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The Pupil

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overhead cast
overhead faults
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Overhead Casting Faults

The next stage is to make the pick-up and lay down cast consistently effective. This means practicing. What follows is a list of likely faults and their corrections. Use these to correct your initial technique. Perfection is not the aim here and you should practice this for no more than 10 minutes or so, because the next section is a very important tool for developing both feeling and proper technique for this cast.

The line leaves the water with a splash:
Ineffective lift. The line must gently clear the water before any attempt is made to flick it backwards. One must overcome surface tension.

The line travels very fast towards the caster at face level during the backcast:
This is exciting. This is the same fault as the previous one, however this time the rod has bent against the surface tension, and then immediately unbent as soon as the line has freed the surface:
duck! Soft rods are especially good for this.

The line leaves the water with a splash, even though the lift was remembered:
A short and meaningful pause was inserted between the lift and the upcast having the effect that the line has settled and stuck once again to the water.

The line travels over the top of the rod into the backcast but forms itself into a large open loop which proceeds to land on the ground behind:
Either, no lift as above, or failure to stop the rod effectively on the backcast. It is important that the rod tip travels at an upward angle during the casting stroke. If the rod tip travels around the caster in a large circular path we get the above effect. A very common problem is a floppy wrist. Make certain that you really are stopping the rod when you think, and that your hand is travelling upwards into the stop. (Some instructors call the floppy wrist 'breaking the wrist', and many of these consider all wrist movement to be a fault. This is complete crap actually. What is important, indeed all that is important, is that the tip of the rod has travelled at an angle upwards (of about 30 degrees to the horizontal) and that it has been accelerated to the stop).

Line fails to straighten out during backcast:
Either not a long enough pause, an insufficiently crisp stop, causing a wide loop, or insufficient force.

Cracking noise during backcast:
Not a long enough pause.

Line lands in heap during forward cast:
Either the above or a failure to stop the rod on the forward cast, resulting in a large circular path of rod tip.

Line goes out but is wriggly:
Very common and is an indication of a low backcast. The line has straightened out at an angle below the rod tip and as a result of this, has travelled at an upward angle on the forward cast. Fix by sending a higher backcast either by stopping the rod earlier, or by ensuring that you concentrate on forcing the tip upwards as you squeeze the hand into the stop. Also make certain that you are starting the lift with the rod tip touching the water. If you start in the horizontal position, say, then by the time you have finished the lift you will be too far around to be able to cast upwards with the rod tip.

These are the main faults. Notice one thing: virtually all of them occur during the backcast.

The only forward cast faults of significance, apart from failure to stop the rod are:

  • A sort of lobbing action, where the hand travels up, forwards and around:
    don't do this, concentrate on rotating the hand and gently squeezing it into the stop.


  • A slowing down to the stop as opposed to a speeding up to the stop - concentrating on squeezing the hand will fix this.

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