I lurk at banjo’s site most of the time and found your site sometime ago….its beautiful 8)!
I went through your South bend rod casting videos and noted some pointers that IMHO may help you increase your distance ;)…
1) Elbows should be kept as low and near to your ribs as possible because this will help you control the casting plane without twisting your shoulder. It is OK to stretch your hand out on the forward or backward stroke to increase the travel distance but try to keep that elbow down.
2) From the bend of the rod, the loading is still concentrated at top half of the rod and the power at the butt is not yet maximized. My trick is to forget about the tip and concentrate on bending/loading the butt. The only problem with my visualisation is that the loops may open and you need to consciously stop the rod quickly while pointing/jabbing at the target in order to keep the loops tight.
3) To gain control, I tend to use the lower body instead of the shoulder muscles to steadily load the rod like a tug of war/ javelin throw. The only time the shoulders are used is for the speed up and stop but by that time the rod should be loaded and ‘locked’.
4) The haul is not about the length of line to pull but the speed and coordination of the pull. A fast 3 inch pull at the right time is good for slow rods to prevent ‘bounce’
My mistake :-[…. indeed you have taken your casting many notches higher by 2005 than I have mine! 😉
I have started to ‘relearn’ my casting ‘deliberate practice method’ due to my obsession with bamboo nowadays ;D… used to fish fast graphites like sage XP and Winston BIIX which could tolerate being ‘given the stick’ but my bamboos with smaller guides and slower action really tells me to treat my rods better! ;D