Keep It Clean, With A Clearing Cast

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Don’t Let This Happen To You photo by Louis Cahill

I’ve heard salt water fly fishing described as long periods of boredom punctuated by brief periods of panic.

I don’t know that I find staring at miles of gorgeous flats boring but I’ve felt that panic a time or two. It’s a stalking game and when the fish show up, shit happens fast. You often only get one shot and the last thing you need is a line maintenance issue. That’s why you need to make a clearing cast.

Start by striping as much line as you can cast off of your reel on to the deck. Because the line you are pulling off of the reel stacks on top of the line coming form the guides, when you try to cast you will be shooting line from the bottom of the pile and it will tangle every time. Like in the photo above. Not what you want when your casting to a fish and certainly not once you’ve fed one. So before you start hunting fish, cast all of that line and strip it back in. Now your stalking your line back to front. Lay it out in nice loose loops, neatly across the deck and into the cockpit, like the photo below. When you get your shot your line will shoot clean and smooth.


Bruce Chard Keeping It Clean photo by Louis Cahill

Check out Bruce’s site.
Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline

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One thought on “Keep It Clean, With A Clearing Cast

  1. Just one small addition: when you make you’re clearing cast and retrieve, do not throw it near the mangroves, into deeper creeks and channels, and definitely not into drop offs near the mangroves. You’ll start a quick strip retrieve and feel a soft “tink” and your fly will be gone. Small cudas love to take up ambush positions in those places and they love a quickly retrieved fly. It’s better to make the cast out into the wide open part of the flat, away from the mangroves.

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