Blog Archives

Accurate Fly Casting 1

Friday, 8 May 2015  |  Simon

There are two kinds of fly fishing casts: the straight line (overhead) cast and the roll cast. You really need to master both of these to a good angler. We’ve addressed roll casting before, so let’s look at the overhead cast.

The straight line includes overhead, side and backhand casts. Each involves a straight line back cast, followed by a forward cast. But to make a single cast the angler usually makes two casts, one back and one forward. You pause between these two to ensure your line is straight before starting the next casting routine.

By the way, this technique is for right-handers. Start with the line straight out in front and straight to the rod top. Keep the tip of your rod low to avoid slack line. The basic overhead cast starts with the line straight and the rod at about 9 o-clock or lower. Rod, hand, wrist and lower arm move as one. Vertical accelleration in an arc and a pivot around the elbow and shoulder to about 11:30pm. At this point the wrist breaks by a maximum 30 degrees, driving the rod back to 12:30 pm. Overall, the arc will be only slightly more than 90 degrees from beginning to end. Note that the movement starts slow and gets faster towards the end of the stroke. In other words, maximum input speed is immediately before the stop and maximum delivery after the stop. If you’ve done it right, the line should now fly through the air up and behind you and become completely straight. There will be no line tension in the rod meanwhile. Arm and wrist positions are stationary while the line extends on the back cast.

Fly fishing simply can’t be done without the basic skills of casting being down pat.


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