Correcting Common Casting Mistakes (11 of 12)
Pete: Today, we're going to troubleshoot the five most common casting mistakes, and how to correct them. Probably the number one most common casting mistake I see, is starting with that rod tip too high. When you start your initial back cast, you want to keep that rod tip nice and low, close to the water. That's going to keep that line nice and straight, and make that nice, easy back cast, that nice lift in acceleration, and that pop to a stop. If you start with your back or rod tip too high, you're going to have the tendency to dip a little bit behind you, and maybe send that back cast down into the water. So start with that rod tip nice and low, make a smooth acceleration to that pop to a stop.
The second most common casting mistake is probably not stopping the rod, keeping this rod moving in a continuous motion. Remember we have to stop and pause, and wait for that line to roll out, and it's that stop that transfers the energy from that bent rod into the line. So when you're casting, think of an abrupt stop, and an abrupt stop on both the back cast, and the forward
The third most common casting mistake is probably going too far back with the rod. Starting with that rod tip nice and low, coming up and then down on that back cast. That, again, is going to send your line down into the water, making that fly probably splat on the water, getting stuck in a tree or a bush, and not creating a nice tight loop. So just think stop that rod tip up and back, or imagine you have that wall up against you. Not too far back, you don't want to go through that wall behind you.
The fourth most common thing I usually see when somebody's casting, is they have a tendency when they get something in their hand, they want help it. They want to throw it as far as they can. These fly rods, they'll do the work for you, if you let them. When you make that forward cast, notice when I make that cast that my arm is pretty compact, pretty relaxed. It's just right in here, not too far forward, not too far back. What I see is this, a tendency to want to throw that line, kind of help that rod out there. If you do that, that's going to have a tendency to throw your line uphill. You could potentially cause a tailing loop - that's your line hitting itself and that's a little segue into number five. But we want that nice smooth pop to a stop, not too much extension, nice and easy. Just think, you wouldn't tack a nail into a wall out here, just right here, nice and easy.
The fifth most common thing I see is probably that tailing loop. Now, that tailing loop is when that fly line hits itself, and causes a knot. If that happens, a lot of times people like to say it's because of the wind, it's a wind knot. You may have heard that before. Well, the reality is it's usually a bad casting knot; and it can be caused by three different ways. One way is by punching. You're kind of thrusting that rod tip forward. That's going to cause that line to hit itself, causing that knot.
Another way is by having too short of a casting stroke for the length of line. That's how far back I go, to how far forward I go. From here, to here, that's my casting stroke - here, to here. If it's too short for the length of line, that's going to cause that line to hit itself, and cause that tailing loop. And probably the third reason why we get tailing loops, and this is probably the most common, is we're trying to apply that flick, or that pop, right in the beginning.
Remember, when we cast, we want to make the smooth acceleration to a stop, smooth acceleration to a stop. If we flick in the beginning, there; that's going to cause that tailing loop. Think pop to a stop. Don't pop in the beginning, and then bring the rod down. Get that smooth acceleration to a stop, and that's going to give you a nice loop rolling out to those fish.