Holding line with line hand - Fly Fishing Forum
Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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Old 07-09-2007, 03:11 PM
popper popper is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Central New York
Posts: 19
Holding line with line hand

Hi, new member here. I've enjoyed reading this forum. There's a lot of great advice here.

I've been fishing my whole life, but only recently started fly fishing. Actually, I've owned one fly rod for about 15 years (still the only one I own, a 5 wt. Sage DS), but I've never used it all that much. I've gotten plenty of fish when I have tried it, both trout and warmwater species, but I pretty much stuck with spincasting and baitcasting, which is how I learned how to fish.

This year I've been concentrating more on my flyfishing. I've had some great outings catching bluegills and bass, but I am getting frustrated with my lack of casting skill. I'm not terrible, but I'm a pretty good baitcaster and I want to be a good flycaster too. I have one Lefty video that I've watched enough to know that there are lots of problems with my casting stroke. But here is one issue that I can't seem to find any good information on: How do you hold extra line in your line hand, and release it in a controlled manner when you are false casting?

I know that a stripping basket is one option, but I'd prefer not to go that route if possible. Alternatively, I can just let the loose line pile up at my feet or on the bottom of the canoe, which is what I tend to do now, but then te line gets wrapped around a paddle, or sticks to the water, or tangles, and I end up with a short cast.

In the Lefty video, in one frame it looks like he is holding loops of line in his left hand, but I've tried to imitate that with no success. I wrap 4 or 5 long loops of line around my left hand, let one loop go at a time, and "catch" the line at the end of the forward cast, holding the rest of the loops in my hand, but it takes me lots of false casts to shoot line because I am only shooting out a little bit at a time. I've tried letting two or more loops go at a time, but then my line gets tangled a good percentage of the time.

This is important to me because my rod will not pick a lot of line up off the water cleanly (another problem with my skill level?). So I pretty much have to work out line by false casting.

Help! I can use your advice. Thanks. Bob
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