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Right I have been shown how to do the pendulum by a guy on here and since getting the basics right, I have been practising getting more distance from it. The trouble I am having now is when I get a bit of power into the cast my thumb is slipping off the spool and I end up with a lovely fat birdsnest!! Where am I going wrong?
 

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Right I have been shown how to do the pendulum by a guy on here and since getting the basics right, I have been practising getting more distance from it. The trouble I am having now is when I get a bit of power into the cast my thumb is slipping off the spool and I end up with a lovely fat birdsnest!! Where am I going wrong?
To stop your thumb slipping on the spool you could try a raceing bike tyre iner tube cut to the size of your thumb, This is what i use and it never slips, there is a few other things you could try to prevent the spool slipping but in my opinion the iner tube is spot on
hope that helps:)
 

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I thumb grip will help, but it spunds like you are putting the power on too early.
 

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Cut a strip of inner tube or something about 4"x1" long and tape it to the rod just below the reel, when you're casting stretch the rubber over the spool. Because it's stretched it will ping away when you cast and then you can still thumb the spool effectively with your bare thumb :fish:

p.s - criss/cross your shockleader over the spool too, that helped me
 

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Nice one guys I will try the inner tube then and see if that helps. It does only seem to happen when my hands are cold or the spool is damp.
 

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Right I have been shown how to do the pendulum by a guy on here and since getting the basics right, I have been practising getting more distance from it. The trouble I am having now is when I get a bit of power into the cast my thumb is slipping off the spool and I end up with a lovely fat birdsnest!! Where am I going wrong?

Slow down, cut down on power and make the cast smoother, forget all the rubber stuff, it it a poor style that causes the slippage! BB
 

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Slow down, cut down on power and make the cast smoother, forget all the rubber stuff, it it a poor style that causes the slippage! BB
rightly or wrongly, i'm gonna take some comfort in that comment, i hit the thing as hard as i can, i know my technique leaves alot to be desired, but i've never had my thumb slip off (well... once, two weeks back in lashing rain and a force 7). i always dry my hands before a cast too, even the spool on occasion (if it's tipping down hard) that should help !
 

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Ditto Black Beard,

slow it right down fella. It is very tempting to apply the power too soon once you first get the pendulum going - big mistake - 'slow in and fast out'. I would also seriously consider something softer and shorter than the Primo while you master the technique.

In the conditions you mention of cold hands and damp line, a section of finger from a neoprene glove makes the best thumb grip in my opinion and I've tried them all (small hands!).

Cheers, T
 

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Slow down, cut down on power and make the cast smoother, forget all the rubber stuff, it it a poor style that causes the slippage! BB
Just got back from three days demonstrating and instructing surfcasting techniques at the NEC...

Neil is correct, you do not need a rubber "thingie" on your thumb, and forget about hitting, hammering, etc, it is not needed. What you need is a good session with a good instructor who will tell you that timing and technique will enable a sucked-out maggot of a man to out-cast 99.999% of the sea anglers in the U.K. (and probably everywhere else as well!!!)
When I am teaching a client, I will not let them use a" thingie", as I want the caster to feel the result of aggressiveness, brute strength, and giving it the big yahoo as a severely scorched thumb, a monumental backlash, even both. Cruelty to anglers? No, a learning experience that will never be forgotten!!

Good to be back, and SSB I hope the chariot didn't break down before you returned it:clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

philtherod
 

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Slow down, cut down on power and make the cast smoother, forget all the rubber stuff, it it a poor style that causes the slippage! BB
well big man . how refreshing to see some simple sound advice.
as you know , i am am small and stocky, with small hands, -- a description no doubt, that you would have put in more colourful terms.
i went through a phase years ago when i used thumb guards of every description, most of which either ended up caked onto my shock leader or burned onto my thumb. i found out the hard way that what you say made sense, the key words are smooth - slow -- style.
 

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Colin is one brave bugger if he is going to try to teach me the pendulum, last time i saw him do it i was dumbed up on Painkillers and could not even follow the lead with my eyes, i can see someone needing to wear body armour!
one thing Black beard told me once though is not to give a monkeys how far you can cast. I can see me faliing back on that bit of advice soon!
 

