Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

If I Had a Hammer

I hope it’s not just me but I am just a bit fed up with reading a mish mash of pseudo bollox about the theory of fly casting. Not the real stuff, the stuff that has been clearly thought out, not even the technical stuff with formula and equations. I mean the God awful half arsed and earnestly believed crap from some nonentity who wants to make a name for himself but has grasped the wrong end of the stick. To make it worse they try to impose their own tekky words that have no meaning to the rest of us. I tried to read one such piece of unmitigated garbage this morning, I stopped before I went to find a hammer to smash the computer with. The thing I really object to is that someone trying to understand the theoretical stuff may come across this crap and actually believe it and spend the next who knows how long trying to work his fly casting around a crap theory and, even worse, perpetuate said theory in the process.

 Now, I love a good theory, I even have a few of my own. Some of my most useful eureka moments have come from reading someones theory. I have come across one in the last couple of day’s that may, or may not, transform my shooting head casting. We will see. Casting is not a ‘one size fit’s all’ sport. I am 6’2” and nearly 14st, what works for me won’t necessarily work for someone 5’9” and 10st. We have to achieve the same thing to make our cast work but we will do it differently. Very differently. I may stand with an open stance, use a V grip, elbow out, have a long stroke, use hardly any wrist and use a lot of drift. You may use a closed stance, classic thumb on top grip, short, Arden flip flop stroke, elbow in, never watch your back cast, and hardly ever drift. I may cast with a near vertical rod, yours may be canted over. It doesn’t matter(unless you are going for pure distance [I have a theory about that]) We have both had to encompass the five essentials to get the cast to work. Apply the power properly to create a straight line tip path ensuring there is no slack in the line and you have used the correct casting angle for the weight of line you have aerialised. Now pause while it straightens and start again. Simples.

 Theories are usually based around what the rod does in such and such a nano second. Actually, the rod does nothing without someone making it do it so, in my opinion, talk to the caster, the rod ain’t listening.

 I also have a nagging doubt that a lot of these half arsed theorists can’t actually cast, if they could they would realise their theories just don’t work or make sense. As in life, there are those who can and those who just talk. Deep respect to those that can do both. There are a few around and I am lucky enough to count some of them  as friends.

 You don’t actually need any theories to cast. In fact you are better off have no preconceived ideas at all. A good instructor will teach you the basics and then start to give you some nifty little tips learned through hard work and experience. If he starts to give you a lecture on the theory of fly casting (unless you have asked for it) go find a hammer.


August 15, 2010 - Posted by | fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized


  1. Would love to read the pseudo bollox, need a good laugh, so please send me a link 🙂

    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. Hi Mike

    I love a good laugh, so please send the link to the pseudo bollox 😀 I’m far away from my hammer anyway 😉


    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  3. nice rant Mike ! 😀
    come on, cough up the link !

    Comment by marc fauvet | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  4. No need Marc, I have just noticed Guy has put it up on the master study group. I was a bit worried when I saw a reply from Bruce,I imagined I had just slagged off a masterpiece of insightful theology. He said it was crap. Great minds and all that.

    Comment by Mike Heritage | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  5. i was on the nose 😉 cheers mate !
    i’m off for a month or so up north. i’ll bring back a Viking battle hammer for ya ! 🙂

    Comment by marc fauvet | August 15, 2010 | Reply

  6. ” talk to the caster, the rod ain’t listening”

    Awesome Mike! I’m going to use that (with due credit of course).


    Comment by Will | August 16, 2010 | Reply

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