Make Better Backhand Casts: Video

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The average fly fisher struggles with making a backhand presentation.

A good backhand presentation is the mark of an effective angler. Being able to deliver a fly on the backcast makes you more efficient on the water and, simply put, catches fish. If you can make a good forward cast, you already have the skills you need to make a good backhand cast. It’s just a matter of getting your head around it.

The trick is getting your body into a natural casting position, and remember to make a good positive stop. Once you get the feel for it, there’s nothing to it. It will make you a much more effective angler. Especially when streamer fishing.

Watch this video to improve your backcast presentation.


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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7 thoughts on “Make Better Backhand Casts: Video

  1. Ok, somebody set me straight please. Maybe this is just my crystal meth habit spinning badly out of control lately, but I’m starting to feel like you’re just messing with me now cuz this is the third post in recent times about backcast presentations, but if you mentioned casting off-shoulder once, I’ve missed it. Why would you not just face the water you’re fishing and carry the cast over your off-shoulder?

  2. I have a different quibble. What you’ve illustrated is a sort of half-#ssed back cast. When the wind is on your casting shoulder on the flats, you can either get your elbow over your noggin and let the line blow downwind, or your turn 180 degrees and stop your back cast wherever the fish should be.

    My problem has its roots in Heisenberg (not the “Breaking Bad” fellow): if I look at where I’m trying to land it, the fly doesn’t get there. If I face forward, get the right length of line in the air and just stop the back cast up high, I get a nice presentation . . . which may or may not be within six feet of something with fins.

    Looking forward to the next iteration.

  3. IMO…this article is a suggestion of how you might achieve a better backhand cast, however more importantly it brings up the point of how important it is to be able to actually throw a backhand cast. I’ve met anglers who have been fly fishing for 10-15yrs and are unable to deliver a decent 20′ backhand cast. Again this is my opinion but having a backhand cast in your quiver of casting skills is a must ESPECIALLY when fishing in the salt. Some will learn this when on the bow of a panga with a 20mph wind coming over your shoulder and a school of permit are heading right at 2 o’clock 30 feet out…

  4. Turning your back to where you want to make your presentation on a BACKhand cast is crucial for better results in not only your presentation but in the mechanics of your cast, and also distance. If you don’t turn your back then all the years of muscle memory and mechanics of your cast go out of wack because your changing everything in your casting motion, also causing less energy in your cast, which equals less distance. I feel that this video is a perfect example of a true backhand cast that’s not only accurate, but will present the Fly much better than trying to cross your body. As a full time salt water guide and casting instructor for the last 8 years I’ve learned through thousands of experiences on and off the water that turning your back is key to success when back hand casting. You are constantly looking over your shoulder as well when turning your back to keep an eye on the fish or area you want to put the fly. To each his own for personal casting techniques but any professional instructor or guide will always instruct to turn your back to where you are casting for the best shot. Some people may get away with crossing there body but it’s not a productive technique. Turning your back takes very little time and makes for a better backhand cast. Will start to come natural in many situations when fishing especially for long shots or short fast shots.

    • OK- help me out here because I’ve noticed on my backhand casts (I’m a rightie) that when I present the fly on the backcast, especially at a lower angle my fly line and leader tend to have a distinct, right-hand hook.

      Meaning that instead of turning over straight, the cast turns over but makes a hard right turn.

      Thoughts on how to fix that?

  5. Right On! A back cast is a BACK cast. I like that you said to “stop high and hard”. Most folks struggle with a back cast while every one of their false casts have a back loop that is straightening out completely behind them. Just let it go and don’t complicate (screw up) the cast by trying to “help” it. Pretend you are just making a forward cast and your back cast is already there..

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