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How We Get Hurt Casting
and how we can avoid becoming too sore
by Dr. Gary Eaton

The force of pulling a line or playing a fish bends a fly rod. Too much force, and it can break. Your casting arm is subject to the same forces that are seen by your rod, and physical injuries or soreness can occur.

Simple principles we all know include-
1) The more line you try to cast the more force you use.
2) Higher line weight rods & lines weigh more.
3) Longer levers apply greater force.
4) Adverse conditions reduce the control we have and can increase casting forces

Question 1: What is more likely to give you an injury?
a. lifting a sock (never touch one of Paul's)
b. tying a fly
c. carrying a 100 pound bag of vegetables

Correct answer is "C".
Therefore, other than a fly sticking in you, a 3-weight rod & line will be less likely to leave you sore than a 12 weight.

Question 2: What is likely to leave you most sore?
a. Carrying the 100 pounds of vegetables 1 foot
b. Carrying the 100 pounds of vegetables 100 feet
c. Eating a vegetable

Correct Answer is "B".
Therefore, an hour "shootout" going for maximum distance will be more likely to leave you suffering than an hour of 40-foot accuracy casting practice.

Test Question 3: What is most likely to cause you pain?
a. Lifting the 100-pound bag of vegetables twice in an hour.
b. Lifting the 100-pound bag of vegetables twice in one minute.
c. Lifting the 100-pound bag of vegetables twice per minute for 2 hours.

Correct answer is "C" again.
Therefore, be very mindful of the high intensity portion of your practice session starting with short durations and increasing this time slowly.

- Plan your casting practice to have lighter work as a warm-up and warm-down.
- Limit the duration of your casting sessions. Limit the long and heavy stuff to a smaller portion of the session.
- Rest at least twice as long as you have held a casting session before starting another one.
- Ideally, one would not start a higher intensity casting activity while still sore from the previous high intensity practice.
- When you see your loops becoming progressively less "sexy", wind it up and knock off. It is time to rest the rod arm and watch "The Instructor".

Gary Eaton D.O. is a board certified physician in the US specializing in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Pain Medicine. He worked for nearly 10 years as a firefighter and paramedic. Beginning to fly fish as a teen in Colorado with a Herter's bamboo 5wt (which he still has), in the last few years he's been instructing formally and earned his CCI certification from the FFF in 2006. "I continue to learn."

The information contained in this writing is general in nature and does not imply a doctor:patient relationship of any sort. All are advised to seek qualified medical help before instituting any treatment measures. Health conditions of a particular individual could make all or part of the information provided inappropriate for a given person. The author,, and affiliates assume no liability nor responsibility regarding this information or it's use.

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