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Pocono 08-18-2013 05:58 AM

Two-handed Overhead casting
I took a lesson yesterday with Topher Brown on overhead, two-had casting. I've wanted to do that for some time now, as I get shoulder weary after swinging my 9 wt. for Stripers all day.

Marty had bought me a two-handed Sage VXP 13'3" 7 wt. specifically for this about a year and a half ago and after having gotten a reel and a 520 Scandi line for it, it had sat since then in my rod rack. So, I was ready......

After a little classroom discussion, we headed for a stretch of the Ogunquit River, in Ogunquit, ME, that's about a mile and a half up from the mouth; a great place to learn to cast (particularly at low tide, when you can "hit the opposite bank" with a very mediocre cast.......... ;)).

I couldn't believe how much easier it is to get the line out there with a two-handed rod, casting overhead, not Spey style. The range of motion with both the right and left hand (I'm right handed) is just a faction of what I use with a single-handed 9 wt. when I'm trying to get the line way out there and most of the motion is with the left hand; I ended up with a casting stroke that moved my right hand about 8"; that's all.

This is definitely going to be the way that I fish for Stripers going forward (probably Bonefish, Permit, etc., too). What an easy casting stroke and what a nice result.

Since I tend to horse my rod a little on the final presentation cast, my mantra from Topher was "less is more". Turns out he was right. At the end of the day I was using probably 20% of the power that I was using at the start and getting good distance.

Now, next time with a fly on...........


calftail 08-18-2013 07:55 AM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting
Thumbs up from me for the two handed overhead !

A two handed approach is absolutely a great method for the single hand trout rod too. For me it solves the tailing loop problem and I go to it whenever I start seeing the top leg coming under the bottom leg. Using two hands controls the arm, shoulder and hand movement tightening up and straightening the path of the back and forward strokes with no wasted movement. You can use this technique not only for the vertical overhead cast but it works in any plane you tilt the rod, even casting across the body.

You probably will notice that you can switch hands on the grip without the awkward feeling of casting with the opposite hand when using a one hand style. It's in my opinion a great way to learn to cast conventionally with either hand. An easy way to understand the idea is to put your two hands together without a rod palms together and fingers extended and make the casting stroke on the right side and then the left side. You won't feel like either hand or arm is dominant. With a rod I simply clamp the line with the top hand and pinch the rod butt with my opposite hand and cast away.

Both Charles Ritz and Joan Wulff advocated learning the two hand method for the single hand trout rod. Joan especially liked to teach young kids using it because the rods and reels where simply to heavy for them to use with one hand.

A fishing partner with a bum shoulder likes the two hand style. When his right shoulder starts bothering him he switches hands and casts from the left side....pain goes away.

Why rod designers haven't marketed a 7-9 foot light weight rod with second hand extension beats me.

wjc 08-18-2013 08:27 AM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting

That definitely seems like the way to go for surf fishing and it's gaining adherants in the NE for striper fishing from what I hear on another forum. If there were more of that type fishing here, I'd definitely be going for it too.

Calftail brought out a really important advantage too - than you never have an on-shoulder wind. I know from lacrosse and hockey that making the switch from right to left-side casting would be a piece of cake. No more backcast presentations required.

jpbfly 08-18-2013 08:28 AM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting
Great to hear you're back to school Allan:D:DHope to fish with you here in the fall;)

Rip Tide 08-19-2013 03:12 PM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting
Last night on PBS there was a show where Prince Charles was watching and commenting on Royal Family home movies. I didn't catch the name of the show.
Anyway in one scene Queen Elizabeth is overhead casting a spey and doing quite well for herself.
Charles commented that his Mum-ma liked to fish but that was back in the '40s and '50s.

jpbfly 08-19-2013 03:39 PM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting
To complete Rip's reply....have a look here....God save the Queen!!!!:D
The Queen comes from a family of mad-keen anglers - and YES, she has fished! | Anglers Mail

jaybo41 08-19-2013 04:32 PM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting

I have yet to overhand cast with a two handed rod but I'm all about lessons. Sounds like you had a very productive day and found technique that can be put to good use. What's interesting is that you mention the little effort put into the overhead casting and the incredible results. That sounds ideal for fishing from a shore.

I'm relatively new to two handed casting but it reminded me of a Goran Anderson video describing the underhand technique. What impressed me was the seemingly small range of movement with and good distance. At the end of the video he mentions that he doesn't always have room to overhand cast. Different casts yes but it's a short and entertaining video from a great caster.

Sorry for the thread derailment, glad to hear you had a super day!

Rip, I saw a snippet of that and have been meaning to try to find that video to watch. Thanks for bringing that up as it's a good reminder for me.

sandfly 08-19-2013 05:22 PM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting
I have been fishing the beaches with a 14' 10 wt. since 1990. With a shooting head I can cast 150 feet on grass and close to that on the beach.. love it..

congrats on converting to the dark side..

Ard 08-19-2013 05:58 PM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting
Hi Allan,

I use the technique when fishing the bays and harbors here for silver salmon and can fully agree that the big rods will make easy work of the long cast provided you have the room to the rear.

I have just returned from fishing for 9 days with a very fine Spey caster from France. As I traveled with he & another French 2 hand fisher and spent many hours observing the style that was used I actually was able to refine and improve some of my own casts. I've not had any lessons per-say, but to see a really smooth style being demonstrated was good for me.

I still use my 'Pokes' & Snap T's for redirects when quartering upstream but have a few new tools in the box now as a result of spending so many hours with these fellows.

Overhead really rocks when you have the right situation. I'm glad to hear you are using that Spey rod now,


Pocono 08-20-2013 01:07 PM

Re: Two-handed Overhead casting
With overhead casting, the only distance that you need behind you is the length of the line head plus the overhang (about 1-2 ft. of running line out past the tip-top. So, if you're using a Skagit line, then you really don't need much room at all; a little more with a Scandi line and more than that with a Traditional Spey line.

I've been on the river the past couple of days; with the two hander. Nice rod, easy to cast and the fish seem to like it..............:)


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