A Little Kiss
By Captain Paul Darby (QRRFISH1), Shalimar, FL

If you're having trouble allowing yourself to be seen in public with your current fly rod handling technique, perhaps you need a little kiss to get your thinking straightened out. No, not a big wet one, but some K.I.S.S. (keep it super simple) definitions to work with.

There are three main ones that pretty much cover the spectrum of what it takes to operate a fly rod efficiently.

The first is "Control." I define control as to restrict or cause movement along a desired path or plane.

Second: Power, force applied to either line or rod and combinations of the two.

Third: Balance, balance is to balance power with control to perform a task.

That is the three main legs that will support your understanding of the operation of the fly rod. Take away any one leg and your efforts will be frustrating. Some examples to illustrate this point would be:

Griping the rod. How you grip the rod, thumb on the top of the rod (as it is extended in front of you), greatest control over the broadest range of applications and rod weights. Goes directly to control.

The double haul or drawing the line with the off hand to add energy to the line directly goes to power. The cursed tailing loop is one of the most glaring examples of being out of balance. But more on that later.

The next thing that needs to be defined is the fly rod itself.

In its most baseline, functional tool definition it is little more than a lever. A lever with which we draw a long flexible weight thru the air. Attached to this weight are a leader and a fly. This definition is where the fly rod and conventional tackle begin to differ, with a fly lever you draw the line thru the air with the leader and fly trailing behind. You're allowed one 'duh' at this time.

So where is all this going? Control central, the mind.

The mind controls the hand, hand controls the drip, grip is attached to the lever and so on. You can fill in the rest on your own. So ok what is it I'm supposed to take control of?

The formation of the loop, that you will use to project the line to a given point, in a decided manner. There is only one grip on a fly rod, guess who gets to make all the decisions. (Holding up a mirror here so you can get the true picture.) Yup, that's you you're looking at. You're in charge now, not some lofty guru, touting the style of the day.

The first most important thing to learn about operating a fly rod is to control the formation of the loop. It's an active decision making process that you alone control. Causing a loop to form and controlling the formation of the loop are two very different concepts. While causing a loop to form is a mindless act; the deliberate formation of the loop is a very desirable accomplishment.

Show me a person that doesn't think that forming the proper loop at the proper time is an accomplishment, and I'll show you a person that has never worked in the textile industry.

Gotcha, I just love doing that. ~ Capt. Paul

Have a question? Email me! captpaul462@aol.com

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