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Fulcrum - the point or support upon which a lever pivots. The point around which a lever rotates. A prop, support, or fixed point on which a lever moves, i.e. about which rotation can take place.

Also: It is the point beyond which a cantilever extends into space, its other end anchored on the opposite side of the fulcrum.

Note: In double-handed casting Fulcrum Fly-casting style is simply a bottom hand and body dominated technique in terms of power application.

What is Fly Casting?

Essentially it involves unrolling a fly line which is a long flexible weight. We unroll a fly line through using the properties of a long flexible rod specifically through .
Often, but not always, as the line is unrolling away from us, it may be pulling out extra line from the running line feeding out through the rod rings. A leader and a fly or flies will be attached to the end of the fly line and are towed along by the fly line.

When someone spins or bait fishes, they are then usually casting a very concentrated weight using a practically weightless and thin mono or braid line. The weight being cast is the actual lure itself, or an added weight such as a piece of lead. The lure or weight is effectively catapulted away, often with a relatively short sharp movement and aerodynamic matters are generally not too much of an issue.

However that system relies on a concentrated weight. Tying a normal fishing fly onto a standard spinning or bait fishing rod to cast it will just not work, there is not enough mass in the fly. Instead the whole system is changed, the much thicker fly line becomes the weight, containing the necessary mass to load the longer more flexible fly rod. The weight is not concentrated in one lump but is spread out over the head of the fly line. We use a longer and more flexible rod that is better suited to creating and directing momentum to a weighted fly line. Critically the rod tip turnover speed or counter flex from the rod unloading will accelerate the line when the rod is stopped.

The one thing rods do by themselves

Fortunately all fly rods work in the same way whether single, double or switch. That is, when they are deflected into a curve, they will then straighten and unload when they get the opportunity to do so, due to the taper the rod tip will flip over at speed in a counter flex. Once that property is fully understood, then how to use them properly becomes clear. The unloading property of a rod is used at speed in overhead casting, and in forward casts while Spey casting, and more sedately in a Spey casting set with D loop formation. The opposing leverage D loop formation being a wonderful example of clever use of the rods inherent properties.

A double handed rod will be used in a manner as to to achieve the exact same effect as correct single handed rod use, to achieve the same use of the properties of the rod. Due to the length of the rod however it will require both hands to manipulate and lever it.

Some rods are used with one hand and some with two hands to achieve the same use. With single handed rods, the other hand will also usually be utilised to control the fly line, especially via double hauling.

To unroll the line properly it is essential to be able to create and direct the line momentum using specific, directed leverage as an acceleration to a stop.

Fly casting may mean different things to different people.

Fly casting for me is primarily about real world, practical fishing casting using normal or standard single or double handed fly fishing outfits. Those suitable for their quarry and the particular required role or venue.

For me it also involves the teaching of fly casting technique to others, usually via formal training and a focussed exercise system.

On odd occasions it is also about overhead and Spey distance casting competition, or in coaching individuals for competition.

In simple terms, normal practical fishing fly casting is about efficiently unrolling the fly line and leader to present the fly. Therefore its about loop morphology (loop formation and loop shape). It's not only about getting the line out, but about how to do that with some degree of efficiency, control and finesse, most especially without tiring ourselves needlessly over the course of a fishing day. It is for me therefore largely about finding and using the optimum in control, combined with economy of effort while fishing.

That in turn means it really is also about a lot of other things that enable this control and efficiency to happen consistently. It ultimately comes down to understanding the properties and capabilities of the rod and line, and gaining full personal control of your own physical movements, enabling precision in applying and directing leverage and power.

There is also presentation casting in some areas of fly fishing, particularly river fly fishing in order to allow for currents or obstructions, accuracy may also be important.

The main disciplines in fly casting are Overhead and Spey casting techniques. With overhead casting the line unrolls out fully in the air behind the caster, so enough room and space for that to happen is necessary. With Spey casting techniques, the end of the fly line and /or leader is placed on the water and a D loop is formed with the line curving backwards from the rod tip and then forward again to the water surface. As a result much less space or clearance is required and the contact of the end of the line on the fluid surface provides the necessary resistance to make a cast.

