texasfishingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
picklegreen, ynotfish, anikarnab, Mark Herman, Zepzilla
115961 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
TexDawg 104,507
hopalong 100,122
Pilothawk 81,262
John175☮ 80,005
Bigbob_FTW 76,255
JDavis7873 67,408
Derek 🐝 67,018
Mark Perry 64,059
Forum Statistics
Forums61
Topics1,157,241
Posts15,825,528
Members140,961
Most Online36,273
Jan 23rd, 2013
Print Thread
Casting - Shooting Line #14103502 08/21/21 07:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
R
RexW Offline OP
TFF Team Angler
OP Offline
TFF Team Angler
R
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
Don’t let go!

Shooting line is a skill that all fly fishers need to know. It is an easy way to add more distance to any cast. For most of us, it is one of the earliest casting skills that we learn. I’ll also add that there is a sense of pure joy when you get it right and the fly line shoots through the rod’s guides. smile

The key to shooting line is to let the line shoot AFTER the Stop. Remember that we must stop the rod on the forward cast and on the back cast. Those stops allow the loop to form. The shoot must happen after the loop has formed, but don’t wait too long or the line will not shoot. Release the line too early and it just ends up in a pile. Learning the timing of when to release the line after the stop is the biggest challenge of learning to shoot line during a fly cast.

I often use the phrase “Stop then Drop” when teaching how to shoot line. But, you don’t actually want to completely “drop” the line when shooting. If you completely release the line then you have given away all control of the line.

A more versatile technique when shooting line is to keep it in your hand during the shoot. Personally, I will hold the line between my thumb and finger tips. When releasing the line to shoot, I’ll open my fingers into something that resembles an “OK” sign and I’ll keep my thumb and finger wrapped around the line.

Keeping control of the line when shooting provides several benefits. One is that it allows you to determine how much line you want to shoot. You can stop the line from shooting by just closing your fingers together. The ability to add a little bit of line while casting is useful. It allows you to shoot some line and then make another false cast when making a longer distance cast. Multiple false casts of increasing length are often easier to control than one extremely long shoot at the end of a casting sequence.

The ability to limit how much line you shoot is critical to making accurate casts at varying distances. You can determine where you want to fly to land by adjusting how much line you have in the air. So, when a fish surfaces closer than expected you don’t have to shoot all of the line that is off the reel. Instead, you can stop the shoot and make a shorter cast.

The biggest benefit may be that that you never lose control of the line. If a fish hits the fly as soon as it hits the water, then you are already holding the line and can immediately set the hook. It is frustrating to miss a strike because you were not ready to set the hook.

Learning to shoot line without completely dropping the line will help you to be a more versatile fly caster and fly fisher. Learning to control the line without letting go will also make learning the Double Haul easier since you’ll have developed more line control skills when casting.

Give it a try and have fun!

texas

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


Fly Fishers International certified casting instructor
TFO Rods pro staff
Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14103701 08/22/21 12:17 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,194
K
KQT Offline
Extreme Angler
Offline
Extreme Angler
K
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,194
great advise


Common carp 23lb
Goldfish 9.78lb
Mirror Koi 14lb
Blue Cat 30lb
Bass 9.5lb
Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14103861 08/22/21 03:39 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,829
T
texasflycaster Offline
Extreme Angler
Offline
Extreme Angler
T
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,829
Ahhhh yes ... the Double Haul. An even more fantastic asset!

Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14103901 08/22/21 10:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 602
F
FlyFX Offline
Pro Angler
Offline
Pro Angler
F
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 602
While we have 2 of the forum famous casters on this thread I would ask which "style" you gents adhere to, Wulff ( proper English overhead ) or Kreh ( more angled out from shoulder and rotating the body ). And what exercise do you send new students home to practice?
I am not an instructor nor do I play one on the internet, though I have taught several over the years.
I realize the homework would be dependent on the student comprehension of the lesson and motor skills needed.


Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
Glass rod, click & pawl, ugly flies
Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14104053 08/22/21 02:05 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
R
RexW Offline OP
TFF Team Angler
OP Offline
TFF Team Angler
R
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
I'll add more later, but I use all of them depending on the fishing conditions. For a new or beginning student I just try to help them use whatever style they are already using better. I teach the strengths and weaknesses of different styles in my "Accuracy" class at a more advanced level of discussion.


