Well I think what I need are some of those DVD's. I'm going to outline what I have been doing more for others who may be having the same problems. I was having line pile up at the end of my cast- not straightening out and I was working hard, maybe over powering? Then I learned about the double haul and I think I should have waited on that because I have been using the double haul to increase line speed so my casts straightens out however that's it, I'm still only casting 30' of line plus the leader- overall distance 40'. If I try harder than that the line piles up and the double haul doesn't shoot any line for me.
I have watched a few of the You Tube casting videos and realize a good fly caster makes it look easy, it seems the rod isn't even moving that much, so I guess timing is everything.
I agree on the back cast, you need to get that line back and straight if you'll ever make a good forward cast and since I have been focusing on that it has helped.
The start slow and accelerate seems awkward to me, right now I am sort of slowly moving forward about 6", while slightly dropping the hand and then sort of a quick movement ending with a thumb push and finger squeeze. When I see the You Tube videos the movement seems a lot smoother than what I am doing. As I said before I got away with this on trout streams but now I want to cast farther.
Well, as I said I'm going to get some of the DVD's but if some of what I have just posted sounds wrong, all advise welcomed. I'm sure a few others may be going through the same thing. Thanks.
Two other points that might help; and that you'll get from most of the books and videos that other posters have already suggested:
1. Try casting horizontally on grass with about 30' of line out. It's a good way to see how changing your casting stroke aftects both line speed and loop shape. You can do it one casting stroke at a time and observe the results with each cast.
2. When you haul; single or double; let the tension on the line pull the hand that you use to haul back up towards the striping guide; don't feed the line back into the cast. If you feed the line, you actually decrease the line tension and the loading on the rod, because you introduce an "empty" space of 1-2' on average (the amount of line that you've hauled). In every cast; regardless of how you cast, the line has tension on it which is imparted by the casting stroke itself, when you feed back the hauled line the tension on the line is decreased, the line speed drops, the loop sags and the effectiveness of the cast is decreased. You'll feel the tension on the line gently pull the hauled line back towards the striping guide on a good cast. Using the horizontal casting process on grass also worked very well for me in learning to haul.
My .02 cents.
If your casting 40' and you need to cast 80', forget about double hauling for a bit. It just complicates things. And for the record, it may only increase your distance maybe 10%. I've been fly fishing about 1 year, I can cast 90' easy without hauling at all (5 weight fast action rod)so I know you can get plenty of distance without it. I only double haul in strong wind, which will be a factor in Salt but it is certainly not necessary for distance casting unless your in a competition or something of the sort.
I would focus on the basics, timing, shooting line both directions, but first and foremost have the proper gear for the job and don't complicate things.
I think there was a lot of good advice on this board.
For me, however, I found a casting symptom can be the result of many different causes. I took lessons -and actually ended up casting worse than before - I read books, watched videos, posted questions; and all that was good, but in the end for me to cast long distances, I had to spend a considerable amount of time experimenting on my own. I found there were no easy fixes. I just hope my two cents don't discourage you.
Here's just more of my two cents. Take what you like and leave the rest:
Like most anglers I wanted to cast farther, with less effort, so I read up on casting - books by Joan Wulff, Ed Jaworoski, Lefty Kreh - and I watched videos of great casters - Steve Rajeff, Mel Krieger - and I learned a lot, but not enough to fly cast farther than seventy-feet.
I thought, I just need practice. I got a lot of it, whether I fished or I cast on a lawn. But practice didn't take my casting very far. Discouraged, thinking I was at a dead-end, I finally thought, I need to experiment with casting techniques. I did, year after year. But with every casting discovery I made, a new casting symptom, like wide loops, came out of hiding. Even worse, I soon learned each symptom could be caused by several casting defects.
I thought, I need further diagnosis. So I read even more books and then posted casting questions on Internet bulletin boards. Rarely, however, I got the answers I needed. More and more, I wished I had a casting coach who could spare me so much frustration and disappointment, but not having a coach turned out to be a blessing in disguise: It forced me to face one casting symptom after another and, like an obsessed scientist, to find their causes and cures.
