead in golf, a tennis racket etc. I'm sure if you tell Tiger Woods to deploy a stiff wrist he will understand he would be able to hit the ball a lot farther.

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from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I say this as a qualifier: I am a 10 handicap and for this discussion and all intent and purpose there is no wrist in golf or casting. (yes there are specific times but not in general.) For one thing it is not a stiff wrist but a supple wrist with out tension, a relaxed wrist. The fore-arm, wrist and rod become a clear unit, not three pieces. It is not the wrist that generates line speed, but the size of the casting arc in relationship to the amount of line you have out and, more importantly, the Stop at the end of each cast. ( I know you can add drift to the back cast for distance on the hauls.)
When you break your wrist you open up the the cast, creating a wide loop. A wide loop does not follow a SLP and thus you lose accuracy and line speed. As Sayfu says do the Belgium cast for larger/multi flies, but it is not done with a weak wrist.
One more thing: Using a weak wrist in your cast will lead to fatigue in a short time, since you are now using the weaker tendons of the wrist then the stronger muscles of the fore-arm. In short: It just ain't right!

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from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Guys stay on point. We're discussing wrist here.

Sayfu: It is just a matter of coordinating the wrist with the other body parts. The wrist tipping back to 1:00 creates the loop size that allows the line and fly to form above the tip. Use no wrist and a big fly, and cast up to 12:00 stopping the rod, and the big fly can break your rod.

I disagree: I teach mobile handicapped people how to fly fishing, they are in a chair. There is no hip, foot position. It is not the wrist that allows you to move the tip to 1:00, rather a larger casting arc with proper arm/wrist/rod positioning. STANCE: you might have hip rotation/ open or closed stances/ strange head positions in fly casting but it doesn't really matter if, in order to get the full physics of the rod to play, you don't have the five elements in a cast SSPP-slp (No slack, Stroke, Application of power, Pause (stop) all equal a straight line path. Lefty, Mel, Joan, Joe Libeu... all casting masters will tell you that the broken wrist is a weak wrist.... regardless where hip/nose/ass or toes are pointing.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You sure have a right to disagree, but do it yourself. If you start with the thumb pointing towards the water, your wrist straight, or even tipped down slightly you can rotate your wrist 100 degrees to 1:00 the wrist moving in coordination with the forearm, elbow allowed to come up, and the shoulder up slightly near the end of the stroke, and the rod tip will track of a straight line path, all but the wrist/arm movement from 12 to 1:00 which becomes the size of the loop, and allows a fly to pass overhead and not strike the rod tip. I can sit in your students wheel chair, and get a fly far out in the water using my wrist in that way, but sure can't get it out very far with no wrist involvement. The more I look at Deeter's golf club photos the more it would make a golf instructor cringe at the deeter's notion that it is the wrist that pulled that club across his body, and to the left. Your wheel chair students do not have to use the hips, and stance to cast, they can't. But they can coordinate the wrist, with the forearm, with the elbow coming up, and the shoulder lifting slightly. Then if they can learn to double haul they can throw some impressive line out on the water. The big problem I see all the time, and I've taught fly casting for 30 yrs. now, and have had instruction from Rajeff, the guy that was Scientific Anglers fly line designer, fly cast instructor, and a super knowledgeable guy,(and he retired about 5 yrs ago now, and I can't think of his name?) maybe you can,..Joan Wulff who put on a demo at our big fly tying/fishing Expo several years ago, and I attended, ...Mel Krieger, who taught fly casting all over the world, has instructed me, and I even called Dave Whitlock on questions regarding fly casting. The biggest fault that newbies have, is taking the rod up and back. They want to just take the rod back with their wrist,and the rod remains out front. I see it on a commercial that uses a guy standing out in the river casting...usually terrible technique, the guy just cocks his wrist and the rod never goes up and back. I teach it like throwing a ball. Throw it like I described, and don't take it back like a baseball player takes it back, and it is casting like a girl throws a ball, and not an athletic girl. Hope you get my point..I get in to casting, and have for a long, long time.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

flutter..Please! Look at a golfer's club in the hitting area, or just before impact. The club is angled back behind the ball just before impact, and the hands are near the ball. And you are telling me that the club is squared up at impact without a lot of wrist greatly increasing the clubhead speed in that hitting area? There is no way the club would get squared up, and guy's able to hit 300 yd drives unless the club head was greatly accelerated by the wrists. And as a 10 handicap you think deeter's photos are appropriate for what he is suggesting? The hips in one where the arms, hands, club go towards the target have the belt buckle pointed towards the target, and in the other the belt buckle is pointed out to the right. I think I can get your handicap down to 5 by just understanding that.

