Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Insufficient Creep

As per usual, I am in a bit of a quandary. This time it’s definitions. To be more specific, fly casting definitions.

About six years ago the FFF decided to define the actions needed to cast a fly line. Yes, SIX years, and they still have not got a set they are willing to publish. But, they do have a set that is circulating around some influential instructors. I guess they are after some feed back (and I bet they wish they hadn’t  let anyone see them). I admit I have seen them, briefly. I don’t have a copy so I cannot study them and even if I did have a copy I couldn’t publish them because it would be unethical. Now, anyone who knows me fully understands I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to this technical stuff but even I saw some problems. Not so much in the specific definition but each definition has a sub text and some of the stuff I read in the sub text is a bit confusing, which, to my mind, sort of defeats the object of the exercise.

 There seems to be two stumbling blocks, one is in the word ‘sufficient’, ie, use sufficient force to form a loop. On the face of it a simple enough concept. Each cast is different and you use just enough force (sufficient) to do the job. I think 90% of us aren’t bothered what that sufficiency is specifically, we know when we have supplied sufficient force, the fly lands where we want it. Some, however, want to know what specifically what force is sufficient to make a particular cast. Now, I don’t know any, and if I did I would be at pains to avoid them like the plague, instructors who tell you how much force you have to apply to a rod to perform a specific cast. Also, once you have gone down that very slippery slope, where do you stop? if you have told someone they must apply 5 newtons of energy you would also have to be very specific about the start and stop of the stroke so you would have to tell them the exact degrees of casting angle they must move the rod through as well.  I’m a (very) simple casting instructor, not a bloody physicist.

The other problem is creep. Why they even mention a fault in a definition of a perfect cast is completely baffling to me, and why pick on creep when there are a bucket full of other faults they could have mentioned. Part of the problem is that they are trying to rehabilitate creep. They are trying to persuade us that creep is just a motion, neither good or bad. The trouble is that any instructor worth his salt knows creep when he sees it and will work like a demon to fix it. Creep is very rarely a good thing and is always unintentional. Lets take a scenario: as our backcast nears turnover we subconsciously ready ourselves for the forward cast, this generally means the rod hand moves in the direction of the following stroke, then we pause (again, because we have already paused once) andthenwerushintothestroke. Two possibilities, big booming loop with a beginner, or a tailing loop with an intermediate. I won’t bore you why. Say the casting stroke begins when the hand/rod are moved (with purpose) in the direction of the cast then that means the casting stroke of a creeper cannot begin until after the secondary pause, and, they have robbed themselves of valuable stroke length. Just to confuse things, some creepers don’t have a secondary pause, they just have a purposeless forward movement before they start to accelerate the rod properly. Same consequence though. The creep of the secondary pause creeper would fall outside the casting stroke, the creep of  purposeless forward movement creeper would fall within the casting stroke. Why? Because of Drag. Drag is purposeful forward movement of the rod that is the prelude to acceleration and rotation, it is a deliberate preloading and relocation move. Because it is deliberate it falls within the casting stroke. There is always a smooth transition between drag and rotation. The rehabilitation of creep now means that us draggers are now creepers. Our forward stroke begins with deliberate creep, which is a paradox.

 Whatever happened to KISS


January 15, 2011 - Posted by | fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized


  1. That You-tube clip of Jerry Siem at the Denver Show has a lot to answer for…..
    “Insignificant creep” sounds like a 50s school boy put down

    Comment by Tony | January 16, 2011 | Reply

  2. Don’t ask Frank about that clip Tony, he goes really wierd.

    Everything starts with Creep in rehabilitated creep world Mike….I’m tired of it all now anyway… can you make the bad men go away ?

    Comment by Mark | January 17, 2011 | Reply

  3. That clip is quite interesting. At first glance it looks like creep but if you keep and eye on the rod tip he is actually opening his casting arc but reducing stroke length. odd, but effective, and, deliberate, so it ain’t creep.

    I’m doing my best Mark but the the bad men are ignoring me.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | January 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Mike

      Jerry is doing exactly the same as you and me and Paul and everybody else for that matter that uses a extended arm BC 🙂 Linehand and rodhand are too far apart, and we are not strong or comfortable back there, so moving the rodhand forward to a better position makes alot of sense 😉 That Jerry also pulls back on his unrolling loop to speed it up would be like Carl H’s whiplash 😛

      So nothing special about the clip really, other than a MCI thinking it was creep 😉


      Comment by Lasse Karlsson | January 31, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: