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Fly Casting REVup Challenge: #2


Fly Casting Basics: Straight Back, Straight Forward

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Let’s focus on the DIRECTION of our casting stroke. For this weeks REVup Challenge, try to work on casting straight back, and straight forward, rather than around a curve.

Head guide of Fish Bones Fly Fishing in the Cayman Islands analyzes the difference between the standard “loopy” overhead, 10-to-2 casting stroke and a slightly “side arm” stroke.

The classic overhead casting stroke tends to throw the flyline down on the backcast and forward cast, forming a large, inefficient loop.

By contrast, a slightly side arm immediately directs the fly line straight back, and then straight forward, parallel to the water surface. This produces a stealthier cast (for spooky bonefish) by turning the fly over parallel to the water, rather than kicking down at the end of the fly cast and splashing down. A straight line will also get more distance in the wind, because a tighter loop is more aerodynamic.

This is because focusing on “side arm” encourages the caster to keep his elbow down, rather than raising it on every backcast. Keeping the elbow low is a critical element to good flycasting, as it helps us track the rod-tip (and fly line) along a straight path.

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