Practice Your Fly Casting With A Plan

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I believe that most fly anglers don’t practice their casting because they don’t really know how.

Most anglers count on fishing time to improve their casting. Fishing and practicing are two very different things and if you are working on your cast while fishing, you’re not doing either one very well. Practicing, without a plan, isn’t that productive either. Simply going out on the lawn and hucking as much line as possible isn’t an effective way to practice. In fact, it can reinforce bad habits.

Of course, if you’re really struggling, the best thing to do is work with a casting instructor. That’s a commitment, so we thought we’d lower the bar and bring the casting instructor to you. I spent an afternoon with champion caster, Tim Rajeff on his casting pond and he shared a simple practice plan that will build skills and reinforce good habits.

Watch this video and learn to practice your fly casting like a pro.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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13 thoughts on “Practice Your Fly Casting With A Plan

    • Agreed Marc, great post. It’s the simplicity of it all that I particularly like. When Rajeff talks about casting those of us that love the mechanics and artistry of it all, we listen.

  1. Thats a great video. Last couple years, I have focused more on practicing casts that catch fish, practicing different scenarios like pitching to either seam on rocks, aerial mending placing the mend at different places in the line, steeple casting, pile casting, throwing at different arm angles etc. Back in the day I was more focused on distance and shooting, which is a good skill, but like you said, how often are you throwing 75 feet?

    I’ve found I’m more effortlessly fishing better after practicing focusing on presentation vs distance and power casting. I still work power casts, but it’s maybe 10% of my time practicing now.

    Something I’ve found that helps fix timing issues: Take the reel off the rod and set it at your feet. You feel way more of the load/unload cycle without the reel. do that, commit the timing of the rod to muscle memory, then put the reel back on. This is actually one of the first things I do with new casters, as it’s easier to just feel what happens vs me trying to explain what they are doing wrong.

    Thanks for that vid, I’m definitely going to pass it along.

  2. Not only is Tim Rajeff a great caster he has a nice easy manner of presenting his stuff. He’s a natural teacher.

    What I really like about this plan is the simplicity of it. Roll Casts, Pick Up and Lay Down (PULD) and a bit of false casting and you’re covering the major bases. Then go for distance and a bit of “let’s go at some targets and pretend they’re rising fish type thing”. The easier the plan, the more you’re likely to practise. It’s also a smart way of getting more out of your overall investment of both time and money in flyfishing.

  3. Wonderful post about the value of practice. How do you get the hoolahoops to be stationary? How do you get you get the target hoola hoops in when You are finished?

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  6. Wonder what rod blank Tim is using in this video. Is it a custom rod? His casting tips are great and very helpful.

  7. Simple and easy. Very good advice here. Thanks! I would like to place some permanent floating hula hoops on the water for fly casting practise. Maaaany years ago we had such in a pond in our city, but now these rings are not to be found. Do you – or anyone else – know where to get such?
    Best fishes

  8. It is nice to see when someone who REALLY knows his fly casting makes it very easy and down to earth(/water ;-). Practicing is so important and something I want to do with no hook in the end of the line. I really like the floating hoola hops. Do you have any advice where to get some target rings that could be permanently on the pond? We used to have such in my area maaaany years ago, but now we can not find them.
    Best fishes

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