When I’m teaching what I refer to as the Foundation Casting Stroke, I like to demonstrate two primary trajectory changing options. One has its origins in adjusting arm/rod position moving into the backstroke; the other is an adjustment of the arm/rod during the Pause. I’m going to discuss the latter—called Layback.
In simple terms, Layback is allowing the rod to tilt more back and downward during the Pause—not during the stroke. The key aspect of Layback comes in moving one’s rod hand up-and-back a few inches while at the same time tilting one’s wrist further back to allow the rod to “lay back” more toward the horizontal (see the illustration). The speed of Layback should be much like its name: laid back, matched closely to Pause timing.
Think: eaaase back (as in, ease back).
Layback also flows right from the The Stop; there is no dead-stop halt. In order to better see this, I suggest practicing in front of a mirror. It may look “incorrect” to use Layback if you’re used to fly casting by certain “rules.” I’d simply suggest ignoring such rules and expanding your mind-set.
The point of Layback in this particular case is to “reset” your arm and hand (and the rod) so that you can now make a forward stroke that directs the line more toward level. From there, you’re in good position to make another backstroke that also directs the line more toward level (with no Layback needed).
I also use Layback for other good stuff, like working around tailing loops and going for big distance with a compact cast-ing stroke. You’ll have to read about those aspects in the book... ;-)
And since SL doesn’t appear to offer captions for illustrations, here’s something for you to read as you gaze at my pen work:
Layback (left) is done after the casting stroke has been made. It re-orients the rod more toward the horizontal during the Pause. You choose the amount of Layback needed; this example shows varying degrees. Then make a high-aimed forward cast (right).