fly fishing tip

Over the years, I’ve taught a lot of people how to cast a single handed fly rod.  By far, the biggest issue I see is breaking your wrist.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times when you will move your wrist, and I’ll talk about that in a bit.

But, for right now, if you are struggling with your cast or would like to get more distance, you should try and keep your wrist from breaking.  Keeping your wrist stiff will help give you a tighter loop.

Tip:  If you can’t stop your wrist from breaking – next time you hold your rod, tuck the but of the rod into the long sleeve of your shirt.  This will force you to not break your wrist.

Unlike baseball or tennis where breaking your wrist is ok, in fly fishing its a no no.  I recently heard the analogy of holding a hammer, then pounding a nail into a wall.  Stop right now, and grab your air hammer.  Now pound on your wall.

How does that feel?  That’s the motion you need when fly casting.  Notice how you are not breaking your wrist?

What else is important with fly casting?  There is a lot, but breaking it down into small components will help.

I recently found this video of a guy who was casting without a fly rod to prove a point about correct mechanics.

This video really shows you how important timing is to your cast.  If you are a split second to slow or fast, it can throw your cast off.  Just as breaking your wrist can affect your loop, so can timing.

Tip:  Watch your backcast when you cast.  Turn your feet so you can easily watch your cast load up behind you.  When is straight out behind you, it’s time to pull into your forward cast.

breaking your wrist

Conclusion

If you are new to fly casting or need to work on your cast, start out in your yard.  Tie a small piece of yarn on the end of your leader to replace a fly and work on your timing.  If you are experienced but need to get more distance, practice more often.  If you are a pro, leave a comment below as to your best casting tip.

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I'm Dave Stewart, a passionate fly-tying mentor, course teacher and writer. I want to take risks, meet interesting people, go hard, challenge myself and explore the world.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Dave, I would also mention that you cannot easily drive a nail in with a hammer if you break your wrist. Also, your feet should be turned at a 45 degree angle as you prepare to cast. D.Stew

    • Both good points. The hammer analogy is to force the person to keep from breaking their wrist. The 45 degree angle tip is great as well. It’s important for all of us to see what’s going on behind us as the cast takes place. Thanks.

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