Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ed Ward - skagit style master

...for the general audience, that the "stick with one style" statement that I have presented many times on these Speypages which seems to be so often presented out of context and thus spurs so much contention, has an addendum that, when ommitted (the usual case, whether intentional or not) significantly alters the "gist" of that statement. That being the "until you become thoroughly versed in that style" part.

On that note, I have observed most frequently, proponents of the "do whatever" approach, are not highly proficient at any style of casting, and along with that circumstance, are not thoroughly knowledgeable about any one casting style.

To illustrate one of those "differences" between casting styles that makes it at the very least - "challenging" - to switch back and forth... some years ago there was an angler that was so into casting that he paid to have my casting "analyzed". This consisted of attaching some "dots" to me in specific locations, videoing my casting, then having a computer program crunch all of the resulting statistics. This same process has been used on some very notable golfers and baseball pitchers to try and figure out the "secrets" of their success in their particular sport. The most notable fact to come out from my session was that, from that stage in the casting sequence where I placed my line into the anchor position, all the way through to the end of the casting stroke - the point in between my hands from around which the rod is rotated to conduct the Sweep-45 Thrust-Turnover-Forward Casting Stroke - that I refer to in my teaching of casting as the "fixed pivot point (FPP)", never moved more than 2" from where it was established at the very beginning of the Sweep (another description used for the FPP is "keeping it in the box", one that I first heard being used by Scott O. and Mike M., and one that I have been using myself more and more). And that my best casts came when I was able to contain that FPP within a 1/2" area. Contrast that with the "raising of the rod into the D" that is so inherent to teaching longline tactics - a movement of the hands/rod at least 10" to 12" up and AWAY from what would be a Skagit Caster's FPP - and one that would UNLOAD the rod if used in Skagit casting. The FPP or "box" of Skagit casting is the element of Skagit casting that provides for that "effortless power, not powerful effort" mantra that ScottO. and Mike M. use. The FPP/box concept allows for the creation of rod load for casting and its subsequent transfer around to a position for the forward cast without loss of energy. Learning to establish the FPP for Skagit casting takes a LOT of disciplined practice. Even with that, the FPP is one of the first elements of Skagit casting to "go away" when one becomes tired from long sessions of casting, or has not been in touch with casting for extended periods of time. Now then, spend extensive time and effort to train yourself into the tightest FPP/box that you can and then "crosstrain" into a "raise to the D" for longline... good luck!

This is what he said about skagit casting .. very true! very important!

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