Expandmenu Shrunk

Drills Casting



GOALS: Throw water off the brush so that it flies parallel to the ground for at least 6 to 8 feet.  No water should land on the forearm!

CASTING PRINCIPLES: Constant and smooth acceleration, to a sudden stop.

SET UP : 1 paint brush, 1 bowl with water, 1 – 2 1/2 foot noodle.

STEP 1: Find a grip you like. (Thumb pushing, forefinger pushing, the V between  forefinger and thumb pushing)

STEP 2: Dip the brush in the water bowl.

STEP 3: With a straight wrist, bring your hand up to about eye level and off to the side. (If a stick was sticking out of you ear, it should be pointing right at your hand.)

STEP 4: Check to see that the paint brush is sticking almost straight up. (12:30 on a clock)   

STEP 5: Now slightly cock your wrist back so the paint brush is pointing to 1 o’clock or a little more.

STEP 6: Without bending your wrist, bring your hand and forearm forward as you smoothly accelerate. 

STEP 7: Just as you get to the end of your stroke, rotate your wrist sharply forward.

STEP 8: STOP – HARD, at about 10 o’clock.

Trouble Shooting :

                 1) Water lands on your forearm behind your hand. You started to fast. Start more slowly.

                 2) Water goes off the brush parallel to the ground, but doesn’t go very far. Develop more speed and/or stop more sharply.

                 3) Water goes off the brush but at an angle towards the ground.  Stop at 10 o’clock!

BACKSTROKE! More unnatural, so really work at this one!

Step 1 – Put water on the brush.

Step 2 –Lift your hand to head high.

Step 3 – Cock your wrist forward just a bit.

Step 4 – Bring your hand and forearm forward into the same position where you stopped on the forward cast.

Step 5 – Smoothly accelerate backward without moving your wrist.

Step 6 – As your hand approaches your ear, sharply rotate your wrist.

Step 7 –  STOP -HARD at 1 o’clock!

Trouble shooting – Same principles as above.

NOODLE DRILL Repeat above with a noodle!


DRILL #2      


GOALS: Narrow loops front and back, basis for double-haul drill and false casting

Casting Principles: Straight line rod tip path (appropriate arc for amount of line), constant acceleration. A simple way to think of arc is to imagine your rod is the hour hand of a clock. Straight up is 12 o’clock, parallel to the ground and in front of you is 9am, parallel to the ground and behind you is 3pm. The amount of the clock face you use during a casting stroke is the “arc”.

SET UP: 70 ft. tape or rope on the ground with wind at right angles to tape. Mark the middle with a cone. Place a cone at both ends. Stand in the middle of the tape with your back to the wind facing the tape.

Step 1 : Stand away from tape a little less than 1 rod length. Rod tip should be past rope 1 ft. or so. Line should be parallel to tape with yarn in front of you 35’.

Step 2Point the rod at 10:30am and flex your wrist a little. Rod tip should now be on the tape.

Step 3 : With wrist only slightly cocked, start dragging line towards backhand side with constant acceleration. Draaaag …

Step 4 : As rod approaches 1pm. rotate wrist sharply (almost “pop” the wrist) and stop. The line should have created a narrow loop and line and leader should be parallel to tape. Try and hit the cone at the end of the rope with your yarn.

   Troubleshooting: 1)Open loop (a) Accelerated too fast to begin with. (b) Rod went too far before the stop or started too far back. (Remember to reduce your wrist flex and resulting arc!!)  (c) Your stop was not abrupt enough.  2) Line did not fully extend.  Not enough power applied. 3) Created tailing loop. (a)Not constantly accelerating  (b) Too short of an arc or stroke (c) both (a) and (b).

Step 5 : Repeat one through 4, but as a forward cast.

Note: It is best to simply let the line sit still between the back and forward strokes, especially at first.  If the line doesn’t straighten, have your partner straighten it,, or you back away from it until it is straight. You need a straight line with no slack !! Troubleshooting Step 5 – Same as in Step 4.

Step 6Strip out 10 more feet of line and repeat. Walk towards line about 6” and repeat steps 1 – 5 above.  Rod tip should now be farther down the line. You have increased stroke length and arc as you increase line! Principle: Long line = longer stroke length and longer arc. Shorter line = shorter stroke length and shorter arc.

Need a Challenge?

Step 7 : Increase line to 45ft. Increase arc and stroke. You will need to move a little closer to the tape.

Step 8 : Begin reducing the length of time the line sits on the ground between strokes until it is simply false casting.

Step 9 : Gradually move the cast to vertical. You will also need to gradually move your body from facing the tape to facing parallel to the tape. This is drill #3 in this clinic.

