Originally Posted by blindcurvw
For the first time ever, I've noticed that I can't just pick up the fly rod and double haul a long booming cast without feeling "something" in my wrist, arm, shoulder, back or like this weekend all of the above. Something is typically just a tired/sore shoulder but more and more includes back muscle cramping or significant shoulder pain.
How far are these booming casts, and what weight of line/rod are you using? Without seeing you cast I have to hazard a guess that you are muscling the cast too hard and not letting the rod do the work. I wonder if you are holding your arm too high or too much out to the side, this is hard on the shoulder. Are you throwing your arm too far forward like a pitcher? This tires the wrist and forearm. Do you flex your wrist back and forth more than necessary? That sometimes happens if your arm is held too low and the side and usually requires some body twist and shoulder cramp (on the back-cast) to make a long cast. You should be able to cast 60ft without using much shoulder or back at all, so I am curious.
A number of years ago I strained my forearm/elbow with a day of roll-casting. The next winter I joined a casting club to keep warmed up until the season came again. I’m still at it in a school gym every Monday from November to April. If there is no club near you, some lawn casting (even on the snow) can be good to maintain the muscle tone - at least once a week, hopefully your yard is big enough or there is a park nearby. A couple of 15-minute sessions with a 5 minute break should do it. A couple of orange plastic cones will help mark distance and accuracy – or hula-hoops.
There is also an exercise to strengthen the wrists and forearms and shoulders, which is the following: Create a small bar/rod like 18" of broomstick and attach a string to the centre, with a 2# weight at the other end. The string is the length needed to allow the weight to be on the floor when you hold the bar straight in front of you, with a hand at each end (sort of like bike handlebars). Wind (reel) the string up around the bar (lifting the weight) by just twisting/rotating the bar with your hands, and then reverse the process to slowly unwind the string to put the weight back on the floor. Only three or 4 reps per night are needed.