Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

Part 2

I would come home from work,  grab the rod and go practice, weekends I would be down there for hours and hours and come in exhausted. I asked questions on the Sexyloops board, I didn’t understand half the answers so I asked more questions. I was quite bloody minded that as I had seen Paul cast my poor old rod well over 100′ that I would not buy a ‘real’ rod until I had cast it to 100′ myself. It was three or four months before I eventually did it. I still use the same tape I had back then and I used to write all my personal bests on it. The first is 94.2ft the second is 95ft the third is 100ft exactly. Can you imagine?, it took me four whole months to add less than six bloody feet. I will come back to this later.

 Because I didn’t know anyone in my area that had the same interest I had to cast alone and thats the hard way to do it. I eventually bought a camcorder and started to film myself casting. What a revelation that was!. I thought I was casting superbly, perfect tracking, nicely timed haul, fantastic stroke. I was shattered to see this stiff, upright, tense, badly timed caster with very poor form. Boy, did I need help, badly.

 I had been getting some help on the board from some guy called Bill Gammel in the States. His answers were always detailed and full of useful information so I just sent him a short clip of my casting by email. It was  truly awful quality but he replied with a couple of questions, one was how much line I was carrying? I replied ‘about 75ft’ he replied ‘are you sure?’, ‘yes I’m sure’. Bill came back with ‘well with what I can see on the clip you shouldn’t be able to carry anything like that amount of line with that stroke’ he did add, however, that it must be my natural athleticism that is helping me mask my many flaws, or words to that effect. I was quite chuffed, I had never been called a natural athlete before, or since now I think about it.

 As it turned out I had been measuring my carry from the rod tip to the end of my flyline (not including leader). There was a debate on Loops and I discovered that carry is actually measured from the hand holding the line, effectively the end of the tape, to the end of the line, I wasn’t holding up 75′, I was holding up 84′. I had been beating myself up because couldn’t carry more that 75ft no matter what I did, I just couldn’t get up there with the big boys who carried 80′ to 90′ or more, now I suddenly realised I was up there with the big boys, at least as far as carry was concerned. I’m glad I didn’t discover this until after Bill had started helping me. If I had told him I was carrying 84′ I don’t think he would have believed me.


March 16, 2009 - Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, forum debates, Mike Heritage


  1. “I was shattered to see this stiff, upright, tense, badly timed caster with very poor form.”

    Bald, don’t forget bald, Daddy.

    Comment by Pete Heritage | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. Let’s see, Mmm, I was about your age when it started to go, and it’s hereditry son.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Just a minute Young Mr Heritage.
    Those of us that have a high forehead knows that we really do not lose the hair on our heads. It simply falls through and comes out of our ears and noses.
    Something for your life partner to look forward to.

    Comment by Roger | March 18, 2009 | Reply

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