Fly Fishers International certified casting instructor
TFO Rods pro staff
Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14104425 08/22/21 08:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
R
RexW Offline OP
TFF Team Angler
OP Offline
TFF Team Angler
R
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
FlyFX, I could probably write a book trying to answer your questions. And I may have... laugh

There are 4 main “styles” of casting and they are called by multiple different names. My vote is to pick the style that works best for the fishing conditions and that you are most comfortable using. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

1. Elbow forward with rod near vertical using a closed stance (feet are side by side). This is the style that Joan Wulff uses in her videos. I find this style to be the most accurate casting style, especially at shorter distances. Note that the elbow moves up and down in this style, you don’t just hold your elbow in one place. Both the elbow and shoulder move which means the large back muscles come into play with this style. It can be a very powerful casting style. I’ve seen someone cast over 120 feet using this style. But, it can also be hard on the shoulder. I use this style for short casts, especially when I want pin point accuracy. I’ll often use this style when casting ultralight fly rods. I personally avoid long distance casts using this style because my shoulder does not like doing it for very long.

2. Elbow low with the rod near horizontal (or even up to about 45 degrees) using an open stance (the rod foot is back behind the line side foot.) This is the style most often associated with Lefty Kreh. The open stance allows for a longer stroke length which makes this style idea for longer distance casts and by having the line lower it works well in the wind. This style is often called a “saltwater cast”. It is also a style that is easier on most people’s bodies since it is a very relaxed casting style. I use this style when I am making a long distance cast and since it is a sidearm style, I’ll use it when I want to cast under a boat dock or under overhanging tree limbs. At distances less than about 40 to 45 feet, it is more difficult to make an accurate cast with this style, especially at 20 feet or less. When you think about it, the end of the rod is 9 feet off the side and you’re trying to place a fly 20 feet in front of you. The math gets challenging in a hurry. But, for me at distances over 40 feet, it does not seem to affect accuracy all that much.

3. Elbow to the side held high (about shoulder height) with the rod off vertical using either a closed or open stance. This style is popular, but I personally am not a fan. To me holding your elbow up high just causes more work and at the end of a full day of fishing your arm will be more fatigued. Anyone remember holding their hand up in school waiting for the teacher to call on you? It doesn’t take long to get tired of holding your hand up.

4. Elbow to the side held low with the rod off vertical using either a closed or open stance. This is the style that I use most often when fishing and this is the style that I teach someone that is new to casting. It is a good “general purpose” style that falls somewhere between the first two styles that were mentioned. I can hold the rod more vertical to help with accuracy or more to the side if I am casting heavier flies. The photos show this style.

Few comments on the photos. This was a short, maybe 25 foot cast, so the trajectory is higher in back and lower in front.

Photo A – The forward cast motion has already started in this frame. Note the elbow position and that the rod is still pointed back.
Photo B – Shows about the point where rotation of the rod started.
Photo C – Shows the Stop on the forward cast. Note that the elbow has moved back, it was not held in one place and it has moved to my side. Also note how high the rod has stopped. I stopped and paused at this point to allow the loop to form.


For the teaching or lesson plan part of your questions, I recently wrote the statement below in response to a Double Haul question. It may help answer some of your teaching questions (or maybe just create more questions smile ). It summarizes my lesson plan for a beginning to intermediate student. How much of this material gets covered in a lesson depends on the individual student. I try to start with a basic technique and then I add additional skills one at a time. I hope this helps.

***
Good basic technique is needed before adding the double haul. If the line is currently landing in a pile of slack, it will just land in a bigger pile of slack using a double haul. Unfortunately, the double haul will not fix bad technique.

My experience with my casting students, I've had the most success starting with a focus on loop control using a fixed length of line, I start with 20 ft of fly line out the rod tip (basically, 2 rod lengths of line plus leader.) I start with a Pick Up and Lay Down (PULD) overhead cast. Learning good technique is more important than actual casting distance. The distance will come with good technique. The next step is to learn to false cast, again using the same 20 feet of line. The focus continues to be on the PULD portion of the cast. Make one or two false casts and the lay down the line and start over. Remind the student that you have to pick up and lay down the line when fishing, so, practice these skills. The next step is to learn to shoot line. The timing is key to learning to shoot line. The goal of each of these steps is to lay a tight, straight line on the water. The next step is to learn to use both hands when shooting line. The key to using both hands is to learn to cast efficiently while keeping both hands near each other during the casting stroke to minimize slack. Learning to cast and shoot line efficiently using both hands (rod hand and line hand) puts most students in the 50 foot casting distance range. At this point, let's learn how to double haul.