Spey casting techniques are used to cast in places where there is no room to extend the line behind, or sometimes even when there is space Spey casting is still used in preference or perhaps for safety reasons.

One can Overhead or Spey cast using either single or double handed rods.

There are three main line styles within Spey casting. Normal original Spey casting using medium and longer belly lines. Shooting head techniques where the head length of the fly line is shorter and the weight more concentrated, and thin running line is 'shot out' for distance. Skagit techniques where an even shorter heavier line than a shooting head is used. With Skagit casting waterborne anchor casts are used, this means the fly line is always placed on the water first before a D loop is formed from picking the line up off the water.

Longer stroke Spey casting is much more difficult than using Spey casting techniques with Scandinavian and Skagit outfits where a shorter stroke is used. 15 ft rod competition Spey casting is a different ball game again and the hardest discipline of all.

Most fly fishing is done with single handed rods, in recent years double handed fly casting has become very popular, as have switch rods which can be used either single or double handed.

Fishing fly-casting for me means casting in a certain way, using a specific system, a methodology.

Fortunately I encountered a complete system of practical 'real world' fly-casting many years ago as taught by renowned Scottish caster Peter Anderson. A system specifically designed for the attainment of full control with economy of effort, attained through the use of efficient, effective leverage and channeling leverage and line momentum as much as possible in the one overall direction. It is a system that I have used and taught since then.
Almost everything I mention here is in relation to that style of casting. There are other styles of course and other people do other things and do them very well.

The term fulcrum is used specifically as a
label or title for this style and the modern techniques form others incorporated into it.. Its use is in a very specific context and this is explained below under 'Fulcrum Interlude.'

I have also met several other Instructors with a very great understanding of Fly-casting technique, including mainly Alastair Gowans, the Carron people including James Chalmers and Andrew Toft, Ruairi Costello, Goran Andersson, American Instructor Al Buhr and the Finnish Instructor Antti Guttorm.

Particular attention is paid to the specific way the rod is loading and unloading in Fulcrum Fly-casting style. It has some key exercises also for learning and fine tuning technique. It has its own sayings an general explanations. One such is 'The progressive nature of rod loading is an axiom upon which all of fly-casting technique must be built.'

Fundamental topics in Fly-Casting

There are various topics of fundamental importance in fly-casting.

Stances and grips.

Using weight shift and upper body rotation.

Controlling the amount of power used.

Using effective stops and sufficient pauses.

Making true and smooth accelerations

Controlling overall timing and tempo

Controlling trajectory.

Line height management behind

Making correct position changes and angle changes of the rod of the right amount and in the right sequence over the stroke, sometimes using a steady overall tempo.

Keeping in plane and understanding the various rod, arm and body planes.
The ability to execute straight line inclines, or climbing curves and scribe precise rod tip paths.

Self control - control over your own movements for precision and the breaking of habit, learning counter intuitive correct movement.

Economy of effort and efficiency. Becoming ergonomically efficient, balancing the stroke properly, and not reaching when applying power.

Any of those topics and others are of importance. I could however largely sum up in a couple of statements what fly-casting means and indeed determines for me.

1. The nature, attributes and properties of the rod and line are not going to change to suit me or anyone else, I must learn therefore both to utilise them, and to ensure my technique suits their behaviour and properties.

2. The principles of efficient and effective leverage, and of ergonomically efficient use of the body are not going to change to suit me or anyone else, I must therefore learn to understand, incorporate and utlise them in my technique.

I also believe that to do something well, and just as with anything worthwhile, there are no quick fixes outside of good basic or foundational technique. It takes determined effort and practice to lay the correct foundation. It's not usually picked up in your own back yard either. I consider it necessary to learn from the experienced. This may mean traveling to source good information from formal training.

