Thumb on Top Grip
Similar to the Free Wrist Grip, it varies in one important aspect. Rather than wrapping the thumb around the rod in the classic “suitcase handle” style, the thumb is shifted onto the top of the grip. The four fingers still wrap around the handle in a relaxed way.
This grip is a very positive one because it allows the angler to pinch the rod between the end of the thumb on top of the handle and the curved index finger wrapped around the bottom of the handle. The other three fingers help support the rod, but it is the pinch of the thumb and forefinger that give this grip its effectiveness.
The rearward and forward flicks of the wrist during the casting stroke are much more positive than with the Free Wrist Grip—especially the stop of the rod at the end of each flick. With the thumb on the top of the handle, the rod stops very positively when the wrist achieves it maximum rearward range of motion. Likewise, on the forward stroke, the rod stops very positively when the wrist reaches it maximum forward range of motion. This positive stop is an essential component of the “flick” movement of the rod.
Many anglers use the Thumb on Top Grip for Arm Casting, which is OK, but the caster must take exceptional care to make certain the wrist does not bend back too far at the end of the backstroke, otherwise, the line will be thrown in a huge arc behind the angler rather than being cast back in a line loop.