I love getting out on the water, even just to be near a river is enough for me. Saturday past, we spent the day with the guys from Angling NI and Lagan Rivers trust doing a bit of casting and having a good dose of fishing talk. Conditions were by no means ideal with the previous nights storm having risen the river several feet and a stiff breeze persisting the majority of the time. But it’s good to get out and get the casting tuned in for the upcoming season. Now, I am by no means getting on my high horse here and suggesting that I know it all or am not guilty of the following, but, one issue that really stood out for me was the amount of force being put into the cast.
Modern tackle is incredible, when used in the way it’s designed it takes very little effort to make it work. One of the biggest flaws I see consistently is the over use of power. Less really is more, the less effort you put into the cast the better it will go, allow the rod to do the work and you will see a dramatic improvement on your cast. I can’t recall any angler I have gave casting advice to where I havn’t used the term “ cut the power in half” or “use so little power on the next cast that you think it won’t work” and inevitably when they do so, its their best cast yet.
Add a bit of wind into the equation and we often forget ourselves, once it starts blowing we feel like we have to really hammer the rod into it. Thats counter-productive, all that extra power forces the rod tip down, opens up the loop and the wind just blows it wherever it chooses. Use the same amount of power as you would use in calm conditions, but think about the angle, think about keeping the line closer to the water, cut in underneath the wind, make sure your anchor is setting down and not getting blown off the surface. Lots of small variables, but just keep the power application the same.
Once you begin to lower the power input you will really start to feel the rod come alive, you will then really start casting and not just hurling a line back and forward. I have been through it all myself, the first time I felt a ‘proper’ cast go out was standing knee deep in Lough Cullin with Mr Gillepsie, even today I feel old habits creep in and on my recent trip to Denmark during a bit of casting practice Henrik advised to stop trying so hard, let the rod do the work. Once you lay off the power you can really feel the rod loading and unloading, the action within the blank, at that point you unlock the true potential of your tackle.
So when your tackle is all properly balanced go out and try a few casts. Remember to do the lift, nice and slowly, make your anchor or backcast and let the rod do the work, all you have to do is stop it! Do a few casts, cut the power in half, do a few more, cut the power in half. Use so little power on your forward cast that you think it will not turnover, just remember to get a good hard stop at the end of the stroke and you will be amazed at how little effort it really takes. If the casting is going bad and you are getting frustrated, try dialling it all back a bit, don’t try so hard.
Less is more!