From Toes to Fingers

How much wrist should I use?

That above is a pretty common question in fly casting instruction. In my view it depends on your preferences. We tend to consider the wrist as the only joint providing the required rod butt rotation, but all joints act as a hinge so we actually rotate the rod with shoulder, elbow and wrist in varying degrees.

A good distance cast starts in the toes and finishes in the fingers.

Alejandro Viñuales

Our torso can translate back and forth, and even rotate around a vertical or horizontal axis. I think that the contribution of our trunk doesn’t get the credit it deserves as it can play an important role in fly casting. In fact, you can cast beautiful loops without using your arm joints at all.

This is a 12 m cast by means of just torso rotation. I am holding the rod with its butt firmly pressed against my belly and not using my shoulder/elbow/wrist at all. As you can see torso’s contribution is not negligible.

Line Tension


Fly casting instruction puts a lot of focus on tailing loops, its problems and cure, but almost none on “line dangle” or “dangling end”. I am not sure about the reason for this, as the dangle may be a source of problems on its own (losing heavy nymphs in the grass behind me comes immediately to mind). Maybe it is an issue that hasn’t been addressed specifically because it is considered as a tailing loop? Continue reading

Wavy Shapes and… Wavy Shapes

As a rule of thumb, any curvy shape in the fly leg of the loop is the telltale of some kind of casting problem. The most popular (or should I say unpopular?) of them being the tailing loop. But not all of those shapes are tailing loops. Another usual curvy shape is the dangling end; it is pretty recurrent in long casts —although, depending on the conditions, it can appear in short ones as well. Clarifying the difference between the two is not a trivial issue, as each one has a different origin and —more important— a different cure.

Continue reading