The Salt Water Quick Cast

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Joel Brings the Heat Photo by Louis Cahill

One of the most crucial skills in salt water fly fishing is shooting line.

Everything happens quickly on the flats and the angler who can put his fly on a fish sixty feet from the boat with only two false casts will have a distinct advantage.

It’s important to get the fly to the fish in a hurry but that’s not the whole story. In salt water the most effective presentation is one where the angler shoots line on the delivery. This keeps the fly line from spooking the fish during false casting, which is so important on calm days, and also helps in making a soft presentation. Because the tension from the line hand is released during the delivery the energy of the heavy salt water line dissipates much quicker. No big splash right in front of the fish when the fly lands.

To master the quick cast you will need a few skills in your bag. You must have an efficient double haul to generate the necessary line speed. You also must develop an aggressive back cast so you can shoot line behind you as well. Once you’ve mastered these techniques you’re ready to put your quick cast to work and you’ll catch a lot more salt water fish.

Here’s Capt. Joel Dickey to show you how it’s done.


Here are some tips for developing a good double haul.

The Double Haul

Bruce Chard’s Double Haul Drill


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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8 thoughts on “The Salt Water Quick Cast

  1. Pingback: Twenty Questions with Bjorn Stromsness, How to Improve Your Saltwater Cast, Sport Fish Designation for Tarpon, Steelhead on the Chagrin River | MidCurrent

    • Great question Hub. Thanks.

      When you are in your ready position the fly will be in your hand and your line will be off the water. The figure 8 airializes the line and loads the rod. When done properly the figure 8 basically just gets the line moving. You will feel the tip of the rod load. That way when you start your first backcast it’s got some energy behind it. Most saltwater rods are quite fast. Getting them loaded as quickly as possible is important and the figure 8 helps with that. Watch this video on the clearing cast and ready position, it may help.

  2. I Just commented on anther posting (I think it was about fast rods rod companies pull out every year?): on trout fishermen I see, 95% and more false cast way too much.

    And yes, the clue to a good cast is a good BACK cast.

    Once your distance is matched, one or at the most two back cast should do the job. The less casting, the more the fly is on the water.

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