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The Fly Cast Discuss fly casting with the expert, ask for help, learn to cast farther, increase your accuracy, troubleshoot your cast.

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Old 01-28-2005, 02:35 PM
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Doug

I can't haul or double haul. Can't seem to get the coordination and timing down. Is hauling really necessary?

TB
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Old 01-28-2005, 05:42 PM
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TB

A haul is necessary only when increasing the distance of the cast becomes a factor in catching Friend Fish. Most, of course, are caught within 30 to 40-feet from the fly fisher. Learning to haul, however, isn’t that hard. I’ll offer a couple of suggestions for you to try and we can go from there. Learn the single haul, first on the backcast and then on the forward cast. I use single hauls a lot.

To do a single haul on the backcast, lay out about 30 to 35-feet of floating line directly to your front. With the rod tip down (6 o’clock) nearly touching the ground (or water), begin the backcast. As you lift the rod, the line will lift from the grass. When the rod tip reaches approximately 11 o’clock the fly is ready to lift into the air. Give a sharp downward tug on the line with the line hand while the rod hand continues the cast. The fly will leap into the air. The sharp downward tug should be no more than 4 to 8-inches. That’s a haul … after you become comfortable, practice instantly returning the tugged line (DO NOT LET GO!) Think of it as a pull–push or tug-un-tug movement.

What to do with the line after the haul? Follow through the backcast through allowing the line to fall to the ground … hopefully, in a straight line. Then all you do is turn around and repeat the whole drill over again, this time in the opposite direction.

I have one warning: Before you initiate the backcast, DO NOT LET ANY SLACK TO FORM BETWEEN THE ROD TIP AND THE LINE. If you do, the drill will not work.

Once you master this drill, you will be ready to haul going the other way. Let me know.

Doug
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Old 02-03-2005, 09:02 PM
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Thanks Doug. With a little more practice I might just be able to do it.

TB
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:57 AM
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TB

Stay with it ... and remember: NO SLACK! Each time you begin the cast start with a straight line running from the rod handle all the way to the mock fly. Rod tip down almost to the ground.

Let me know when you are ready and we will go from straight line you laid on the backcast through the forward haul.

Doug
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Old 02-05-2005, 04:02 AM
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keep em comming doug, i am working with ya on this too. tom
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Old 02-10-2005, 08:38 AM
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Doug,
Very good advice. When asked to show someone how to double haul, I ask them to cast for me a little. Don't you usually find their cast, without a haul, needs some help? Adding a single or double haul to their technique will not get the desired result if their casting needs some improvement with fundamentals. I find I have to practice myself to keep it smooth without shocking the rod or creating slack somewhere.
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Old 02-10-2005, 11:55 AM
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In my basic course, I do not discuss or even introduce the haul. It is an advanced technique in any of its forms. To become a "complete" fly fisher, I believe the student should master a smooth stroke before entering the "hauling arena." I've had several students in advanced casting who learned a form of hauling either on their own or in some other school; unfortunately, the hauls they practiced merely served to cover-up errors in their basic mechanics. It took much longer to correct long-standing errors than it would have to teach them the haul when they were ready.

The two errors I routinely see, and the most damaging to successful fly casting, include: (1) allowing slack to form before beginning the backcast and (2) not watching the backcast ... Both are killers! I've gotten mean in my old age. As a student you get to form slack twice without penality; after that, you privilege of laying the rod on the ground, walking the thirty or so feet to the fake fly, and then pulling out the line until it forms a straight line with the rod's tip. You then retrace your steps to the casting position and pickup the rod. If you raise the tip more than a few inches from the ground, slack will again form ... so, you get to repeat the process all over again. I've found this to be a very good technique that will change a bad habit.

For those who do not watch their backcast, I stop their stroke and have them try to describe what their line did. This can become very embarrassing, especially when others are watching. In the end, these folks begin to watch their backcast and come to understand the transition from the back to the forward cast. More importantly, they learn to lay out a backcast in a straight line.

When I was a bit heathier than I am today, I practiced 5 to 7 days a week and averaged about thirty minutes per session. After my back surgery, I'm down to about three times a week with a shorter fifteen minute session. Practice makes perfect. As I've said before, the fly cast is like the grooved swing in golf -- somtimes it's on and sometimes it's not. When it's not, time to return to the practice tee.
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