I’m of the theoretical type: I read everything I can find on the subject I’m working on. I read all the magazine I can put my hand on from France, Great-Britain, States and even Australia. I read all the books I find from the last one to the very old one I can find on eBay. I watch TV shows, DVD, and everything that would cast some new light on casting. Most of the time, it is the same old recipes, the same old advice, the same old errors.
I have an unbelievable large library of casting books and most of them have been of the greatest disappointment.
I have a theory:”it’s not because you can do it that you can explain it”. To be able to explain, you must understand. I have tested this in many situations. Young I practise judo and the best fighter does it by instinct and can explain most of his moves. Later, in horse jumping, it was the same, the instructor was certainly born on his saddle but couldn’t really explain the seat. In these cases, the arts are so old that everybody should have a very deep understanding of the theory. I even remember reading Pliny the Elder, in Latin, and everything on horses was already there, 2000 years ago!
Now, I go to the gym every morning and I look at the green or seasoned bodybuilder doing whatever they think is good and doing it wrong.
Whatever the sport, the most important is the proprioception. One big word to define the relation between movement, physiology, feeling and reality. The problem is that the feelings doesn’t say the truth. In gyms, there are mirrors, some horse riding schools have them too, but there is no chance at all that you’ll get one on the river. Sure, you could video tape yourselves, as I do, but when you’ll watch your casts at night it will be too late to fix the errors.
So even if I love to read and love to understand, reading won’t help your cast, only somebody to criticize on the spot will really help.