Monday, 21 September 2009

Extreme Expert Casting with the Centre Pin Reel

There are numerous 'distance' casts possible with a 'pin', most of them rubbish, none of them great, but nevertheless all are a means to a rather good end, that of using such a lovely thing as the centre pin reel in the first place. The very worst are the 'drag line off the reel and hold the loops in the hand, or have them trail all over the ground cast,' a cast that I find myself doing by habit in some situations that require it, like getting short casts into tight little nooks a few rod lengths away when accuracy is more important than finesse and the frankly odd 'grab three fingers full of line from between the first three rod rings cast,' experts at which modify their rods by adding two extra rings between the original butt ring and handle so that they don't have to reach the spigot to do it. Both of the above are for accurate placement of bait or for those who love pins but simply can't master the Wallis cast, reckoned as angling's highest art, for there is nothing in the whole of angling quite so difficult to master, apparently.

Utter, tosh!

To Wallis cast: drop the lead or the bottom shot into the fork between the index and second finger of the left hand (if you are right handed) and get the thumb of the same hand under the line between reel and butt ring and at the back of the reel. Pull a little line from the reel and then move the rod out toward the water whilst pulling the line backwards from the reel with a sharpish tug. Now release both the shot / lead from the forked fingers and the line from under the thumb at the same time (just open the hand fully) with a timing that is hard to describe but comes with practice, now watch the object you are casting shoot out toward the water and then make sure that you feather the spool with your thumb and then stop it dead as it hits the water.

Now, do this over and over till you are spitting chunks! Or out of line...

In time it will all become clear, but you will still encounter horrible tangles around the back of the reel because you are short of the ultimate secret. It's no use trying to improve matters until you are 'in' on it, the tangles will still occur no matter what you try, and its no use trying to incorporate this little secret trick until you are blue in the face with rage because it is just one step too much to manage when learning.

Once you have got to the stage where the cast goes roughly where required more often than not, then start casting and observing what the reel is doing as the cast object goes away to the water - watch the reel as it spins, really look at it, really hard, and observe that it is nigh impossible to have the spool running at exactly the rate the cast object demands, it is almost always either too slow or too fast. A lead wants more than the reel can give but with a float, the lighter the float you are trying to cast, the harder it is cast at all. This is because it does not have enough mass in of itself to pull any line from the spool, it hardly has enough mass to pull the line through the rings of the rod let alone that, and therefore it must be over-cast, that is to say, you must really punch the float out to give it enough momentum and really rip line from the reel in order to supply enough free line for the float to fly. The problem with this is that the spool will overrun if you let it go completely or the cast will fall far short if you try to feather it.

What you need to do is this. As the float flies outward you must turn your wrist in a full arc and have the reel wind up at the end of the cast parallel to the ground, where any spare loops of line will fall harmlessly and never can go around the back and tangle. When the cast is complete lift the rod sharply and all this spare line, lots if you got over-excited on your initial tug, a very little if you are approaching Wallis cast adequacy, will straighten smartly between reel and butt ring.

You see, the Wallis cast is relatively easy. Easy peasy, lemon Squeezy. That's why I reckon all this talk about it being the highest art achievable in angling is pure tosh. Rank nonsense.

You see, there is a still higher art. An art so perplexingly difficult that it makes the admittedly tricky Wallis cast look like childs play and worse, if you have mastered the Wallis cast and become aware of its 'problem' then you will have to master it too before you can fish fully. Or have full untrammeled access to both sides of the stream. Or no trees. Or own the stretch and have all the trees cut down. Have neck waders. Or admit defeat and know your limitations...

Because, having mastered the Wallis cast you must now master the indescribably difficult, mind scrambling cast that is...

The Cack-Handed Wallis Cast !!

Yes indeed, you must learn this cast , if you want your bait to end up where you want it with a centrepin reel and not just to your good side, which if you are a right hander (from now on in we are talking right handed) means only downstream if the stream flows to your right or upstream if visa versa, then this cast is not only desirable, but necessary. You see the Wallis cast as it comes out of the tin, cannot allow you to put that float out any other direction but some way right of left if there is even so much as a blade of tall grass twixt you and stream on your bad side! Actually, not such a terrible problem with the float because a great deal of trotting work can be accomplished by casting straight out, but with a lead, it's critical.

As with his contemporary, J. Edgar Hoover, FWK Wallis's famous cast allows, NO LEFT TURNS.

The Half Cack-Handed Wallis Cast means transferring the rod to the other hand and learning how to do the cast with the reel the wrong way up and re-training both muscle and mind to do it all as delicately and precisely as it has long become for you when perfected and performed the right way round.

The Full Cack-Handed Wallis Cast is the one where you don't transfer the rod to the other hand at all but move your left hand under your right arm pit and crook your right wrist at an extreme angle to get the rod out front of of you before you perform the cast, then, as you perform the most spastic movement in all fishing in order to have the cast object fly outward, also remember that the little secret trick of Wallis casting that we discussed earlier does not apply to the full Cack-Hander, because the reel is already the 'right' way up at the end of the cast.

Best to have two identical rods and reels, set up for left and right hands of course, and just learn to do it both ways but, I think that would be an expensive excess and akin to kicking a football with the wrong foot; a trick I can perform well and one that impresses some, but what they don't see and I know, is that every time I approach the ball to kick with my left foot, I fear breaking either of my precious ankles through being very slightly, but most certainly, out of balance .

But hey, if like me, you love the pin and love the fishing with it, then the Cack Handed Wallis Cast is not only for you to try your hand at, but essential to crack if you are to call yourself a full master of the art of centre pin casting.

Could always use a fixed spool though, but they ain't even a quarter as nice, are they ?

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