Surf Rod built Test

Started by Jeri, May 11, 2022, 07:28:50 AM

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Quote from: Jeri on May 13, 2022, 06:22:57 AMAnalogies to other sports or activities rarely have a true comparison, perhaps the only one really close is a golf swing - it is not about club speed, but precision of arc and weight transfer.

I have to disagree here. From a physics perspective, distance in golf is all about club velocity.  As long as you hit the ball square, how fast the head is moving at point of impact determines the distance.  The shaft itself does not flex that much and does not store much energy. If the club head is not moving fast, the ball is not going anywhere, even if you hit it square.

I would entirely agree that focusing on swing speed when learning a swing sport (BASEBALL, golf, fly casting, distance surf casting) is a recipe for failure.

Precision of arc, weight transfer... you know you are describing the key elements of a baseball swing. The only thing different is that after the preschool level, we don't get to hit the ball off a tee during competition, unlike those pampered golfers 8)

Analogies are never exact, but can still be quite useful.  The physics textbooks are full of them.  I wouldn't understand anything in physics without them.  I got lost on Jason's analogies as well.  I expect that there is a good point behind them, but since they are applying laws of physics that don't apply to the cast (ballistics, sliding friction), it was a bit trickier for me to follow.

After rewatching some pendulum cast videos, a couple things struck me.  First, how unhurried the majority of the casting stroke is.  I think that this speaks to Jeri's point.  The first impulse for every rookie will be to swing harder to find distance, but they will invariably need to learn to swing better instead. Timing that combination of motions is not simple.  And with that long arc, too much early velocity is just going to be lost before the magic happens.

The next thing that I noticed is that there is almost two separate casting motions going on that are seamlessly joined.  For the first, the closest analogy would be something like a that old Physics 101 warhorse, the trebuchet.  But this is a complex trebuchet, where the base is also rotating, and the lever is flexible.  Somehow this gets smoothly transitioned into the second motion, which is something closer to a traditional linear casting stroke.  Jason, please correct me if I am wrong, but I think what you were addressing was this transition, and how there is benefit for the sinker to be moving away  from the casting direction in order to facilitate loading. 

I think this is actually a key point, but we keep only thinking about loading the blank. I suspect that there is some benefit for attaining velocity by "loading" the various muscle groups throughout the body. It is difficult to push hard unless you have something to push against. Don't know anything about biomechanics, so this is just speculation, but there has to be something at play here.

The third point is that most of the tournament casters in the videos look like tall guys packing a lot of weight.  One of the keys to getting distance on a trebuchet is ensuring that there is a quite large mass at the base of the lever varying by  the lever arm length and payload mass.  Come to think of it, these guys look a bit like a trebuchet base :)

I promise that my next post will get back on topic tying loading and guide placement.




Quote from: Jeri on May 13, 2022, 11:17:05 PMWhat's baseball?    :(

It's sort of like Cricket except that it requires athletic ability  ;D



The various observations of Jurelometer were highlighted and expressed in a book just over 30 years ago by John Holden -  Long Distance Casting, and updated some 10 years ago with Long Distance Casting II.

In the books, John takes people through the various stages of body stance, equipment and then into the finer points of technique starting with a very simple and basic cast which he calls the 'Easy Cast', though it is often referred to as the 'Brighton Cast' - for it doesn't involve any swinging of the sinker and relatively safe, though to be first developed to cope with the rules for casting/fishing on Brighton Pier on the south coast of England. Tho\is whole names issue is also one that causes great confusion and mis-understanding around the world.

John at the time of his first book, did a tour of demonstrations in the US, and was invited to stay to teach casting, and did so for many years.

The 'Easy Cast' is in fact very much based on the trebuchet, and yields tremendous power through the rod, often releasing power that the caster never new existed as the technique often shows the caster the power of the 'rod doing the cast', nothing physical required to achieve reasonable distances. I taught a young lass to cast with a 12' x 5oz rod to cast over 80 metres, she was 12 years old and quite small - technique over blind power.

John then takes the reader through various developments in technique to introduce more rotation and introducing other muscle groups, other than shoulders and arms. All these casting styles are basically with the sinker starting life on the ground, even what he calls the 'South African Cast' (though I have rarely seen anyone down in southern Africa use it. To this point, the casts all have low requirement of micro-second timing and as said the sinker is firmly on the ground at the start - huge amounts of repeatability.

The next level is basically a step backwards to the 'Hatteras Cast', which is an 'Easy Cast', but with and airborne sinker, and swinging is introduced - now timing becomes critical, but the cast in various guises still doesn't exceed the distances capable with the 'Easy Cast'.

The final step in the book is to move to the quite timing specific technique called the 'Pendulum', and the various levels of swing and direction and body rotation. And in this technique a lot of the earlier methods all come together with the addition of the very drastic swinging operations.

The whole of his books are very cleverly constructed towards gaining various skills along the way to finally bring all those skills together for the grand finale. However, the story doesn't quite end there, in that the concept of sinkers starting on the ground has lead to the development of an un-named technique being used where all the attributes of the 'Pendulum' are used, except that the sinker starts back on the ground, in precisely the spot where a pendulum would start the 'forward swing'. This technique is growing in popularity, as it does away with all the highly necessary skills of timing and body position through the cast, yet still yields distances in most casts in excess of the 'Pendulum'. And as has been observed, most of the styles actually work best and to the fullest of capability when practiced effectively in slow motion.

An observation earlier that best casters tend to be big tall chaps, is perhaps slightly erroneous. Two very good acquaintances who are well over 75 and certainly not heavy weights, and they still to this day practice and fish using the 'Pendulum' technique, and to great effect - proving that it is not about physical power, but more in balance with an earlier statement that best results are achieved with 70% technique and 30% physical power.

However, the problem is that there is no quick fix or monetary expenditure which will compensate for many hours and very many casts to perfect technique. Equally, just watching captured video clips from the book are also missing a huge amount of very valid information on stance, technique and equipment. Perhaps one of the more important on equipment is the favouring of J curve blanks/rods over C curve blanks/rods - for C curve lack the necessary bottom section rigidity to perform the leverage function necessary for distance casting.


Did you ever try to teach a kid how to throw a baseball?  Kids have a tendency to throw with their arms only.  In order to teach the kid you have to get the concept of throwing with your whole body.  Like a pitcher.  The windup, the push off the back foot, the step and the follow through.  It is more of a feel than mechanics.  I find it the same with casting a surf rod.  Dominick
Leave the gun.  Take the cannolis.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all day drinking beer.