Step 10 : Repeat Steps 3 through 11 using line hand to control line


Pick up and Lay Down Drill

Goals: a narrow loop front and back, line lands parallel to the rope.

Casting Principles:

1)Constant Acceleration to a sudden stop. 2)No Slack 3) Pause 4) Straight line rod tip path

Step 1Rod tip down

Step 2 – Yarn at 35 feet

Step 3 Line straight (no slack)

Step 4–  Lift while consistently accelerating.(Line in rod hand.)

    At 9AM       10mph

    At 10AM     20mph

    At 11AM     40mph

    At 12noon  80mph  STOP

NOTE: Most of the motion in this back cast should occur in the forearm movement. While  

     doing this step, check the wrist. There should be minimal movement until just before the  

      stop at which time it is best to rotate the wrist back a few degrees. Another important key 

      to watch is the thumb. When the stop is made, the thumb should be pointing straight up. 

      Two ways to think of this step: a)The rate of acceleration is a lot like flicking water off a

      paint brush b) Play like there is a big jolly giant looking over your shoulder and you are

      going to jab him in the eye with your thumb.

Step 5 After the stop, wait until the line is completely straight behind you.

Step 6Start forward while consistently accelerating. Again, think of throwing water off a paint brush – straight into the wall in front of you! Pound a nail!

Step 7Towards the very end of your forward stroke, rotate your wrist and stop at 10am. Your thumb and rod should now be aiming at 10am.

Step 8 – After the stop, lower your rod as the line falls. Ideally, your rod tip, line, and leader should all land on the grass at the same time.

Need a Challenge?

Step 9Pick up more line!  Or, pick up line off the other shoulder. Always make as small a loop as possible.


1) Wide Back Loop1) Began with too abrupt acceleration and/or dropped rod too far 

            back. Check your wrist and thumb positions. Watch your backcast!

2) Wide Front LoopTop Leg Parallel to the Ground, Bottom Leg Dipped. Dropped your rod 

            too much before the stop.

3) Wide Front LoopBottom Leg Parallel to the Ground, Top Leg Open 

            Started forward cast too far down and/or started too fast.

4)Wide Front LoopBottom Leg Wide, Top Leg Wide Also Problem is a combination of both

            Started forward cast too far down and/or started too fast.

            of the above faults.

    NOTE : Most wide loops are caused by too much wrist action causing a rainbow-shaped 

                 rod tip path. Keep that thumb scraping the ceiling, or use the forefinger on top of

                  rod butt.

5) Rod Doesn’t Bend Enough on Forward Cast –  (Line doesn’t shoot all the way out.)

a)        Line did not straighten out behind – remember that in order to bend the rod, there cannot be slack in the line or,

b)       not enough power on forward cast.

6) Line appears to have enough speed on forward cast, but line dumps before it straightens.

a)   Too much power causes line to “rebound”.

    b)   Rod tip stayed high as line dropped.

7) Tailing Loop –  Spike in power – smooth it out!



Goals : Narrow loops kept in the air without touching the ground.

Principles : No slack, good timing. proper acceleration, straight line rod tip path.

Uses in Fishing : Feeding line, drying a fly, changing directions, measuring distance

Step 1 Start with Grass Drill.  Start with 35’ of line. Stop and wait! Wait until line      


Step 2 –  Come forward with the water-on-a-paint-brush acceleration. Stop at about 10am. Wait until line straightens.

Step 3 –  Now backcast as in Step 1.

Step 4 –  Repeat back and forth and gradually reduce the amount of rest you allow.  Then gradually bring the rod up to vertical. If you have problems, start over with the line on the grass.

Need a Challenge?

Step 5 – See how much line you can hold in the air with tight loops!

Troubleshooting[Once up in the air.]

Line doesn’t straighten : a) you didn’t wait for it to straighten on the previous stroke forward or backward.  b) You didn’t accelerate to a stop.  c) Your rod path looks like a windshield wiper (too much arc) d) You didn’t apply enough force.

Line hits the ground a) you haven’t accelerated with enough power.  b) Your rod tip is dipping below 1pm in the back or below 10am in the front.  (too much arc)  c) You waited too long to begin the next stroke.

Line hits itself (tailing loop)  a)You had a spike in acceleration somewhere in your stroke – smooth it out!  b) You stopped the rod too soon. (not enough arc)  c) You stopped the rod okay, but you ‘crept’ forward before beginning the next stroke. d) You didn’t wait to start the next stroke. (You started before the line straightened out.)



GOALS: Pick up 25ft of line and feed to 45ft. of line. 

                (Use Pick Up and Lay Down Drill to start.)

Principles: No slack, straight line rod tip path, constant acceleration, pause or timing, arc and stroke match line length.

STEP 1 : Place yarn at 25ft. Rod tip down. Line straight. 20 ft. of line stripped off the reel and coiled on the ground.

