Trout Academy: How to Cast a Fly Rod

Casting is the foundation for all fly fishermen and is oftentimes the most intimidating part of the sport. Casting shouldn’t be an overly complicated process if the basic principles are followed. In this post, we will break casting down into its most simplistic form.

The Casting Stroke can be broken down into a few basic movements that adhere to principle rules. Rule number one, straight rod tip travel. Simply put, the line follows where the rod tip goes. If your rod tip moves in a straight line your line will follow suit. This means that Loop shape is dictated by the rod tip. For example if your rod tip moves along a straight line your loop will be tight and powerful. If your rod tip moves in a half circle shape then your loop will be open and lose energy. This is represented in the images by moving the rod tip from point A to point B. If the rod tip moves in a rounded, more circular shape the loop will open and lose energy causing the cast to peter out. There are times in which a slightly more open loop is necessary, however, straight line travel is the rule that will help you cast better and do so more efficiently.

Rule number 2, building speed to a stop. Think of your rod as a vehicle to deliver your line to its intended target. Each casting stroke should start slow just like a vehicle stopped at a starting line, once the light turns green the gas is slowly applied until max speed is reached. Slamming on the gas WILL NOT help you, it will create problems and will hinder your casting ability. Evenly accelerate the rod to a crisp, clean stop. As you accelerate the rod it will cause it to flex or “load” putting energy into the rod.

The stop is just as important as building speed, they work together to build and then transfer energy efficiently into the line creating a cast. The stop will cause the rod to unload the energy that was generated by building speed, this will sling shot the line forward. The more abrupt the stop the more power that will be transferred into the line. Using the images as an example your rod should move from point A to point B building speed to an abrupt stop.

This post was contributed by Derek Olthuis, the founder of Trout Academy. Really excited to have Derek on board sharing his blog series with the flylords fans! You can find him on Instagram @TroutAcademy or Derek Olthuis 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.