Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Nervous Twitch

I decided I had enough of prating around at thirty to fifty feet and decided to open up and have session with the #5 TCR, just for the hell of it. I discovered I have developed a very vertical style, which is a good thing. I guess all that prating around at thirty to fifty feet had an overall effect on my general style. Why vertical? One of the requests from the CBOGs, who oversee testing, is that we cast a more upright style during our assessment. It makes it easier for them to assess loop width and tracking, among other things. I originally jibbed a bit at that because it smacks of imposing a style, which I am dead against, but on reflection I could see their point so I went with it. 

Ok, so why is vertical a good thing for distance? It’s the line of least resistance. It’s the epitome of the 180 rule. It reduces the risk of the arm tracking around the casting shoulder and the torso rotating at the hip, which would have a similar effect.

I used to think that a more side on stroke was more powerful. It certainly felt as if you could get your shoulder behind the rod and really give it some welly. However it topped out at under 120′ so it had to go. The problem was it was hard to get rid of, months, if not years, of side swiping had created a muscle memory problem. I would start off a session nice and vertical but as I concentrated on other things the rod would end up canted over. It was still happening late last summer when I last did some concentrated distance practice. So, you can imagine how delighted I was to discover I was naturally casting a more vertical distance style without having to think about it. Long may it last. I hit another 130′ as well as a lot of mid to high 120’s which sort of vindicates the more vertical approach.

I have been wondering what type of twitch I have, no I don’t mean the nervous twitch I develop every time I think about the Masters test, I mean the muscular fast or slow type that we all fall into. Have a read here http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/anatomyandphysiology/a/MuscleFiberType.htm . Interesting eh? I have been considering if there are (and there must be) some fast twitch instructors who have a naturally fast stroke. I’m sure I have been taught by one or two and been bemused by the blur of action as the rod moves like Zorro on the attack. ‘Did you see what I did there?’ , well, no actually. Swish swish swish. ‘See that?’ Erm…no, can we go a bit slower please.

I suspect I have a medium to slow twitch, I know my casting cadence is slower (or feels it) than most people I cast with.


March 15, 2011 - Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage


  1. I don’t think musclefiber type has anything to do with those “instructors” Mike 😀

    And get it checked, it only takes a huge needle with a barb thrust into your thigh, I said no thanks when I was asked 😛

    Congrats with the new found distances, we are not having a shootout in Kolding!


    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | March 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Oh, I think we might find some time Lasse.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | March 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Ha, I’ll just pull the baby card and get out freely 😛 Unless you’re a member of…
      I’ll bring a rod just in case, and the camera, and the release timer and….

      Comment by Lasse Karlsson | March 18, 2011 | Reply

  3. Hi mike

    Do you think the vertical style produces better distances because you maximise the height from which the line is launched, thus the drop time (and the resultant horizontal flight time), is also maximised?

    Comment by James Evans | March 16, 2011 | Reply

  4. No James, it’s nothing to do with the height and everything to do with maximum efficiency.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | March 16, 2011 | Reply

  5. ok – why does efficiency improve with angle?

    Comment by James Evans | March 16, 2011 | Reply

  6. hey Mike !
    “maximum efficiency”: do you mean from a bio-mechanical point of view or of the equipment ?


    Comment by marc fauvet | March 17, 2011 | Reply

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