I also see that the world of wild fish game fishing is utterly ruthless at times, sometimes either you have the ability to cope with the situation as it presents itself, or you're beat. I often say to people therefore that the casting often is the fishing. As fly casting and a fly rod and line is the vehicle to transport the fly where you want it, then any inability in using it efficiently may limit your fishing experience and results sometimes or in some places or conditions..

A Fulcrum Interlude -

The context of the use of the word 'Fulcrum.'

We have two hands on the double handed rod, it can be made to pivot mainly at one hand or the other during the power application. We ensure that it pivots at the top hand during the power application.
The single handed rod small angle change at the end of a casting stroke, the 'power snap' (Joan Wulff), the 'micro wrist' or 'micro second wrist' (Doug Swisher) was referred to as a fulcrum point pivot in this style, the rod pivoting at about the ring finger when a handshake grip with thumb on top is used.

Archimedes expounded upon the differences in the various types of leverage, and that efficiency is greater when the pivotal point is placed along the lever. When first class leverage is used.

The word Fulcrum became used as a short title for this particular Scottish style of fly-casting when it was referred to by Andrew Toft, myself and others who use this style - the style
originating with the teachings of Peter Anderson and using its own particular combination of characteristics. Partly because over time other aspects have been incorporated due to modern tackle developments, and aspects of competition casting that can translate to fishing casting, and because fulcrum is a short, handy word to use as a title.

It became used as a handy title partly due to the fact that in double-handed casting, (and in the
context only of the role of the two hands), the rod is ensured to pivot at the top hand during the power application phase of the stroke.

The top hand is also moving as it travels through the stroke. Through compound movements the caster ensuring the rod is pivoting at the top hand during the power application phase and as it moves through the stroke, rather than allowing the rod to pivot at the bottom hand during the power application phase of a stroke. Thus ensuring the most efficient leverage and rod loading over the shortest movement.

The top hand becomes the support (of the only two supports from the two hands) around which the rod pivots because of a bottom hand and body dominated power application movement, allowing the rod to pivot at the prop or support of the top hand which is also still steering and moving through the stroke. One has to appreciate and understand the difference between independent top hand movement and indirect top hand movement from upper body rotation when applying opposing leverage. Few understand this until it is demonstrated. The first incline exercise being a good demonstration of it.

The word is definitely not used in connection with any visual axis in double handed casting. The use of the word fulcrum being in the specific context of the role of the two hands, and used to define which hand the rod rotates around (top hand). Therefore also which hand (the bottom one) is therefore dominant in movement and power application.

It also does not mean that the top hand is not being moved or used, it is being used fully to create correct stroke length, to steer and define rod tip paths and make stops and aid an acceleration.

We ensure the bottom hand is dominant during power application phase and that rod is therefore rotating around the support of the top hand during most of the stroke, but especially during the main power application. Prior to this in pre load of the forward cast, in the lead before speed phase both hands may be moving together or moving from weight shift.

As the top hand continues moving along the stroke used (mainly from upper body rotation on the set up of a Spey cast D loop) the rod also mainly rotates at or around it from the use of the bottom hand pushing out or on the forward cast from pulling in.

In single-handed casting the word fulcrum pivot or fulcrum point pivot was used to describe what others might describe as the power snap or rotation. In double-handed casting this style is a bottom hand dominated long stroke style where the bottom hand and body supply the main power application. The top hand support acts as the support upon which the rod rotates, while it also directs or steers and helps provide stroke length. Simple, no scientific measurements are required to grasp the concept and technique. No visual axis needed to be located, it refers to the role of the hands.

as a title means then a lot of things or nuances of a particular style summed up in one word. So it can be used to mean - long stroke bottom hand dominated double-handed casting - ensuring control with economy of effort - the use of a straight line incline for overhead casting - the use of continuous motion in overhead casting - learning by an exercise system such as the incline exercise / half lift exercise e.t.c. - in fact all elements related or key to this Scottish style.

