SLCs- Slack line casts
After the magic second
(3rd part)
Terminology gobbledygook

There are various names for the casts dealt with here. This synonymy proliferates because there is no authoritative reference such as an internationally acknowledged dictionary of fly-casting terms. Each author and instructor wants to add their personal stamp when they explain a cast. Although there may be minimal, subtle differences between some of them, there is no better personal stamp for a cast than to coin a new name for it. This just complicates things for fishermen in general. This is the classification and the name that I'll use.

Puddle cast

A great many wriggles all along the line and the leader.
Practical for
Smooth, regular currents. Caster positioned anywhere with respect to the current. Moderate wind.
Hard to be very accurate.
Cast the line skywards and, right after the forward stop, drop the rod tip until it almost touches the water.
Controllable parameters

  • Number of wriggles: depending on how high you stop the rod. The higher, the more wriggles.
  • Placing the wriggles at the end of the line: cast a very lazy, open loop and lower the rod tip smoothly and calmly.

Parachute cast

Slack line very near your feet, either in front or in back of you.
Practical for
Quick and easy to learn. Fishing downstream. Fishing upstream with a tail wind. Keeping your eye on your fly until it lies on the water (white water, etc.). Accuracy.
The rest of the line falls in a straight line.
Stop the rod with your hand level with your eyes, as if you were trying to land the line on an imaginary table. Keep your hand up there level with your eyes.
Controllable parameters

  • Slack line more or less close to you: stretch your arm out as required.
  • Slack line behind you: shoot line backwards right after the forward stop. That is, with slack between the reel and the first ring, tilt the rod back as if preparing a roll cast.

Pile casts

A little heap of line that could fit in a bucket anywhere along the line.
Practical for
Eddies, downstream side of boulders, weirs. To get the most slack in the leader. To get the most slack in the smallest area.
Difficult to execute. The rest of the line is almost straight.
Execution With a slow, open loop and a pause—which will vary in length—after the stop, firmly flick your wrist up a bit and back down. This will create a vertical wave that will travel under the main line. The vertical part of this wave will collapse on itself.
Controllable parameters

  • Size of pile of slack: how much you flick your wrist (the bigger the flick, the bigger the pile).
  • Distance to the pile: the longer you pause before flicking your wrist, the closer the pile will be to the rod tip.
  • Pile in the leader: very slow, open loop along an ascending path. Flick your wrist as soon as you stop and wait for the wave to travel to the end.
  • Pile in the last yard of line and leader with wind: tight, totally vertical, fast, descending loop. Crash the "head" of the loop against the water a couple of yards before it finishes opening.

Wriggle cast

Several little, symmetrical curves of uniform size. You control the number and size of the wriggles as well as their distance from the rod tip. We can talk of grades 1, 2 and 3 (depending on size and number)
Practical for
All types of currents and configurations at any distance from you and almost any speed.
It takes time to train your wrist. Headwind against a lot of parts of the line perpendicular to it.
Execution After the stop, flick your wrist back and forth horizontally, from left to right and vice versa.
Controllable parameters

  • Number of wriggles: equal to the number of wrist flicks.
  • Size of the wriggles: the larger the flicks, the larger the wriggles.
  • Distance from the rod tip:
    • Near: fast, descending loop. Start flicking your wrist after the end of the line starts landing on the water.
    • Far: slow, ascending loop. Start flicking your wrist immediately after the forward stop. Trick: jerk on the line a bit with your line hand just as the wriggles get to the end.

Comparative table
Puddle Pile Parachute Wriggles
With wind Good Bad in general Good (tail wind) Good, Bad with headwind
Execution difficulty Average Difficult Easy Average
Type of fishing In any direction Eddies, weirs, boulders Downstream Across the stream, all types of currents
Accuracy Little Quite a bit A lot Quite a bit