Time To Get A Grip!

Tuesday, 26 July 2022  |  Sarah
Get a Grip... Comfortably!

Those new to fly fishing often complain of an aching hands/fingers, or worse still tennis elbow (tendentious) when first picking up a fly rod. It can also affect the most experienced of anglers on a bad day.

Mistakenly anglers believe the primary cause is the physicality of actually casting. Truth is the likely cause is gripping the rod too tight, or the incorrect grip on a fly rod.

Unlike other forms of fishing, how you grip the rod can affect on the overall outcome of your performance and enjoyment when casting a fly rod.

 
Firstly, let’s discuss the incorrect grip of a fly rod, before outlining more recognized ways to hold the handle.

Clutching a rod with this basic grip is perhaps the biggest error many make.  Not only is it demanding on your grip, it doesn’t allow for an overall span of the rod handle, which is required for stability and comfort. 

Avoid this at all costs.

 
Ideal for general fly casting and where distance is required.

Perhaps the most recognized grip is the “thumb on top” which is self explanatory.  The idea is the hand now spans pretty much the whole rod handle and the thumb positioned like this helps prevent wrist break, which is our Achilles heel when casting. 

slight variation on this is the “screwdriver grip”, which again is holding the rod as though you where gripping a screwdriver, so the’V’ between thumb and index finger is now situated on top of the rod handle.
 
Pefect for rivers and streams where accuracy is paramount

 

 


The “European Style” involves extending your index finger along the handle, as if you were pointing at something.

Some claim this to be a more tactile grip, where accuracy is paramount. 

 

Admittedly, many who fish rivers, or streams where close in, precision casting dominates swear by this grip.
 
We’re all individuals physically, and recommend you try the various grips mentioned to see which one suits you best. 
Perhaps more important is how relaxed your grip is on the rod. 

All too often, beginners try to strangle the handle with a tight grip, which leads to the above mentioned tennis elbow.

Instead, imagine you’re holding a tube full of toothpaste without a lid and you don’t want to squeeze any paste out.

This is how gentle the grip on your rod should be. 

 

 

 

So next time you’re suffering from aches and pains, or your casting isn’t quite right, take a few moments to think about a more relaxed grip!
 
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