Its not about finding any visual axis points or where they might appear, or scientific measured data for any other fulcrums outside of the context of the defined role of the two hands. The term is simply used as a convenient overall label or title for a particular Scottish system and style of fly-casting, and in the context of defining the role of the top hand in double-handed casting in this style during the power application.

I am fully aware of the efficiency and results of using a double-handed rod with the rotational point at the top hand during power application in the context of the use of the two hands, both on the back loop set up, and on the final delivery. Stroke length will also be occurring and so the top hand will be moving along through the stroke as it is still maintained as the prop or support for the rod, around which it will be rotated by the use of the bottom hand pushing out or pulling in. I am also fully aware of the great difficulty people have in gaining enough control to suppress the use of the top hand in terms of power application while still maintaining stroke and acceleration with it. I am very happy with the system and use and teach it as I was taught it.

Fulcrum - the point or support upon which a lever pivots. The point around which a lever rotates. A prop, support, or fixed point on which a lever moves, i.e. about which rotation can take place.

Also: It is the point beyond which a cantilever extends into space, its other end anchored on the opposite side of the fulcrum.

I would point out that the word '
Fulcrum' is simply a generic term used in physics to describe a pivotal point. Where the fulcrum is placed on a lever, along with effort and load also defines the different types of leverage, (see bottom of page Terminology 1 - under Fly-casting heading).

All casting styles use fulcrums, it is part of the
substance of fly-casting as the Americans say. All other casting styles make use of fulcrums to cast and it is nothing unique to this style of casting using that name as a title for the style. It would be impossible to cast in any style without using the rod as a lever and fulcrums to create the various classes of leverage used in Fly-casting.

Fulcrum Style is a complete system for everyday practical fishing casting with both single and double-handed rods, and for both Overhead and Spey casting techniques. It is taught through an exercise system. The fly line will not be hitting the ground beside or behind the caster when overhead casting as line height management behind is practiced as a key aspect of the style.

Some people become confused at the beginning of the double-handed learning curve about all the different types of cast used with a double-handed rod. Some may feel a little daunted or perplexed by it all. Why are there so many different types of cast? What are the Snap T's / C's, the Perry Pokes? the Modern Straight line Single Spey? Traditional In Swing Single Spey? Forward Spey? Double Speys and Snake Rolls? What is original Underhand casting or modern Scandi Spey style with shooting heads?

There is absolutely no need to become confused by any of it at all - and why is that? Well due to the fact that every Spey cast, or any of the alternative replacement casts for any Spey cast, all use a similar
common movement to form a correct D or V loop and of course a similar final delivery / forward cast. They are, more or less, all the very same cast at the end part of the cast and the D or V loop is formed in the practically the same way on every cast, no matter which one is being used. Therefore, once you have the D or V loop forming technique under your control, then you have the most critical part of all of the Spey casts and any of the replacement casts for a Spey cast more or less learned. The main difference from cast to cast will only be the initial line placing move used before you form the D loop and make the final delivery.

Putting a few simple moves together that allow for a couple of essential principles will soon ensure the D or V loop forming technique is perfected. It is learned mainly through both the incline exercise (airborne anchor) and the climbing curve exercise (waterborne anchor). The incline exercise used in the teaching of Fulcrum Fly-casting is simply invaluable as a learning tool for Spey casting and for the understanding of how a double-handed rod works.

The dearest place you can learn Spey casting or practice the very basics of forming a D loop is in places like Russia, Iceland or any expensive beat in the U.K. or Ireland. You should ensure that you have learned at least the basics before you are fishing on good venues so as not to waste valuable fishing time or opportunities. You should also ensure that you learn Spey casting standing in water.
Did I see you drop that rod tip behind?
One of the most obvious and noticeable signs of someone casting in Fulcrum Fly-Casting style is that the rod tip is not pulled down or is not allowed to drop down at all behind at any time when they are overhead casting during their power application or angle change, not even an inch (apart perhaps from some rod counter flex). To channel all the energy as much as possible in the one direction they are casting along a straight line incline with their rod hand or top hand, and the main angle change is made as the forearm(s) keep moving along the incline. As the rod tip turns over it is still rising and the overall movement directs the line upwards, the bottom leg of the line then unrolls on a rising incline with a very tight loop. This keeping of the line momentum directed as much as possible in the one overall direction reduces the need for excessive power application or speed. It also creates very tight and pointed loops. Line height management behind is a main feature of Fulcrum Fly-casting style and of immense practical benefit when fishing.

