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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The mods closed down the religion thread and the RDT thread has started to die out. So I'm gonna try and stir up a little trouble ;)

I had the great privilege of casting with Don, Everett and Robert yesterday and after we got through with the wisecracks some of what was said sparked a lot of thought on my part. One of those things was the concept of "buying distance." I've heard it said over and over that you cannot go out, buy a certain thing and increase your casting distance. Now fundamentally I understand that distance comes from good technique and solid practice time, but I disagree with the idea of buying distance on two levels.

Firstly, and most basically, you must have gear that is capable of doing what you need to do. You are not going to hit tournament distances with a dinky surf combo from Wal-Mart. Duh, right? You'll be able to learn and put up decent numbers, but to get to high levels of performance you need high-performance gear.

Secondly, this weekend showed me that confidence and comfort levels paly a HUGE part in your casting. If you believe that moving to high-performance gear is going to make your casting better, that is what happens. I switched over from a converted OMCP to an AFAW from Don and my distance went up. My longest cast of the day came on the AFAW and my 525 Mag, despite casting most of the day with my center-magged Abu 5500. After I threw, Robert and Don both said that I was smoother and casting better with that combo than with the Abu and I realized that I'm much more comfortable with the Penn. So if you go out like I did on Sunday with the expectation that getting better equipment will improve your distance, something happens. You have greater confidence in the rod and reel and that confidence causes you to put more into the cast. So by using that high-performance rod you are increasing your distance, albeit somewhat indirectly.

Thoughts?

Evan

PS: Yes, I realize that there is no substitute for quality form and technique.

PPS: Thanks for hanging around and bouncing ideas back and forth last night Robert. And thanks for the tip on the videos.
 

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I dont think you can buy distance. When I say that I'm speaking of gear, and gear only. I could spend $$$ and get lessons and that would help, but just jumping from a HDX to a zziplex isnt going to get me the distance I want. The OMCP rods is stiffer than most of the AFAW line. So that could be a case of not being able to properly bend the OMCP. A couple of years ago my best cast was with a penn 525\knobby, and I thought that reel was better than the others. The fact is the Penn is a great Fishing reel, but a well tuned abu will beat it when your throwing the .026-.032 lines.
 

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I've always maintained that you can indeed, buy distance. :p

Now the naysayers are going to come on here and say, well if you just sit on the couch, and expect that you can go out tomorrow and whip out the cash to buy better equipment, that you can't just expect that will make you a better caster.

Of course not.

But if your willing to work at it, then buying better equipment, lessons, practice equipment, etc. , should lead to improved distances.

I say should, because there are no guarantees, that you aren't better off with equipment that you have, rather than what you think might be better equipment.

And spending money on lessons, might not be that effective, if you can't break old habits, and ingrain new ones, etc.

Let me put it this way, having tons of disposable money to throw out in the pursuit of distance, likely won't hurt, but dedication to improvement is something that can't be bought. :)

Likewise, you can have all the dedication and practice time available to you in the world, but if your going to insist on sticking with a 10' wally world rod and reel--- well, even great technique can only accomplish so much with inferior equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What I'm saying is that spending big bucks on a rod comes with increased confidence and an expectation of longer throws. These two mental things contribute to better distances, given the same amount of practice time.

And that OMCP is stiff but I can load it with 150g or 175g. I'm telling you though, the first time I held that AFAW in Don's driveway it just felt right. Before I had a chance to throw it or even put a reel on it. And I knew that it would increase my distance, again before ever throwing it. I just had this mental expectation and comfort with the rod. That translated into longer, smoother and better-feeling casts without extra work on my part.

Do I have lots of work still to do? Absolutely. I'm throwing consistently in the 450s and have a tremendous amount of work to do on my timing and form. Do I think that spending money on an even nicer rod will help me? If Robert's Zziplex is any indicator, probably not. But making that commitment to a higher-quality rod added 25-30 feet by itself, and gave me an opening to improve my turn, hit and timing in ways I'm not sure I could have with what I was using before.

