Flycasting Tips

Grumpy McMurdo Fishing Tips

To increase success rates, being able to consistently cast a short to medium length line, where you are able to consistently lay out a long leader in a straight line, will increase catch rates in NZ, bringing more fish to your net.

The basic cast

I find to achieve this you must be casting with the rod in a vertical plane as this allows you to lay the line out completely straight.

Stop the rod at about 12 o’clock on the back cast, certainly don’t let it go beyond 1 o’clock. I think the shorter the cast the short the distance back the rod should go


Watch your rod tip next time you’re out and see what’s going on, also watch your line, pick it up off the water and send it back and up into the sky behind you – keeping it moving in a straight line out behind you, pause, then before it has time to start dropping towards the ground start your forward cast.

Simply if the rod tip continues much back past 12 o’clock it’s going to start to pull the line downwards and will create a wave action in the line loosing power to your cast


Note the casting action involves the whole arm, using all the joints available to you.


Watch your line and leader as the loop unravels. If the rod is held completely vertical while casting the loop will also unravel in the same vertical plane, allowing the line and leader to roll out in a straight line. If the rod is held out to the side the loop unravels on a similar plane as to what the rod is held, often allowing the line to curve away in the same direction as it lands.

So to cast in a straight line we will be more accurate if the rod is held vertically. If you have ever bowled a cricket ball you’ll understand this!

We can now use this knowledge. If we want the line to curve a little right, angle the rod tip to the right, or to the left to make it curve left.

A good way to practice accuracy is to imagine you’re throwing a dart. Put your right foot forward if you are right handed, left if left handed. This blocks and steadies the upper body for making short accurate casts. Keep you rod vertical and sight along the rod as though throwing a dart.

NB You may find when you try this that the rod ends up catching the line when the rod is vertical. I believe you can fix that if you make sure you stop at 12 o’clock on the back cast as outline above.

Good casting is something that needs to be learnt and refined. It takes practice. And it’s best to practice away from fish where the focus is totally on what your rod is doing. All fishermen owe it to themselves to be as good a caster as they can be and to master the basic art of casting.