# Angler Magazine Essentials of Fly Casting #4

ANGLER MAGAZINE
The Casting Corner
By Rene Hesse CCI

Part 4 of 5 -The Essentials of Fly Casting

In our Casting Corner series this is our 4th of a 5 part study on the Essentials of Fly Casting as taught by Bill Gammel. The most important essential is; 'A straight line path of the rod tip'. This is supported by the other 4; 'No slack line can occur during the casting stroke. ' 'The casting are, or angle at the rod butt, must vary in width with the amount of line beyond the rod tip.' And now we are on (what I consider) #4 which is; ' The application of power must occur in the proper amount at the proper place in the stroke.' And we will complete the series with, ' There must be a STOP and a PAUSE at the end of each stroke'.
A smooth acceleration to a stop is my favorite way to explain the power application. The concept will be the same on a short cast as a long cast. Start slow and go progressively faster until you stop the rod. When you stop the rod it will unbend, transferring the energy that was stored out to the line and form a loop. Remember we are casting the line not the fly and it is all about the loops.

Do the acceleration of the cast with authority, don't flip-flop it back and forth. Remember that the back casts power application is the same as the forward casts. Some situations can change that, but if you get the basic cast, you will know when to adjust for other situations like wind.

Another way to visualize the power; If you placed a cup of coffee on your dash and wanted to get up to 60 MPH and not have it spill back on you, the acceleration would need to be 'ever increasing' and not erratic. Now if you want to splash the coffee on the wind shield, you would slam on the brakes and all that coffee would be launched forward. Same in casting, a smooth application of power will bend or load the rod against the weight of the line that is out side the rod tip, and then when we stop the rod the energy stored in the bent rod will be released when it unbends and send the line out in the shape of a loop.

It took me a while to learn that, HOW the power is applied is more important than the AMOUNT of power applied.'
We want tension on the line when we start the cast and then accelerate it until we stop the rod.

Here is an easy was to see when to apply the power on a cast. Try lifting the line until the colored part of your fly line is just about to come off the water. Then when you are at the leader line connection do a small-quick wrist movement to snatch the fly off the water. As soon as the fly leaves the water the casting stroke is over-stop. That lift is the initial loading of the rod and the snatch is the acceleration.

The next time you are casting, give yourself 5 minutes to practice the lift/snatch, and I think you will get the power application concept a little better.

Tight Loops,
Rene

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