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I saw a video a few weeks back that featured Rick Clunn giving some basic tips on how to use casting equipment.  His number one point was that when casting overhand, the reel should be handles up so that your thumb is at 9 o'clock instead of 12 o'clock (for a right hander).  This seemed second nature to me, I grew up with pistol grip rods and that technique is a natural motion for ones wrist.

 

Then, while watching Classic highlights last week, I noticed quite a few pros who cast with the reel upright and thumb at 12 o'clock.  It seems like an awkward motion and wonder if it leads to some of the elbow issues that Brent Ehrler and others suffer from.  The 9 o'clock cast is a snap of the wrist while the 12 o'clock seems to be a push of the elbow.

 

Also, if casting with an upright reel is now the norm, does the change to longer handled rods and away from pistol grips have anything to do with it?

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I tend to cast like you, thumb to 9. Though I also

cast with thumb to 12 sometimes. I can say that 

9 gives me far fewer backlashes than 12...maybe 

it is just my technique.

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When I learned to cast a baitcaster, I was taught to roll my wrists at the end of my cast and end up with the handles pointed upright. I almost always have some type of over run or backlash if I get lazy or in a hurry and do not roll my wrist. I believe it also helps with distance as well as extending your arms and raising the rod upward while your bait is in the air. It helps it carry just a little bit farther. 

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It's always felt more natural to me to cast with my thumb starting and staying at 12 o'clock.  (Probably ingrained from fly casting.)

 

I'm curious to why folks say your cast will go further with the 9 o'clock thumb position.  That puts the spool in a vertical position, adding side load to the spool bearings.  I know it's a tiny amount, but the spool bearings are meant to minimize friction from force applied radially, not laterally.  (That said, I will add that I have absolutely no education in engineering, etc. :wacko:)

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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1 hour ago, desmobob said:

...I'm curious to why folks say your cast will go further with the 9 o'clock thumb position.  That puts the spool in a vertical position, adding side load to the spool bearings...

I don't know if he is correct, but Clunn said with the spool vertical, it lessens the torque on the spool

 

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I don't think it makes much difference with today's lighter spools. Personally, I cast with a sidearm roll cast motion and use rods under 6'6". I don't focus on handle position.  Just don't stand to the right of me.  lol

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2 hours ago, The Bassman said:

I don't think it makes much difference with today's lighter spools. Personally, I cast with a sidearm roll cast motion and use rods under 6'6". I don't focus on handle position.  Just don't stand to the right of me.  lol

That’s my typical cast to, I don’t think I’ve ever paid attention to what direction the handles were facing when I got done casting. I know I can easily cast a weightless senko on a mh/f rod so I don’t sweat it :D

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I hope one day some one smarter than me would pen a book on "The Physics of  Bass Fishing."

 

There is a fantastic book named "The Physics of Baseball" which is fantastic and it explains pitching and hitting and what the ball does at different speeds and techniques along with  batting physics.

 

It would be a very interesting read on hook setting, casting, weights, rods, reels, line tests, baits and baits weights and the list goes on and on and on.

 

Some of our mechanical engineering students may want to study some part of the physics of bass fishing and submit their data. Or maybe someone from Pure Fishing has the information that they are willing to share with us.

 

For some reason, I don't really pay attention to where the thumb or reel handle ends up when casting. When I do look, my handles are at the noon position.

 

So far, no problems casting or any pain from casting.

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I cast   naturally  . Dont know exactly where the handle  is . I dont want to make several thousand cast a year in an unnatural position . i'm prone to tendinitis and joint ailments .

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1 hour ago, scaleface said:

I cast   naturally  . Dont know exactly where the handle  is . I dont want to make several thousand cast a year in an unnatural position . i'm prone to tendinitis and joint ailments .

Amen to that. I've got arthritis in my thumbs and it makes baitcasting difficult anyway.  I spin fish much more than baitcast.

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3 hours ago, scaleface said:

I cast   naturally  . Dont know exactly where the handle  is . I dont want to make several thousand cast a year in an unnatural position . i'm prone to tendinitis and joint ailments .

We both got started at a time where pistol grips and one handed casting were the norm, so I think the 9 o'clock thumb was taught because it is a natural motion that doesn't stress the wrist or elbow.

