It looked like I was going to have to buy a TCR even though it’s reputation still had me a bit awed and it’s price had me wincing in pain thinking of the other things I could do with almost £600. A chance remark on Sexyloops saved me a fortune though. It was whispered that there was another rod out there that cast just as far and was about a fifth the price. Apart from anything else it would enable me to find out if I was ready for a TCR. My Echo UD#5 was delivered from the States to my door for about £120!
The rod was a brute, nothing subtle about it, it was an out and out distance stick. I found it difficult to cast with at first, it took a while to get the best out of it. It was avoided like the plague at Pauls shootouts.
I have gained an, I think, unreasonable reputation for breaking rods. This was mainly due to an unhappy set of circumstances surrounding one particular rod. I have set out with the express purpose of breaking the Echo and never got anywhere near it, other rods have cracked or shattered, the bloody Echo is still going strong. If I feel particularly masochistic I get it out and have a cast but not for long, that thing has hurt me a damn sight more than I ever hurt it. It’s given me tennis elbow, a sore shoulder and a sprained wrist, sometimes all on the same day.
If the Echo was brutal, so was my casting so we probably suited each other perfectly. The problem was it was beginning to hurt and I wasn’t improving.
I had developed a friendship via Sexyloops and email with Stefan Silkavara who lived above the arctic circle in Sweden. Now, we may moan as the nights draw in and it starts to get dark at seven o clock, northern Sweden starts to get dark around October and doesn’t get light again until February. I may be exaggerating but you get the picture. Swedes get a bit stir crazy and Stefan is no exception. He was constantly asking me for any film I had taken at shootouts or just me casting or any casting, I know he did it to others as well, his lounge must be full of crap casting DVD’s. The end result of this was that Stefan became a superb crap casting DVD analyser. He developed the knack of casting analysis to an art form. He, gently at first and then with more insistence, started to get me thinking about technique rather than just brute strength.
Time to rebuild my casting stroke.