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from rdorman wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

'm not entirely disagreeing sayfu, but when you cast are you limp wristed, using your wrist a lot? or is 90% of the time your wrist has no movement...i'm nowhere near a proffessional golfer, but i'm pretty sure the wrists don't bend much at all...Deeter can you answer that?

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

rdorman. No limp wrist, but it isn't firm as well, as a firm wrist caused tension in your forearm, and you can't make good athletic moves with tension in your arm. That is what happens often when athletes are under pressure..tension moves in, and performance goes to heck. You can easily move the wrist through a 180 semi circle if you do not bring the arm up and back, and that throws the rod tip in a semi circle and the line as well. But if you do the same move with the wrist, and follow the wrists movement with the forearm moving up and back the wrist is restricted to a 100 degree rotation I would estimate, as moving from a straight out wrist with the rod tip near water level to 12 is a 90 degree move, and tipping it back slightly I am guessing is 100 degrees. It is a relaxed, under control flex with the last portion greatly accelerating the rod tip. That distance caster from the San Fransisco club describes that last wrist move as a ?? ..a tightening of the grip and solidly stops the wrist. Can't now think of the term that he says all distance casters use that accelerates the line. A big part of the problem here, as I see it, is it doesn't appear the wrist does much because the forearm is moving along with the flexing of the wrist, and the elbow rising, and the shoulder slightly rising. Just thought of the term that distance champ uses for the wrist when it stops...he calls it the "SQUEEZE" I have watched many a beginner rotate that wrist 180 degrees, but it happens because the arm doesn't move the rod up and back. That is my description of it anyway. You can watch a guy that uses no wrist, and they appear very stiff, and mechanical, and then watch someone who blends it all in, and you wonder how they could cast so far so effortlessly...same as a golfers swing. Same as a pitcher that throws 98 MPH...it appears effortless, as if they were just playing throw and catch.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

In the photo on the top left, it could be said that you "cast" the clubhead, unhinging your wrist early, releasing the stored energy before striking the ball. I know this is not a good move in golf and am told it is no good for your fly-cast either. I've done both. If you're ever in S.Jersey we can play some golf.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

rdorman, the wrist does hinge and unhinge quite a bit, especially the right wrist. This is where a lot of the clubhead speed comes from. Ever see a small guy hit it a mile?...good wrist hinge, lag and release. I'm a high handicapper (16) but i understand the golf swing, just not mine.

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

i don't know if i want to go fly fishing or play golf.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I'd go fly fishing. I was teaching a beautiful young lady to play golf one time. I snuggled up behind her, took her arms, and was helping her develop her stroke when unfortunately our zippers got stuck together..the zipper on the back of her short skirt, and my fly. I told her we'd have to waddle over to the clubhouse where I could get a pair of pliers, and hopefully get us free. Just before we got there, somebody came out, and threw a bucket of water on us.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

koldkut...you sure can get the job done different ways. There is not one way to do much of anything, BUT..many a wise man has demonstrated that "in the hitting area, be it any kind of bat, or lever, as Deeter calls it, the fundamentals are the same. The takeaway can look strange, looped backswing, cast, funny stance etc., but in the hitting are the fundamentals are the same..In your case, they are not..you make the call.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

I have been fly fishing a long time and have been lucky enough to be able to ignore all of the technical jargon being thrown around concerning casting, equipment, flies and fly rods. In short, I just enjoy the sport and if someone tells me I have a casting flaw (and they have) I just grin and move on. The sport of fly fishing is much more enjoyable that way. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy a good rod, a well placed cast and a well tied fly but in my opinion there are no right or wrongs as long as you are having fun. So what if you have tailing loops and do not catch as much fish as the next guy. It is not a competitive sport.