Symptoms, therefore, became learning opportunities
And so my articles are really journals of my casting trials and tribulations. Do the journals answer every casting question?
Do they describe the only ways to cast?
In the end, I believe each caster is different and should learn from many sources and then experiment on his or her own.
I've been fly fishing about 1 year, I can cast 90' easy without hauling at all (5 weight fast action rod)
That is truly exceptional and puts you in the top 1/10 0f 1% of casters in the world!
I too read the books and watch the video's. It's all good and most have points that lend themselves well to improving your cast.
When I get lessons I seek out those who are some of the finest in the world. That is not really hard or expensive to do either!
I've had more that a couple lessons and tips with Steve Rajeff. One at a fly show that cost me about $25.00 if I recall and the others at FFF conclaves that costs next to nothing. It is astounding what folks like him and Jason Borger and Bruce Richards can do to improve your cast with just a little grip change here or a different power application there.
One thing that really should never be overlooked when going for distance is your line. It just has to be clean and slick to shoot well. Those of us poor souls who have to double-haul to get distance know that it's next to impossible to give line back after the haul if that line is sticky and gets hung up on the guides and blank.
I've been reading some of these posts and find that all of the respondents offer honest opinions and good advice. What I have to say is perhaps in regard to a point yet unaddressed. In the following text I would like you to consider my advise as relating to fresh water river, creek, and brook fishing situations. Salt water casting and Lake fishing are indeed an area where I have limited experience from which to draw.
Some people who choose to use fly rod and reel for fishing gear simply make their experience less than enjoyable by striving to cast farther than those persons using spin and casting equipment. Although a number of accomplished casters consistently prove that an entire fly line and considerable backing can be delivered from the rod tip with varying levels of effort not all of us are physically able to do so. This ability in and of itself dose not make you a good or a bad fisherman. It simply dictates how and where you should fish in order to enjoy a quality experience each time you go out fishing.
In contributing this thread I will not digress into how far I can or can not cast with any given rod but I will tell you how I experience repeated success whenever fish are available to be caught. I have trained myself to locate fish or the most likely place in any given body of water where there is the highest probability of there being fish present. After carefully choosing a target zone where I expect to place my fly I endeavor to position myself in as advantageous of location as I am able prior to casting. This usually means that I will not be required to make a tournament style cast in order to reach my target.
Like many of other fly fishermen I suffer from the phenomenon where as we almost always feel that the quarry is on the other side of the river or at least all the way out in the middle of the channel. Along with this thought we often observe that the water is way too deep for us to wade within a comfortable casting distance of these real or imagined fish. It is this situation that sometimes prompts us to attempt 70 to 90+ foot casts which usually don't go so well. Rather than battle against the physics of long distance delivery I have learned to find a spot where I can comfortably reach any and all targets I might need to hit without going for a new distance record. Close range fishing also eliminates a lot of other problems. Among these problems are the ever popular knots in your leaders and excessive interference form multiple currents that require so much line control that it becomes impossible to offer the fly as you would wish. I could go on and on but I figure you get where I'm coming from here.
In closing, just because you can't cast as far as your fishing buddy or some other guy or gal upstream does not make you a bad fisherman. Don't worry about your long distance as much as your short game. Once you have achieved a really good short game your casting will by nature of your practice become better, even at longer distances.
Remember, fly casting is more about how you feel when your done than how you look while you're doing it. Oh yeah, there's always those fish, and whether or not you catch any..............
i have been flyfishing since my grandfather taught me. over the years i got lazy in my casting and it showed. i go fishing almost every day after work. a while back i picked up a video titled - saltwater fly casting, 10 steps to distance and power- and it is the best i have ever watched. it helped me find out my lazy habits picked up over 30 years. i have loaned it to friends wanting to learn and they do good. on windy days i end up using fly rod more than spinning rods. derek