I have always heard of well-known fly casters putting a loop of fly line through a hula hoop but I’ve never seen it done. I was bored with my practice sessions and was looking for some way to make it interesting again, so I searched the Internet for a video but I found very little video, mostly mentions of casting into hula hoops and a few photos.
But I did find this great video of Chris Morris, CCI practicing on Vimeo:
Nice loop Chris! I love the shape of that loop with the point or “rat snout” at the bottom of the loop. Nice shots of the cast, from behind, side and lengthwise.
So, I dropped by a local big box store and acquired a hula hoop. I fixed it on top of an old wire yard sign I had in my storeroom.
After a couple of afternoons of practice with the hoop at 30 feet, my feelings are mixed. I am not sure of the real value of practicing with the hula hoop because I have found the best way to get a loop to pass through without touching is to break commandment #1 of Castifarians by overpowering the cast to make a superficially small loop. So practicing making an ultra tight loop that can easily tail, just to make it fit through the hoop, in my thinking, is not that valuable. I suppose learning when and how to tighten the loops and how to control the power to keep it from tailing could be helpful. The following video is an example of an overpowered and very pointy loop:
But, alas, throwing an ultra sharp loop like the one above by overpowering the cast is not something I want to do fishing because it would most often be a tailing loop. The #1 commandment of Castifarians is of course, “Thou shalt not overpower thy cast.” But the video of Chris Morris is with the hoop at a greater distance than the 30 feet I was using. I will move it back some and see if that makes a difference as the loops will have more time to sharpen with greater distance. Possibly the need to overpower the cast to sharpen the loop won’t be necessary.
I can in fact, with some consistency, throw my normal loop that I would use for fishing through the hula at 30 feet, but it is more difficult. See video below:
Then again, maybe I’m still not doing it right. I would love to see some other folks and their casting video.
I will admit that it is fun and it provides a change of pace from distance casting and casting at targets. I am sure it helps to entertain my neighbors too, like all my yard casting does. I should charge admission.
Anyway, I would suggest giving it a try because it is definitely fun and anything to get us out there casting and practicing is a good thing. Yard casting sure beats watching the horrible “news” casting, that’s for sure.