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from rdorman wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

good reply buckhunter

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter! Come on! The hatch is on...the steelhead are running. Your fishing partner is playing a steelhead, and stepped in to catch another one. You, on the other had tossed a tailing loop, and have working on getting untangled for the last half hour. Where the rubber meets the road, do you always believe what you say? I have yet to witness an angler that doesn't get upset when others are catching fish, and they are incapacitated sitting on the bank trying to undue a screw-up.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, Not everyone throws an elbow in church league basketball.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter..The very most dangerous basketball that I ever witnessed, and I was a college basketball player, was in my small town's city league basketball played in a band box of a gym, and there were church league teams entered...broken bones, fist fights, some dangerous, drag out brawls..big guys that were over the hill still trying to play like they use to play. But you bring into focus a thought I have about fly fishermen. Why do the want to tip toe through the tulips, smell the roses, enjoy the moment, and all of that emphasis? I've contended that maybe most that participate in fly fishing have little athletic ability. They were nice fellows in school that wouldn't say schit if they had a mouthful. Why would they emphasize no wrist in a cast when every other sport using a bat, or throwing involves a lot of wrist? And casting a flyline is a lot like throwing a ball. The coordinated movement of wrist, arm, shoulder is very much the same. I have yet to see someone perform very well without some kind of competitive spirit, some fire in the belly...but to each his own. I really could care less, but I do like to help those that want to improve, and do not want to be mediocre at what they do.

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from backcast wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter, plus 1. Church league hoops can get downright nasty, that's for sure. Everybody thinks they MJ or Kobe. Quick tip:when you're fishing and get a tangle in the leader, cut it out and re-tie if it's gonna take you longer than two minutes to untangle. That way you're back fishin' quicker. Don't spend half an hour trying to undo a mess.

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from backcast wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, where did you play? Back in my prime, at 5'11" in my bare feet, I had a 35" vertical, straight up, no steps. Could dunk one hand, two hands, catch it of the glass and flush it, and if I was really gettin' up, two hand reverse. Still puttin' it to use jumping smaller streams in a single bound, while wearing waders. Felt soles not recommended though. Fly fishing is the only thing I've ever done that I find more fun than hoops.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

backcast...great for you. If you are a White guy, I have seen only one White guy in my life do what you said you could do, and that kid was 6'1" and a 7' high jumper besides in track. Where'd you go so soft? Why no interest in bettering yourself? I think I made my point very clear. There are a lot of fly anglers that luv to sit on the bank, and meditate, the out of body experience thing. Take this thread..most wanted no one within 400 yds of them, or their space felt violated. Either those that say that are the talking minority, or this sport attracts the non-athlete.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, I take exception to being called a non-athlete. I challange you to a game of H.O.R.S.E.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Ok, off the side wall, one bounce off the catwalk, and nothin but net...your shot.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Way too easy Sayfu. 60 foot rollcast, into the wind, fly lands on the water before the line, behind a stump located directly upstream, fish is hook... nothing but net.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter...When the games on the line, you da man. With the game on the line, and the clock tickin down, the ball is always in the hands of the buckhunter.

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from backcast wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, that's nothin'. I know a kid that was about 5'8"-5'9" and routinely dunked in games. Another kid from my high school, about 5'10", was dunking in H.S. games as a junior. And my younger brother, who was way more athletic than I, got his first game dunk OVER a guy. Did you see the kid who won this year's collegiate dunk contest? 5'10" guy with a 50" vertical from a DIII school. Find it on YouTube if you haven't seen it. All white dudes, BTW. What era did you play? Must have been before the advent of plylometrics and weight training. Why'd you turn to golf? I mean aside from the, ahem, "accidental" zipper trick? Maybe someday when I can't walk anymore, I'll take it up. Till then there's too much fly fishing and tying to do. Days on the water are too few and according to legend, they are not counted against your allotted time on earth. So if I fish enough...