So in short, I'm saying that confidence plays a big part in casting. And for some, that confidence and the distance that comes with it can indeed be bought.

Evan
 

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What I'm saying is that spending big bucks on a rod comes with increased confidence and an expectation of longer throws. These two mental things contribute to better distances, given the same amount of practice time.

And that OMCP is stiff but I can load it with 150g or 175g. I'm telling you though, the first time I held that AFAW in Don's driveway it just felt right. Before I had a chance to throw it or even put a reel on it. And I knew that it would increase my distance, again before ever throwing it. I just had this mental expectation and comfort with the rod. That translated into longer, smoother and better-feeling casts without extra work on my part.

Do I have lots of work still to do? Absolutely. I'm throwing consistently in the 450s and have a tremendous amount of work to do on my timing and form. Do I think that spending money on an even nicer rod will help me? If Robert's Zziplex is any indicator, probably not. But making that commitment to a higher-quality rod added 25-30 feet by itself, and gave me an opening to improve my turn, hit and timing in ways I'm not sure I could have with what I was using before.

So in short, I'm saying that confidence plays a big part in casting. And for some, that confidence and the distance that comes with it can indeed be bought.

Evan
Absolutely, just how hard am I going to hit a cheap stick, knowing that it wasn't really designed for power casting, and just might explode on me ? ;)

Make no mistake however, plenty have overrodded themselves with a big, bad rod, initially giving them confidence and convinced that it will be their ticket to big distances, only to come away disappointed.

Money helps-- money spent right helps more.
 

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You're Right it's mental, and getting over that WALL (mental wall ) is half the battle. People like using extremes by comparing a Wally World rod to a zziplex. I think top end gear makes a difference when your an elite caster.. when everthing you're doing is almost perfect and you need 25 more feet.. Then reels, rods and line make a difference.. I think a 500,600 ft caster can get by with average distance gear.. By average gear I mean gear that would be capable of decent numbers on the field..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Absolutely, just how hard am I going to hit a cheap stick, knowing that it wasn't really designed for power casting, and just might explode on me ? ;)

Make no mistake however, plenty have overrodded themselves with a big, bad rod, initially giving them confidence and convinced that it will be their ticket to big distances, only to come away disappointed.

Money helps-- money spent right helps more.
Exactly. I folded an Ugly Stick in half last fall with an OTG and 5 oz. I can't feel good enough about that stuff to power it where it needs it. The reason I started this thread was because when I really started getting into distance casting the "can't buy it" mentality overpowers you and I decided that I had to have good form for a good rod to make a difference. I want people to realize that sometimes having a good rod is necessary for good form to develop. So you pegged it: Money can't produce distance by itself, but money spent right is vital.

You're Right it's mental, and getting over that WALL (mental wall ) is half the battle. People like using extremes by comparing a Wally World rod to a zziplex. I think top end gear makes a difference when your an elite caster.. when everthing you're doing is almost perfect and you need 25 more feet.. Then reels, rods and line make a difference.. I think a 500,600 ft caster can get by with average distance gear.. By average gear I mean gear that would be capable of decent numbers on the field..
Yep yep. I'm not saying that going from a $400 AFAW to a $1000 Zziplex is necessarily going to do much for a mid-range caster. I threw that AFAW and then tried Robert's Zziplex and I didn't feel nearly as good with that. Though if you are not comfortable enough with what you have then moving up will make a difference if it buys you security.

Evan
 

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You're Right it's mental, and getting over that WALL (mental wall ) is half the battle. People like using extremes by comparing a Wally World rod to a zziplex. I think top end gear makes a difference when your an elite caster.. when everthing you're doing is almost perfect and you need 25 more feet.. Then reels, rods and line make a difference.. I think a 500,600 ft caster can get by with average distance gear.. By average gear I mean gear that would be capable of decent numbers on the field..
And unless a rich relative donated that "decent" gear to you, you had to pay for, AKA- buy it- thus buying at least reasonable distance for the time being.

