This came up a while ago in one of the more technical discussions on ‘loops and the concept had been sort of making the rounds to various parts of my brain for quite a while now, you know, one of those things that just pop into your head when you least expect it and you spend a few moments mulling it over before something else comes along to take its place.
It’s the force through distance bit that got me thinking. What force are we applying during translation? If you read the previous post then you will see that for a substantial part of translation we are not applying any force to the line at all, or the real late rotators aren’t anyway. Don’t forget we are talking pure distance here, not ‘normal’ casting.
To my mind the secret of distance casting is the ability to control acceleration. The ability to feed power in progressively rapidly. I do mean feed, it’s not wham bam thank you mam. Mel Kreiger used to describe it as whuuUMP and that’s actually a very good description.
It occurred to me that I should really be accelerating the line as well as the rod, why waste line acceleration time by just accelerating the rod, that would be the equivalent of wheel spin. What we really want is traction, not smoking tyre’s. By the time the guy with wheel spin has finally got some traction the guy who didn’t spin his wheels is halfway down the straight.
Of course this argument might just be me making excuses for my inability to perform a long horizontal translation, but, what if I have not actually ever been a Late Rotator? I must have, and still be, doing something right because I would not be too ashamed to cast distance with the best in the world. I might not win but I wouldn’t necessarily come last either.
I intend to write about the mechanics of rod loading next but I need a bit of time to get it sorted in my mind first….. so you might have a long wait.
One of the main problems, as I see it, with ‘proper’ late rotation is the grip. You need to change it three times during a complete cycle. To start the backcast the grip needs to be palm forward, even finger on top. During the backcast pause the hand needs to rotate clockwise (if you are right-handed) and open up so that the rod is held very loosely in an open hand. The thumb becomes a fulcrum. The butt is not actually gripped, it’s held in position by just the weight of the rod and tension in the line. Hold your hand in front of you and describe a 3 or 4” circle, look through the C shape you have now made and swivel the thumb to point at your face. That’s the grip you use through 90% of the translation. To keep the rod horizontal through this phase you need to allow the wrist to move. You will probably find it easier if the rod is canted over a bit but, unfortunately, if you do that you lose distance, the best distance is from a near vertical rod. When your hand gets to a point just passed your head the wrist can no longer bend back any more and you will start a natural rotation. Rotation proper is a combination of squeezing your hand to a proper thumb on top grip and a powerful rotation of the wrist, this is where you haul as well. The combination of the push/pull squeeze ( you push with your thumb and pull with the fingers) and the wrist rotation/haul are what gives you the massive increase in linespeed.
All the above is theoretical as far as I am concerned, it’s what I have strived, and failed, to achieve for the last several years. I have only seen it done properly by three or four people.
One other thing that needs to be cleared up is that the translation phase with the C grip only accelerates the rod horizontally towards the waiting hauling hand. Think about it. Nothing the rod does at this stage can have any effect on the line, it is purely sliding down the line. Drag is a misnomer, it should better be called slide. Drag suggests line tension and slack removal. This is absolutely not the case. What you are doing however is accelerating the rod in the direction of the forward cast so that when you do start to acquire the line the rod is already moving at a substantial speed therefore the rod will load faster and deeper than if you has rotated from a static start. Translation should be looked at as a rolling start, you are already on the move before you cross the start line.
Couple all the above with perfect timing and power applied through the legs and body and you too can become an Uber caster.
As I said in my previous post I have now moved to the Dark Side, more of which later.