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

You got it Buckhunter. And I always wanted to dunk. 6'0 but had some things going against me. Short arms, and small hands...couldn't palm a ball. In my era of the 60's NO ONE had ever played basketball for my H.S. in Bellevue, Ohio that could dunk up, and through my era. I tried to stretch my hands on a ball constantly thinking I could stretch my hands bigger. And I did deep knee bends with wts. all the time. Best I could do was once in awhile dunk a volley ball. And I was an athlete..held our long jump record for 25 yrs., and ran the indoor 60 down at Ohio State in a heat with Paul Warfield. And I did see that kid from Chicago Univ. I think was the Div III school he came from. He made some incredible dunks. A guy threw the ball off the SIDE of the backboard, and he'd come from under the basket catch it off to the side, off the board, and still dunk the ball with 2 hands. They asked him why he didn't jump over the car, and dunk it, and he said they couldn't get the car through the gym doors.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Chicago Univ?? Now that I think more, I think that kid was from Illinois St. Univ., a small school, not the U of Illinois.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

You got me beat. I could only dunk a tennis ball. Played basketball twice a week for 30 years until I blew my ankle out last year.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Funny story. I was on an outdoor school court while in HS., and the cheerleaders were practicing near the court. I had a volley ball, and I was making good runs, and dunking the ball once every several tries showing off for the cheerleaders. When done, I got in my father's station wagon, rolled down the window, and waved to the cheerleaders as I backed my father's rig into the basketball support, and bent it half way to the ground, and wiped out the back of my dad's car. He had to buy a new basketball hoop besides.

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from kirkdeeter wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You can disagree Sayfu. I think that's cool. You're wrong... but it's cool.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

I have been fly fishing a long time and have been lucky enough to be able to ignore all of the technical jargon being thrown around concerning casting, equipment, flies and fly rods. In short, I just enjoy the sport and if someone tells me I have a casting flaw (and they have) I just grin and move on. The sport of fly fishing is much more enjoyable that way. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy a good rod, a well placed cast and a well tied fly but in my opinion there are no right or wrongs as long as you are having fun. So what if you have tailing loops and do not catch as much fish as the next guy. It is not a competitive sport.

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from VAHunter540 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Your golf game must be better than mine becaue I would say both sports are played (wet) in my case..... but that just gives me a chance to scout out the best fishing holes on the links

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from jdstarke wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I gave up golf because it was so frustrating! I can make a bad cast with a fly and still be happy with the day!
The only similaraties is that you get to enjoy a cold beer at the end of the day!

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

koldbut. Why the shoulder? Because as your forearm moves up and back if you do not lift your shoulder, and raise the rod tip, your wrist WILL tip back throwing the line down in back like deeter says. If you make a short cast where the angle of cast is steeper then no problem, you don't have to lift your shoulder. But as you lengthen out the cast, and the angle flattens out some the shoulder has to come up. I have arthritis in my shoulders, and I eliminated the pain by not raising my shoulder when I make a longer cast, say 40 ft. and further. My backcast stunk because of it because on that last 6" of backcast the tip would be thrown down, the loop would open way up, and be thrown down as well following the rod tip. I watched a video of John Wulff awhile back, and she solved my problem completely. I could even post the link of Joan demonstrating the backcast just as I told Deeter. Straight wrist at the start, the wrist rotates as the forearm comes up and back, and the shoulder raises at the end of the stroke. That keeps the rod tip on a straight path. What that amounts to also, is body parts working together just like the golf swing has body parts working together. In casting, it is the wrist, forearm and a the shoulder. On distance casting I even rotate the hips which helps my backcast go straight back because I cast 3/4 to the side, and the cast tends to go off to the side. It has been my opinion for sometime that we make a big mistake by limiting the wrist involvement. Every athlete uses the wrist when using a bat (lever) but fly casting instruction often states the wrist as the problem, and to not use it. You greatly hamper your ability to cast very far doing so. It is just a matter of coordinating the wrist with the other body parts. The wrist tipping back to 1:00 creates the loop size that allows the line and fly to form above the tip. Use no wrist and a big fly, and cast up to 12:00 stopping the rod, and the big fly can break your rod.

