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Shock and Vibration
Volume 18 (2011), Issue 6, Pages 839-855

Analysis of Fly Fishing Rod Casting Dynamics

Gang Wang1 and Norman Wereley2

1Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL, USA
2Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

Received 10 April 2009; Revised 22 August 2010

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An analysis of fly fishing rod casting dynamics was developed comprising of a nonlinear finite element representation of the composite fly rod and a lumped parameter model for the fly line. A nonlinear finite element model was used to analyze the transient response of the fly rod, in which fly rod responses were simulated for a forward casting stroke. The lumped parameter method was used to discretize the fly line system. Fly line motions were simulated during a cast based on fly rod tip response, which was used as the initial boundary condition for the fly line. Fly line loop generation, propagation, and line turn-over were simulated numerically. Flexible rod results were compared to the rigid rod case, in which the fly tip path was prescribed by a given fly rod butt input. Our numerical results strongly suggest that nonlinear flexibility effects on the fly rod must be included in order to accurately simulate casting dynamics and associated fly line motion.