Fly casting works because we use the weight of the
flyline to bend the rod, we then force the
rod to unbend which casts the line for us. We
bend the rod by moving it against the
flyline's mass. We unbend it by stopping. The most
important part to learn in fly casting is an
OK now I've told you this, let me also tell you that it isn't true. What this
is, however, is a nice way to visualise flycasting. It gives you 'feel'. If this was actually all there
was to flycasting then we would be able to stick the rod in the ground so that it was standing upright,
and by pulling the line against the top of the rod until the rod bent to it's maximum, then releasing
it, we would be able to make a long cast. Truth is that the tip of the line won't even reach the rod. Try it.
So leverage is also important. Indeed it is an interesting combination, for it is possible
to cast with rods which don't bend (broomsticks, short pieces of timber and one or two
brands of flyrods), but if you have tried this you will rapidly come to the conclusion that a rod which
actually bends is a far better tool.
In flycasting we are using both leverage and the spring of the flyrod. Your average caster gets the
leverage bit just fine, but loses it when it comes to unbending the rod.
Anyway the more abruptly
we stop the rod, the faster the rod throws
the line. Working on this stop is the first
secret to good fly casting. This part of the
fly cast goes by many names: 'positive stop',
'forced stop', 'tip-snap', 'wrist flick',
'flick of the tip', 'flippetty flip',
'tip-top', and many others - but I'm sure you
get the idea.
You know when
its right purely by feel: you can actually
feel the flyrod unloading at the end of the
stop. You should be getting this feeling on
both backcasts and forward casts, and every
single time you stop the rod. This is the fly
casting feeling. Some casters (possibly the
majority) go through their whole lives never
experiencing this feeling. Isn't that sad?
Working on the
stop is the quickest way to achieve results:
especially a firm stop in the backcast. Often
a great way to learn distance casting is to
concentrate on a hard stop on the backcast.
Just one of many strange paradoxes in life.
I teach this flycasting feeling by false casting a short
length of line (perhaps 8 yrds) using the minimum of hand movement. The movement should
be slow, gentle and relaxed.
are formed when the line travels over the tip
of the rod, after the positive stop. Good
casting requires a narrow loop shape. The
shape of the loop is directly dependent on
the path the rod tip travels: narrow
loops are caused by straight paths of
the rod tip, open
loops are caused by convex paths of
the rod tip,
and tailing loops (where the line crosses
over itself) are caused by concave
paths of the tip; ie the tip of the
rod dips under the straight line
Do not fall into the trap of forgetting that the fly rod
bends when we cast; therefore forget that
rule that the line goes where the thumb goes
- this is broomstick logic. When you bend the rod the tip comes closer to
your thumb. This is not a matter of semantics, but is a basic principal behind flycasting.