Handling a Fly Rod
In the matter of rod handling, then, the chief points for the fly-caster to observe, as regards primarily the overhead cast, are these: To hold the rod with the thumb extended along the upper surface of the hand grasp; not to carry the rod too far back on the back cast; not to delay the back cast too long, and to start it forcefully; to start the forward cast when the line first begins to pull on the rod, and to start it rather easily and finish strongly; and, finally, not to allow the rod to go too far down toward the water at the end of the forward cast.
We come now to a very important factor in good fly-casting, one which, it seems to the writer, is never sufficiently emphasized—indeed, is us ally entirely disregarded—in the written treatises on fly-casting. I refer to the matter and manner of using the left hand, taking it for granted that the caster is right-handed, to manipulate the line; the reader will please consider everything said in reference thereto as written in capitals.
Briefly, the caster should grasp the line with his left hand, between the reel and the first guide, and all paying out and retrieving of the line, either when casting, fishing the flies, or playing a trout, should be with the left hand. The advantages of this method of line handling are manifold, and ability to perform it skillfully is of the utmost importance. A loop of line of reasonable length, not so long as to invite fouling, should always be maintained between the reel and the first guide so that at the end of the forward cast (when the hold of the left hand on the line is slightly relaxed) this loop will shoot out through the rod guides, thereby adding a number of feet to the cast. Casting at anything over moderate distances can only be done by this method.
Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.
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