Mike Heritage FFF MCI UK

Fly casting and talking fly casting bollox

To Infinity And Beyond

So, you want to cast a long way eh? Well, pin back your ears. I’m going to tell you how to cast anything from a three weight upwards to 100′. Lay off the macho crap and concentrate on technique. There, that was easy wasn’t it.

Of course there is a bit more to it than that, but not much.

Oh, your rod isn’t good enough. Bollox is the simple answer to that. There are very few, if any, modern rods five (or probably four) weights or over that won’t cast at least 100′. So, don’t blame the rod.

Lines are a different matter, you will need a long belly WF like the Mastery Expert Distance ( MED) or a Barrio GT140 or a good old DT. Something you can carry a bit of line with. There are a few short or mid length bellied lines you can carry some decent lengths of line with but on the whole they tend to hinge like mad and even if they dont hinge they don’t transfer a nice loop from running line to belly. If you just want to practice increasing carry then I would go for a cheap DT and as you get better, say 60′ plus, then perhaps drop the weight of the line by one weight. If you get to 75′ carry with a five DT on a five rod you are getting close to rod breaking territory, be warned.

Ok, you have a rod and line. The leader can be just seven or eight feet of fifteen pound line with a small wool tag tied on the end. Don’t wast money by using tapered leaders (yet) it gets expensive.

As an act of faith I am going to assume you can already cast a fly line. That’s to say you can cast reasonable loops to a reasonable distance and that you can double haul.

As you stand there, rod in hand, and looking down the tape you have laid out, a red mist will descend and the macho streak kicks in. Well, kick it out again, think clever.

The shortest route between A and B is a straight line so the 180 rule is important. Walk down the tape a few feet, turn around and eye up a distant target directly inline with the tape. That’s you’re aiming point for your back cast, don’t lose it.

Next; yes I know you can carry 70′  but go back to fifty. Just do a smooth lift and crisp stop with just enough effort to get a nice turn over  and hit the forward cast just as the loop straightens, and lay it back down. Nope, less effort than that, nope, even less. You should notice that the less effort you put in the better the loops will get. Ah, that’s better, nice one. Now keep doing that for a day or two. This is about building muscle memory so don’t rush it. While you are doing this try different stances and grips. Do it with your eyes closed and feeel what you are doing. Are you planted like an oak tree or bending like a willow, think willow. Now try a couple of casting cycles, always working on good loops and minimum effort. At this point Bill Gammel will tell you to increase your line length by one foot and repeat it all. Sorry Bill, life is too short. I say three feet. You should now have a decent grasp on what is happening so your repetitions can get shorter and your plus three feets can be come a bit faster. However there will come a point where it all goes tits up, the red mist descends and macho man is getting desperate to escape. This is the moment to drop back two or three phases and get a grip on yourself. Kick Macho into touch, he is only trying to hurt you. Oh, and while we are talking pain, if you feel any, STOP. If you get shoulder, elbow or wrist pains pack it in and let whatever you have done recover. I have ignored these warnings in the past and had to lay off casting for months. It ain’t worth it believe me.

I will allow you a five or ten minute session at the end of practice to just have a blast and see if you are progressing.

The funny (not) thing is that once you can hit 100′ consistently it becomes a ridiculously easy cast to make.

Let me know how you get on.


July 15, 2011 - Posted by | Distance casting, fly casting, Flycasting instruction, Mike Heritage, Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Exellent piece Mike!!

    Comment by Lasse Karlsson | July 15, 2011 | Reply

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