false cast hitting water on forward cast [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: false cast hitting water on forward cast

04-17-2005, 08:43 PM
: Hello, I am new to this forum, I could use some help. I was out today with a 3wt rod/4wt forward line, in water up to my chest. I just could not get my false cast forward and back cast out of the water. It would just tap the water on both sides. I would say about 25-50 ft of line....any help would be great....Thanks


Dble Haul
04-17-2005, 09:23 PM
If you're in water up to your chest, I'd suggest stepping back a bit for both practicality and safety. The depth that you were standing in probably aggrevated the false casting situation, but it sounds like you were also either overpowering your strokes or letting your casting loops open up a bit too much.

04-18-2005, 07:49 AM
Hey thanks for the response. you are right I should have backed up a little. I feel like I am over powering at the beginning of both my back cast as well as my forward cast. It may just be winter rust....but I am very frustrated. Let me know if any one has pointers. thanks Greg

04-18-2005, 11:13 AM
When wading deep it is much easier to cast in the style of Lefty Kreh. Side arm the pick-up onto back cast and aim the cast on an upward angle. If you cast vertically over the shoulder it is very easy and very common to let your arm rotate back and downward aiming the line towards the water.

Check out videos and books by Lefty on casting, lots of information is available.


04-18-2005, 08:33 PM
thanks for the info...I will get my hands on Lefty's video....Thanks Greg

04-22-2005, 11:02 AM
I think your main problem is that you're using a WF 4 line on a 3 wt pole. What's the flex of the pole like (i.e. fast action, medium, full flex)? Even if it's a fast action rod, I think overlining a 3 wt is a bad idea for a novice caster.

There's a HUGE difference overlining an 8 wt with a 9 wt line versus a 3 wt with a 4 wt line. Using the WF line only adds to this. The difference gets bigger and bigger the smaller the rod/line size.

I'd recommend that you either swap for a 4 DT line, or go to a 3 WF.

04-23-2005, 03:52 AM
Squam -

I'd check a few things for starters:

1) Stroke path

How far is the rod tip traveling at either end of the stroke? Going past the 10a / 2p positions could cause the line to drop too far below the median.

Does the rod pull the line circularly over the top or does it pull it linearly from front to back?

2) Easing the start-up speed

Start with a slow speed to ease the line into a horizontal plane gradually speeding up until the line becomes full of tension before you 'hit' it or else the whip-over effect will send the end of the line closer to the water. Every caster experiences a lowering of the end of the line from the casting lane, but by easing it on the 180 reversal the likelihood of a slap is greatly reduced.

3) Loop size

Check whether the loop somewhat open or fairly small. A larger loop will 'flip' open with a larger diameter, increasing the potential that it will turn over close to the water. This is related to (1)

4) Timing

Starting forward or back too early emphasizes the 'whip over' effect at the ends sometimes causing the fly to drive downward. Find the right moment to ease it into the opposite direction.

General notes:

Imagine the line to be passing through a horizontal cylinder in the air. When you stop, the bottom of the loop forms. Direct the top half (which is created by the advance your rod makes toward that stop) the imaginary cylinder, or tilt the backcast upward just a bit if near the bank.


The two major faults I can invision without seeing your cast are (a) open stroke with the rod going too far on both ends and (b) too much of a whip-over effect when the line reverses direction from timing or power application.

Keep the rod movement somewhat abrupt, flicking only after the line gets tight horizontally in the air. Ease the beginnings of each cast (back & forth) to avoid a hard flip.

If you post a video we can provide a much more in-depth analysis. Look up an FFF certified instructor in your area or just stop into your local flyshop and ask a pro to eyeball your cast.

Good luck and keep with it!

04-23-2005, 01:29 PM
Thank you to all who have replied to my problem. I really do appreciate it. I was out yesterday with an eight wt rod on some still water and my cast felt much better. I was trying to time my forward and back cast and really concentrated on easing into the beginning of each stroke.

My father taught me how to fly fish a long time ago age 12 or so. I am now really working on my cast. There is so much that I just didn't know. I have been reading Mel and Leftys books. The more info I cram into my little pea brain the more twisted I feel during my cast.

I think you are right I need to have an instructor take a peek at my casting stroke. I will get it straight someday.......

