Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox


As I intimated in my mildly ranting post ‘Hoary old Chestnut’  is that one of the things that practice produces is a thing called feel.

 I don’t think a beginner can be expected to have it, or even know what it is. There is just too much for them to take in while they are learning to cast. I think I would be surprised if someone had it who only fishes and never practices casting . I suspect a lot of decent casters don’t have it because ,maybe, they have never thought about it.

 I knew such a thing as feel existed and I was envious of those who supposedly had it. I searched for it but in the end think it eventually found me rather than me finding it. 

 Feel is not about that tug as the line turns over, it’s a lot more subtle than that. It has to do with the heaviness of the rod tip as the line straightens and  feeding the power into the beginning of the stroke, applying the right amount of power through the stroke, the relaxed body, arm and hand that doesn’t jar the rod. This is all starting to sound a bit Zen I know but that’s what happens. You may not become ‘one’ with your rod but you do start to develop a partnership with it rather than trying to dominate it or allowing it to dominate you.

 How do you teach feel?, damned if I know.  I have dabbled in trying to teach it when I am trying to get across a concept like power application and I do try to teach relaxation while casting  and when the student has relaxed and made a good cast I will say something like ‘didn’t that feel better?’ and invariably the answer is yes. 

 I have found that to go beyond relaxation and enter the mystical world of feel by trying to get a student to ‘become one’  with their rod is a short road to frustration as they struggle with the concept. Better, I think, is to plant the seed in their head that there is such a thing and let them find it for themselves or it finds them, like it did me.


February 24, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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