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Fishing - The Flawless Cast

Updated on February 19, 2009

One of the biggest misconceptions in angling is that there is some great secret to making an absolutely flawless cast… perhaps it’s needing to use a certain type of reel, or a certain size of bait, or even to flick your wrist in a specific way as you complete your cast. While these factors may help you in refining your cast, they’re not going to make it perfect; in all reality, you’ve most likely made numerous perfect casts before and possibly didn’t even realize it. A flawless cast isn’t one that has some sort of near-mystical edge to it that draws fish to it like moths to a flame, but instead is simply a cast that has the control behind it so that you can place your lure in the water at the exact point where you’re aiming.

That said, there are things that you can do to help refine your casting ability so that you end up with many more flawless casts. The key to improving your casting lies in practicing, so you’re going to need to spend some time on the water simply making casts without a concern for whether you catch any fish as a result. You’ll be working on your accuracy and the smoothness of the cast, and all of the work that you put into it will end up giving you exactly what it is that you’re searching for… a cast that will land exactly where and how you want it to, pretty much every time you release.

Focusing on Your Cast

Next time you’re just about to cast, stop for a moment and think about what it is that you’re actually doing. Consider the way that your arm moves during your cast, how you release your line, and the way that your lure flies through the air on its way to meet the water. Make several casts in this manner, keeping a tight focus on exactly how you’re casting. In order to make significant improvements to your casting and make your average cast nearly perfect, it’s important that you first have an understanding of exactly what it is that goes into making one of your casts in the first place.

As you begin to get a better focus on your casting, you might start to pick up on some of the little things that you do without even realizing it. Perhaps you have a certain part of your cast where you twitch or jerk the line slightly, causing it to land somewhere other than your intended target. Maybe you wait a bit longer than you think you should to release the line and hadn’t really noticed it until you took the time to focus on your cast. Once you’ve started learning to focus on the little things, you’ll be able to begin correcting them and customizing your cast in such a way as to give you more control and a smoother cast overall.

Sharpening Your Aim

After you’ve gotten the hang of focusing on your cast specifically, it’s time to begin working on your aim. This is simply another chance for you to apply focus to your cast; the only difference is that now you’re going to shift your focus from the rod and reel to your bait as it moves toward its mark. Once you’ve made your release, watch and see exactly how your lure flies through the air and where it lands in relation to where you were aiming. Being able to shift your focus like that will give you an idea of exactly how your casting is affecting your aim, and will move you one step closer to being able to make a perfect cast pretty much every time.

Of course, it might seem as though having pin-point accuracy isn’t completely necessary… after all, most of the time you can adjust your bait position slightly after it’s in the water. If you’ve got to spend time and energy adjusting it, though, then that’s time and energy that could have otherwise been spent working the bait and enticing a fish to strike. The more corrections that you have to make, the more likely you are to have your bait move in a manner that spooks the fish instead of drawing them in. If you can get to the spot that you want without the need for in-water correction, then you’ve all but eliminated that chance and will be that much closer to reeling in the fish that you’re aiming for.

casting when sea fishing

Practice Makes Perfect

Making the necessary corrections to your technique isn’t going to happen overnight… it’ll take quite a bit of practice to get to the point where you can cast with complete accuracy every time. It is a reachable goal, however, and the time that you spend in practice will have the end result of making you a significantly better fisherman down the road.

When you’re practicing, choose a specific point that you want your lure to hit as you cast. Focus on the mechanics of your casting motions, then shift your focus to your lure as you release… follow it along its path through the air, and take notice of exactly where it lands. If it’s not on target, then you’re obviously going to have to make some corrections; try and figure out exactly what it was about your cast that caused it to land where it did as opposed to where you wanted it to. Reel in your line, focus on your casting, and repeat the process while making slight modifications to your cast motions. Stay relaxed, as nothing will throw of your casting more than letting yourself become stressed or worrying that you’re doing something wrong because you’re not seeing immediate improvement to your aim and casting techniques. The more that you practice and work on correcting your aim, the sooner you’re going to start seeing those changes that you want to see.

Casting with Joan Wulff

Noticeable Results

As you continue to practice, you’re definitely going to start noticing results… before you know it, you’ll be hitting close to where you’re aiming. After that, you’ll start to find that your aim is pretty much spot on. When you’re able to hit the spot that you’re aiming for 10 times in a row on open water, you should begin trying to challenge yourself in order to keep practicing and improving your cast. Increase the distance that you’re aiming for, or try casting on a windy day so that you can practice your accuracy against the wind. You might want to get a few floating targets or rings that you can aim for (allowing them to be rocked about on the surface of the lake or other body of water.) The goal is to continue to give yourself obstacles to overcome, because the better you are at casting under adverse conditions then the more likely you’ll be to excel when the conditions are favorable. As an added bonus, you’ll know that you have the ability needed to handle the wind and the tides without any problems if you need to.

Dusty Wissmath's Fly Fishing School - Casting Tip

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