Offseason Exercise/Training for Fly Casters - Fly Fishing Forum
Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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Old 03-02-2009, 01:49 PM
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blindcurvw blindcurvw is offline
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Offseason Exercise/Training for Fly Casters

We all know that stretching, exercise, and weight training are important activities for the aging athlete. Marriage, parenthood, and that nuisance thing I call a job are all decreasing the amount of time I have to do these things and starting to feel the effects in my casting arm.

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.

When I used to fish 3+ times per week this wasn't a problem but now that my time is limited I know I have to be more cautious or risk serious injury. What do other's do to keep their casting arms strong and limber when casting isn't possible?

I plan to add pre-casting stretches to my fishing day routine and looking for some form of fun exercise that I can do in parallel with something else (e.g. while on a teleconference). Hitting the weights will be a goal; but, as I stated above, time really prevents me from going to the gym.
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Old 03-19-2009, 11:18 PM
chromedome chromedome is offline
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Casting arm is somewhat of a problem with me but not the main one. For me it used to be mainly my back. Being retired I can get to a gym more easily. And since summertime is the time when I pretty much do no fishing, I'm in the gym usually 3 days a week. This back routine given me by physical therapy has reduced back fatigue and improved endurance greatly. Its really a series of 9 well known exercises featuring stretches and some strength building. Then I do an overall body program of weight bearing exercises. That's mainly it and it has helped to keep the aches and pains to a minimum. I plan to get into yoga but haven't done much so far.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:00 AM
Midgefly Midgefly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blindcurvw View Post
We all know that stretching, exercise, and weight training are important activities for the aging athlete. Marriage, parenthood, and that nuisance thing I call a job are all decreasing the amount of time I have to do these things and starting to feel the effects in my casting arm.

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.

When I used to fish 3+ times per week this wasn't a problem but now that my time is limited I know I have to be more cautious or risk serious injury. What do other's do to keep their casting arms strong and limber when casting isn't possible?

I plan to add pre-casting stretches to my fishing day routine and looking for some form of fun exercise that I can do in parallel with something else (e.g. while on a teleconference). Hitting the weights will be a goal; but, as I stated above, time really prevents me from going to the gym.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:40 AM
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Eric Eric is offline
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Yeah.

When I go to Kodiak to fish for silvers every so often, I cast from shore to "targets" (i.e., jumping or finning fish). On a typical day, I will start about 7:30 AM and fish until dusk. I can go a day or two without shoulder pain, but after that, the constant slinging of heavy line over a long period of time practically cripples me. I attribute the pain to poor mechanics, but I'm so far into my dotage I'm not about to learn new techniques -- so, pain killers. OTC stuff works OK.

When fishing from a float tube, I don't have the right shoulder bending-over-and-hope-it-goes-away pain, but, I;d rather fish from my feet when I can, even under these conditions.

For what it's worth
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:21 AM
Greg H Greg H is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blindcurvw View Post
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. Im 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.
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