the PULD complex

Marc having unexpectedly turned into Sigmund Freud, he’s all about what’s happening into the dark corners of my mind, and since he won’t take ‘wtf??’ as an answer I’d better practice my introspection. Current exercise: what did you think about your mother’s boobs? if you don’t want to think about them, you’re just repressing, that’s sad but you can always try to describe with full detail what happens in a PULD.

yeah, PULD, or PU&LD. that’s how they call it on ‘loops. In case you’re like myself somewhat unfamiliar with the pro’s lingo (and then feel retarded) it’s for Pick Up & Lay Down.

Freud, on the verge to discover the second essential with Nemon. (1936)

so, my unenlightened version would be like: take rod… sling back… tug… sling forward… follow. but that won’t do, obviously. I need to get a finer grain.

  1. initial position: right handed, open. left foot in front, right foot behind. body plane slightly tilted towards the line plane. 10m of line on the ground, straight. no slack. rod in line with the line.
  2. grip rather loose, wrist slightly bent to have the rod in line with forearm.
  3. start moving up the rod by flexing the elbow and shoulder. smooth acceleration. the whole movement goes towards a sharp stop with arm horizontal, forearm vertical and wrist straight. the rod is at one o’clock.
  4. your eyes follow the loop, hence your head has turned back over the shoulder to look at the backcast 
  5. meantime, and just after the stop, try to squeeze and release the grip to absorb bounce (not very clear what to do, but you try to dampen the goddamn thing)
  6. arm extends a little in direction of backcast while the loop unrolls
  7. when the line is straight, start front cast. smooth acceleration to a stop. stop should be more or less 1-2 o’clock. things you try not to forget:
    1. less power
    2. concentrate on loop: let the loop happen correctly, then the rest will follow (relatively easy to believe at 10m)
    3. careful with power, not too much, else you tail
    4. be smooth and sharp but smooth
    5. try to have the tip moving in a relatively straight path. this one is wishful thinking, because the tip moves too fast and I have no fucking idea of its trajectory (the tail will tell me)
    6. think you shoot into a tube to try to get a narrow loop
  8. all this went well, so the loop is nice and not tailing (much) and maybe it has a kind of point to it. (you should film it to really know but lazy)
  9. just before the line straighten, start lowering the tip. the idea is to follow the line as it falls on the ground.

Now there’s a cool variant where you first send a wave in the line to take it of the surface before actually back casting it, I guess it makes for a quieter pick up. at least, that’s what I imagined when I saw Marc doing this:

spent an hour this morning with my ol’ 4wt, trying to have the quietest possible PÜLD (sounds like an ikea name now :mrgreen:). obviously not very quiet yet. I like these “presentation oriented” stuff for the rhythm. a PÜLD cycle is like 2 seconds. you do that for ten minutes and that’s three hundred casts. you feel your arm working. ^_^

13 thoughts on “the PULD complex

  1. Reblogged this on the limp cobra and commented:
    here’s an interesting little exercise that’s starting off quite nicely. being a relative newcomer to our activity and keenly interested in fly casting, i asked Laurent from GOne Fishin9 to describe in words a basic pick up and lay down cast. this is what he came up with. quite impressive considering he’s a relatively newcomer to our activity.
    instead of keeping this more or less between the two of us, what i’d like is to hear what you all have to say about his description.
    the PULD is one of the foundations of casting and breaking it down step by step in our minds before putting those steps into application is an enriching experience for anyone at any level.
    let’s play !

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  4. hi !
    since you’ve maybe had time (maybe) to think about the the supposed ‘quieter pick-up’ thingy:

    could you please tell us why this would make a quieter pick-up ?
    am i sending a wave somewhere ?
    is there any reason why this p/u might be of more use on land than on water ?
    what are the other effects of this p/u ?
    what exactly am i doing when i do this p/u ? (how and why)
    thanks !

    • on closer inspection, it looks more like a kind of corkscrew motion than a wave, maybe there’s still a wave going down the line but I don’t want to rise the physics troll again.
      what called my attention in the first place is that your pick up seems to happen in two phases, first lifting the line, then backcasting. I think it would be quieter (and on some occasions I managed something in the same vein, and it was quieter) because the lift is more delicate/less energetic than the backcast. if you backcast the line when it’s on/in the water, it makes a lot of commotion.
      on land, the reason you use it is probably to spare the line, avoiding to scrape the ground with it.
      the other effect I can figure is that when the line has a lot of slack, it tends to “smooth” it. I don’t know if it’s enough to eliminate slack, but I guess it makes for a much better “energy transmission” between rod tip an line.
      how exactly you do that is hard to tell, but it really looks like some sort of clockwise circle with the tip before the backcast. (eg at 29′ and 33′)

  5. hi !

    ok, i like corkscrew a lot better and circle p/u even more as it’s the common term.
    (the Corkscrew cast is something else we can talk about later)
    it probably is considered a traveling wave, but then, we’re not purposely throwing a wave down the line like in a roll cast but creating tension before the cast.
    what’s really interesting is if you look at the vid again and just focus on the ‘corkscrew’ it really seems to mostly stay in place and the line ‘threads itself’ through it. (i won’t even start to explain because i can’t… )

    a lift prior to the BC stroke is the goal to all pick-ups whether they’re on land or water and that’s exactly what i’m doing here. since lines slide on land a lot more than on water, it’s of extra help here.
    what might and probably leads to either confusion or surprise is the f’n stupid ignorant and common french term ‘arracher’.
    ripping off is the last thing we want to do. ‘peeling or gently lifting off’ is a much better notion.
    of course it makes the whole lift quieter. it also helps control and maintain a pretty decent SLP on the initial BC.

    scraping- maybe it reduces it a bit but a practice land line is a practice line and they are meant to be punished ! it makes as much sense as worrying about your tires every time you take the car…

    slack and tension- now we’re talking ! that’s what the circle p/u is about and yes, it tightens up slack and makes the whole line system dynamic. ( the caster as well because he doesn’t just sit there and lift like a robot all day)

    performing it- yup, it’s a movement done during the lift. although a circular shape makes it easier and often smoother it doesn’t matter which way you do it. circles, curves, S or Z shaped, whatever.
    you could even do it in a laid down figure-eight manner and you’ll end up with a voodoo cast…

    give it a try some time.

  6. Pingback: Rudd test, the roll and the tail | G0ne Fishin9

  7. Pingback: [Casting Log] PULD & wind. | G0ne Fishin9

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