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Author Topic: Sustained Anchor comments  (Read 27427 times)
riveraddict
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« on: January 17, 2011, 04:23:19 PM »

   This is an elaboration of a discussion that spanned two threads over on Speypages, one of which "disappeared", the other of which got "locked" due to the tone of resulting responses. Much of the negative tone was the result of differences in definitions. I feel that some aspects of the discussion were of an important enough degree to "transfer" here.

Definition of "Speycasting" - in North America, the term "Spey", as it relates to casting, has taken on a "general" context used to refer to all fly casting styles that use the surface of the water as a means for enabling a change in the direction of the cast. In other words, "Speycasting" describes a "family" of casting methodologies (Traditional Spey, Modern Spey, Underhand, Scandi, Skagit) and not just the singular, specific, absolutely "original" Spey casting style. Whether this is "right" or "wrong", it is in fact the "state of evolution" for that term "Speycasting" here in North America and that is pretty much all that there is to it as this meaning has been undeniably established by MAJORITY USEAGE .

All Spey-type casts use a re-contacting of the line with the water's surface in the casting procedure to enable a change in the casting direction. Or, all Spey-type casts use a re-contacting of the line with the water's surface in the casting procedure to minimize required backcast room. What's more important and/or what came first? Who cares... they both provide advantages to the angler!  

continued...
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 04:24:46 PM by riveraddict » Logged

riveraddict
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 04:54:29 PM »

...continued.

Definition of Scandi casting - don't know of any specific, concrete written definition. My take on it, garnered through observation and conversation with European casters recognized for their expertise in the style, is that of a shootinghead Spey-type casting methodology that focuses on obtaining primary functionality via a Touch-and-Go anchored Singlespey cast. However, here in North America, the definition of Scandi casting may in fact and indeed appears to be going through the same situation of becoming as different from its European origins as did the term Speycasting. Unfortunately, the rapid growth of "things Spey" here in NA has far outpaced the spread of established information concerning the definitions and workings of the different Spey-type casting styles and evidence is that therefore a great many of "our" Spey participants are attaching more significance to the labeled names on their lines than the actual mechanics of the particular casting style... if one is using a Scandi line, then they must be Scandi casting, right?!

continued...        
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 09:17:03 AM by riveraddict » Logged

camosled
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 05:16:46 PM »

I'm stoked that this thread continues....

This is the forum for all things Skagit with no punches pulled.   Let the party begin..

JM

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riveraddict
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 05:21:53 PM »

...continued

The Doublespey of "today" is substantially different than the original Doublespey. I base my opinion on the drawings and descriptions of the DS as presented in old books authored by anglers such as Kelson and Tavender. Considering that these are in fact drawings and written descriptions of a three dimensional action, there is obviously a wide window for interpretation. However, a conclusion that the original DS was presented as a keep-it-in-motion-as-much-as-possible casting procedure, seems pretty apparent to me. Also, that the DS back then was considered a very viable and required part of the Speycasting repertoire, also seems pretty well established. Yet, somewhere along the line, the DS seems to have lost favor amongst the European Speycasting community to other, "substitute" casts (Snake, Spiral). Is there a correlation to the DS's eventual de-throning and the changeover from heavy-tipped, inertia-creating bamboo and greenheart rods, over to lighter tipped, faster recovering glass and then graphite rods?

continued...  
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 08:59:04 AM by riveraddict » Logged

riveraddict
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 05:55:29 PM »

...continued.

Anchors - all Spey-type casts use a re-contacting of the line with the water's surface to create a D-loop to minimize backcast-room requirements, and/or initiate a change in the direction of cast. This water re-contact is known as the "anchor" of the Speycasting process. Bear in mind however, that though the term "anchor" is singular in connotation, that "it" can be conducted/performed in more than one manner/way.

Anchor type one is a very brief - measured in increments of a second - "skipping", "kiss and go", or "touch and go" re-contacting of  line-to-water whereby the vast MAJORITY of the line REMAINS AERIALIZED and only a minor part of it makes a contacting with the water. This type of anchor re-contacts with the surface of the water just long enough to re-direct casting momentum formed from the initial picking up of the line into another, "forward" direction... it is a "live" line procedure. This type of anchor is most often referred to as "kiss-n-go" or T&G (touch-n-go).

continued...  
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 10:11:37 AM by riveraddict » Logged

camosled
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 07:24:12 PM »

I would add that if anyone is curious to see what Ed is talking about...Buy SM1 from our home page at:  Skagitmaster.com

continue sir.

JM

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riveraddict
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 07:47:28 PM »

...continued.

