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Old 07-13-2010, 11:04 PM
oregonsteel oregonsteel is offline
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Default Re: Beginner ?'s - too much muscle in cast

Originally Posted by jwitt618 View Post
I've been practicing in the yard on and off for a few weeks with my 6wt setup. I'm practicing by using 20 ft of line out of the tip, then moving to 30 ft. I notice a couple things that are happening in my cast:

1) I'm almost positive I'm putting way too much muscle into each half of the cast. 20' is pretty simple to move through the air with minimal effort, but 30' is requiring a lot of work to keep from collapsing. It seems like I'm "pushing" the rod through the air, elbow out from body, to get the line to move nicely. I think this pushing might be from fear of breaking the wrist, so I'm keeping it pretty much "braced" for lack of a better term. I notice that some casting methods use the wrist as a bit of a hinge to aid in accelerating to a stop.

2) When I transition from false casts to actually making the presentation, none of my working line coming out of the reel wants to be drawn through the guides, despite seemingly having a good stop. Also, even with the line pinched to the cork, I can't get a nice stretched-out line casted out. It just kind of flops down.

I'm going to switch from my super-cheap bass pro clearance sale line (bought in a little plastic bag twist tied for under 5 bucks) to a lightly used Cortland my dad sent me. I might just be having line problems, but I really think it's operator error.

So- how much line should I be working with in practice? I can't imagine slinging much more than 30' back behind me! Also, it seems like I've read practically every beginner article on the internet, but maybe there's some practice method or tip I'm missing? I can roll cast farther than I can overhead

Where do you live? It sounds from your equipment that you dont have alot of extra money to spend on this hobby. Nothing wrong with that, I am in the same boat. Tell us what city you are in, and we might be able to give you some reference for free casting instruction/ fly club with people that will mentor you.

I was taught to flyfish by my dad, so I was a real duffer. Male beginners tend to cast like they are throwing a baseball, or as simon Gawesworth says a bear standing on his hind legs and clawing at something.

The problem with your practicing is: Imperfect practice leads to imperfection.
Most people have way too long of a casting stroke for what they need, for 20 -30 feet go back to about 1 on the clock face, and go forward to about 11.
Smoothly accelerate and briskly STOP! You might want to say STOP!!

With the help of the right person, you should easily be able to cast 35 feet without hauling. With a double haul you should easily be able to cast 60 feet.
So what city and state do you live in?

---------- Post added at 09:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:21 PM ----------

Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
Interesting that you mentioned that. The shop casting instructor, Brett, and I taught a group casting clinic last Saturday morning. Like every clinic, the best student was the woman. Her loops were tighter than everyone else's because she concentrated on technique rather than power. She was able to get a single haul cast with a 45 foot shoot after the clinic.

It is hard to tell you what is wrong without seeing what you are doing. I'm going to play the percentages here. My best guess is that you are breaking your wrist on the backcast. That will cost you a lot of line speed. Your stop point on your backcast should have your casting arm pointing straight up without your wrist breaking. The line will flex the rod back to load it up.

It's operator error.

You shouldn't need to work with 30 feet of line unless you plan on shooting it.

All the internet articles and videos are nice resources. But they can't compare to having proper instruction. It helps to have someone there to critique your technique. My shop instructor, Brett, and I get together once and awhile and watch each other cast. We always find something to knit pick on.

How about that. Raindogt and I are in agreement.

Absolutely. Beginners will do two things,
1) practice bad form and reinforce that bad form into muscle memory
2) Spend a ton of money on fly lines and new rods hoping that that new Orvis Helios will magically enable them to cast better.
You can give someone with bad form, a big wallup of a casting arc a $800 fly rod and $100 fly line, and MAYBE they will cast 5 to 10 feet more.
Or they could spend $120 for 4 1 hour lessons, and cast 30 feet farther with their $100 rod and $20 fly line.

Spend $30 -$40 a hour and get professional lessons. Or if you think that is too much money (even tho I have never had a paid for lesson, when I think back at how much I paid on gear hoping it would improve my cast, or "practicing" casting only reinforcing my bad techniques, it is quite the bargain)
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