Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

The Dark Side

mechanical work is the amount of energy transferred by a force acting through a distance.

 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.


December 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Interesting MIke,

    You say: “why waste line acceleration time by just accelerating the rod?”
    Well, let’s say that you are going to attain the same speed with your rod hand at a given point in the stroke; if you reach that point while sliding through the line or pulling it is, IMHO, irrelevant, cause in both cases at the point where you stop sliding the line will get exactly the same speed (that of the rod tip, since you aren’t hauling yet).

    Comment by Aitor | December 7, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Aitor,

    When the sliding rod acquires the line at the start of rotation there will be a slight lag before the line starts to move in the direction of the stroke while the tip bends enough. I realise this is the beginning of the process to load the rod but you could look at it as shock loading the rod. If the tip is higher during translation and there was slight rotation as well then loading would be continious and progressive. That’s the bit I am interested in and will be the subject of my next post.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | December 7, 2009 | Reply

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