The Casting Corner: Practice Set Up

By Rene Hesse

If you wanted to get better at casting, you would do everything you could to make it easier on yourself. For example, the equipment you practice with, the place you practice, and even the type of practice you decide to use will make an impact on your learning curve. So let’s look at the things that can make fly casting practice fun and easy.

Starting with the rod and line, I would suggest nothing lighter than a 5 weight and nothing heavier than a 7 weight rod. The thought on that is the line is easier to see and thus easier to evaluate. The repeated casts will tend to make your arm tired, so don’t go over an 8 weight if you can. The next thing to consider is the line, and that has several points of interest. If you can, get a bright colored line, for example, orange or yellow. Again, that is so you can see it. Also consider getting a line that has a longer head so you can carry more line. A good example of this is the Scientific Angler Mastery-Expert Distance line. Then, for the leader, use a 7 ½ ft. 0X with a bit of yarn tied on the end.

Next, give yourself the best environment to cast. Seek a good background to see the line against it as it travels through the air. If there is wind, set up your casting tape measure to have the wind coming into your line hand (The hand that is not holding the rod.) Set up targets at 20, 30, 40, and up to 75 feet along the tape measure.

Have a goal in mind when you go to practice. Always start with making good loops with 30 feet of line out of the rod tip. That will give you the feel of the rod that the manufacturer intended. Until you have good loops with 30 feet of line, don’t add more line. When you practice, make sure to do 2-3 false casts each sequence. If you just do a pick-up and lay down, there is no real feel of timing and tension on the line. Do not let the line hit the ground in the back. If you can have someone watch you, even better. Kids are always happy to point out our errors.

If you are going to practice on your own with targets, only cast for 30 minutes. If you want to just go out in the courtyard, plan on only about 15 minutes. If you leave a rod rigged and ready to cast, it is so much easier to get started. Take the first step to decide you want to get better, and you will.

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