Interesting fact: Flycasting
originally began without the means to shoot
line. The line (which was braided horsehair) was knotted directly to the top of
the rod. This made playing large fish rather an exciting experience; apparently (and I'm
quoting Donald Downs AAPGAI here) they (they being Romans, I guess) used to chuck the rod in after the fish and let the fish drag it
around until it was tired (I've had a similar thing happen to me with Hardy rods).
Anyway, someone had a bright moment and invented the reel. And everything changed.
So with slack line at our feet, all we need
actually do, after the stop has been made, is to
release line and allow the momentum of
the line travelling forwards to pull some
extra line out. Basic, I know,
but I include this because the time of
release is critical to our success.
Beginners always seem to want to release during the stroke and not after it: Stop the rod, then release the line. Remember casting (partly) works
because we bend the rod. The instant we
stop the rod it is still bent, it has yet to
unbend and cast our line, we have to wait -
albeit fractions of a second - for the rod to
unbend. If we release too soon we actually
unbend the rod, and just at the time when we
want to be bending the rod to the maximum.
Many good casters hang on slightly too long. When we stop the rod the rod flips over from a fully flexed position to a counterflexed position. The perfect time to release is when that rod passes the straight position. Try consciously releasing sooner and you might start throwing tighter loops.
There are a
few different thoughts on what we should be
doing with our free hand when shooting line.
Some casters recommend feeding the line
through the fingers, perhaps with an
'O'-shape with forefinger and thumb, others
recommend just dumping it and letting it all
If you have to stop the line at
the end of the forward shoot (and sometimes you
do) then you must feed it. If you are purely striving for distance then
dump it; all that friction through your fingers
will slow it down.