What is an efficient Cast? An efficient cast is One of those casts that many want to duplicate but don't know how they did the cast! And for those that know it is a regular cast that is as easy as letting go of the Handle Bars on a Bike!
Moreso, what I say is that if you consider and learn these 4 points , you will become a very good caster, and infact, an ultra efficient caster and Flyfisher.... catch more fish and a much more importantly, have very little physical impact for a day or weeks fishing!
Here are the 4 Masters Points..
1/ ..... 180 degree Rule
2/ .....White Mouse
3/ ..... Constant Tension
4/ ..... Watch your fly!
If you know and understand these Points then you need not read any further...for you are a master that is able to fish and cast a fly under almost any circumstance.
180 degree rule ...
What goes up must come down , hold a Penny 6' off the floor and drop it...it falls straight to the floor...we all know this is true, it' s never really in question . So why then do we try to form a loop directly behind us and then want to cast the line in a different direction,not 180 degrees to our desired target !! Simply put,the direction the rod tip propels to or elevates to will determine what the line does..thus the need to have a constant acceleration to a full stop.The key is to fully understand where your tip stops and what you can do with this info'.The length of the stop does change a bit with different lines and certain casts,however,once learned it is like letting go of the handle bars on a bicycle! Much like during a single hand overhead cast...there must be a 2 stops to encourage line speed and loop developement. We know that there are always degrees of tolerence to every rule, so the forward stroke can actually alter the 180 degree rule slightly, even 15% of the directional change. Keep it simple, feel the load and deliver the forward stroke efficiently without any major shifts in your body movement and rod/hand position.
The White Mouse or Line Speed....
Moving line along and on the surface of water is key and often called the White Mouse Speed. Line stick is a constant like gravity but can be manipulated to become you very good friend. During the set-up for loop formation it is necessary to accelerate the tension holding your line in or on the water. The correct line movement or speed to accomplish a well formed loop and dynamic line placement is the White Mouse! Very constant,in fact ,this particular effort is the least intrusive and most efficient of any moves we make. It allows us time to make changes,set-up different directions,alternate power strokes,change body position and so much more. Regardless of cast,even the touch and go casts! Here are some casts that utilize this speed: Snake Roll,Single Spey,Double Spey,Switch Cast,Perry Poke,Skagit,Scandi,Snap T ,Snap Z, Circle Spey,and variations of all these casts. So what do you think?
The straighter your line is laying on the water definitely assists with constant tension....once you begin to move the line your rod will begin to flex as it is designed to do...the line will move according to the pressure applied and so on. It is very very important and all too often overlooked to begin your pick-up with your rod tip just off the water or infact just in the water. Way too many casters have their rod tip held at10 or even 11 o:clock and thus are holding a very inefficient belly in the line,off the water,without good dynamics in which to begin a cast. Almost like Nymphing but not being in contact with your presentation.
A good mental thought to consider is that an imaginary foam coffee cup is attached to the end of your line ,the mouth of the cup positioned to pick up water,there is an obvious need to accelerate your line in order to pick this up and onto the surface. This is a very good analogy to always remember. Tip down,accelerate into your next step,follow the moves and away you go! Especially with casts like what is now called the Perry Poke,or compensator casts,the need to create Constant Tension between caster/rod and pilled up line is a must,you can't just "rip" the line off the water,you have to create a steady resistance with your pick-up into your loop formation followed by a smooth transition on the forward stroke.
Watch your Fly or Anchor Placement
Know where your fly is at all times as much as possible, especially during the set-up for your cast. Another description for the fly or idea of the fly is called the anchor. Practice with bright coloured materials, Wool Yarn is OK but can be very clunky and often weighs a lot when wet. I like to use bright coloured Macrame Yarn or similar string yarn ,about 4" long so I can see not only the yarn's colour but the direction the yarn is laying once under tension! A very important point! If you are observant you will actually see your string yarn move into the 180 degree position once under tension as you engage your forward stroke. Follow the last few feet of your fly line on the water with your eyes and you will see the direction your loop and forward cast are developed.
This example pictured here shows an anchor/fly too far from the caster showing how the loop is not really a loop but indeed a spiral,and spirals have no energy release resulting a poorly executed delivery