 

A longer handle allows the left hand to be part of the cast, but it also allows the thumb to be at 12 o'clock without it feeling too awkward.  It does seem to put more stress on the wrist, making it bend thumb-to-pinky and the elbow gets pushed into a motion not unlike that which can lead to hyper extension.

 

I don't know, I hadn't thought about this for decades until I saw that video.  Where is Aaron Martens to explain everything when you need him... :D

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I've heard that turning your wrist lessens the torque also.  Sometimes I actually do it.

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16 hours ago, OCdockskipper said:

I don't know if he is correct, but Clunn said with the spool vertical, it lessens the torque on the spool

 

Rick Clunn talking about casting is equivalent to Michael Jordan or Larry Bird talking about shooting a basketball....when it happens people listen for good reason : )

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I doubt it amounts to much advantage . . . but I think I can explain the "physics" behind Rick Clunn's statement. Not that he couldn't, or wouldn't, but the format didn't lend itself to a lengthy discussion.

 

So, a baitcaster generally has two spool bearings on each side of the spool itself. And, the spool has a shaft. Bearings do just that, they support and bear the shaft carrying the weight of the spool, itself, and the line.

 

In a "spool horizontal, thumb to the side" sort of standard overhand cast, both bearings support this weight equally, divide the load. But, when the spool is turned to a vertical orientation, handles now up, the weight has been removed from the two bearings since the weight has been shifted 90 degrees.

 

About the only analogy I can make would be a boat trailer. It has an axle instead of a shaft, opposing wheels (2 or more) and tires, and there is a lot of load on the wheel bearings. They are "bearing" the weight. If you pushed on the top side of one of the tires under just the load of an empty trailer, you could roll the trailer and turn the wheel and tire doing it. But, if the trailer was turned on its side with both sides' wheels and tires off the ground, you could spin a tire much easier. The load and a ton of friction have been removed from the bearings.

 

So, that's my take, old recollections of studying such things earning a college degree minor in Physics all the way back in 1974! Ha!

 

Brad 

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3 hours ago, Brad in Texas said:

I doubt it amounts to much advantage . . . but I think I can explain the "physics" behind Rick Clunn's statement. Not that he couldn't, or wouldn't, but the format didn't lend itself to a lengthy discussion.

 

So, a baitcaster generally has two spool bearings on each side of the spool itself. And, the spool has a shaft. Bearings do just that, they support and bear the shaft carrying the weight of the spool, itself, and the line.

 

In a "spool horizontal, thumb to the side" sort of standard overhand cast, both bearings support this weight equally, divide the load. But, when the spool is turned to a vertical orientation, handles now up, the weight has been removed from the two bearings since the weight has been shifted 90 degrees.

 

About the only analogy I can make would be a boat trailer. It has an axle instead of a shaft, opposing wheels (2 or more) and tires, and there is a lot of load on the wheel bearings. They are "bearing" the weight. If you pushed on the top side of one of the tires under just the load of an empty trailer, you could roll the trailer and turn the wheel and tire doing it. But, if the trailer was turned on its side with both sides' wheels and tires off the ground, you could spin a tire much easier. The load and a ton of friction have been removed from the bearings.

 

So, that's my take, old recollections of studying such things earning a college degree minor in Physics all the way back in 1974! Ha!

 

Brad 

 

Absolutely no offense to you Brad, but your boat trailer analogy makes no sense to me.  In it, you're turning the trailer on its side and removing all it's weight from the wheels.  By turning a reel sideways, what weight are you removing?  A reel spool would be better (but still not accurately) represented by the trailer wheels of the trailer up on jacks.  Would they spin easier with the trailer flat or up on its side?  It's moot, as the trailer analogy doesn't work representing a spinning spool supported by bearings... maybe one wheel spinning on its bearings would.

 

The spool weighs the same, regardless of it's orientation.  If it's turned to vertical, what is now bearing the weight of the spool?  If not the spool bearings, I'd say it's now the bottom tip of the spool shaft, and it would be bearing (and spinning) against the cast control knob's inner surface.  