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from Koldkut wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

A wise man once wrote "There are casts that catch fish and casts that do not." while another even wiser man said "There exists what might be termed a classic stroke, much like Tiger Wood's golf swing, you can use a variety of techniques to get the fly where is has to go.....If your casting is different from that of your buddy, that's not a problem. It just has to work for you, and not anyone else." If you saw my cast, you could preach until your blue in the face, it's a good cast, maybe not a John Wulff textbook cast, but in point 1 above, some of my casts do manage to catch fish.

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from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I say this as a qualifier: I am a 10 handicap and for this discussion and all intent and purpose there is no wrist in golf or casting. (yes there are specific times but not in general.) For one thing it is not a stiff wrist but a supple wrist with out tension, a relaxed wrist. The fore-arm, wrist and rod become a clear unit, not three pieces. It is not the wrist that generates line speed, but the size of the casting arc in relationship to the amount of line you have out and, more importantly, the Stop at the end of each cast. ( I know you can add drift to the back cast for distance on the hauls.)
When you break your wrist you open up the the cast, creating a wide loop. A wide loop does not follow a SLP and thus you lose accuracy and line speed. As Sayfu says do the Belgium cast for larger/multi flies, but it is not done with a weak wrist.
One more thing: Using a weak wrist in your cast will lead to fatigue in a short time, since you are now using the weaker tendons of the wrist then the stronger muscles of the fore-arm. In short: It just ain't right!

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

rdorman. No limp wrist, but it isn't firm as well, as a firm wrist caused tension in your forearm, and you can't make good athletic moves with tension in your arm. That is what happens often when athletes are under pressure..tension moves in, and performance goes to heck. You can easily move the wrist through a 180 semi circle if you do not bring the arm up and back, and that throws the rod tip in a semi circle and the line as well. But if you do the same move with the wrist, and follow the wrists movement with the forearm moving up and back the wrist is restricted to a 100 degree rotation I would estimate, as moving from a straight out wrist with the rod tip near water level to 12 is a 90 degree move, and tipping it back slightly I am guessing is 100 degrees. It is a relaxed, under control flex with the last portion greatly accelerating the rod tip. That distance caster from the San Fransisco club describes that last wrist move as a ?? ..a tightening of the grip and solidly stops the wrist. Can't now think of the term that he says all distance casters use that accelerates the line. A big part of the problem here, as I see it, is it doesn't appear the wrist does much because the forearm is moving along with the flexing of the wrist, and the elbow rising, and the shoulder slightly rising. Just thought of the term that distance champ uses for the wrist when it stops...he calls it the "SQUEEZE" I have watched many a beginner rotate that wrist 180 degrees, but it happens because the arm doesn't move the rod up and back. That is my description of it anyway. You can watch a guy that uses no wrist, and they appear very stiff, and mechanical, and then watch someone who blends it all in, and you wonder how they could cast so far so effortlessly...same as a golfers swing. Same as a pitcher that throws 98 MPH...it appears effortless, as if they were just playing throw and catch.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

In the photo on the top left, it could be said that you "cast" the clubhead, unhinging your wrist early, releasing the stored energy before striking the ball. I know this is not a good move in golf and am told it is no good for your fly-cast either. I've done both. If you're ever in S.Jersey we can play some golf.

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from steve182 wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

rdorman, the wrist does hinge and unhinge quite a bit, especially the right wrist. This is where a lot of the clubhead speed comes from. Ever see a small guy hit it a mile?...good wrist hinge, lag and release. I'm a high handicapper (16) but i understand the golf swing, just not mine.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, Not everyone throws an elbow in church league basketball.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Way too easy Sayfu. 60 foot rollcast, into the wind, fly lands on the water before the line, behind a stump located directly upstream, fish is hook... nothing but net.

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from backcast wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, that's nothin'. I know a kid that was about 5'8"-5'9" and routinely dunked in games. Another kid from my high school, about 5'10", was dunking in H.S. games as a junior. And my younger brother, who was way more athletic than I, got his first game dunk OVER a guy. Did you see the kid who won this year's collegiate dunk contest? 5'10" guy with a 50" vertical from a DIII school. Find it on YouTube if you haven't seen it. All white dudes, BTW. What era did you play? Must have been before the advent of plylometrics and weight training. Why'd you turn to golf? I mean aside from the, ahem, "accidental" zipper trick? Maybe someday when I can't walk anymore, I'll take it up. Till then there's too much fly fishing and tying to do. Days on the water are too few and according to legend, they are not counted against your allotted time on earth. So if I fish enough...

