The world's best flyfishing site.

Versión en español
------ Ads ------

-- Introduction
different styles
the grip
shooting line
power snap
loop shape
across the wind
into the wind
with the wind
side casting
underhand cast
Belgian cast
different lifts
backcast shoot
basic roll cast
roll cast variations
off the shoulder
dynamic roll
Spey Casting
double right
double left
single right
single left
spey fishing
switch cast
snake roll
fly first
mending line
bow and arrow
rotating thumb
tip kicks

As soon as a beginner has grasped the basic fly casting skills it is a good idea to introduce hauling. Depending on the individual, the double haul can often be introduced after three or four hours of tuition (so long as there has been additional practice). Hauling has a huge effect on loop control. And since loop control is the key to good fly casting learning to haul is really quite important.

Hauling (for those who have no idea what I'm on about) is where the non-rod hand pulls line back through the rings during the casting stroke. It gives dramatic results, firstly it can be used to force a greater bend in the rod than would otherwise be obtainable, and certainly a greater bend with little increase in effort, and also it vastly increases the speed that the line travels through the air.

The double-haul is where the haul is made on both the forward and the backwards casts. Single hauls are also useful - especially for beating the wind.

There are two basic faults in the double haul. The first is failure to get your hands together during the pause in the backcast - as you can imagine non-drifters of the racing variety have problems here (if this makes no sense you haven't been paying attention) - which leads to an ineffective second haul. The second fault is slack line between the hauling hand and the butt ring - and depending on how this happens, generally means an uncompressed rod at some point during the stoke - too hasty.

There are many ways of teaching the double haul. Without doubt the most effective way is for the instructor to do the hauling for the pupil: this is a fast method and in most cases it teaches the pupil in less than two or three minutes.

Another common method is to use the "DownUp" hand movement description; "DownUp" being one word - emphasis on the "Down". However it should really be "Down-and-Up", because time has to be given for the rodtip to unbend and the loop travel backwards - the best time to go "Up" is during that little backwards drift we talked of earlier. If we do it too soon we end up unbending the rod - and just at the time when we want to be bending it to it's maximum.

Some guys teach without rods and lines - and (perhaps surprisingly) this can also be effective. Another method which has been shown to me and I have used to good effect (especially useful for those who can't seem to grasp the method when you help them do it) is to get the caster to perform side-casts using the double haul, but on the backcast actually allowing the line to land on some water (or field, or whatever - short cut grass is great for this as it eliminates the need for the lift element of the cast). This gives a very long pause (indefinitely) which allows the caster to see if his hands are together, look for slack line and generally slow things down. Also it gives more feel in the forward haul because the caster gets to beat gravity in both directions - a common statement a learner makes is "I don't seem to feel the forward haul doing anything".

Some or all of these techniques are required - but without a doubt if the instructor can get away with the first, then he should go for it. Double hauling is easy and contrary to most people's opinion does not require superhuman co-ordination. It's an essential skill and should be taught as quickly as possible - before all that self-doubt creeps in. It's really great to see the results of teaching hauling; the pupils often feel such a sense of achievement and the results can be really quite phenomenal.

For basic teaching often the easiest way to teach timing is to time the start of the haul to the start of the casting stroke. However the most effective time to haul is as near to the stop as possible. For those really tight, sexy (yes I had to start using this word to describe loops at some point) loops the haul should be made at the point of the tip-snap, wrist-flick, positive-stop or whatever you want to call it. For more open loops the hauls can be made more throughout the stroke.

This is a very important point. And not one I have seen written about very often. So let me say it again: the correct time to apply the haul is not as the stroke is being make, but rather as the rod is being stopped. So how the hell do you learn this??!! Easy. Every time you squeeze the rod into the stop, say 'stop' to yourself (!). After this is drilled into your mind, replace the 'stop' word with 'haul' or 'down' (of the down-and-up).

Hauling at the stop will give you a tight loop. Hauling throughout the stroke will give you an open loop. You can use this! Throw a tight loop into the wind and a open loop with it! Therefore with a tailing wind, time your haul at the stop in the backcast, and throughout the stroke on the forward cast.

More improvement can be made to line speed by working on haul timing and hauling speed rather than rod-hand speed. Really dramatic results come from really fast hauls - work on your hauling speed:- distance travelled with the haul is less important than velocity. A fast haul is one of the secrets to V-shape loops (the other is a relaxed stop).

And now for my greatest tip of all (so far): for the most dramatic effects, stop the haul at precisely the same moment that you stop the rod. In order to ensure a fully synchronised stop I finish the forward haul with a straight hauling arm; I find that I can get a real 'snap' when I straighten my arm, and if I make that snap at exactly the same moment as I make my wrist-snap... well, this one of the secrets behind 'sexyloops', and it works for me, every time!

Everyone has heard of the benefits of an abrupt stop of the rod. How many have thought of the importance of an abrupt stop of the haul? Straightening the haul from the elbow allows that abrupt stop.