Watching Tony Yap first pick up a spin casting outfit and then a bait casting outfit and make a cast clear across the fly casting ponds was amazing. He was demonstrating that each rod was cast with the same kind of motion and each cast had the same result. Then, with his 5 wt rod, Tony made 2 false casts and cast a small bit of yarn over 90 feet. In each case the rod tip provided the energy to launch such long and elegant casts.
“Flip the Tip” was Tony’s mantra for his “Understanding Casting” clinic. Over 20 Flycasters listened to Tony first teach and then demonstrate how to get the fly rod to do exactly what it is meant to do. Tony repeated his instructions from the August “Distance and Accuracy” clinic. Loop control is the key to distance and accuracy. Control the rod tip and you control your cast. “Flicking” or “Flipping” the tip – not the “stop” most instructors insist on – will result in creating a tight loop. Starting with the grip – Tony prefers a tennis racket grip with the index finger resting on top rather than the caster’s thumb. This keeps the hand from rotating and opening during the back cast. Keep the rod in a single plane, not an arc, and the line will proceed in a straight line. And cast with a quick and even tempo to control the loop. Stand with your right foot forward (right handers) in order to reduce shoulder turn. Keep your elbow relaxed and by your side, lift your hand to your ear in one motion and remember to “flip the tip” at the end of the back cast. Feel the rod load and begin your forward cast in the same tempo and strength as the back cast. You don’t have to push harder for more distance – this only leads to the rod tip dipping and causing *gasp!* tailing loops. And remember – "Flip the Tip."
One thing Tony emphasized in particular is the need for "practice – practice – practice". He reminded us that he didn't get out of bed one day with the ability to cast so long, so accurate, and so effortlessly. Tony treats casting like a discipline, which includes conditioning exercises and stretches.
And one last and very important thing. Tony demonstrated how critical it is that the rod needs to be matched with the correct fly line – the rod and line must be balanced. It is quite often necessary to up line a rod one, two or even three line weights in order to achieve the best combination.
The club will be scheduling another clinic to address correctly matching rods to lines. We will need lots of volunteers to bring a variety of rods and lines for demonstrations. We'll schedule this for late April or early May 2011. Contact Wade Goertz for information firstname.lastname@example.org