Watch the D Loop

March 27, 2011

in Alaska West, BC West, Tips

Watch the D Loop

Watching the reverse double come to fruition. Photo: Yos Gladstone

Brian Niska is back today with the next in his series of spey casting tips.  He’s breaking down the fundamental elements of the spey cast, and today’s topic is the D Loop.

Watch the D Loop

I don’t want to hype it up too much….. but the best speycasting tip you’ll probably ever get is to turn and watch your D-Loop form.

Effectively the spey equivalent of a backcast, the ‘D-Loop’ is the loop of line that forms at the end of the sweep and gets its name from the shape of the loop which looks like the letter D. When done properly the D should line up exactly opposite (180 degrees) of your intended target. As shown in the picture, I like to position the thumb of my top (right) hand so the thumbnail is square to the direction of the D. This gives me a positive reminder to stay in plane and sets up the rod tip to track straight on the forward cast.

I watch my D loop form on every cast.  It enables me to better understand the amount of power needed to efficiently work my anchor and gets me turning from the hips and shoulders. It’s this rotation that keeps the rod tip traveling around the caster in a smooth arc rather than cutting the corner and coming over the top. The line follows the rod tip throughout the cast, and as such the area directly above your head should be a no fly zone. Turning from the hip and shoulder makes it easy to watch the rod tip and keep it from traveling directly overhead.

As described in my previous tip, the D-Loop shape is a product of the rod tip movement. You can tell a lot about your cast when you pay attention to the D-Loop. As a casting instructor I spend most of my day watching my clients’ D-Loops. They are often surprised when I call out “good cast” before the cast is complete, but watching D-Loops form allows you to understand what a good cast looks like before it even happens.

Keeping an eye on the formation of the D-loop will give you a visual for the timing of the power application on the forward stroke. When done properly this happens much more slowly than one would think, provided there is good tension on the line there is no need to rush the power application of the forward cast.

To quote Alaska West guide and Idylwilde feather pimp Kevin Price,  “If you don’t watch, you are taking the ‘eye’ out of hand eye coordination”.

More on Spey Casting

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Fred Telleen March 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Great tip. I will put it into play. I offer the same advice to anglers learning to distance cast with single hand. Since beginning to spey cast, I have been more concerned about all my on the water loops clearing than watching my casting loop form. I’ve been getting plenty of distance, but my casts could look better and I’ve reached a plateau. I’m going to change that the next time out.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: