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Fishing for Beginner - Fly Casting Problem Busting

Updated on March 12, 2011

Despite everything, your casting is not really progressing as you'd like. Let's have a look at some possible solutions. 

  • Are you sure your rod and line are matched? It's no good using a heavy rod with a light line, or vice versa. 
  • Is your back cast working properly? Are you letting it open out nicely behind you so that it's pretty well straight and level before you begin your forward cast? If you're letting that back cast droop and fall toward the ground, then you're in trouble. 
  • Is the line traveling with enough speed? Beginners often appear to be frightened of the whole process and perhaps don't attack the job with enough vim and vigour! Of course you can overdo this, but it's better to err on the positive side than the negative.

  • It could be that your fly is simply too heavy to cast successfully. Very big lures do demand special casting techniques. It's far better to start off with a small nymph tied on a size 14 or 16 hook, perhaps. 
  • Are you trying to push your fly into too strong a wind? If there is much wind, it's easier to have the wind behind you. If it's blowing straight into your face, then even an expert will have problems. It is best to go out the first few times in conditions that are as calm as possible. 
  • Is your leader - the length of nylon line that attaches your fly to the main fly line - too long? In very specialized conditions, it's a good idea to have a long leader, but when you're beginning, don't tie one up that's longer than your rod. If, for example, you're using a 9 foot rod, then an 8 or 9 foot leader is about right.

  • Are you being too ambitious, making too many false casts and trying to get just a few too many yards of line? At first, style and technique are more important than distance. Providing your casting is tight and neat, it doesn't really matter if you are getting out 7 yards of line or 17 yards. It's better to concentrate on good short casting to start with rather than going for wild, long casts that are probably landing noisily and scaring fish away. You will find that your distance builds up gradually the more times you go out. 
  • It could be that your fly line is sticky for some reason. Strip it off the reel and give it a good wash in warm, slightly soapy water. You'll be surprised at how much dirt and grit comes off". Once clean, you will find that your line slides much more easily through the rings.


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