Saltwater Short Shot: Video

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By Louis Cahill

A 100 foot cast will catch you some fish, but a 30 foot cast will catch a whole lot more.

There are days on the flats when you never cast to a fish that’s more than 30 feet from the boat. When you don’t have sun, bonefish and other saltwater species can sneak up your skirt in a hurry. Even on clear days a good short shot will serve you well.

It sounds simple but it’s one of the hardest things to do well. If you think casting a fly rod 100 feet is hard, try casting one 10 feet. Especially a fast action saltwater rod. Making a short cast and landing the fly accurately with a straight leader requires a specific set of skills.

There are four key skills that make the short shot work.

A good ready position

When fish are close to the boat, there’s no time to think. You have to be ready to present your fly immediately. That’s impossible without a good ready position. You need a good leash, nine feet of fly line plus your leader, outside the rod tip. This will allow you to load the rod with no false casting. You also must hold the fly in a way that you can release it cleanly and quickly with out it catching in your clothes, your line or on the boat. (MORE HERE)

A short stroke

You can’t make an effective short cast by lobbing the fly out in front of you. The only way you can land the fly accurately with a tight line is to load the rod. You can’t load the full rod with only 9 feet of fly line so you have to make a short, powerful stroke that loads only the tip. (MORE HERE)

A good target picture

There’s no time for strategy when fish are at your feet. You have to know where the fly goes without thinking. Put it right in front of the fish. You may spook him but it’s key that he sees the fly before he sees you. A side arm casting stroke will help land the fly softly. (MORE HERE)

A tight line presentation

This is never more important than in a short shot. Your landing the fly right in front of the fish and it needs to be moving as soon as it touches the water. If it doesn’t land with a tight leader your screwed. If the fish eats, things are going to happen fast. If there is slack in the line you’ll likely miss the hook set. (MORE HERE)

Keep these 4 things in mind when you watch this video. It will make a serious difference on your next saltwater trip.


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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One thought on “Saltwater Short Shot: Video

  1. Pingback: 8 Tips For Catching Bonefish in The Worst Conditions | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

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