Originally Posted by turbineblade
I'm new to fly fishing and have learned some of the basics from *some instruction and by reading stuff written by Lefty Kreh (great material). He recommends that a fly caster learn the side arm cast well, because it facilitates a better distance cast later due to a greater ability to extend the rod on the back cast.
Anyway, I do a regular overhead cast decently, with *some success in hauling, though my forward haul sucks.
For the side-arm cast, I'm terrible! On the backcast I concentrate on keeping my elbow "on the shelf" but the fly always sags too low and I get terrible tailing loops that want to catch the rod on the forward cast. Any tips on what to check for to correct the problem?
Oh, and by "side-arm" I'm referring to a cast with the rod tip just a little above the elbow (in other words, quite
side-arm). I do the 45 degree cast decently.
More data: My overhead cast is more of a "tower" cast, where I go completely vertical and upward, then back "downward" on the forward cast. So it's more of a diagonal
cast then parallel to the water/ground. I get the tightest loops with this cast for some reason. I don't know why this seems easier to me than the other casts.
Okay I have a drill for you to try that I teach some of my students that will drastically help you with all forms of casting.........
The rod tips needs to travel in straight line with abrupt stops at 10:00 and 2:00, that much we know. It is exact same range of motion you use with a Hammer.
The drill is to grab a hammer and pretend to hammer a nail into a imaginary wall right in front of you a little closer then arms length. The heavier the hammer the better but practice hitting that imaginary nail and feel how the hammer accelerates and then stops abruptly on the head of the nail, you will also notice that you accelerate back almost the same and at the same 10:00 and 2:00 o clock positions. Once you have done this with the hammer put the fly rod in your hand and repeat the exact same motion pretending that the head of the hammer is the top of your cork grip. If you want to practice side-arm then try hammering the nail from the side with the exact same range of motions.
I did this drill to teach myself to cast left handed. I used to work construction and it suddenly hit me that using a hammer is the exact same motion as casting and after 2 weeks of this drill a couple hours a week I can cast just as good with my left hand as I do with my right.