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Deeter ..Wrong? I was a golf instructor as well, and the hip turn in your two examples makes your point improper.(for no better word.) The lack of hip turn in the one caused the club to be thrown outside the line, and the ball pushed to the right not your wrist.... Wrist moves.. forearm comes up and back,... shoulder comes up, and the wrist will snap to a stop with the rod tip staying on a straight line, not like in the photo...and that's a fact (when fly casting)

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from Koldkut wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Say, why is your shoulder doing anything in a fly cast?

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I was coaching a casting clinic for young children 8-14 a couple weeks ago. The hardest thing for the kids to learn was keeping the wrist straight or fairly straight. Wish I had this tip earlier. The important thing was we had a lot of fun and lots of kids were introduced to a fly rod.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

buckhunter...good you got them interested. Now if they continue their interest, and improve their casting, they WILL use there wrist. I doubt that anyone can cast, say 50 ft. without a lot of wrist involvement. Why not learn early on what you will soon turn to shortly thereafter?

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from Koldkut wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

meant to add, I don't move my wrist much while casting. With streamers, you want the loop to open up, and with double and triple fly rigs, a larger loop keeps me out of trouble more.

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from rdorman wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

makes perfect sense Force=mass x acceleration and since acceleration is equal to change in velocity/change in time...thus Force=mass x (change in velocity/change in time) So thus the stiffer wrist changes velocity more in less given time...not to mention the vectors involved...and it's assistance in maintaining a plane

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

koldkut..Didn't get that one. If you want to open up your loop you rotate your wrist more not restrict it. And if someone throws streamers a lot dial up the Belgium Cast...It's the cast to use for streamer casting.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

rdorman..Wow! Hope no one is reading this topic section wanting to learn to cast. A flexible wrist greatly accelerates clubhead spead in golf, a tennis racket etc. I'm sure if you tell Tiger Woods to deploy a stiff wrist he will understand he would be able to hit the ball a lot farther.

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from fflutterffly wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

Guys stay on point. We're discussing wrist here.

Sayfu: It is just a matter of coordinating the wrist with the other body parts. The wrist tipping back to 1:00 creates the loop size that allows the line and fly to form above the tip. Use no wrist and a big fly, and cast up to 12:00 stopping the rod, and the big fly can break your rod.

I disagree: I teach mobile handicapped people how to fly fishing, they are in a chair. There is no hip, foot position. It is not the wrist that allows you to move the tip to 1:00, rather a larger casting arc with proper arm/wrist/rod positioning. STANCE: you might have hip rotation/ open or closed stances/ strange head positions in fly casting but it doesn't really matter if, in order to get the full physics of the rod to play, you don't have the five elements in a cast SSPP-slp (No slack, Stroke, Application of power, Pause (stop) all equal a straight line path. Lefty, Mel, Joan, Joe Libeu... all casting masters will tell you that the broken wrist is a weak wrist.... regardless where hip/nose/ass or toes are pointing.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

You sure have a right to disagree, but do it yourself. If you start with the thumb pointing towards the water, your wrist straight, or even tipped down slightly you can rotate your wrist 100 degrees to 1:00 the wrist moving in coordination with the forearm, elbow allowed to come up, and the shoulder up slightly near the end of the stroke, and the rod tip will track of a straight line path, all but the wrist/arm movement from 12 to 1:00 which becomes the size of the loop, and allows a fly to pass overhead and not strike the rod tip. I can sit in your students wheel chair, and get a fly far out in the water using my wrist in that way, but sure can't get it out very far with no wrist involvement. The more I look at Deeter's golf club photos the more it would make a golf instructor cringe at the deeter's notion that it is the wrist that pulled that club across his body, and to the left. Your wheel chair students do not have to use the hips, and stance to cast, they can't. But they can coordinate the wrist, with the forearm, with the elbow coming up, and the shoulder lifting slightly. Then if they can learn to double haul they can throw some impressive line out on the water. The big problem I see all the time, and I've taught fly casting for 30 yrs. now, and have had instruction from Rajeff, the guy that was Scientific Anglers fly line designer, fly cast instructor, and a super knowledgeable guy,(and he retired about 5 yrs ago now, and I can't think of his name?) maybe you can,..Joan Wulff who put on a demo at our big fly tying/fishing Expo several years ago, and I attended, ...Mel Krieger, who taught fly casting all over the world, has instructed me, and I even called Dave Whitlock on questions regarding fly casting. The biggest fault that newbies have, is taking the rod up and back. They want to just take the rod back with their wrist,and the rod remains out front. I see it on a commercial that uses a guy standing out in the river casting...usually terrible technique, the guy just cocks his wrist and the rod never goes up and back. I teach it like throwing a ball. Throw it like I described, and don't take it back like a baseball player takes it back, and it is casting like a girl throws a ball, and not an athletic girl. Hope you get my point..I get in to casting, and have for a long, long time.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