Anchor type two is the one where all the room for discussion seems to occur. Now then, keep in mind that it has been a good dozen years or more since I did my own in-depth digging into the past to try and develop a more educated sense of Speycasting mechanics. Doubtless, the tiny details of my search I no longer retain. However, the overall gist of my findings I believe to remain accurate for the purposes of this discussion. Anchor type two is one in which a very SIGNIFICANT PORTION of the flyline contacts the water during the re-contact step of the cast - becomes NON-AERIALIZED - and as a result, a substantial part of the momentum formed from the initial pickup of the line is extinguished. This type of anchor has been dubbed "waterborne" and I think the credit for this nomenclature goes to Simon G. I believe that this type of anchor became established via the Doublespey cast around the advent time of either glass rods or graphite rods. Prior to that time, I believe that the inherent slow recovery and "heavy" tip weight of rods constructed of greenheart and bamboo combined to allow the use of lighter weighted lines and thus, the lighter weighted lines, plus slow rod recovery and rod tip weight, translated into a capability of actually being able to keep the MAJORITY of a flyline AERIALIZED THROUGHOUT the original Doublespey cast via a constant moving, figure-of-eight rod motion IN A T&G PROCESS. I believe that with the appearance of glass, then graphite, the loss of rod tip weight and the addition of faster rod recovery then directed lines to trend upwards in weight. These three factors then combined to force a change in how the Doublespey was performed - it went from a T&G anchor to waterborne because it became too difficult to maintain the flyline in an aerialized status with lighter-tipped, faster recovery rods using heavier lines. In other words, it seems very probable that the Doublespey started out as a T&G anchored cast and then "evolved" to waterborne. Thus, conditions of water tension that occured in the original waterborne anchor were CONSEQUENTIAL and NOT INTENTIONAL. Addendum - rod lengths "back then" were commonly in the 16' to 18' range, another factor that would contribute towards performing a Doublespey in a live line fashion.

continued...    
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 10:34:56 AM by riveraddict » Logged

yuhina
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 07:56:18 PM »

I'm stoked that this thread continues....

This is the forum for all things Skagit with no punches pulled.   Let the party begin..

JM


You promise you won't let the thread "disappear" again? Grin

Let's keep talking... gentlemen...
Ed, Thank you to bring it back alive!

Mark
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 09:12:19 PM by yuhina » Logged


riveraddict
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 08:28:23 PM »

...continued.

What I'm driving at here, is that throughout my research of Speycasting, at no time do I recall seeing referenced - either in written, audio, visual form - any inference to WANTING MORE water tension introduced into the equation. Even with the waterborne anchor the gist was that the circumstance of significant line-to-water contact was an undesirable, unavoidable, CONSEQUENTIAL part of that particular casting procedure. The mantra was still to try to keep it all moving as best as possible. Then came the advent of Skagit casting. To avoid a long and convulated history of Skagit casting and remain on the "anchor" subject, let's just say this: a group of anglers figured out that instead of consequential water tension being the "enemy", that via adjustments in technique and rod/line relationship, INTENTIONAL water tension could be harnessed to ADVANTAGE. This "customization" of waterborne anchor technique towards PROMOTING conditions of water tension rather than minimizing it, was dubbed "SA - sustained anchor". It was through applicationof SA concepts that the Doublespey regained some popularity and the Perry Poke and C/Snap casts evolved into high performance casts.

continued...    
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 08:42:09 AM by riveraddict » Logged

riveraddict
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 08:59:20 PM »

...continued.

Thus a new style of Speycasting focused towards extracting optimum performance through intentionally created circumstances of significant water tension took shape. Its reputation spread as anglers using the method traveled to angling destinations beyond those of where the methodology originated. "We" called it Skagit casting. It was an exciting style of Speycasting that seemed to be providing capabilities of flyfishing not presented before! I joined Speypages to introduce, clarify and legitimize the "new" Skagit casting to the Speycasting world. Wow, was that ever an eye opener! A very vocal contingent of the Spey community clashed over my presentations with extreme gusto! If it wasn't "Well, that's NOT Speycasting", then it was "That's NOTHING MORE than Speycasting with a short line". WTF!!! Damned if you do, damned if you don't situation to the max. That's when/why I coined the term SA (Sustained Anchor) - based on the most visually apparent characteristic, the sustained line contact - to distinguish the INTENTIONAL act of forming water tension from that of UNINTENTIONAL/CONSEQUENTIAL and thus avoid arguements over using the term "waterborne" in discussions concerning Skagit. After coining SA, that became the only anchor reference I used for describing Skagit casting from then on. Apparently, my omission of using "waterborne" over the ensueing years has been misconstrued by some "Speyer's" as an attempt to subvert Speycasting history! Really?! I say that those individuals are viewing my discussions with a big "agenda" chip already established on their shoulders and it grossly affects their capacity for objectivity!  

continued...      
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 07:35:21 AM by riveraddict » Logged

riveraddict
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 10:33:26 PM »

...continued.

