ARCHIMEDES, GALILEO GALILEI, LEONARDO DA VINCI AND SPEY CASTING
By Bintoro Tedjosiswoyo
So what do these three ancient thinkers/philosophers have to do with Speycasting?
A spey rod is a ‘lever’ and is one of the most basic and easiest tools or machinery that humans use – it involves moving a load around a pivot or fulcrum point using a force. The load is the fly line, the rod is the lever and the pivot or the fulcrum point is somewhere between the upper hand and the lower hand.
Levers were first described and formulated around 260 BC by the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes. Around 1600AD, Galileo Galilei worked out the complete dynamic theory of this simple machinery. And Leonardo Da Vinci included the ‘lever’ as one of the 6 simple machines that shaped human civilization.
There are 3 classes of lever – Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 lever (see diagram). Never mind Class 2 lever, we are only concerned with Class 1 and Class 3 levers and their implications in Speycasting.
Class 1 Lever – the pivot/fulcrum (upper hand) is between the effort (lower hand) and the load (fly line). In an off-center Class 1 lever as in Speycasting, the load is larger than the effort, but is moved through a smaller distance.
Class 3 Lever – the effort is between the pivot/fulcrum (lower hand) and the load. Typical upper hand dominance problem. It is a common problem for a beginner Speycaster or for those who have are deeply ingrained in a single hand casting muscle memory. Applying Class 3 only lever resulting in an open arc rod movement and will open up the forward loop.
Spey rod and Speycasting is simple machinery at work but there is ‘more twist’ than just Type 1 and/or Type 3 Lever.Good speycasters apply both Class 1 and Class 3 levers by shifting the fulcrum point just slightly below the upper hand. This imaginary fulcrum point enables one to provision the power between the upper and the lower hand (see diagram). Furthermore, unlike many applications of levers where the fulcrum point is static, in speycasting the fulcrum point is very dynamic. While operating a lever, a speycaster also applies a ‘translation’ at the fulcrum point (see diagram).As in any good fly casting, late rotation or in speycasting, late fulcrum is desirable to produce effective speycasting. The amount of translation of the fulcrum point and the amount of lever push depends on the type of lines we cast. Longer line (long belly), longer translation and longer pull of the lower handle – shorter line (Scandi, Skagit), shorter translation and shorter or more compact pull of the lower handle.
Thanks to our brain and our tactility we are able to manage this complex multitasking.
Just remember, when you speycast, you are actually operating one of the most ancient forms machinery.
Thanks to Bintoro for sharing. Check him out… www.facebook.com/bintoro.tedjosiswoyo