STEP 2 : Execute pick up and false cast a few times, keeping your line hand on the line.

STEP 3: After a forward cast and stop, let the line go with your line hand.

STEP 4 : After a few feet of line has moved through your guides, clamp down on the line again. By now the line should be straight in front.

STEP 5: Now it’s time to start your back cast. When first learning, you can take a few more casts before again feeding line on the forward stroke. Continue until all line is off the ground.

    Trouble shooting:

1. Line does not shoot, or dies in a pile on the forward cast. a) the

                               line was released too early b) not enough power on the forward cast.

                                c) back cast did not straighten before forward cast was initiated (too much

                               slack).d) line was released too late.

STEP 6 : Work at feeding more line with fewer false casts.

STEP 7: Work at feeding line on forward and back casts.

Want a Challenge?

Step 8Starting with your fly at 25’, see how much line you can shoot in 3 false casts.

NOTE: Feeding and shooting line efficiently is a prerequisite to “Quick Casting” to moving fish. It also allows the angler to spend more time with the fly in the water. (Not a whole lot of fish in the air!)  It also prevents fatigue and helps to reduce spooking fish.



GOALS: Cast 35ft. off either shoulder.

PRINCIPLES: No slack, straight rod tip path, constant acceleration, arc and stroke match line length.

STEP 1Strip 35ft. of line off rod.

STEP 2: Place an anchor at 18ft.

STEP 3: Place your yarn in or under the anchor.

STEP 4: Point your rod tip at the anchor and move it to 20 degrees or so to the outside. (Tip down)

STEP 5: With a straight wrist, slowly lift your to to 12:00. At this point you should have your line coming off the ground about even with your feet or a little behind you. If it is coming off the ground in front of you, move forward. If you still have lots of slack, move back. This is now your starting point. You have created a “D” Loop.

STEP 6: Check your hand and wrist. Hand should be about even with your eyes. Now cock your wrist back a few degrees so your rod is at about 1:30.

STEP 7: Check your alignment with the target. The most efficient cast will be aimed in a straight line slightly to the side of your fly line.

STEP 8: Execute a forward cast. Remember: 1) Constantly apply acceleration. (paint brush          

               analogy!) 2)Keep your thumb scraping the ceiling. (Straight line rod tip path)

               3) Wait to rotate your wrist until the very end of your stroke. 4. STOP at about 10:30 o’clock.

STEP 9 : Lower your rod and follow the line down.


            1)Big Open Loop :

                       a) Caused by too much arc (usually too much wrist) or

b) too much power too early in the cast. 

SOLUTION: Reduce the arc and concentrate on the paint brush!!

2) Line Dumps in a Pile :

a)Caused by driving your rod tip too far down before the stop.  

SOLUTION: Stop your rod tip higher! 

b) Not enough force applied.

 SOLUTION: Apply more force, but make sure to apply the acceleration constantly  over the length of your cast.

           3) Line hits itself :

                       a) Make sure to drive your rod to the side of your line – never over or across your line. If the wind is from the side, you need to drive your rod to the downwind side of the line.

STEP 10: Repeat from opposite shoulder.

Want a Challenge?

STEP 11 : Cast into the wind, longer casts, crosswind casts, headwind casts, etc.

 Fishing Applications: Take up unwanted slack, cast with obstructions behind you, pick up big fly or sink tip line, quickly aerialize the line, get a hook off a rock.


                                                                       ROLL CAST TO PICK-UP-AND-SHOOT DRILL

GOAL :  Roll Cast Pick-up 25ft. of line and feed or shoot to 50ft.

PRINCIPLES: No slack, timing matches line length, straight line rod tip path, arc and stroke match line length, constant accelerating.

STEP 1 : Strip off 50 ft. of line

STEP 2Pull your yarn back to 25ft.

STEP 3 : Now execute a roll cast, but keep the forward cast OFF the grass and in the air. When the forward cast straightens, begin your back cast. (You may need to aim your roll cast at an upward angle.)

STEP 4: When your back cast has straightened, begin a forward cast and, at the end,  stop … release the line.

STEP 5: Continue False Casting and feeding line until you can reach 50ft.

PROBLEM SOLVING : All  problems should be resolved by referring to the previous drills and their problem solutions.

Need a Challenge?

STEP 6 : Shoot as much and as quickly as possible. Start with more line.

STEP 7 :  Do the same drill, but over the opposite shoulder.

Fishing Applications:  This series of skills is used on a regular basis especially when fishing moving water. It saves lots of time as the amount of time  stripping line back to start a new cast is drastically reduced This cast is especially useful when fishing from a drift boat as there are many times you want to get slack out in a hurry, and then make a cast.



Comments are closed.