Adam, I too seem to recall a short DT video describing how to hand line in a fish when fishing with a longer line. That had pretty good clear verbal description of each step, and the process was repeated a few times: from up stream, down stream, across stream. If I recall correctly they used a foam rubber fish, called Fred, I also cannot find that video. It may be hidden within a TIF episode, or possibly they (Paul and John) lost the rights to that video when they had a, ah parting of the ways, with their former film maker, and lost the rights to use the videos he had filmed for them.
Anyway, maybe the following two videos will be of some help describing hand line landing a fish. The first from Daniel Galhardo, TUSA, and the second one is John Pearson, DT.
Sorry, you’ll have to click the link to see this video:
vimeo Discover Tenkara - Tenkara works for bigger fish too
Jason, for casting long lines.
My 2¢ advice - Casting a line that is 1.5 ~ 2x rod length is all about learning the correct rhythm and timing of the casting motion. And it’s more important to get that right when casting a longer line. Your timing and rhythm can be off when casting a shorter line and the cast still be okay. But casting a longer line, flaws in your casting technique will be revealed. That’s why i also think doing some practice casting a longer line, even if you don’t fully get the hang of it, will improve your skill at casting a shorter line, a line equal to rod length or up to 1.25x rod length. At least for me, I found time trying to learn to cast a 6m or 7m line, slowed down my casting rhythm, and improved my timing.
Do not try to cast the line using the power in the motion of your arm. Speed and timing, not arm power. A difficult concept to grasp by description, but understanding that concept will be discovered actually casting a longer line.
The key is the timing of when you should reverse the direction of motion of the rod. Allowing the spring power in rebound of the rod tip to propel the line, either forward or reward. It is also important to make a defined stop of the rod motion at the back cast stop position (~12:00) and at the forward stop position (~ 2:00). Only hold the rod grip lightly. Not tightly like gripping a hammer when driving a nail.
I would recommend doing some lawn casting. Try it with a line about 7m or 8m in length. Start with a heavier line. Maybe a 4 号 or 4.5 号 FC level line. With the line laying straight out, just do a back cast, and let the line fall to the ground. Turn round and do a back cast the other way.
The purpose of doing that practice is trying to develop sensitivity in your hand to feeling when the rod tip is flexed to its maximum bend rearward. That is the point when the spring power in the rod will be at maximum to power the line forward.
After trying that a few times, try adding in the forward cast. Starting the forward cast at the moment you think the rod tip is curved rearward to its maximum bend. What works for me for the forward cast is think of the arc of the forward cast being divided into thirds. Make the second 2/3s of the cast a little faster than the first 1/3. It always seems to me that my forward cast is better when I start the forward cast a little slower, not a hard acceleration. [ however, other people might describe it differently]
Also - Think of trying to cast your line up and rearward at 45˚ during the back cast and forward and down at 45˚. The angle between the two directions will of course be 180˚.
After somewhat getting the hang of it. Try going to a lighter smaller line. I think there is no need to aim for perfection before moving on. The heavier line is good for learning to sense the tug of the line on the rod tip. And how much the rod tip is flexed. Gaining a sense of correct timing. But after developing some sensitivity to that. You will probably be able to sense it with a lighter line. And get the rhythm and timing close to correct. Switch to a 3.5 号 or 3.0 号line. Or the Fujino tapered nylon line mentioned before (I think TUSA sells a similar line, but not in as many different lenghts). And see how that goes.
It is easier to cast a heavier line than a lighter line. Partly, I think, because your casting speed can be lower with a heavier line, and partly due to needing to develop greater sensitivity to the amount of rod flex with a lighter line. Your casting rhythm and timing will need to be closer to perfect.
[ As an aside, it takes more line speed to cast a line with a longer tippet too. A 5m line + 2m tippet, will be more difficult to cast well than a 6m line + 1m tippet. Because you will need the skill to get the power of the rod to transfer all the way to the tip of the longer 2m tippet.]
[[ I think casting into water is better than casting onto the lawn. Because the line drag in the water during the pick up phase will help load the rod for the back cast. Thereby also helping you get more power into the forward cast. If you can try doing your longer line casting practice into water. I think the back cast should be a little bit faster than the forward cast. The idea is the power in the back cast sets up the right conditions for more power into the line during the forward cast.]]
Anyway, some thoughts on these same topics from John and Paul at DT, might be of interest too.
I often wonder how someone would describe something differently months after they’ve written about a topic. Usually I think they would describe it differently later. If they don’t either they got it close to perfectly correct the first time. Or they didn’t learn anything new, a deeper understanding, with more experience.