Note: A straight line incline is a straight line incline and not an arch or convex movement, not even a slight arch.

It also applies to Spey casting technique where the rod must rise when it passes the angler's position, either along a straight line incline or on a climbing curve.
Spey Casting

D Loop formation, a common element.

Every Spey cast, or any of the alternative replacement casts for any Spey cast, use and share a similar common rod tip path movement to form a correct D loop set up just before the final delivery / forward cast. The rod tip path used to form the D loop is referred to as a 'climbing curve' in this style.

The various types of casts using a D
loop formation are therefore all very similar over the latter parts of the cast. Once then you have an efficient D loop forming technique on both the right and left sides of your body under your control, you then have the most critical part of all of the Spey casts and any of the replacement casts for a Spey cast more or less learned.

Efficient D loop formation (off either side) is in effect for me the
'Pareto principle' of Spey Casting. This is the critical element, the critical 20 percent of technique that will cover most requirements and makes the rest of it easy. To do this technically correctly with absolute efficiency in this style it is best to learn the incline exercise progression.

The main differences between various casts will mostly be the initial line placing movement used before you start to form the D loop, and also whether you are pulling the line up off the water, or whether it is traveling through the air and will touch down to form the anchor.

That is precisely why the
incline exercise progression is invaluable for Spey casting technique, and excellent for perfecting off side casting. Also an invaluable exercise for learning a correct V loop set up also, and for mastering some modern shooting head casting techniques using V loops set ups - as used and taught by Antti Guttorm of Finland.

Putting a few movements together via the Incline exercise progression, (a progression of exercises that allows for a couple of fundamental essential principles), will ensure the D / V loop forming technique is perfected off both sides in fulcrum style. D and V loop forming control then allows you to fine tune and 'shape' your loop set up to your requirements in any situation.

Shooting Head Casting - Double-Handed rod

There are three main methods / variations on the theme of shooting head Spey casting I use and teach, as well as overhead casting with shooting heads. I believe shooting head casting is the most efficient way to use sunk line or super fast sinking poly leaders and tips.

I also believe that the best shooting head casting technique is arrived at the through carrying some of the the fine tuned, honed disciplines of long belly line casting technique, where there is no room for error, back into a shorter stroke technique.

I also believe much the same thing about single handed rod casting in general, if you can handle the longer bellied single handed lines well in general, it will be easy for you to use shorter lines, it doesn't always work so well the other way round. The concept of idea of finding a line to make it easy without thoroughly learning the whole technique of casting well first is alien to Fulcrum style ethos. Self control for mastery of good technique is what makes casting easy eventually, not only a shorter heavy line.

1. Classic Underhand Style (short grip, top grip made from forming a ring of fingers and thumb, body realignment but not upper body rotation, leader and poly leader only form the anchor, end of line level with caster). D loop formed on set up. A great style for general use and it is especially good for fishing in confined spaces. The more you use this style the more efficient you become with it through fine tuning so that very relaxed practical fishing becomes the norm. Downstream side casts are normally the snake roll or reversed snake roll.

2. Modern Scandi - Antti Guttorm's style, this is the method adopted and used in Fulcrum style, very similar movements to the second incline exercise. Seriously -the best fun you can have with a shooting head. Normal grip, low lift with reel turned to the incline's plane, rod tip out to the side, bottom hand slightly away from body. A shallow incline sweep on the set up made mainly with upper body rotation and the bottom hand pushing out. Body turning partly directing V loop set up, end of line touching down level with angler. Doesn't matter if some of the head touches also but generally it doesn't - depending on leader set up. This is the style I use most for practical fishing, it is an extremely efficient and effective way to use a shooting head. Antti Guttorm from Finland is one of the best double-handed casters I have ever seen with both Spey and Shooting head outfits.

