Any magic tips for casting longer distances while sitting in a kayak

hendodesign

Active member
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Location
Washington
So I am planning on taking some casting lessons locally but curious if you guys have any tips for better long casts while sitting in a kayak. Im finding getting my 30' of line off the water with a 9' 5wt has me false casting a little and given that Im sitting close to the water I sometimes hear my line back splashing. I am trying to double haul to get the line out 50' but I'm finding sitting I am having to hold my rod up in the air to keep it out of the water on the back cast and that sometimes leads to bigger loops and less efficient casts. Let's just say I can cast quite a bit farther standing because I can put more body motion into the cast ... harder while sitting.

I tried standing in the kayak and casting but holy **** I thought I was going to go for a swim multiple times shifting around my weight, so that option is out.
 

rangerrich99

Well-known member
Messages
1,472
Reaction score
31
Location
Anthem, AZ
The easiest way to significantly increase casting distance from a seated position is to use the Belgian Cast instead of a standard overhead cast.

Video:
YouTube

One thing to be aware of is that you don't necessarily have to make your back cast perfectly horizontal. I typically make my back cast at slightly less than a 45 degree angle to the water's surface. So whatever you'd consider to be 45 degrees, then drop your hand about a hand's width closer to the water.

Properly executed, the Belgian cast eliminates the smacking the water behind you syndrome, as well as allowing a slightly greater fudge factor as to exactly when to begin your forward cast.

Be aware that each Belgian cast will introduce about a quarter or half twist in your line, which will eventually creep up and turn your leader into a series of little pretzels. I recommend that you remove your fly after about 30 to 40 casts (basically between spots/holes) and allow about 30 to 40 feet of line to trail behind you as you make your way to the new hole. Thus allowing the line to untwist as you go.

Almost forgot: the other way to get the twists out is to simply cast with your other hand for an equal number of casts.
 
Last edited:

jr spey

Well-known member
Messages
396
Reaction score
3
Location
SE Wisconsin
Cast it harder.

I'm trying to figure out if this is tongue-in-cheek or if you're just not making your point. Casting harder is a good way to blow out your shoulder and/or elbow. Let us know if that's not what you meant.
 

rangerrich99

Well-known member
Messages
1,472
Reaction score
31
Location
Anthem, AZ
"Casting harder," is not going to work. It's the rod that does the work, not your muscles. Putting more muscular effort into the cast is only going to tire you out faster, invite sloppy mechanics, and may result in a joint injury.
 

silver creek

Well-known member
Messages
6,879
Reaction score
158
Location
Rothschld, Wisconsin
So I am planning on taking some casting lessons locally but curious if you guys have any tips for better long casts while sitting in a kayak. Im finding getting my 30' of line off the water with a 9' 5wt has me false casting a little and given that Im sitting close to the water I sometimes hear my line back splashing. I am trying to double haul to get the line out 50' but I'm finding sitting I am having to hold my rod up in the air to keep it out of the water on the back cast and that sometimes leads to bigger loops and less efficient casts. Let's just say I can cast quite a bit farther standing because I can put more body motion into the cast ... harder while sitting.

I tried standing in the kayak and casting but holy **** I thought I was going to go for a swim multiple times shifting around my weight, so that option is out.
Can you cast over 30 feet when wading waist deep in the water? You are no higher above the water surface when you are wading waist deep than when you are sitting in a kayak. So is it that you are in a kayak or is it that your rod tip is lower to the water? or is it that your casting technique needs improvement.

If your back cast is hitting the water, you have a poor backcast and that leads to timing issues as well as poor loading for the forward cast. So you need to work on your backcast first. It may seem counter intuitive, but for a person with an asymmetric cast, working on the weakness (back cast) will improve the forward cast as well. The back cast is the platform on which your forward cast is built.

Once you improve your back cast, you can begin practicing shooting line on your back cast as well as your forward cast. I KNOW from your post you have NEVER shot line into a backcast. The way pros extend a cast is to shoot line both on the forward and back cast. But you have to improve that backcast to do that.

Practice casting while sitting on the ground rather than standing up. This will be more like casting from your kayak.

I suspect your double hauls are poor. Most of the time, a beginner hauls too early in the cast because timing it with the beginning of the stroke is the easiest way to learn. But once you learn the double haul, a later haul at the time of max velocity just before the rod stop is best. If you know how to haul, practice hauling later just before the stop. This late haul also helps to prevent tailing loops that can be caused by an early haul.

You can review these video on the double haul and also read the FFF article by Al Kyte.

https://flyfishersinternational.org/Portals/0/Documents/Casting/MCI/The Double Haul.Al Kyte.pdf

YouTube



Finally, a longer fly rod like a 10 ft will allow you to cast farther. Correction from "10 wt" as pointed by Rangerrich.
 
Last edited:

rangerrich99

Well-known member
Messages
1,472
Reaction score
31
Location
Anthem, AZ
Finally, a longer fly rod like a 10 wt will allow you to cast farther.
SC makes a great point. If you're back cast is hitting the water, your mechanics are probably not as good as they need to be. Definitely work on that back cast.

