Hmmm....Not waiting for the line to straighten on the back cast would be
my first guess. When you cast, look over your shoulder and watch the line
unfurl. Beginning your forward cast too early will take all of the power out
of the rod and line, and result in the line collapsing in a pile. You have to view
the rod, line, and your body motions as a single system. Picture a helicopter
with a single damaged rotor: the entire helicopter becomes unbalanced, wobbles, and does not function. (It's the best analogy I could come up with
on short notice
Focus on casting 20-25 feet of line straight back, and straight forward. Don't
try for any further distance until you've mastered that. Also, holding the rod
vertical like Joan Wulff doesn't work for everyone. Lefty Kreh holds the
rod nearly horizontal, and I hold my rod somewhere in between. The important
thing right now is to watch the line straighten completely on the back cast
(but don't allow it to begin falling). This loads the rod, and allows the rod
to play its role in the system. The rod doesn't develop any energy if it
isn't allowed to bend at the end of a forward or back cast. Your line will
travel through the air even if the rod isn't loaded, it just won't travel in the
manner which you'd like. When you look over your shoulder to watch the
line unfurl, look to see that the rod has a bend in the top.
Start the casting motion slowly, add a bit more power along the way, and
STOP the motion. It's at this point that you should wait for the line to unfurl
in both directions, and then repeat the motion. Until you're ready to lay the
line on the water, the back and forward casts should be the same thing.
(Unless it's a roll cast, etc). Concentrate on a standard cast for now.