3. Normal Spey Casting with shooting heads - normal grip and long stroke using realignment and upper body rotation. Part of head may touch down as well as leader / poly leader.

Fly-casting is the vehicle through which the fly is presented, it makes perfect sense then to have full control over it.
Fly-casting ability is an extremely important aspect of presentation. I often say to people 'at times the casting is the fishing.' Fine tuned control over this aspect of things makes it a true joy to use either a single or double-handed fly rod.

I still at times find even greater appreciation of the simplicity and clarity of good Instruction in the practice of fly-casting. Such as statements and techniques from Peter Anderson.

Statements like
'channel all the energy and line momentum as much as possible in the one overall direction.' Or his profoundly efficient use of the straight line incline in single and double-hand overhead casting which of course is the logical result of the first statement, the beauty and efficiency of the casting it produces along with a continuous motion blend into drift and then lead for line height management behind. This makes it easy to see a caster formally trained in Peter Anderson style, the rod tip is rising when it turns over behind, the rod tip is rising along an incline during power application including with the wrist turnover or angle change as it is made during the second half of the back casting stroke. His attention to position change and angle change of the rod where there is usually some of both occurring but it is mainly one Position change blending then into mainly the other angle change, or lead before speed. All this taught many years before I heard anything whatsoever of the five essentials.

Or statements like
'the progressive nature of rod loading is the axiom upon which all fly-casting technique must be built.' Andrew Toft's statement that 'The line doesn't lie' is another favourite.

.......We can do this the hard way or the easy way. Or the medium way. Or the semi-medium-easy-hard way. Or the sort of hard with a touch of awkward-easy-difficult-challenging way......

SpongeBob quote (Children's Cartoon Character): .
To use precision makes things a lot easier, it takes control however for precision. A straight line incline for instance is a straight line incline, and not anything else. Therefore anything else will not be as efficient. A slight arch or any convex movement will not do. A smooth and progressive acceleration is one made without any hesitation or abruptness and it is a technique in keeping with the flexible, tapered and progressively loading nature of the fly rod. Keeping in plane ensures the most efficient directing of resulting line momentum.

To cast well is an acquired skill where several key component parts are maintained during the execution of a sequence of (usually) compound movements.

I personally cast in a certain Scottish style and do appreciate the logic of the techniques and practice exercises used within it for learning, and that ultimately enables fine tuned control for practical fishing with both single and double-handed rods and with double taper, weight forward, Spey, Shooting Head, or Skagit lines.

A basic description of Fly-Casting

When someone spins or bait fishes, they are then usually casting a very concentrated weight using a practically weightless and very thin mono or braid line. The weight being cast is the actual lure itself, or an added weight such as a piece of lead. The lure or weight is effectively catapulted away, often with a relatively short sharp movement and aerodynamic matters are generally not an issue.

When we fly fish however we will be using a relatively small and lightweight fly, which we sometimes may fish to fish on or near the surface. Generally we do not use or add any additional or concentrated weight to cast it. Tying a fishing fly onto a standard spinning or bait fishing rod to cast it will just not work, there is not enough mass in the fly. Instead we change the type of rod and line used, the fly line will become the weight, containing the necessary mass to load the fly rod. We will also use a longer, thinner and more flexible rod that is better suited to manipulating a weighted fly line.

A weighted, tapered line
The much thicker fly line is the actual weight being used. The fly line is really a long flexible and tapered weight, there is not any concentration of all the weight at one small point. The weight is distributed throughout the belly and the front and rear tapers of the fly line. Air resistance and the presence of wind and wind direction then become important factors. The fly line is cast or projected through being unrolled from the creation of line momentum and line speed that is carefully channelled in the one overall direction. Very carefully channelled in the one overall direction in the style or method of fly-casting I use. The tapered leader and fly are simply towed along by the fly line. The line has command over the fly.

