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Home Fly Fishing Techniques Basic Fly Casting Technique


How to Cast with a Fly Rod Using Basic

Fly Casting Technique


Fly Casting




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     In order to understand how to properly cast a fly, it is very important to first understand the basic mechanics involved in proper fly casting technique and to then instill those mechanics in your body by building “muscle memory”.


     Thus, you first need to understand that casting a fly is divided into two actions and each action is further divided into two motions. Consequently, the first action is called the “Back Cast” because you use this action to pick the fly line up off of the water and cast it behind you. Then, the second action is called the “Forward Cast” because this action is used to cast the fly line from behind you to in front of you and to aim the fly at your intended target. Then, each of these casting actions is further divided into two separate motions which I will explain separately.


     So, first of all, to properly perform the back cast, you should first start with your rod tip very close to the water (or the ground) so that you will have a longer lifting motion which serves the purpose of starting the fly line moving across the surface of the water in order to break the surface tension. Also, you should perform the lift by first locking your wrist as far forward as it will go and then, use only your forearm to lift the rod tip to the 10:30 position. Then, at that point, you need to cease moving your forearm and instead use only your wrist to perform the power stroke in order to cast the fly line behind you. Thus, to perform the power stroke, you should use your wrist to move the rod tip from the 10:30 position to the 1:00 o'clock position. But, note that it is very important that you do not drop your rod tip lower than 1:00 o'clock. Also, the more power to apply when performing the power stroke, the more speed that will be imparted to the fly line. In addition, instead of casting the line level with ground behind you, it instead needs to be cast into the air well above your shoulder. In addition, it is extremely important to be aware of the fact that the more line you have out in front of you, the more time it takes to straighten behind you. Also, it is imperative that you allow time for the line to fully straighten behind you before starting your forward cast and thus, you need to hesitate a bit before starting your forward cast. Thus, concentrate on feeling the slight tug on your rod tip after completing your back cast which is your indication that your line has fully straightened behind you. Furthermore, remember that the more line you have out in front of you, the longer you need to hesitate to allow it to straighten behind you.


     Next, in order to properly perform the forwad cast, you also need to divide the cast into two motions consisting of a push and a power stroke. Thus, once your line is fully straightened behind you, start your forward cast by again locking your wrist with the rod tip in the 1:00 o'clock position and then move your wrist forward in a straight, level, line (do not rotate the rod tip in an arc with your elbow as the pivot point) by extending your foream until the rod tip reaches the 12:00 o'clock position. Then, once your rod tip reaches 12:00 o'clock, you need to stop your push and use only your wrist to perform the forward power stroke by rotating the rod tip to the 10:30 positon. Also, as with the back cast, the more power that you apply to the power stroke, the more speed that will be imparted to the fly line and thus, the more line you can cast and, the farther you can cast it. But, there again, it is very important that you do not drop your rod tip below the 10:30 position or your rod tip will drive your fly line down onto the surface of the water instead of above it.  In addition, you should use your rod tip to aim your cast but, at the same time, it is very important that you not aim at the water's surface but instead aim a foot or two above it so that your fly line will straighten out above the water's surface and then drift gently down to it.


     Last, another trick that you should be aware of is to keep your arm tucked in against your side since this will greatly improve your casting effeciency when making short range casts. Thus, if you have to, use your stripping hand to cup your elbow to keep it tucked in agianst your side while casting. In additon, it also helps to relax and let the rod to all of the work for you since, once you learn the proper technique, you can easily cast 30 to 40 feet with very little effort by storing energy in the rod and then relasing it on both the forward cast and the back cast. 




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