Jason Borger | Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Since this is my first FP at SL, I want to start out with something that can perhaps get a discussion going. What follows are instructions for double hauling in 333 words. That’s not much for a skill that gets a lot of ink just about everywhere casting is discussed. The goal is to distill double hauling down to its key instructional bits and pieces, which is frankly a good exercise for any instructor to try (with any skill). It could be shorter, for sure, but I don’t want to end up with just “pull on the line during the cast.”

So, have a read, and then perhaps we can open up a discussion on the Board that fills in the details that are missing. Grab one word, one sentence, one paragraph, or the whole thing, and expand on it (or contract it if you wish). I’m not looking for arguments about the words; I’m looking for ways casters take the words and refine the actions that the words describeFor example, is there a precise “halfway point” in a backcast that anyone can mark on the fly? Not really, and I don’t really care. Those words are meant to succinctly create a mental picture of timing that leads to something important about hauling (that is, hauling later). Now expand on that simplified timing “trick” with other detail, such as refining the timing and the flow of the two arm movements. Get it? Get wordy if you want to, or try to refine things with as few words as possible (which may be a better mental exercise). In my upcoming book, I devote 5757 words to hauling, so I say go for it!

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Double hauling is valuable skill for fly fishers using single-handed rods in all water types. You can learn the basics of the double haul by using pantomining (casting motions sans rod or line).

Begin with both your rod and line hands at your “ready to cast” position. Put your line hand directly under your rod hand—the Beginning Haul Position. Now make a downward tugging motion with your line hand that is about a foot long and stop—the Ending Haul Position. Now, move your line hand back up to the Beginning Haul Position. That completes one haul cycle—a Single Haul.

Now, make another Single Haul motion, but this time as soon as you have reached the Ending Haul Position, immediately move your hand back up to the Beginning Haul Position. That’s the basic timing: A “down/up” (à la the late Mel Krieger), or a “bounce.” Now let’s turn that into something real with a basic, pantomimed Overhead Cast.

Starting at the ready position, begin to slowly pantomime a backcast. Move both hands in concert, following the rod hand with the line hand.  As your rod hand approaches the halfway point of the cast, also begin to haul downward with your line hand. Mirror the acceleration of your rod hand with the haul. You should reach the Ending Haul Position at the essentially same time that the rod butt stops. Immediately move your line hand back up to the Beginning Haul Position (when using real gear, the unrolling loop should take up any slack).

During the forward cast, your hands travel together until the rod hand approaches the halfway point of the cast. Then, your line hand accelerates away, making another haul. By making a Single Haul during the backcast and then following that with a Single Haul during the forward cast, you create a Double Haul. As you practice, learn to vary the length of the haul(s) with the length of the casting stroke (short stroke=short haul(s), long stroke=long haul(s)).