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juro 05-26-2004 12:41 PM

Most common casting problems you see
When you are watching people cast (at a show, on the water, etc) what are the most common problems you see?

I would have to say that the answer depends on the region and the fishery. For instance most striper fishermen have a lot of creep in their cast.

I define "creep" as the rod coming forward during the backcast and before the application of power such that the rod is already forward before the cast begins. This has the effect of cutting the stroke to a very abrupt forward poke, which can not leverage full power of the rod and thus limits the available energy in the cast.


BigDave 05-26-2004 12:53 PM

#1. Not letting the backcast straighten all the way

#2. No defined "accelerate and stop" at 10 and 2 (dumping the backcast)

I'm not big on casting aesthetics but these are the problems I look out for when I'm casting poorly. One or the other is usually at fault.

Dble Haul 05-26-2004 12:55 PM

Here's what I commonly see (and mind that I'm no expert)....

1. In the same vein of what Juro has defined as "creep", I've seen folks who let there rod drift slightly forward during the backcast. I've also seen plenty of full forward casts starting before the backcast has completely straightened out behind and loaded the rod.

2. Not letting the rod do the work that it's capable of. This is a generalized statement, but in a nutshell flyrods don't require a heck of a lot of muscle to use them correctly. Overpowering casts (especially the forward cast) usually lead to sloppy results. Relax and let the rod do what it's designed to do. When loaded correctly, they're usually quite easy.

3. Lack of attention to feet. The standing position of a caster affects the result of a cast if the body is not working in unison. Slight adjustment of the feet can result in better overall body alignment and therefore simultaneously retard fatigue and improve the casting stroke.

These are just off the top of my head. I'm sure there's plenty more.

soloflyfisher 05-26-2004 01:31 PM

I think the three most common mistakes beginners make are:

1. Letting the rod tip drop down on the backcast (big wind-up)

2. Starting the forward cast too early, before their line straightens out on the backcast

3. Not stopping crisply at the end of either their forecast or backcast (this flaw is usually accompanied by a big "throwing" motion, rather than the short, snappy motions that allow a rod to load and unload effectively)

fredaevans 05-26-2004 01:42 PM

With spey rods.
#2. No defined "accelerate and stop" at 10 and 2 (just like a single hander)

And my #1 would be the rod is too vertical on the forward cast (generating the spey version of the 'tailing loop.'

striblue 05-26-2004 02:07 PM

Over powering on the forward cast, such that the back cast is not complete...letting the rod do the work... like a golf swing...Tempo and timing is not considered enough..... also keeping the elbow on a flat plane thoughout the cast.

sean 05-26-2004 02:16 PM

Like others have said the #1 thing I see newer casters (and sometimes myself) is dropping the backcast instead of stopping high and throwing it up into the air. The fly should never be hitting the ground on your backcast.

I see alot of guys casting 3-9 instead of 10-2


Moose 05-26-2004 07:30 PM

I'm the rookie out of the guys I have met on my home water, and they are all accomplished casters. I am truly too humbled to be critiqueing they're casting. So I'll give an account of what MY biggest errors are.
#1) I try to overpower the rod on the forward stroke, not letting the rod do what it was made to do. I instinctively try to "Power throw" the forward stroke and it is HELL trying to force myself to wait for the D loop to form, not creep forward (which shortens my forward stroke, I know, Iknow.....) and slowly but increasingly come forward and slightly down with the rod to a nice underhanded "Snap and Stop", ending high at 11 o'clock. (Thats more than 1 thing, I know, but they're all part of the forward stroke so I'm calling it 1 thing)

Other than that I'm doing OK, and when I shorten up, slow down and tie some yarn on (or when no one is looking and it doesn't matter) I do fine, so there's hope for this old dog yet! :rolleyes:

John Desjardins 05-26-2004 08:27 PM

My personal # 1 bugaboo is breaking my wrist on the final forward stroke. Reduced distance, tailing loops & poor casting knots result :rolleyes: .

FrenchCreek 05-26-2004 08:41 PM

Lok at the elbow!
An "overactive" one will almost always wreck the cast, it causes many problems and "fixing" the elbow can greatly enhance the "solutions" we all try to convey to casters we try to help.

juro 05-26-2004 08:53 PM

Frenchcreek -

I am curious about your observation. Most beginners have an under-active elbow, meaning they break their wrist instead of bending the elbow -or- hold their arm extended (elbow straight) and rotate the shoulder socket to wave the rod.

Of course we are not talking about observations of beginners in this thread but intermediate casters, so are you referring to the raising of the level of the elbow out of the horizontal as Striblue mentioned or is there another aspect of controlling the elbow we should be noting?


Quentin 05-26-2004 09:17 PM


Originally posted by John Desjardins
My personal # 1 bugaboo is breaking my wrist on the final forward stroke. Redued distance, tailing loops & poor casting knots result :rolleyes: .
Hmm . . ., I wonder if that's my problem as well. My fly frequently crosses underneath my fly line on the forward stroke. This seems to have gotten worse over time instead of improving. Guess I've developed some bad habits :( . Since I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong, it's hard to figure out how to correct the problem. I suppose that's a problem in itself!


soloflyfisher 05-27-2004 08:35 AM

In teaching beginners to flycast, I've stopped talking about how to move (or not move) wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Instead I just focus them on the goal--a short, relatively flat stroke that accelerates quickly and comes to a sudden stop, sending the line straight out behind them, and then a similar, short, relatively flat stroke in the opposite direction that accelerates and comes to a quick, firm stop, sending the line straight out in front of them. I find that different casters use more or less wrist and do different things with their elbows and shoulders depending on what's most comfortable for them. So trying to be too prescriptive about how to move body parts during the cast isn't always helpful, since different people will find different casting movements most comfortable. Also, it seems distracting for beginners to focus too much on how their body is moving, rather than focusing on the rod and line movement they are trying to produce via their body movement.

As a more accomplished caster my biggest bad habit is rotating my shoulder forward and leaning into my forward cast, rather than standing straight and letting the rod do the work.

ashbourn 05-27-2004 08:58 AM

You all listed all my problems :)

Rimouskois 05-27-2004 09:05 AM

With my own casting, I can see vast improvement when I loosen my grip on the rod on the forward cast. This allows the rod to move the line and I don't send shock waves into the line. Still, I have the tendency to grip hard and try and power the line forward.

I took my wife Atlantic salmon fishing last year for the first time and she was a great caster. I told her only about waiting on the back cast and not to let the line hit the ground behind her. Without any coaching she gravitated towards a side arm cast with stable elbow which really worked well. Later I read a column by Lefty Kreh explaining the virtues of just such a side arm cast.

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