Shooting line - Fly Fishing Forum
Art of Casting Analysis, refinement of the cast

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Old 12-03-2009, 08:44 PM
Red Owl Red Owl is offline
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Shooting line

If you don't shoot any line how far can someone normally cast? 40'? If you want to cast farther, say 60', do you normally have to shoot the last 20'? I have never been that good at shooting line. At what point of the forward stroke should you let the line go? Do you normally have to have the line in coils?
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:21 AM
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juro juro is offline
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As a general rule lines are designed to be cast up to the rear taper beyond the guides. The business end of a line is referred to as the 'head', which is comprised of a front taper, belly and rear taper.

If you let too much line out beyond the tip during the cast the lower diameter and mass (skinnier and lighter line) can no longer transfer energy effectively and the 'hinging' effect can kill the cast. When learning it's best to stick with the head in the air, and get as clean as you can with that. Make sure the rod matches the line, as that makes a huge difference.

With practice the line will tug forward at the end of the cast. Hold one big loop in the left hand (tightly) with the spare line between the hand and reel until the cast nears it's end, and let go allowing the head to pull the loop straight. There - you've just shot a little line.

Shooting line does not need to wait until the very end of the cast. Once the energy has established it's forward flight the running line can follow the head. That is to say, once the rod has un-flexed on the forward stroke the loop is in forward flight and running line can (potentially) be pulled along with it.

It's critical that no attempt to shoot (i.e. letting go of the running line) is made before the rod has un-flexed forward or the tension will dissapear and things will deflate like an untied balloon. Hold the line tight until the loop is in forward flight - and not a moment longer for most distance.

Once you get used to this, think about the tension leading up to release. Try pulling the line hand while the rod is flexing forward and you'll notice that the tension / load increases with a pull of the hand. Pull the line hand, holding the line tightly, away from the first guide (down or to the side, or both).

Now when you let it go the line will fly off the tip with much more vigor and speed when you let it go. This is a single-haul and a very effective way to increase power in your cast so it shoots further when you let it go.

Again make sure you hold that running line tightly whether you pull (haul) or not. Let us know how you get on.

- Juro
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:55 AM
Red Owl Red Owl is offline
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Well, that's sort of how I'm doing it, I think. When I feel the momentum of the line is well forward and the line is turning over with maybe 1/3 left to turn over, maybe a little less, that's when I let the line go but I can only shoot about 6'. Sometimes I make a mistake and let the line go too early and it takes the force out of the line. I've seen TV shows, etc where some guy has a bucket on his belt and when he shoots the line coil after coil is peeling out of the bucket. I get the idea he is shooting 10-20' of line. Is that with a shooting head or are some lines just better? Maybe some better quality rods have more guides that help to shoot more line, or maybe a combination of factors. In any event I'm a 40-45' caster that would like to become a 60' caster.
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Old 12-05-2009, 05:19 AM
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petevicar petevicar is offline
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Hi Red Owl
The best thing that I can suggest for you is to take a lesson.
There are some very good instructors out there.

Pete
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Old 12-25-2009, 10:13 AM
gunner gunner is offline
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Red Owl -- your profile just indicates you live in the "northeast" If you are near LLBean's, take one of their casting classes over a weekend or even the shorter one and you will learn a lot. Or join TU and meet up with some members who can teach casting (many of us in Maine TU chapters took the Bean's instructor classes gratis so we can teach the TU Camp members or other new casters and keep up the interest in the sport; or take classes through a local fly shop.
And while everyone wants to cast long and far -- for most stream and river fishing, I think you will find that you catch most fish in the 25-40 foot range, so practice accruracy within that range in particular.
Joe
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:40 PM
Silver Creek Silver Creek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Owl
If you don't shoot any line how far can someone normally cast? 40'? If you want to cast farther, say 60', do you normally have to shoot the last 20'? I have never been that good at shooting line. At what point of the forward stroke should you let the line go? Do you normally have to have the line in coils?
I'm being picky here but how can you extend your cast if you don't shoot line??

What you are really asking is how much line can a caster "carry" in the air. Great casters can carry over 90 feet of line in the air and that would be about the maximum that could be cast without shooting line on the final forward cast, assuming they could shoot on the prior backcast.
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