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Thread: Forward Cast Issues...

  1. #1

    Default Forward Cast Issues...

    First let me note my inexperience, I am very new to fly casting...

    I just had my first lesson with a certified casting instructor last week. Since then I've been trying to get some practice in before my next lesson, which is about a week from now. My backcast looks alright, but the forward cast is another story. I can't stop overpowering the rod, each time I make a decent backcast I snap the rod forward and produce tailing loops. When I try to slow it down, my fly line drags. How can I fix this???

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    south florida

    Default Re: Forward Cast Issues...

    I am going to assume you are using the Joan Wulff overhead casting style. Look at the video below starting at 3:39 at the end. Don't watch any of the entire rest of the video. It will confuse you at this stage.

    He is double-hauling, but forget that part too and just watch his arm. He is drifting up and back at the end of the backcast. This is key to help prevent you from "creeping" your casting arm forward, cutting way down the length of your forward casting stroke and causing you to "hit" the cast way too hard early in the stroke. Doing this will cause a tailing loop.

    Sorry: here's the link; Thanks, Jackster.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Advanced Fly Casting Tips: Adding Distance To Your Cast - Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters[/ame]

    Pantomime the motion without a rod, and watch your fist. You should see your fist "rebound" after you stop your arm in both forward and backstrokes.

    Think SMOOOOTH ACCELERATION. SMOOOOTH does not mean you are going slow right before the stop.

    Watch your backcast to make sure the lie has unrolled all the way and is straight out before starting your forward stroke.

    Remember SMOOTH ACCELERATION followed by a stop.

    Slow to fast always. There is no rush, and rushing causes tails.

    PS: Notice that the caster comes to a hard stop at the end of the forward cast when false casting. Do the same on your presentation cast. Just lower the rod slowly after you stop.

    Last edited by wjc; 11-20-2010 at 09:32 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Forward Cast Issues...

    Quote Originally Posted by wjc View Post
    Look at the video below starting at 3:44 at the end.
    wjc, can't see the videa you're referring to.

    Speaking of such, bs1784, is there any way you can post a video of your cast? Without that we're kinda shooting in the dark.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Forward Cast Issues...

    There is a three part series on YouTube by Tim Landwehr of Tight Lines Fly Fishing Co. that is well worth watching, here is Part 1:
    [ame=]YouTube - Tight Lines-Learning to Fly Cast Part 1[/ame]

  5. #5

    Default Re: Forward Cast Issues...

    I have checked out the Landwehr, and Leland videos before (I spend a lot of time researching this stuff). I think it is just a work in progress for me. Currently I don't have the means to post a video of my cast...I'm just going to keep working on it.

    Thanks for the advice.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Forward Cast Issues...

    I had quite a large post prepared telling you about a similar experience that I had when I was testing a rod at my local fly shop a couple months ago. Since I am a self taught caster the shop owner gave a few kind words of constructive criticism. However, they mirror Jim's comments from earlier so closely that I felt it a little redundant to post my original statements.
    Just one thing, keep close watch on that "stop." There must be a definite stop. That allows the rod to expend it's energy and do it's job.
    Anyway, keep us posted on your progress and don't get discouraged.
    Just my half-nickel.......

    It's not what I catch when I'm fishing, it's what I lose that matters to me...
    Good decisions come from experience...Experience comes from bad decisions...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Anthem, AZ
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Forward Cast Issues...

    I've only been flyfishing for two years and consequently I remember this problem in my own cast very clearly. Like it was just last year . . . A good fishing buddy of mine and former guide gave me this tip and it helped me a lot:

    You're not holding a rod; it's a paintbrush. You just dipped the end of the brush in the paint and now you want to flick some on the wall ten feet in front of you. So, flick it.

    Even now, when my cast starts to get sloppy, I just remember to flick it, and 9 times out of 10 that fixes the problem.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Forward Cast Issues...

    First Recommendation: Video Yourself.

    My experience: Beware of the "Creep and Jab"...This is a problem I ran into early on. In an effort to not overpower the cast, I would allow my rod to start "creeping" forward to early. Then I would only have the last half of the cast to punch (or "jab") the line forward and keep it airborne. The jab at the end is the antithesis of smooth acceleration and it is probably the most efficient way to throw a tailing loop.

    A common reason given for throwing a tailing loop is overpowering the casting stroke. But think about Distance casters. They apply tons of power, but they do it smoothly to maintain their loop and avoid shocking the rod. Rather than think of the amount of power, you might concentrate on how and when you apply the power. Think of pushing the accelerator in your car hard enough to accelerate without downshifting. You don't want to accelerate the rod forward, but avoid shocking the rod by using sudden acceleration.

    If you find that you are doing the creep and jab (again, I suggest using video), you might need to exxagerate the feel of staying back and waiting while the backcast rolls out. For me, it came by making a backward movement (I now know it as drifting back) before the forward cast. It felt like a drastic rearward movement to me, but my teacher (and the video) showed me that it was hardly even noticeable. I'd suggest let your casting instructor help you with things like that. I wouldn't want to recommend that you further complicate your cast.

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