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Hi Bagstar,

Getting confused yet? I'm in total agreement with Neil and Phil regarding the importance of good technique in maintaining spool grip. I do feel, however, that they both forget, at times, that the majority of anglers have neither the time nor inclination to practice casting to pursue the level of perfection that they have both clearly achieved.

If you are anything like me, the minute you got to grips with the pendulum you would just want to be chucking baited rigs at fish in the sea. For the record, I have never been to or cast in a 'Tournament' in my life, nor accurately measured any of my casts. You can see quite clearly if your distances are improving by how far the lead travels and how much line you have left on your reel. Other than a couple of warm up chucks on the beach, I don't practice my casting at all. The only time you would have found me casting in a field in the last twenty years is when I've had a new rod I want to try out or I've been helping someone out with their own technique.

There appears to be some born again 'bareback' zeal regarding casting without a thumb guard. Certainly I can recall Neil reviewing a rod in Sea Angler where he stated that he was impressed with the rod having destroyed a new thumb gaurd first cast! In the real world of casting for fishing's sake we mortals all make mistakes now and again, when you are tired and at the tail of a long night session you can be excused for occasionally clipping the shingle or losing a bit of grip every now and then. Providing Sgt Major Phil is not around to catch you at it! Only teasing Phil; do you allow Fixed Spool casters to wear a finger stall, or do you ban the 'mangle' as well, given that the 'eggbeater' can be used to mask a multitude of casting sins?

So I personally believe that a thumb guard is, on occasion, an essential bit of kit for winter fishing. Certainly, if you are prone to the odd bit of slipage as you say, it would be reckless and irresponsible not to use an effective thumb guard on a busy beach. The risk of sending one sideways along the beach, at head height, doesn't bear thinking about.

There are a number of factors, other than pure technique, that effect spool grip. These being rod length and action, reel type and position, line type, weight size, hand size and strength.

A lot of anglers find they get better grip with the low reel position on a long rod. With say a 10 foot drop and 13 feet of line from reel to tip, with regular mono you have nearly eight yards of stretchy mono to cushion what you feel from the lead at the reel spool.

I have always much preferred to fish with the reel 28-30" up the butt, it just makes retreiving and fishing in general that bit more pleasant in my opinion. The alternative is to stick at least a 12" extension up the butt (!!!!), this now makes your average 13 footer a 14 and puts nearly all that unbending rod action above your top hand, to act as a lever against you when you wind in. This can kill any pleasure in actually using a fishing rod and I have noticed that there is a tendancy among those who use the long rod/low reel set-up for fishing to almost point the rod tip directly at the lead when retrieving. Hence the rod becomes little more than a casting pole and the reel a winch. No surprises then for guessing who it is who tends to keep wearing reels out? You are also, of course, putting your reel in the worst possible place to get sand grafted and washed out. If you get the impression that I regard the long rod/low reel combo as a retrograde 'fad' that detracts from real fishing, you're right. Unless you are Neil's size and build I can't see the advantages at all for fishing.

Whoops, I've both digressed and let my prejudices show there! For the Bristol Channel, I ditch the 65s in favour of the SLOSH, as part of the reason is for better retrieve rate, it is desirable to keep the line level as high as possible. As the top of the spool stands higher than the 65/7HT size reel anyway, spool grip is compromised, if you have small hands like me. Again an effective thumb guard will negate any risk of spool grip here; especially when you consider that you will probably be using a stiff rod (TZ500 is my choice), standing on uneven, slippy weed covered reef/rock at low tide and may be 'cramped' by what lies behind you. None of these factors are conducive to maintaining perfect technique. In fact, it is often those who 'over-practice' on flat grass with dry line who come unstuck in real fishing conditions, especially steep shelving beaches, when they deck the lead every cast!

Certain lines when new can be very smooth and shiny and again you may need the thumb guard for fishing until the line wears a bit. I can remember having problems with Berkley Big Game, when I was still casting fast with short 11'8" pendulum rods. As well as being very smooth and shiny it came dosed with some kind of talc like powder that didn't help grip either.