   I chose the word "sustained" as a visual "key" to the most visually prominent characteristic of the cast... the sustained contacting of the line with the water. At the time, "sustained" meant to me either extended time of contact or significant proportion of line contact. I realize now that "sustained" probably isn't the best descriptor as regards "proportion of line", however now that it's "out there", trying to change it for something "better" seems about as do-able as re-constructing a broken egg! Regardless, the intent was to distinguish a type of anchor that had the appearance of "waterborne", but additionally included the PURPOSE of INTENTIONALLY creating significant water tension. Remember that prior to my establishment of the term SA, that descriptions of waterborne anchors gave NO indication towards striving to promote water tension. Also, that prior to Skagit casting, NO other Spey-type casting style stated an INTENT of using significant water tension as the primary source of casting power.  

continued...    
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 08:03:42 AM by riveraddict » Logged

zmbrooks
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 07:14:16 AM »

This is great Ed!  Good to see it continue over here.  I think a lot of the problem is most people don't spend enough time with one line system to understand the ins and outs.  Simply put, they just don't understand what the heck you're talking about. 

Thanks for keeping this discussion alive!

-Zack
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camodrifter
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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 08:35:35 AM »

I also think a reason that people have such prejudice over skagit casting is that they are all locked into their little box.  I for one see it on a daily basis on the Clearwater.  I happen to do very well here in all seasons, swinging flys. 

Most fisherman come here and only gravitate tward that big open gravel bars that make casting and fishing a fly a no brainer.  I on the other hand spend the entire year on this one river.  I fish it for steelhead, spring chinook, trout, and bass.  This gives me an opportunity to truly understand the river,  and guess what?  Most of the steelhead are not holding on thoes big open flats!  I know this from years of gear fishing and I am not going to throw this knowlege out the window just because i picked up a spey rod a year and a half ago.  Many would expect me to do that!

I have found great succes fishing from the rough!  I enjoy the challange of fishing places that I am certian hold fish, but are very difficult to fish with a fly.  I am in for the long wild ride because of the many hundreds of steelhead I caught with gear nothing compaired to that grab! I had already been commited to the insanity of steelhead, but I now hit a different level. 

I really appreciate this site and all of the people willing to post and help the upcoming breed of steelhead fly fishers that like to drop it in four low and get off road.

thank you,
KJ
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riveraddict
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 09:19:34 AM »

...continued.

The fact is that all Spey-type casts appear quite similar when viewed in actual on-the-water performance, especially to the "uninformed". If they all look the same, then the assumption is made that they are in fact all the same... right!? It is only when a thorough awareness of the subject is developed that obvious differences are perceived between particular Spey-type casts such as the Singlespey, C-spey, Perry poke, etc. The same situation exists as regards the differing anchor types. The SA process of intentionally promoting water tension onto a line APPEARS similar to other anchor types because its visual "difference" is a matter of "subtle" technique - the addition of a second or two of time or the lowering of the rod tip by a few inches or the prompting of curvature into how the line is layed out - that is unapparent to the "uninformed". It is only an in-depth awareness of the subject that allows the differences to become apparent. The point I'm trying to make here is that much of the argueing about SA comes from people who's opinions on it are based upon superficial observation and not actual casting experience.

continued...              
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 08:09:19 AM by riveraddict » Logged

yuhina
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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 09:54:16 AM »

...continued.

All Spey-type casts appear very similar when viewed in actual on-the-water performance. To the "uninformed", they all look the same, thus the assumption is made that they are in fact all the same. It is only when an awareness of the subject is gained that obvious differences are perceived between the particular casts such as the Singlespey, C-spey, Perry poke, etc.

well put...

I have to make a disclaimer that "I" am a technical guy and I like to dissect things... so if I move into too much details and lost you guys in the future...just give me a shut and I will shut up!  Cool

I have to agree though, if there are not much confusions on the internet "what weight of line I should use? " "What action of a rod is more forgiving  for skagit line?" "why t14 doesn't work well for line under 420 grain?"...

IF there are just "smooth and nice, cast out there and enjoy your surrounding..." no one will like to "splitting the hair". At least I won't...  but the reality is it is so technical in spey fishing and spey casting... it could get very "scientific" at times... and if people want to blind it into "a black box". I am fine with that attitude too.

However, there are many ways to speed up the learning curve; de-mystery the vague and make learning so much fun and creative. Not just (for analogy) "if you make a wrong turn long enough, you will learn how to make a right run at the end", why not just get a map? and drive it out there correctly at the first time?! I can't believe all the "old school minded" people always talk like this? "Son, it takes 30 years to learn this... watch how I do it... take your time!"
 
There is one fly casting lesson always echo in my head, when I try to figure out "how certain cast work well, some cast not"? Way Yin said, if you figure out "why" it works, you will figure out "how" it will works. And this "principle driven learning" just open up all the possibility, all the creativity for me to custom design all kind of interesting tackle/casting combination for  different fishing scenario. And it is a different level satisfaction to me.

Mark
   
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