flutter..Please! Look at a golfer's club in the hitting area, or just before impact. The club is angled back behind the ball just before impact, and the hands are near the ball. And you are telling me that the club is squared up at impact without a lot of wrist greatly increasing the clubhead speed in that hitting area? There is no way the club would get squared up, and guy's able to hit 300 yd drives unless the club head was greatly accelerated by the wrists. And as a 10 handicap you think deeter's photos are appropriate for what he is suggesting? The hips in one where the arms, hands, club go towards the target have the belt buckle pointed towards the target, and in the other the belt buckle is pointed out to the right. I think I can get your handicap down to 5 by just understanding that.

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from rdorman wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

'm not entirely disagreeing sayfu, but when you cast are you limp wristed, using your wrist a lot? or is 90% of the time your wrist has no movement...i'm nowhere near a proffessional golfer, but i'm pretty sure the wrists don't bend much at all...Deeter can you answer that?

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from jamesti wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

i don't know if i want to go fly fishing or play golf.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

I'd go fly fishing. I was teaching a beautiful young lady to play golf one time. I snuggled up behind her, took her arms, and was helping her develop her stroke when unfortunately our zippers got stuck together..the zipper on the back of her short skirt, and my fly. I told her we'd have to waddle over to the clubhouse where I could get a pair of pliers, and hopefully get us free. Just before we got there, somebody came out, and threw a bucket of water on us.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

koldkut...you sure can get the job done different ways. There is not one way to do much of anything, BUT..many a wise man has demonstrated that "in the hitting area, be it any kind of bat, or lever, as Deeter calls it, the fundamentals are the same. The takeaway can look strange, looped backswing, cast, funny stance etc., but in the hitting are the fundamentals are the same..In your case, they are not..you make the call.

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from rdorman wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

good reply buckhunter

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter! Come on! The hatch is on...the steelhead are running. Your fishing partner is playing a steelhead, and stepped in to catch another one. You, on the other had tossed a tailing loop, and have working on getting untangled for the last half hour. Where the rubber meets the road, do you always believe what you say? I have yet to witness an angler that doesn't get upset when others are catching fish, and they are incapacitated sitting on the bank trying to undue a screw-up.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter..The very most dangerous basketball that I ever witnessed, and I was a college basketball player, was in my small town's city league basketball played in a band box of a gym, and there were church league teams entered...broken bones, fist fights, some dangerous, drag out brawls..big guys that were over the hill still trying to play like they use to play. But you bring into focus a thought I have about fly fishermen. Why do the want to tip toe through the tulips, smell the roses, enjoy the moment, and all of that emphasis? I've contended that maybe most that participate in fly fishing have little athletic ability. They were nice fellows in school that wouldn't say schit if they had a mouthful. Why would they emphasize no wrist in a cast when every other sport using a bat, or throwing involves a lot of wrist? And casting a flyline is a lot like throwing a ball. The coordinated movement of wrist, arm, shoulder is very much the same. I have yet to see someone perform very well without some kind of competitive spirit, some fire in the belly...but to each his own. I really could care less, but I do like to help those that want to improve, and do not want to be mediocre at what they do.

