Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Part 6

I had set my sights on the BFCC five weight record. It wasn’t a massive cast by today’s standards, I think it was around 117ft but this is competition casting and you have to cast in whatever the conditions are on the day and what the conditions might be in those three minutes. There might be a favourable breeze when everyone else has their go only for it to drop just as you start your go, or it’s gusty and you can’t get a consistent backcast in or it’s damp or it’s just one of those days when the line won’t fly. The competition days when everything is just right and you are casting well are rare.

 For some reason I decided that if I could cast a British club record I would like to do it with a British rod. While at a show in one autumn a friend asked me if I had ever cast a Hardy Angel TE. To be honest I had never heard of it. I was introduced to Howard Croston of Hardy’s  and after a chat he agreed to let me have a cast with his own TE.  I was very taken with the rod but the price was a bit too rich for me to risk buying one and then finding it wasn’t the rod for me. Hardy were generous enough to allow me to borrow a rod while I made my mind up.

 I remember filming the first casting session and on reviewing it I was amazed to see that the rod was so bloody fast that it passed through RSP and recoil and was straight again and I was only half way through my haul, I had cast some respectable mid to high one teens and a couple of 120’s while totally mistiming the cast!. Oh, wanted one of these, ‘cannon’ just didn’t do it justice. The TE is the only five weight rod I have cast that you could keep asking more and more of and it would deliver, it’s only limitation was the person holding it. Then disaster, the rod snapped just above the cork and I had the embarrassment of telling Howard ‘sorry, I broke the rod’. I sent the broken section back to Hardy who replaced it. I had decided to buy my own TE, I just put the break down to one of those things.

 So here I am with my own TE and was getting quite excited at the prospect of breaking the club record with it, which I was doing on a regular basis while practicing when just before the next meeting the rod snapped again and the new section would not arrive in time for me to use it in competition.

 On the day of the comp conditions were perfect for a change. I had to borrow Ben Spinks TCR for my turn and I got close to the record a couple of times and realised the record attempt was on. This was the first and only time I have ever got so nervous that my casting totally fell apart. The adrenalin rush just turned me into a wreck. My three minutes were up and I had failed miserably. There is a club rule that if you want to go for a record you can have a limited period after the competition to attempt it, I can’t remember if it’s the full three minutes or a limited number of casts, either way Mike Marshall agreed to my request and I went off somewhere quiet to calm down.

 I think I beat the record with my first or second cast and beat it by a respectable margin. I’m not sure what it was but it was over 120′. The only downside was it was with a TCR and not the Angel.

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March 27, 2009 - Posted by | BFCC, Distance casting, fly casting

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