Obviously bigger weights present bigger problems when it comes to spool grip. Certainly back in the day when the standard pendulum rod was a dural butted 11'8", many casters struggled with anything much over five ounces.

Obvioulsy the actual strength of your grip varies from person to person. Certainly, you'd expect a motor mechanic to have a better grip than a telesales operative; although you can actually improve your grip with one of those 'stress buster' ball thingies. The famous east coast caster Fred Williams adopted the fixed spool when arthritis prevented him from gripping a multiplier spool properly. Similarly, I know of two well known anglers who claim that injury to their casting hand led to them adopting the low reel position to maintain good grip but both hanker back to being able to fish the reel up again. Indeed one of them uses one of those slidding reel seats for just that purpose, but moving the reel every cast is far too much faffing about for my tastes.

So there you have it Bagstar, find a thumb guard that works for you and leave the 'bareback' approach to the experts until you've really got to grips (pun!) with the pendulum. There is an entire thread devoted to thumb guards on one of the forums. Personally, I can't get on with cycle inner tube at all, in fact when its' wet I think I get more grip with my thumb as it is. Others obviously rate the stuff highly so it's just a matter of finding one that suits you.

Also I notice that you rate the Primo as you favourite rod. Now if my memory serves me correctly, the Primo is an all carbon derivative of the Bullet and Terry designed the Bullet specifically for casters who 'cut the corner'. So while it may offend the sensibilities of the pendulum purists, the 'toss it in the air and whack it' (quote per Neil M) style has provided great outward distances for a great number of anglers who were struggling with the true pendulum. I don't have a problem with this, if it gets you out there safely without the need for hours of field work it's fine by me. Again, this type of casting will catch you out with cold hands and wet line unless you use an effective thumb guard.

I'll finish with a quote, while digging through some old sea angler magazines to find a reel review for another user, I came across an old 'Tony Allen Fishing Tackle' catalogue that features Paul Kerry and Richard Jacobs casting c.1980ish. Under 'Points for Casters' it states "Failure to hold the spool tight during the power stroke is due to putting the power in suddenly, not smoothly, most casters use some sort of thumb protecter, cycle inner tube, or much favoured are the fingers from Marigold gloves, with llittle pimples on the front, these can cause some difficulty when the line is dry because they hang on too well, but for fishing when the line is wet they are a must." A long sentence but it hits the nail right on the head I reckon?

Cheers, T.



17/03/07 One I prepared earlier! Cast to fish not for the sake of casting, that's my motto.
 

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A tournament caster I new used a couple of turns of fabric sticking plaster round his thumb for fishing and the field. Works, cheap and renewable each time you fish.

John
PS
Phil the rod - You came up here and didn't let me know - you miserable !#?/~~~~~~~~~~~~######################!
 

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Wondered where you'd got to...I'll be coming back soon, i'll let you know when.

philtherod
 

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have found the little rubber fingers that staff use to count notes at the bank real helpful, you even get different sizes for fat fingers, I even got mine free from by creeping to the young lady behind counter at post office.
 

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When I first started out pendulum casting I managed to snap 2 Imax 5 stroke 6 rods (ask Ian H), It would seem that I was not getting the whole blank to compress and being a fairly well built 15 stoner I was putting a hell of an amount of power in at the very end of the cast, thus resulting in thumb slips and 'tip only' compression and ultimately snapping the tip!!
I was advised to SLOW the whole cast down to enable full compression of the blank.
I was also advised to cast with the reel Down.
I switched to a veals channel special with a move able reel seat and I must admit casting with the reel down was some what 'alien' and took a lot of getting used to, but I persevered.

Casting with the reel down was the best switch I had ever made!! it helps to have a movable reel seat or a reducer, as Tench says 'fishing' with the reel down is a chore and your reel will suffer being nearer the beach.

The reel seat I use is a fuji that has been modified with a century coaster to enable very easy shifting from the reel down posistion and bacjk up to a 'fishable' level.

I am by no way expert in casting, but this advice sorted me right out I can now easily hit 160 yrds with a small clipped down bait.

Hope this helps
 
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