transition from false cast to casting [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: transition from false cast to casting

04-08-2002, 11:17 PM

When I exucute a few false casts and then try to present the fly(a piece of yarn at this point), the line rolls out 15 feet above the ground into a horizontal line then drops to the ground with the leader in a big pile. I stop at 10:00 on the forward false casts, and when I'm ready to present the fly, I continue on to 9:00. Should my last false cast drive the loop down to the target instead of 15 feet above the target, so that the actual cast will cause the line to roll across the water and turn the leader over to present the fly properly?

John Desjardins
04-09-2002, 08:32 AM
The leader isn't unrolling because the energy in the line isn't being transfered to it. Try stopping the rod like you do at the end of the false cast.

Also look at how the leader is attached to the line. Hold the leader/ilne connection taut with ~ 12" between your hands see if the connection forms a smooth curve or a V when you move your hands together a couple of inches. If it formes a smooth curve you are ok. If it forms a V you are getting hinging at the line/leader connectionand it needs to be redone.

Throwing the loop at the water ends up as a bad habbit which will hurt you when you try to throw a longer line. I know because I did it when I started out.

04-09-2002, 09:03 AM
New - the presentation stroke is exactly, repeat exactly the same as a false casting stroke accept you start the line moving back, you just let it drop to the water.

picture this...false cast back, false front, stop, let the line roll out - drop the rod and line to the water as one (theoretically). something like that.

good luck - going fishing with Dad on his 75th!

04-09-2002, 03:06 PM

The leader isn't unrolling because the energy in the line isn't being transfered to it.

Everything seems to unroll just fine. I think the reason the leader lands in a pile is because there is some rebound when the line completely unrolls and comes to a sudden stop. When I point the last false cast just slightly above the target, and then cast, the line unrolls across the grass and the leader turns over nicely, almost like the grass dissipates the energy in the line making the presentation very delicate. Is there too much line speed in my cast when I am false casting 15 feet above the target? Is that possible?

Throwing the loop at the water ends up as a bad habbit which will hurt you when you try to throw a longer line. I know because I did it when I started out.

Ok, but I haven't worked out how to get the line to land properly when throwing the loop 15 feet above the target. Ideally, do you want the line to unroll 15 feet above the target, and then fall horizontally to the ground in one long straight line from your rod tip to the fly? When I do a pick up and then cast directly back at the target with no false casts, everything unrolls nicely, but again I am throwing the loop down at the target when I do that.

04-09-2002, 05:34 PM
Didn't dissect your description but at first glance it seems like you might be either:

1) aiming a bit too high (15 feet) -or-
2) throwing too big of a loop,
or both

The "driver" in your line loop (previous post) shouldn't be much higher than the portion of the rod that is driving it forward.

The "trailer" should be as close in height as possible, that's what is referred to as a "tight loop".

Without seeing what you're doing it's pretty tough to say, but it could be that you have a powerful forward cast and could reduce the force a little to ease the recoil a bit.

You should get the sensation that you are placing the fly on the water with the wedge of energy (i.e.: the loop) being the device to carry it out there.

What you do as the cast carries to it's destination is important. If you wiggle the tip, curve it, or jerk it back watch how much it affects the presentation. For a soft landing 'steer' the power wedge toward the target and ease the rod down to place it as it unfolds.

Leader could be another contributing cause, but I assume you are using a tapered leader of a reasonable length, and you have a small puff of yarn on it to prevent bullwhipping it.

Why don't you get someone to film you casting and I will convert it to digital format in a reasonable byte size for us all to advise you?

That would be fun... for us anyway! ;)

04-09-2002, 10:57 PM

Thanks for all the advice. I was out practicing on water today for the first time, and I don't think aiming my final cast 15 feet above the target is workable. I found that when my line speed was high, the line would rebound too much against the reel causing the line and the leader to spring back towards the rod as it fell to the water. I tried slowing down my line speed to eliminate the rebound, and that worked ok if there was absolutely no breeze. But in my mind, it will always be easier to hit a target by dropping the leader 2 feet rather than 15 feet. When a breeze picked up, I found aiming my final cast 15 feet above my target didn't work at all. It was impossible for me to hit the target because the wind would blow the line around as it dropped the 15 feet to the water, but if I aimed a few feet above the target, the loop would drive the line right on top of the target, and then the leader only had to drop a few feet making it possible for me to adjust for the wind direction and hit the target.

I stopped by the bookstore on the way home, and I was reading Joan Wulff's casting book, and she says your line should be traveling high to low on the forward cast so that you are throwing the loop down to a spot a few feet above the target. For long casts, she said you should be concentrating on bringing the line up and back on the back cast, but by the time it straightens out it will actually have fallen slightly below horizontal, and then you should aim above the horizontal on the forward cast, and once again by the time the line straightens it will have fallen below horizontal.

So my question to you experienced flyfisherpersons is where does your loop unroll-- 15 feet above the target or 3 feet above the target?

04-09-2002, 11:10 PM
One question at the root of all this.... where did you hear 15 feet??

04-10-2002, 03:36 AM

I worked out for myself that it was easier to throw the loop down at the target--especially in the wind--but then someone told me a false cast should be horizontal. Since I reach up about 5 feet with a 9 foot rod, the loop travels back and forth roughly 14 feet off the ground. Then a couple people advised:
Throwing the loop at the water ends up as a bad habbit (John Desjardins)
...the presentation stroke is exactly, repeat exactly the same as a false casting stroke... (Sprocket))

so that is what I thought I was being told. I found it is easier to get the line speed up with a few horizontal false casts, but before presenting the fly, I have to use one false cast to throw the loop down at the target, or I have no chance of hitting it on the presentation cast.

04-10-2002, 06:37 AM
Standing next to a basketball net, approx 10 feet off the ground. When you cast, is the loop traveling four feet higher off the ground? With the rod bent deeply as it passes and an outward cant to my arm, my initial guess (without measuring) would be 9ft off the ground as it passes my body, if that. The landing of the fly generally occurs from a height of a few feet at the end of the cast unless one wants a pile cast, which is made high with a recoil.

"Horizontal" is a general guideline, and a good bit of advice but not to be taken too literally. Many people have a problem keeping the loop horizontal on both halves, so it's a good idea but it sounds like you don't have that problem. Horiz is the rule but that does not mean there should not be a slightly higher backcast in a headwind -or- a slightly lower backcast in a tailwind, etc.

It is important to note that the line drawn by the loop going backwards is in line with the loop you punch forward - equal and opposite, etc.

In the fishing I do - saltwater, steelhead, etc - it's important to have fewer backcasts. Something you might learn is how to slip line into the backcast to increase power and reduce the number of backcasts. I call it "slip and grip".

While the loop is carrying the line backward, let the line pull itself back several feet through a loosening of the line hand and then grip it solid just before starting your forward stroke. Eventually you'll be shooting 20 feet into your backcast, which eliminates false casts and increases the power of your forward cast by loading the rod better.

Make sure you don't take the energy out of the "driver" when you "slip" the line. This occurs when you slip too early or fail to grip the line solid before the forward stroke.

You can slip and grip in both directions, further reducing effort and false casting. If you do this in cadence with hauling and or double hauling, you will have a killer cast going.