10-24-2008, 10:39 AM
Re: Having trouble with my cast...
If I understand your problem you seem to be pulling line off of the reel while false casting. It sounds like you are not shooting the line but releasing it at the wrong time and killing your line speed and the fly falls to the water/ground.
Here is what I suggest to a beginner. Pull 30' of line out or your rod tip and mark the line someplace you can see it. You can mark at the first shooting guide or where the line is held under your fore-finger, or where your line hand holds the line. What you want to know is when you have 30' out of the rod tip. So when you pull line out and you see the mark at the location you marked it, you will know you have 30' of fly line out the rod tip.
Now lets assume we are at the waters edge. You need to pull out your line by wiggling the rod tip or pulling the line out. You will end up with some line out in front of you on the water. Make a quick roll cast and the line will straighten out in front of you. If you are not at your 30' mark pull out some more line out of the tip and make another roll cast. Now you need to pull line from the reel into a loop in your line hand. (When you do this you need to hold the line against the rod grip with your rod hand fore-finger.) Do this 2 or 3 times. So you are now standing at the waters edge. You have 30' of line out on the water and you have 2 or 3 loops of line in your line hand. You should have the line under your fore-finger on your rod hand pressing the line against the rod grip. Now lower your rod tip and make sure all the slack is out of the line on the water. If you have to pull some slack in just hold it as a loop with your line hand. Now make your pickup starting your back cast. If you have good line speed when you make your first forward cast you can shoot some of the line or make another back cast and then shoot some of the line held in your line hand.
Practice this until it is easy and you feel you are in control of the fly line out the rod tip and in your line hand. You have to get your timing so you shoot the line at the correct time as the fly line is cast forward.
Now you are ready to do a little line haul on you forward cast. As you make your forward cast You need to pull the line back with the line hand as it propels forward. You only need to pull back 6" or so and then shoot the line held in you line hand. I can't tell you the exact time to make your haul. It is something you have to feel. It is not as hard as it sounds.
A couple of important points.
1. When you take slack line from the reel or from stripping line, try to lay the line in your hand so the last loop is always forward. When you grasp the loop with your line hand, place your thumb over the loop. Now grasp another loop and lay it under your thumb. You want the loops laying so the last loop is always the closest to the shooting guide. To see if you are doing it correctly place 2 or 3 loops in your line hand under your thumb. Now take your rod hand and pull the line coming from the line hand forward like it would do if you cast it. The loops should come off in order. What you don't want is the back loop, (the loop furtherest from the shooting guide) To come off first or it will tangle.
2. If you don't keep the line to the shooting guide tight you can put slack in to your cast and cause the cast to loose line speed. If you shoot line or haul line at the wrong time you cause slack line and the cast will die. I think this is what you are doing.
If you keep the fly line grasped against the grip under your rod hand fore-finger, you will keep slack out of your cast. Then you can learn to hold the line with your line hand and not introduce slack into the cast. Most beginners have this problem and the line under the fore-finger saves a lot of problems. Of course when you shoot line or make a haul, the line can't be under your rod hand fore-finger.
3. Learning how to make a single line haul is not hard to do. You can practice by getting your 30' of line out the rod tip, lower the rod tip and take out any slack. Have the line under your fore-finger on the rod hand or control the slack with your line hand. Have just one loop or just a little bit of slack in the line hand. Make your pickup and your back cast. As you start your forward cast release the line under your fore-finger if you are not controlling the slack with the line hand. As you apply your forward power do a 6" haul and shoot the line. That is, you pull the line back (haul) with your line hand and then release it at the end of your pull (haul). If your timing is right the little slack that you were holding with the line hand will slap up against the rod due to the line speed shooting forward. If it doesn't slap up against the rod your timing is off and you need to adjust when you make your haul. You will know for sure when you get the timing right. When you have it right you can start increasing how much line you shoot.
5. One of the biggest mistakes that new casters make is they don't control their line hand and the line slack to the first shooting guide. The get real sloppy with the line hand slack and they induce it into the cast at the wrong time and they kill their line speed. When you have the right timing you will feel the line pulling against your haul and then shooting forward. Once you learn the forward haul you can do the same thing with your back cast. You can learn it the same way as above but just do a back cast haul to learn. When you can haul and shoot line on your back cast you are now ready to put them together and do a double haul.
Making a haul on your cast will become second nature and you will find your self doing it all the time. I use a small single haul on the forward cast just about every cast.