How To Get High Line Speed

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Bruce Chard

Casting in the salt is demanding at times, to say the least.

To help fight those strong winds that affect your distance and accuracy you have to add as much controlled power as you can to the cast. This is absolutely crucial.
Having high line speed helps you to stabilize the line in the air during casting. This helps in your accuracy, distance and gets the fly to the fish quicker. Increasing your sense of urgency and your intensity will help up your line speed big time. Many times in the salt you are battling time as well as wind. You have a limited amount of time before the fish spooks or moves out of casting range.

Your strength is an important factor in high line speed as well. The stronger you are, the more power you can apply to your cast. You will get out of the cast what you put into it. If you push the gas pedal down a little you go 30mph. If you push the gas pedal down a lot you go 90mph.

When the wind is blowing 20 knots or harder you have to push the pedal down hard! Get that fly line moving fast and casting in those tough salt water winds will be much easier. But remember we are talking about controlled power and the only way to apply control and power is to practice. Just like the cast, you get out what you put in.

Let’s cover some other tips that will help increase line speed.

Bend Your Knees & Spread your Stance

Bending your knees and lowering your center of gravity helps in a couple of ways. It gives you balance on the boat and allows you to apply power from your legs into your core. The power from your core will then be transferred into the cast.

edit-2490This picture will help to show you how an angler would cast without applying these tips. You can see without the bent knees that it would be very difficult to add any lower body power at all. Also this stance is likely to decrease your stability on the boat.

The lack of urgency and intensity is obvious. In most salt water fishing opportunities, you don’t have much time. You need to spot the fish and get the fly there as quickly as possible. If you can’t make the cast quickly and accurately then you will have a hard time catching fish.

When you practice and make these tips permanent you will start to see immediate results both in your casting and in the old photo album.

Here’s a video that will help.


Load the Rod Deep for High Line Speed.

Applying and storing large amounts of energy in the rod during casting is another great way to achieve high line speed. Remember you will get out of the rod what you put into it. Load the rod deeply storing a lot of energy and watch the line speed increase exponentially.

For more in depth info look HERE.

Double Hauling

The most efficient way to add power and line speed to your cast is with the double haul. When you are double hauling, the line hand is applying power simultaneously with the rod hand doubling your energy input to the system. A good double haul is essential to generate high line speed.

Extend your line or hauling arm while extending your casting arm to help increase stroke length. This will give you more available stroke length to add even more power. Again more power equals more line speed.

Heres a video.

Learn more about how to double haul HERE.

Tight Loops

Having a tight loop helps to keep slack out of your system and is a key essential for line control. Tight loops automatically help with distance and accuracy while making it easier for your line to slice through the wind. Once you can form tight loops then you can add power increasing line speed.

Here’s a video that will help you practice.

Higher line speed will help you catch a whole lot more fish in the salt. Practice these skills before your next trip and you’ll see the results.

Bruce Chard
Gink & Gasoline
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6 thoughts on “How To Get High Line Speed

  1. All are good tips Bruce. I would add one more thing to the list: Stamina. A day on the salt takes stamina in order to maintain all the timing and accuracy needed for casting all day long.

  2. High line speed is not the answer to putting your fly where you want it, especially for the average angler. Control and efficiency overshadows this greatly. So much so that even bringing up speed in an article only promotes it and demotes anything else related to casting when the average caster can’t form a nice loop. Two ways to look at this speed thing. 1, imagine throwing a frisbee in the wind. If you throw it with normal speed at your target at the right angle it shoots right through because the leading edge is as small as it can be in relation to the top and bottom of the disc. Throw it at high speed and off angle either too high, low, left or right and you’re in trouble. Same with fly casting. 2, think about the leading edge of an airplane wing. It’s relatively thin compared to the top and bottom. Designed to cut through the wind and also create lift. If the front of the wing was thick (big open loop) then you’re going to get pushed around and affected by the wind. A properly formed looped has plenty of speed to present the fly. Try pulling your line to a deliberate stop and watch it go. The only time speed may help is if your cast isn’t very good you may get just a hair farther with the push but your line is likely to pile up around your fly off target. Finally imaging racing a car on a road course. The smooth professional driver in a slower car will always beat the inexperienced driver in the fast car. Control and efficiency. Let’s hear some thoughts on improving this.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Casey. I agree that control and accuracy are hugely important. Bruce would agree too. Fly casting is a complicated subject and you can’t cover it all in one article. You’ll have to stay tuned. For what it’s worth, I can promise you that in a 30MPH wind, there is no accuracy without line speed. You’ve got to have it all to play with the big boys.

      • Great point outs! People Some people tend to over complicate as In your previous commentator. just keep it simple! But really 30mph? In 23 years of guiding I have had maybe two clients who could make a controlled presentation in those conditions. That is a weather day ,rain check unless you got a big lee. Keep up the good work Mr Louis, I enjoy your stuff

  3. Great tips! I haven’t fished the salt yet, but your suggestions will come in handy casting for “Golden Bones” in Lake Michigan in June. Carp can be spooky and the winds on the lake are relentless. Thanks and keep up the great work!

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