Casting Exercise 14 - Pile hopping
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This exercise develops accuracy with the popular rat´s nest. There's a clear, practical advantage to being able to pile up your line in an eddy or below little fall or just downstream of a rock. It's easier than it looks... if you train enough with this simple, fun exercise.

Necessary equipment

Two rod socks and a hoop. And no wind. If possible, not even a slight breeze.

Objective of the game

Immediate: to pile up line at four different points in a predetermined order.
In time: to become happy, accurate pile casters.


Lay the first rod sock out 6 yards away, the second 8 yards away and the hoop 10 yards away.
The idea is to make good piles of line at the following 4 points and in this order:

  1. Between you and the first rod sock
  2. Between the two rod socks
  3. Between the second rod sock and the hoop
  4. Inside the hoop


  • Practice this cast without rod socks or traffic cones until it becomes second nature.
  • You need at least a yard of extra line in the air with respect to the point where you're going to pile up your slack.
  • The farther away you want the heap, the higher you have to stop the rod and the slower your casting tempo has to be.

Harder yet

  • Gradually increase the distances of the rod socks until you lose sight of the hoop over the horizon.
  • Wait for a windy day to do this exercise and position the rods socks and the hoop so the wind will be blowing from the side.
  • Replace the rod socks with hoops. Yep, you've understood this diabolic suggestion correctly. Come on, try it.