:p
 

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Here's the thing Evan.

The statement itself "money can't buy distance" is not as black and white as it may seem. It means different things to different people.

A lot of people go through an evolution, buying better equipment, only as they get to the point where they feel reasonably justified in "needing" it.

That appraoch works for some, but may in fact cost more money in the long run. If you step thru a progression and buy a new rod capable of adding a few feet every time you progress, how much money will you have spent over the long haul ?

I see nothing wrong with buying equipment you won't outgrow, as long as you can get reasonable distance now-- you should be able to more fully utilize and get more potential out of the same set up as you improve, growing into it, so to speak. In fact some equipment(rod butts in particular), are designed specifically to allow you to grow into them. You may only be getting a small fraction of the "potential" out of the rod intially, but as long as you can bend it (at least somewhat), you will get better results, and sticking with the same rod over a longer time period, may in fact be better than switching up to a stronger rod every year or so.

There's lots of ways to look at the statement about "buying distance", only when it is used in a specific context can it be fully explored. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Surf Cat. Through replies you've helped me get to where I wanted to be with the first post. I agree with you 100% and you've put into words what I was trying to get at.

What I've heard a lot of from casters is that you need to improve your form and get to a higher level of casting before you think about investing in longer/strong/stiffer rods to fit your style. What I've discovered in my recent work in distance casting is that an initial investment will likely help me more than trying to learn on what I've got. I think that in the end you want something that you can kind of move up or grow into, as it were. So yeah, I can't go out, pick up a Zziplex Full Tournament or Century Kompressor, pair it with a tricked-out Abu and start hitting 200yds immediately. But I can get a good rod, add a nice reel and reach 200 quicker than if I were to stick with what I've been using.

Like I said, I just wanted to put this out there for people who are new to the sport like I was not long ago. I don't think that throwing down $1500-2000 on a dedicated distance setup is a good plan as you're getting in. You just simply cannot control it without a basic understanding of casting form. But I do believe that spending some money to get a rod designed for casting will pay off in a decreased learning curve.

Evan
 

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Thats a loaded question .
Yes in some circumstances but once at a certain level no ,every body has a cap limit you cant buy Tommy farmer distance
good equiptment makes a differance but at the end of the day it is the user


9rock
 

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All this talk about buying distance, please let me know who is selling it, I want to order some, only about 75'-150' worth right now. Money is a little tight, does it come in filler spools or just in bulk? Can I order some in high-vis green?:D I love it when this topic comes up....:popcorn::beer:

Evan, you are absolutely correct, compared to the Zippy, that AFAW is so much better for you right now. It is possible to buy a rod so overpowering to you that you actually hurt your confidence and desire to throw. That AFAW looked VERY comfortable in your hands, now only if you can keep the reel on right. :cool:

Robert
 

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All this talk about buying distance, please let me know who is selling it, I want to order some, only about 75'-150' worth right now. Money is a little tight, does it come in filler spools or just in bulk? Can I order some in high-vis green?:D I love it when this topic comes up....:popcorn::beer:

Evan, you are absolutely correct, compared to the Zippy, that AFAW is so much better for you right now. It is possible to buy a rod so overpowering to you that you actually hurt your confidence and desire to throw. That AFAW looked VERY comfortable in your hands, now only if you can keep the reel on right. :cool:

Robert

I think this requires a little closer inspection, if I may.

Forgetting about brand names, for the moment, whatever rod you are comfortable with, that allows you to get good distances currently, yet leaves some room for better distances as your skill improves, is most likely the one you will get the best results from, but not immediately outgrow.

My only issues with the statement above, concerning AFAW versus Zziplex, is that it may leave the wrong impression in the minds of some getting into the sport. Some might draw the conclusion that the AFAW is an "intermediate" type stick, best for beginners, and that Zziplex are best left to advanced or stronger casters.

