Bruce Ajari: Casting technique outweighs length of fly rod
A few weeks ago I discussed ways to get a little extra distance on your fly casting. One of the suggestions was casting a slightly longer rod.
I have been casting a longer fly rod on my trips out to Pyramid Lake this winter and have been using a 9-foot-9-inch, No. 8 weight rod.
While this rod has been giving me the extra distance, about two months ago I began to develop some serious pain in my arm.
I could not figure out how I could have injured myself and I could not seem to get rid of the pain. Being somewhat analytical, I tried to figure out just what I have been doing differently in my life. For the life of me I could not think of anything.
Then while cleaning my fly rod from my previous trip to Pyramid, it dawned on me. The pain began about the time that I started to use the longer fly rod.
A longer rod would certainly place more stress on the wrist and forearms, which could in turn lead to soreness in the bicep. This past week I thought I would give my theory a test and use a standard 9-foot fly rod for my fishing.
From the very first cast, I could feel a marked difference in the way my casting felt, and subsequently my arm. I fished the entire day pain-free and appear to have no ill effects thus far.
So, a word of caution to those of you who may be considering buying a longer conventional casting fly rod. It could be hazardous to your health!
If you are going to look for extra distance and want a longer fly rod, get into two-handed spey casting rather than trying to cast a longer conventional fly rod. Spey casting does not put the stress on your casting arm because it is a two-handed technique.
The truth is that a good fly caster should be able to get plenty of distance with a 9-foot fly rod. As I have pointed out in the previous articles on fly casting, good technique is the key to successful fly casting.
An experienced fly fisherman should be able to cast farther with a 7-foot rod than a beginner would with one nine feet. This is simply because the experienced fly fisher has better casting technique.
Remember, fly casting is a matter of loading the fly rod in both directions and applying the power smoothly. Timing is much more important than brute strength. I always stress letting the fly rod do the work when I am teaching someone to cast.
Like anything else, the more practice you can get casting under the watchful eye of a more experienced person, the better you will become. There is no substitute for doing lots of casting.
Bruce Ajari is a Truckee resident and regular fishing columnist for the Sierra Sun and other area newspapers.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.