 

The spool bearings still have to spin as the spool rotates, but now without the weight of the spool on them.  That weight is now pushing (and spinning) against the inside of the cast control knob with no bearings (in this case, a thrust bearing would be appropriate) to lessen the friction.  I just can't imagine how that is any advantage over keeping the spool horizontal and its weight supported by the ball bearings.

 

Mr. Clunn certainly has a whole lot more experience than I do in throwing baitcasting rigs.  All I'm saying is that I'm skeptical of the advantage of tilting a reel sideways when casting.  And I'll probably will continue to be skeptical until someone proves it to me or I prove/disprove it for myself.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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6 hours ago, desmobob said:

 

Absolutely no offense to you Brad, but your boat trailer analogy makes no sense to me.  In it, you're turning the trailer on its side and removing all it's weight from the wheels.  By turning a reel sideways, what weight are you removing?  A reel spool would be better (but still not accurately) represented by the trailer wheels of the trailer up on jacks.  Would they spin easier with the trailer flat or up on its side?  It's moot, as the trailer analogy doesn't work representing a spinning spool supported by bearings... maybe one wheel spinning on its bearings would.

 

The spool weighs the same, regardless of it's orientation.  If it's turned to vertical, what is now bearing the weight of the spool?  If not the spool bearings, I'd say it's now the bottom tip of the spool shaft, and it would be bearing (and spinning) against the cast control knob's inner surface.  

 

The spool bearings still have to spin as the spool rotates, but now without the weight of the spool on them.  That weight is now pushing (and spinning) against the inside of the cast control knob with no bearings (in this case, a thrust bearing would be appropriate) to lessen the friction.  I just can't imagine how that is any advantage over keeping the spool horizontal and its weight supported by the ball bearings.

 

Mr. Clunn certainly has a whole lot more experience than I do in throwing baitcasting rigs.  All I'm saying is that I'm skeptical of the advantage of tilting a reel sideways when casting.  And I'll probably will continue to be skeptical until someone proves it to me or I prove/disprove it for myself.

 

Tight lines,

Bob

Bob, no offense taken. I was struggling for some sort of an analogy.

 

So, when a reel is is the traditional position with the handles at the side, horizontal spool, the "weight" of the spool and its line and shaft is "supported" by the bearings on each side of the spool. This weight is pressing down on the inside of these bearings at the 6:00 position. Gravity.

 

But, when one turns the reel so that the spool shaft is now vertical, it is no longer resting what little weight it is carrying directly on these bearings; it is offset 90 degrees to the bearings. The effects of gravity are aligned with long axis of the spool, just passing through the bearings, but not resting on them.

 

Interestingly, the gravity on the "now" vertical spool might not be supported by the two bearings, but it is supported by "something." For there to be any net pick-up in casting distance, it'd have to have less friction than the shaft on the two bearings. Marginal, I'd think.

 

Brad

 

 

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I think you’d have to be so good at casting to see a difference depending on what direction your handle was pointing that it probably wouldn’t apply to a lot of weekend warrior types like myself. 

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Handle up can provide better brake performance.

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A few months ago we had this exact topic about proper baitcasting technique and discussed in detail the mechanics. 

Watching today's MLF pro's few use the handles up or down technique preferring the handles sideways to start of the retrieve appears to be preferred. 

I learned to cast with the handles up with right hand reels and switch hands to hold the rod and retreive, it's automatic motion for me.

Tom

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The other thing that I consider to be more important, is the fact that it's a much more natural motion of your hand and wrist casting with the handles up.That translates into a much smoother motion throughout the entire cast. If you reach your right arm out and look at the position of your hand, your thumb isn't facing upward. It's either facing the left, or downward. While your arm is out there, flex your wrist. You'll find that it's easier on your wrist and forearm muscles to flex it with your thumb to the side.  That all translates to a more fluid motion. It's also the way you hold a spinning rod when casting.

I have absolutely no idea whether there is less torque on the spool and I doubt if it makes any difference in casting distance for the majority of anglers.

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My handle faces down when I cast, because I prefer a sidearm roll cast. I've tried other ways and found no real difference in performance. I just found my way to be quick and less stressful on my wrist. After bowling for 30+ years, my wrist and elbow needs all the help it can get.

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