I'm guessing you meant a "10 ft." not "wt."
 

cooutlaw

Well-known member
Messages
877
Reaction score
22
Location
Colorado
I'm by no means a casting instructor, and I would always suggest that taking casting lessons can only improve you as a caster, and is a great idea. But if I was asked to offer suggestions, I would first want to observe you cast in your yak. Lacking having that as a basis for observation, I can only speculate, what I have noticed many kayak folks do, particularly when trying to become familiar with casting from a seated position in a moving platform is that they feel like they need to overcompensate for the yaks motion and lengthen their casting stroke hoping to gain distance and stability....they also somewhat lean forward in finishing a cast....this leaves a front stroke stopping barely above a level plane and a back stroke associated in a much lower tip height than normal on the back cast and causes them to raise their arm higher into the air than a natural position to compensate for these lower stops on their casting stroke. I've seen some look like they are reaching back and winding up like a pitcher, akin to chucking a big spinner on conventional tackle. I would suggest one trial of shortening your stroke starting from a 10 o'clock front to a 2 o'clock rear and maybe tightening that up if needed. Try this without your arm extended beyond normal position, Not raised up. The 2 o'clock rear stop, with a 9' rod, should never leave line anywhere near water behind you and the 10 o'clock front stop should be somewhat abrupt and help with distance....further, you can still double haul sitting, and if push came to shove, you could also run a slightly heavier headed line or over line a bit. Shooting line, instead of only carrying existing line out in the air, could also be an option in the right situations- even if only forward. I rarely fish from a pontoon, although I have one and every so often I do, and when I do, as others have said, a 10' rod does make some difference in performance. Without seeing you cast, it's tough to say, but my above guess could be one possibility, so...maybe try the shorter stroke and staunch stops and see what happens. Good luck.
 
Last edited:

gpwhitejr

Well-known member
Messages
967
Reaction score
9
Location
Vermont
Practice. I can't say why for sure, but I have managed to pretty much eliminate that water contact on the back cast. I think maybe it has to do with making the "straight line path" at a bit of an angle (higher in the back) rather than horizontal, and perhaps stopping the back cast a bit earlier than usual. Or maybe it is just because I paddle closer to where I want the fly to land!

By the way, as some folks have mentioned, sitting in a kayak doesn't put you closer to the water than deep wading. But I don't think that is the whole story. I think casting from a sitting position is more awkward than standing, at least for me. Regardless of how deep you wade you are still standing, and most people are probably more comfortable (and experienced) casting while standing.
 

Rip Tide

Well-known member
Messages
9,870
Reaction score
139
Location
quiet corner, ct
When casting sitting while down, you can't use your body motion to help propel the cast as you do while standing so it's all technique.
And I find long rods more of a liability than an advantage with kayak fishing.
Not only does the extra length get in the way, but landing a big fish with a long rod is much more difficult than it needs to be.
Besides, a long rod is not necessary to make a good cast.
To make a good back cast you need to be able to feel the line turning over and if you can't feel it, then you need to watch it happen.
Turn your head and look.
But one of the advantages of fishing from a kayak is you usually don't need to make distance casts
If you need to practice, sit on the ground not in a chair and use the same rod that you'd normally fish with.
It's just a matter of getting it right, not throwing money at the problem.
 

Rip Tide

Well-known member
Messages
9,870
Reaction score
139
Location
quiet corner, ct
....I should add that I've used a 10' rod in my kayak exactly once and I'll never do it again.
While I will sometimes use a 9' rod, usually I use an 8 footer and that's only because I don't own a 9wt (saltwater) shorter than that.
 

bumble54

Well-known member
Messages
554
Reaction score
13
Location
Sheffield UK
Roll the line into the air, it loads the rod quicker and needs less false casting to achieve distance, it also saves breaking a rod by trying to lift too much line off the water.
Never done it myself but I imagine that when casting from a kayak it will mean less rocking and rolling.
A haul on the back cast and shoot on the forward cast. The haul on the forward cast is really to control and eliminate slack line forming.
Good technique, timing, tracking and stroke length will gain greater distance than excess power.
 

jr spey

Well-known member
Messages
396
Reaction score
3
Location
SE Wisconsin
....I should add that I've used a 10' rod in my kayak exactly once and I'll never do it again.
While I will sometimes use a 9' rod, usually I use an 8 footer and that's only because I don't own a 9wt (saltwater) shorter than that.
I bought a 10' rod to use in the old donut style belly boats where you are even deeper in the water I think. I also felt it didn't work out. The extra leverage the rod exerted on my system tired me out quicker. That was when I bought my first 7'11" rod and felt it was better than anything else I've used. And landing a fish was a breeze.
 

silver creek

Well-known member
Messages
6,879
Reaction score
158
Location
Rothschld, Wisconsin
I based my suggestions on my experience with casting from a canoe. I am guessing a kayak is much less stable???

I've seen my friend Nelson Ishiyama standing up in a canoe while casting. I don't do that but he does.

As to 10 ft rods. I love the modern ones. The ones before the GLX were too heavy and tiring but I fish a 5 wt GLX 10 footer all day in Montana. I also use a 10 ft 7 wt on my lake for bass.
 

flav

Well-known member
Messages
838
Reaction score
10
Location
oregon
Longer rods are a hassle out of a kayak. It makes landing fish more difficult and you increase the risk of breaking a rod tip. I see guys strugling with longer rods out of float tubes all the time when a shorter rod and a different casting style would serve them so much better.
If you're hitting the water behind you that's an easy fix. Don't cast with your rod straight up and down like so many guys do. Cast with your rod tip off to the side, let your backcast travel under your rod and finish up behind you higher than your rod tip, then the forward cast will travel over your rod tip. Your line travels in more of a circle, not a straight line, basically the Belgian cast, and since your backcast starts low and finishes high you never have it splashing down behind you. Learn to do that coupled with shooting some line and you can reach some good distance with very little effort.
 
Top