Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

More Or Less

I don’t know about other sports but in fly casting less is often more. Big open back cast loops? Try backing off the power and concentrating on the stop. Want to cast that little bit further, don’t hit the delivery so hard, just keep doing what you were doing while false casting and let the line shoot.

 Pure distance is not about out and out brute strength. I bet those of you that practice distance find that your longest casts are often when you are just throwing a few to warm up or at the end of a practice session when you are a bit knackered. I also bet that the longest casts have seemed effortless.

 The brain is a strange thing, instead of telling you to stop and have a think about why you are not casting as far as you did yesterday it tells you to try harder and harder, more effort will sort it out. It took me a few years and several painful injuries  to finally figure that one out. Having a tape out is a good thing but it is also a bad thing because you get obsessed with casting as far as you can and technique can go out of the window as the red mist takes over and you push harder and harder to beat the bloody thing. If you are a 100′ caster it often helps to drop back to 90′ and work on getting there with less effort and good form, ingrain some proper muscle memory.

 The problem is that now and then you manage to couple effort with good technique and blast out a good one which re-enforces the more effort syndrome.

 Back off, concentrate on setting up a beautiful back cast that is under perfect control. Sort out your tracking so that you are casting a perfect 180 deg. Take control of your brain, don’t just leave it in neutral, think about what you are trying to achieve with this cast. If it doesn’t work try and figure out why it didn’t work. Break the cast down into manageable pieces. This can take a while because to begin with everything seems to happen so fast but with a bit of practice you can split the back cast and the forward cast. Now split the back or fore cast into two bits, right hand and left hand. Take the line out of the equation altogether and  go through the motions using just the rod, do it slowly, work out where you want to be at all stages of the stroke. Look at your stance, where can you get the most leverage. Look at the way you shift your weight from back to front or front to back. Look at your shoulder, is it allowing the rod to track straight or is it making you curve your hand path. What is your hand path, is it a straight punch? Is the hand too high; never go above head height. Are you sure you’re doing what you think you are doing? I bet you’re not. Film yourself from the side and from head on. Stand by for a shock!

I had the chance to Watch Steve Rajeff cast last weekend and if you were lucky enough to be there you may think he puts a lot of effort into his casting but if you break it down all of his effort is in the delivery, the setup is very relaxed, but, beware, Steve is pretty unique in his delivery. He has figured a way of putting the whole of his body, from his toes to his pinky finger, into that delivery. Not something that is easy to replicate for us mere mortals.


June 26, 2010 - Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Mike Heritage |


  1. Hi Mike,
    Nice article! You nailed it that all casters tend to regress back into the hit it harder at some point or another. Steve also is the master at tempo for the line to get faster right up to delivery. No doubt the longest ones always tend to feel the most effortless.
    Cheers, mac

    Comment by mac brown | June 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hi Mac, thanks for popping in, and the comment.


    Comment by Mike Heritage | June 26, 2010 | Reply

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