John Till, via e-mail, asks about casting speed:

I have seen you at fishing shows and bought everything that you have published, but I still have one question about your casting technique. When you say hurry up and stop at the end of a back or forward cast, how far should the rod tip move?

Q I have seen you at fishing shows and bought everything that you have published, but I still have one question about your casting technique. When you say hurry up and stop at the end of a back or forward cast, how far should the rod tip move?

The loop size is directly related to the distance that the tip travels during the speed-up-and-stop in the final moment of the cast (some people call it a power stroke, but it is a speed stroke). Realize that the bottom of the loop exits from the rod tip. If you make an incredibly short speed-up-and-stop, the tip will only drop a few inches. If the speed-up-and-stop is longer, the tip drops lower on the stroke, and you get a bigger loop.

Of late I have been using a teaching technique that helps almost every caster tighten his or her loop. Place about 12 feet of fly line outside the rod tip. Look at the rod tip and begin false casting, and attempt to make the line strike or hit the rod tip. Simply concentrating on the idea of striking the line against the end of the rod will cause your loops to tighten immediately. Once you have practiced this and want to make a longer cast, don't revert back to your old thinking and simply try to make a cast. Instead, think, I am going to throw the line at the rod tip. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how it tightens your loop.