Rebuilding a stroke is not as easy as it sounds, it’s a mental thing as well as physical. You know that what you are doing at moment has put you up there with some good casters so why change?. Well, as I said in the previous post, it was starting to hurt. I sometimes had to lay off casting for a couple of months while allowing something like tennis elbow to clear up; what a pain that is, have you ever tried washing your face one handed?.
I need to mention the mental bit because to an outsider it may look as if every cast you make is identical to all the other ones you have been casting for the last hour. To the caster every cast is different. I’ll try dropping the rod tip before I drag or I will keep the rod a bit more vertical or I will haul a fraction later, or, or, or. And so it goes on. About the only time I try and repeat a cast is when I finally get one that goes a long way but that doesn’t always work because your brain was in neutral and you can’t remember what the hell it was that made that particular cast so spectacular. Frustration leads to the slippery slope of putting more effort into the stroke and yelling ‘get out there you bastard’ as you whack a cast as hard as you can. You know you need help when you chuck the rod on the ground and want to stomp all over it because the cast only went 120′. This happened a few times until one day I asked myself when did 120′ become a crap cast? and laughed out loud.
Stefan made me drop back and concentrate on form, timing and tracking, all the little things that add up to a huge increase in efficiency. As I worked on it I lost a lot of distance but gradually the distances started to go back up to where I had been and then just kept improving. I even got good enough to beat Paul now and then, especially with a seven weight. The irony is that Stefan got seriously interested in distance casting a year or two ago and asked me for advice, I think he even sent a film clip!. Stefan is one of the most elegant casters you are ever likely to meet and took a bit of persuading that he should open up his stroke and hit the f*****!.
Thanks Stefan, see you in May.
My need for a decent rod became more apparent, TCR’s didn’t frighten me any more, I had cast quite a few by then, and I had set my sights on claiming the BFCC five weight record. This was when I met the love of my life who kept breaking my heart.