Unrolling the fly line
Fly-casting is mainly about unrolling the fly line and leader in an efficient, controlled and directed manner to present the fly using either a single or double-handed fly rod.
The line is unrolled through creating directed line momentum. We will use the action of the long and flexible fly rod, and some leverage applied to it by our body changing the position and angle of the rod, to generate line momentum and line speed and unroll the fly line and leader.

Line momentum is generated from applying leverage and movement to the fly rod, moving it through a casting stroke, a casting stroke that changes the position and angle of the rod. Leverage from hand, arm and body movements change the position and angle of the rod, but they must do so in a precise, directed and controlled fashion to create an unrolling loop.

The weight and resistance or inertia of the fly line also loads the rod (deflects it into a curve) when we change the position and angle of the rod. Some of the energy is stored by the rod as it deflects into a curve, being released as rod tip turnover speed after the stop, or sometimes as Spey cast D loop forming moves.

Due to the rods taper, as it straightens, the energy of the greater mass of the lower part of the rod straightening causes the thinner top section of the rod to speed up, flip over in a counter flex and so generate rod tip turnover speed. The rod tip turnover speed from the stored energy releasing itself greatly increases line speed and line momentum on the stop made at the finish of the forward cast power application.

A fly rod only does one thing
by itself, if it has been deflected into a curve it will straighten when it gets the opportunity to do so, (usually when the line breaks free from the water on a single Spey cast, or when a stop in the angle change is made). Due to the taper it doesn't just straighten and stop but it counter flexes, the taper causes a rapid rod tip turnover speed.

Directed line momentum
Fly-casting is about utilising the energy, leverage and rod tip turnover speed that is able to be generated both through and by the fly rod, using hand, arm and body movements, to create, via applied leverage and a suitable casting stroke, controlled and directed line momentum and line speed.

Controlled and directed line momentum will cause the fly line to unroll, and project the fly line in a narrow, aerodynamically efficient loop.

The loop of fly line should unroll out fully without crossing over itself or tangling, and without skewing off to one side, or collapsing into squiggles of slack line. The line and leader should be straight and the fly should land furthest away from the angler, (excepting some specialised presentation casts). When this occurs it is called fly turnover.

Loop Morphology
In two words fly-casting is about 'loop morphology,' (loop formation and loop shape). The fly line would create a lot of air resistance, enough to kill the line momentum and spoil the cast, if the unrolling loop is not kept reasonably narrow. Other appropriate words would be directed leverage and acceleration.

The compound effect of correctly applied and directed leverages, applied smoothly in the correct sequence is a lot of what control is about. The concept of adjusting leverage to work the tip of the rod more rather than affect the whole rod. The concept of opposing leverage is important in double handed fly casting, and the difference between independent top hand movement and indirect top hand movement.

To cast well will mean that you really become very aware of planes, rod, arm, body and line planes. Fly-casting is a personal skill. It is about you personally gaining enough understanding and control over the rod and line, and also how you use your body, so that you may cast effectively while using economy of effort. This means that you will be keeping everything in plane, properly directed in other words.

Multi faceted
Fly-casting is multi faceted. We may be using light or heavier single-handed outfits suitable for anything from small trout fishing in streams to fishing for Salmon and grilse on larger rivers, or for pike or saltwater fishing. Double-handed casting in Europe has two main groups, those using traditional or modern longer stroke Spey casting techniques and tackle. Or those using Shooting head outfits and shorter stroke styles such as Underhand casting. With the diversity we find people specialising in certain disciplines and certain styles within those disciplines, there are different styles of casting the same outfits. I am also happy to use longer stroke techniques when Spey casting with shooting heads. Now we have some Skagit casting outfits used also.

We find however that all rods work in the same way and there are many shared common principles involved. We can also share and often import knowledge from other people that improves our own overall ability or understanding.

There are different styles of fly-casting. A particular combination of characteristics will define a style. A style usually originates with a person, or becomes established within a geographical region. They may also originate from various developments in fly fishing tackle and the general types of rods and lines used.