Obviously, there is no "one size fits all" and other instructors may use different methods. This one seems to work best for me.

***


texas

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Last edited by RexW; 08/22/21 08:41 PM.

Fly Fishers International certified casting instructor
TFO Rods pro staff
Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14104556 08/22/21 11:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 602
F
FlyFX Offline
Pro Angler
Offline
Pro Angler
F
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 602
Thank you Rex, very informative. I lean to the Kreh method more after chasing Tarpon and catching a 5/0. I was trying to punch one out ahead of a couple cruisers and must have found a puff of wind, or started forward too early, I was swinging a 11wt with a squirrel sized fly and trying for 60 -,70' when it found a landing spot and was moving pretty quick
As mentioned there are so many variables it's difficult to use one style. However I do agree it depends on the student and application.
What I have suggested to most of the people I have helped get started is similar, I have them start with 20' of line but start with the rod tip out front at knee or waist high no elbow or wrist only forearm so they can watch the cast form and learn the feel when the line straightens and starts to load the rod, then move them to 30 and 40' and the line would hover above ground. Once they can keep it in a straight path no large loops then move up near chest or head high and do it again, if wild loops start to form go back to first position. Once this is comfortable rod tip goes above the head and this is where I see the elbow and wrist start to migrate during the cast and we know what happens there and I send them back to first position. I seems when they lost sight of the leader behind them the elbow wrist and wild loops return. My goal was for them to see and feel the cast so when they went over head they would have acquired the feel, timing and motor skills so they would not have to look at the backcast and focus on the target. When we accomplish that we could move on to more technique and further improvement. Then on to ld/pu preferably on water to feel the tension release.
I still use this for practice along with targets in the yard if I haven't fished for a while.
What I have noticed is the new caster first learns the mechanical aspect, then there is the quest for distance, and then they realize accuracy is the real goal and is where the lessons really begin.
Thanks for the response, I hope I'm somewhat inline with the instructors on starting a caster, it's what I have taught myself over time.


Most people double haul so they can throw their mistakes further - Bernard "Lefty" Kreh - R.I.P.
Glass rod, click & pawl, ugly flies
Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14104627 08/23/21 12:44 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
R
RexW Offline OP
TFF Team Angler
OP Offline
TFF Team Angler
R
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,180
I often do something very similar. It's called a T drill and Joan W. has it in one of her videos. Lay out a rope or other straight edge. Stand at the mid point and lay the rod out for a sidearm cast with the rod tip at the rope. So, the caster is perpendicular to the rope and a rod length away from it. Make a forward or back cast and let the line hit the ground. The line should land on the rope. If you use to much rotation (wrist) the fly line will land on the caster's side. Not enough rotation and the line will land going away from the caster. You can see if a loop was formed and see the impact of different amounts of wrist.

I start with just individual forward and back cast and let them hit the ground and look at the result. Then add a false cast only on back cast. Can you still lay the forward cast on the rope? The add a few more false casts. Then move to about 45 degree. The cast elements; stroke, rotation, speed, pause, timing, etc. should not change since the only thing changed is the angle of the rod. The try a regular overhead cast. Again, the casting elements should not change.

The next step is to add 3 to 5 feet of line and start over. As you add line, the stroke length, the timing, etc. will change.

Once the student understands what to look for, this is a drill they can practice at home. I use this drill in most of my individual lessons, but don't always have the time or the space during group lessons, but it is a great practice drill.


Fly Fishers International certified casting instructor
TFO Rods pro staff
Re: Casting - Shooting Line [Re: RexW] #14108461 08/26/21 01:32 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,829
T
texasflycaster Offline
Extreme Angler
Offline
Extreme Angler
T
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,829
From a guide's perspective? If a guy-gal gets on the casting platform and begins to pelt me with the fly because they can't or won't or don't cast sidearm? Everything comes to a full stop, and we start one of my famous Lefty Kreh lectures ...

Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 1998-2021 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3