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Fly Casting REV Challenge: #6


“Avoid Shoulder Injury: Keep Your Elbow Close.”


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Good movement equals good results.

That’s our basic premise for this series.

This week we focus on “Casting Longevity”: using good movement (proper form) to reduce the risk of shoulder injury from fly casting. Yes! It’s a real thing. “Casting Elbow” and rotator cuff injuries are fairly common among those who cast a fly rod for hours.

The good news is you can help avoid injury through the practice of good movement. You could say that “good movement equals safe movement.”

We’ve talked about keeping the elbow low—not raising it too high during the cast. Let’s build on that concept and also keep the elbow INSIDE of our hand as we make our casting stroke. Keeping your elbow close is basically external rotation, which is proper form for any “pushing” motion, whether it be a pushup, a bench press, or a fly cast!

HOMEWORK:
Work on keeping your elbow close as you cast and your hand OUTSIDE of your elbow. To borrow from Lefty Kreh, KEEP THE ELBOW ON THE SHELF. This makes it easy to go straight back, and straight forward, which is the most efficient way of casting.

Next week we talk about special issues for casting from a skiff. Stay tuned!

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5 Comments
  • Andy
    Reply

    I’m enjoying the series! I also enjoyed your video video a few years ago on “Taming the wind” – what are your thoughts these days on that variation of the Belgian/constant-tension cast? I spent many many hours practicing the cast and it seems to work pretty well once you managed to get the exaggerated haul right.

    • Reply

      Andy,

      Thanks for the kind words! Weird how that little video on Taming the Wind got so much attention.

      As for that casting style, I still cast almost exclusively this way. The main advantage is that you keep your fly higher up on the back-cast and more likely to be above your rod tip on the forward cast. This massively prevents tailing loops and wind knots! Also, I feel it does keep you more in touch with the flyline, which is a good thing.

      The only disadvantage I’ve been able to see is that it doesn’t promote a complete STOP of the rod. I mean, it can and should be performed with a complete stop, but sometimes anglers fail to stop the rod. But if you practice that stop, I feel it is a really effective way to cast and an especially effective way to learn to cast. For those anglers who have never picked up a flyrod before, I teach them this method and they seem to “get it” much quicker than the typical 10-2 casting method.

      Hope this helps,
      Davin

  • Reply

    Great suggestion! Tight Lines!

  • Bill Shehan
    Reply

    Great videos! I’ve been practicing half an half an hour a day really improving. Prefect practice make prefect. Please email your address. Just bought a Winston 9.6 8 weight B!!x, I’ve got no excuses now.

    • Reply

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for the comment! Appreciate it. Glad to hear you’re practicing. Wish I heard that more. We should all practice daily!

      What address would you like? Shipping? Email? I sent you an email as well.

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