Relaxed Fly Casting

by John Schilling May 06, 2016

Relaxed Casting

by Jon B. Cave
illustrations by Joe Mahler


CASTING A SMOOTH AND ripple-free loop is an integral part of performance fly casting. However, even an experi­enced caster can instinctively tighten up under pressure to increase distance, speed up the delivery, or make a particu­larly difficult presentation. The result of this tension, more often than not, is an inefficient cast.

Ideally, proficient casting should look effortless, with neat loops and a smooth line at all distances; however, some fly fishers appear to strain whenever they make a cast. Relaxed casting not only is more efficient, but also involves considerably less work than a more tense style. Fly fishers who seem to work the hardest probably do—and they get tired in the process. Outside of good casting mechanics, a relaxed stroke may be the most crucial factor in developing an efficient stroke. Relaxing doesn’t imply that effort is not exerted, only that the cast appears effortless. Even some otherwise fundamentally sound casters could improve their strokes by learning to relax at the right times.  READ MORE

John Schilling
John Schilling



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