I just want to point out that one can't simply throw one model from a line up and make conclusions about the rest of the line up. Iv'e thrown Zippies that were too much stick for me, and I've thrown some that felt soft and very easy to load and throw. Style also plays a role -- OTG casting usually requires a tad more stiffish tip out of a rod, where pendulum casting generally requires a rod that loads more progressively throughout the cast.

I'm not a Zziplex salesmean, I just want to point out that there is likely a model that will suit most any caster and their style-- that is why so many different models are made after all. The old standard of the Zziplex line -- the primo Synchro -- would probably never be considered "too much rod" for anybody with reasonable physical attributes-- even the smaller or younger casters- would likely be fine with one.

Anyone that tries to convince a caster they are not ready for a "Zzippy", that you can't "buy" distance, isn't quite looking at things right, in my mind.

It might be true that the beefiest rods in the line up are not right for you, but that dosen't make "all Zzippies" unsuitable for beginners.

In the same token, the same can be said for AFAW, some model are perhaps better suited to individuals than others, likewise, with Centuries. And if you can get the same distance out of an AFAW, at a bargain price, so much the better.

The one thing I do know, is that with so many options available, someone produces a rod that will suit you. Finding that rod is part of the elusive hunt for better distance.

It's unfortunate that we can't be test fit for casting rods the same way folks are currently test fit for golf clubs, it would make the process of finding our ultimate distance rod a tad easier. All we can do for now is explore as many options as possible, whether that is trying our buddies sticks, or going to a tourny to try a few different rods.

My final thoughts-- if you are going to plunk down cash for a rod, do everything to make sure it is a good "fit" for you-- that way your money used to "buy" distance will fall into the proper category-- as I said before

Money helps-- money spent right helps more.
I've seen time and again, where casters post up that there new rod is on the way, and they can't wait to get out on the field and try it. Funny how often that new stick winds up in the "for sale" category a short while later. There may be a small grain of truth to the idea that money can't buy distance, but anyone serious about going after distance is continuously exploring new sticks.

I'm sure if Tommy posted up every stick he had gone thru, or at least tried out, it would be a long, long list indeed.
 

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I'm sure if Tommy posted up every stick he had gone thru, or at least tried out, it would be a long, long list indeed.
Here ya go, from the start in my quest for distance. The tournament casting started with the Straight 8.

'97 - G. Loomis 1448, 450-500' hatteras cast.
'99 - Lami 1502, 450-500' hatteras cast.
'99 - Zzipplex Straight 8, 475-550' hatteras cast.
'01 - Breakaway 2/1 with tourney butt, broke 600' with this one using a pendulum cast.
'02 - Greys PZ300t. Nice rod, good power and a forgiving tip. Had my "breakout tourney" with this one, 744' SCUSA Worlds fall 02.
'02 - Zzipplex Dymic LT 14. Broke 750' with this one.
'03 - Zzipplex Full Tournament. Ordered from Terry Carrol. Very special rod to me. Set the USA record with this one at 839'... :)
'03 - Zziplex XTR. Didn't fit my style at the time but i would love to try it now groundcasting.
'04 - Zzipplex SST. Good rod, just didn't suit my style.
'05 - Zziplex Full Tournament XL. This one came from Dave Thomashey. My all time longest practice cast came on this one in the fall of '05.
'06 - Century TTR. First Century. Different feel to the zziplex lineup but a very very powerful, longcasting rod.
'07 - Zzipplex Primo Syncro XL. Got this one for down the road when I can't hit the stiff rods...lol
'07 - Zziplex ZTI. Very Good groundcasting/flat arc rod.
'07 - AFAW Big Beach. Guys tend to overlook this rod but it is capable of BIG distance and it's easy to cast.
'07 - AFAW Tournament Rock. On par with the zziplex and century rods.
'08 - Zziplex M427. One of my very favorite groundcasting rods.
'09 - New Century TTR. Jury is out on this one, but so far so good.

I may have missed one or two but this pretty well covers it... :)

Tommy[/QUOTE]
 
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