Please keep the pointers coming I need it,

Life long student...(Greg)

07-19-2005, 03:19 PM
i have had the same problem with my flase casts hitting the water when i am trying to double haul i think that i am putt my rod to low on the forword cast and giving it to much wrist. i am using a 9ft series 1 TFO 9/10wt orver lined with a 10wt line its a floating line i seem to do better with a sink tip line

07-20-2005, 12:55 PM
i have had the same problem with my flase casts hitting the water when i am trying to double haul i think that i am putt my rod to low on the forword cast and giving it to much wrist. i am using a 9ft series 1 TFO 9/10wt orver lined with a 10wt line its a floating line i seem to do better with a sink tip line
Sounds to me like you're not letting the rod load enough. The extra weight of the sink tip loads the rod for you earlier.

07-20-2005, 09:10 PM
what would some of you recomend for a sink tip line and intermediate line for my 9wt series 1 TFO

08-09-2005, 12:31 PM
I can totally relate to what you are having difficulty with. I cast in several competitions a year and a tick on either the forward cast or the back cast is a disqualification. A couple of years ago I was "really" having an issue with ticking.

What I found is that the bottom leg follows the tip of the rod. If I allowed the rod tip to drop after a cast it would allow the bottom leg to get closer to the water and when I started my back cast...... *tic*.

Since you are in deeper water you already have one strike against you. Plus keeping your rod tip high will greatly shorten your stroke in both directions thus making tailing loops a problem. As FK suggested you'll have to open your stance "Lefty" style and use a longer casting stroke. Casting stroke is bacically the distance your hand moves. This longer stroke will allow you to keep the fly line higher out of the water and keep your rod tip higher. Just don't allow the tip to drop "after" you make your forward false cast.

John Wilson

08-11-2005, 07:51 AM
John gives us a valuable tip.

I've recently started to pay more attention to this aspect of the cast. When there is a strong release of energy on the turnover from high to low the end of the line tends to whip over before the forward pull can capture it and it comes dangerously close to ticking.

I think in addition to the important rod tip position point made by John, there is also the element of energy dissipation to consider. I find this to be more of a problem when I am not using a long forward taper and leader or when I am not using a fly matched to the line design; for instance when practice casting with a spec of yarn instead of whistling a large deceiver.

So an area to investigate is leader design, since taper introduces a reduction in speed as it diminishes by dissipating energy into the air. So I have to figure before even going out on the lawn that an increase in taper will help curb the whipover.

Lastly, when the fishing demands that we deal with the hand we are dealt tilt the casting angle out further to the side and allow the whipover to occur askew to the water instead of at it.

08-16-2005, 07:38 AM
Spent some time experimenting since this last post.

The 'tick' seems to be caused by a combination of gravity on the extended line, the angle of the stopped line on the backcast, and the whipover effect as the loop comes straight.

Continual tension by tilting the loop

When the loop comes straight the tension comes out of it until the forward cast re-establishes it. In this transition gravity can get hold of the line and pull it toward the ground. By tilting the line sideways the line stays in more of a continuously tensioned ellipse (slight) and thus is less susceptible to gravity, staying aloft in motion kind of like the infinity symbol.

Angle of stop

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to notice that the backcast angle should be inclined upward to help provide room for the transition. Over-emphasizing this works against, but a little goes a long way. Also, a firm positive stop position (as John Wilson mentioned) is important.

Whip-over effect

I removed the leader and observed the whip-over effect. It was dramatic but could be controlled by easing the start of the cast. In a sense it was good practice, but there were a few snap-crackles and pops when I went for distance and the end of the fly line was frayed out after a few minutes of trying for the backing.

I snipped off 1/4" of the fray and re-tied the leader. Immediately the softening of the turnover at the end of the line is felt. It's absolutely clear that the leader plays a large role in containing the whipover effect.

Line designs

Some lines were more susceptible than others, I believe based on the leader observation that this is a function of the front taper whereby the longer and more gradual the front taper the less prone to falling to earth during the transition. This is just hypothesis at the moment and I will play around a bit more to find out.

In any case, I took a two-hander out and overhead false cast a 75ft head spey line back and forth on a 14'4" rod and it appeared that these factors were influencial in whether the line ticked the surface or remained aloft. The two-hander cast overhead really emphasizes things.