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 Post subject: What Makes A Great Caster Great?
PostPosted: October 6th, 2008, 4:11 pm 

Joined: May 23rd, 2007, 4:55 pm
Posts: 139
Location: Atlantic Beach & Lee, FL
Question: Why Is One Caster Better Than Another?

I generally respond with a pat, pithy, edu-ma-cated answer. But these answers are generally not inclusive, since the subject is broad and it includes helpings of mechanical engineering, physics, work efficiency, tool use, and skill.

Somewhere along the line, Al Kyte and Dr. Gary Moran were asked a similar question. Their response was a studied effort that moved casting forward by centuries, if not millenia.

The Kyte-Moran study pitted two groups of casters against each other--'good casters' vs 'elite casters.'. They filmed (possibly video'd but I can't verify that) the proceedings, then computerized the results and came up with these conclusions.

A synopsis of their study follows. I've written at length of this study, but the nutshell look by Gordy Hill is the best I've seen. Casters interested in gaining skills should read the original paper. I have it. Backmail me if you'd to read the full study.

Enjoy. David


From: Fly Fisherman……May 1993

(This study compared “GOOD” distance casters with “ELITE” (best) distance casters from a video analysis of the world’s best casters where the video was warped down and comparisons to elite vs good casters were drawn and measured. This based on video analysis by a professor of education and a bio-mechanics professor.)

Question: What do the elite casters do to achieve greater distance with the overhead cast?

1. The elite casters straightened the back cast line more completely….and did so with noticeably smaller loops.

2. They stopped the rod more abruptly on the backcast.
-the best casters have great stops.

3. They bent the rod tip back farther on the backcast.
-This comes from a straight line, straight tip path, and constant acceleration.
4. They moved the rod tip through a more straight path during the loading phase.

5. They achieved maximum rod bend just before the stop on the forward cast.
-True, but all casts, good or bad, achieve max rod bend just before the stop.

6. Their rod hands moved in a slightly downward path to help allow rod tip bend to continue in straight line.

7. Their most common error was to apply power too soon. (ie. They applied their maximum force too early in the stroke.)

8. Elite casters “imparted more bend in the rod, and did so with better timing.”
-More bend for the power applied, very true. Again, benefits of a straight line from straight tip path, and very constant acceleration

9. They had a low release angle averaging only 6 degrees above the horizontal.
-They were making long casts, varying from horizontal very much would drive the backcast into the ground.

10. They moved the rod through a wider angle.
-More rod bend requires a wider rod arc to maintain a straight tip path tip path.

11. They did this by allowing the rod to drift back and down “….an additional 10 to 15 degrees after the stop of the backcast.”
-Classic drift, which we see in all top casters and is directly measured, at least the most important rotational part.

12. Their stroke length was greater. (Stroke length defined as “The distance the casters hand moves the rod butt toward the target.”)
-The rotational aspect of the cast is much more important than hand translation, but top casters use every motion they have to optimize the cast. In this case, the elite casters added more hand translation to allow a longer “drag”, further straightening the line before the stroke to improve efficiency and improve the following loop.

13. They achieved greater line speed….and the same level of force and rod tip speed over a greater distance, yielding a total application of force which was greater.

14. Elite casters made greater use of their body mass and musculature than did the good casters.
- From training and practice, as with any good athlete.

15. The most effective haulers pulled the line back a greater distance primarily during the final, accelerated stages of loading. Thus they stopped the haul and released the line farther back, as well.”
-T best casters haul longer, and that they stop hauling right at rod straight position when the loop forms. Haul speed directly matches rod speed.

16. They combined styles…. “They moved the elbow out to the side of the body during the backcast which opened the way for inward rotation of the shoulder. Then they moved the elbow ahead of the shoulder during the forward cast, which enabled them to use a strong elbow extension as well.

17. They used an “educated wrist motion during the final acceleration of the stroke, “averaging 45 degrees; 10 degrees more fore the elite group.

18 .In most cases, the final 20 to 30 degrees of wrist action quickly tilted the butt of the rod forward, just prior to the stop. (What I’d call a “wrist flip.”)
- In the early 90’s it was widely believed that rod acceleration was slow at first, fast later, which is what this implies. We now know that, although it may look like acceleration is slow at first, fast later, the best casters accelerate the rod at a very constant rate throughout the stroke.

19. With the best casts, the rod butt stopped ABRUPTLY so the butt of the rod moved hardly 1 degree. The less successful casters couldn’t hold the rod as steady.

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 Post subject: Re: What Makes A Great Caster Great?
PostPosted: October 6th, 2008, 8:07 pm 

Joined: May 17th, 2007, 5:55 pm
Posts: 701
That is some very interesting information. I'm sure these techniques can help me not only with distance casting, but with short to mid range accuracy. I think my stops can use some work. Thanks.

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