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from backcast wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter, plus 1. Church league hoops can get downright nasty, that's for sure. Everybody thinks they MJ or Kobe. Quick tip:when you're fishing and get a tangle in the leader, cut it out and re-tie if it's gonna take you longer than two minutes to untangle. That way you're back fishin' quicker. Don't spend half an hour trying to undo a mess.

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from backcast wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, where did you play? Back in my prime, at 5'11" in my bare feet, I had a 35" vertical, straight up, no steps. Could dunk one hand, two hands, catch it of the glass and flush it, and if I was really gettin' up, two hand reverse. Still puttin' it to use jumping smaller streams in a single bound, while wearing waders. Felt soles not recommended though. Fly fishing is the only thing I've ever done that I find more fun than hoops.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Sayfu, I take exception to being called a non-athlete. I challange you to a game of H.O.R.S.E.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Ok, off the side wall, one bounce off the catwalk, and nothin but net...your shot.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

buckhunter...When the games on the line, you da man. With the game on the line, and the clock tickin down, the ball is always in the hands of the buckhunter.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

You got it Buckhunter. And I always wanted to dunk. 6'0 but had some things going against me. Short arms, and small hands...couldn't palm a ball. In my era of the 60's NO ONE had ever played basketball for my H.S. in Bellevue, Ohio that could dunk up, and through my era. I tried to stretch my hands on a ball constantly thinking I could stretch my hands bigger. And I did deep knee bends with wts. all the time. Best I could do was once in awhile dunk a volley ball. And I was an athlete..held our long jump record for 25 yrs., and ran the indoor 60 down at Ohio State in a heat with Paul Warfield. And I did see that kid from Chicago Univ. I think was the Div III school he came from. He made some incredible dunks. A guy threw the ball off the SIDE of the backboard, and he'd come from under the basket catch it off to the side, off the board, and still dunk the ball with 2 hands. They asked him why he didn't jump over the car, and dunk it, and he said they couldn't get the car through the gym doors.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Chicago Univ?? Now that I think more, I think that kid was from Illinois St. Univ., a small school, not the U of Illinois.

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from buckhunter wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

You got me beat. I could only dunk a tennis ball. Played basketball twice a week for 30 years until I blew my ankle out last year.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

Funny story. I was on an outdoor school court while in HS., and the cheerleaders were practicing near the court. I had a volley ball, and I was making good runs, and dunking the ball once every several tries showing off for the cheerleaders. When done, I got in my father's station wagon, rolled down the window, and waved to the cheerleaders as I backed my father's rig into the basketball support, and bent it half way to the ground, and wiped out the back of my dad's car. He had to buy a new basketball hoop besides.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 50 weeks ago

AGH deeter, do I luv to disagree with you. Look at the hips in the early photo that turn out of the way to hit the ball, and allow the club to track towards the target. Then look at the hips that you say you overpowered with the right hand..they didn't clear out of the way. My fault with the no wrist fly casting concept is..it doesn't create line speed. It creates tension in the arms trying to restrict the wrist. Every use of a "bat", a lever, uses the wrists to create club head, lever speed..a tennis racket, baseball bat, a golf club, but in fly casting we want to teach a no wrist concept. It is all about tracking the rod tip on a straight line path, and you can do that IF, you start with a straight out wrist, not cocked up, and the forearm comes up and back, and the shoulder LIFTS up at the back/stop of the stroke. The right wrist can then rotate creating power in say a 45 degree angle, and the forearm and the shoulder will prevent the rod tip from tipping over. Short casts, no need for much wrist at all. The rod, in your bottom photo will never tip over that far if the forearm comes up and back and the shoulder lifts at the top of the stroke.. rod will be angled back to say 1:00 in an overhead cast, and that is enough to clear the fly, and create a tight loop.

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from Sayfu wrote 2 years 49 weeks ago

backcast...great for you. If you are a White guy, I have seen only one White guy in my life do what you said you could do, and that kid was 6'1" and a 7' high jumper besides in track. Where'd you go so soft? Why no interest in bettering yourself? I think I made my point very clear. There are a lot of fly anglers that luv to sit on the bank, and meditate, the out of body experience thing. Take this thread..most wanted no one within 400 yds of them, or their space felt violated. Either those that say that are the talking minority, or this sport attracts the non-athlete.

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