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Shooting Line
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-- 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

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 shoot out.

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.

Pete Sutton shoots for distance

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