Learning to Strip Casting
Learning to Strip Casting
The method of casting is very simple and yet, to acquire expertness and the very best results, no little practice and experience are required. Before going on to speak of the baits to use and the general course of action of the strip-caster when on the bass grounds it would, perhaps, be best to settle the flow to question of how to use rod, reel, and line in strip-casting. This method is almost exclusively employed when fishing from a boat or canoe—seldom while wading, or from the bank of a river or the lake shore.
The reel and line should be rigged on the rod as for fly-casting; that is, the reel underneath with the handle to the right. A short gut leader may be used if desired or one of fine steel or copper if pickerel or pike are abundant where your bass fishing is done. Very heavy baits, either artificial or natural, should not be used, as the work will be too strenuous for the fly-rod unless it is a very heavy and stiff one.
Assemble rod, reel, and line and have about six or eight feet of line from the tip of the rod. Now strip from the reel several feet of line, allowing the coils to lie in the bottom of the boat. Always be careful to lay it down so that it will not tangle and foul during the cast. A new enameled line which shows a tendency to coil tightly should be well straightened by rubbing down with deer fat or some other line dressing before attempting to use it for strip-casting.
The knack lies largely in educating the left hand to manipulate the line correctly. As in the practice of many fly-casters, the left hand grasps the line between the reel and the first guide and is used to control the rendition and retrieve of the line during and after the cast. If it is your custom to handle the line thus when fly-casting, you will not have to learn it; otherwise, although a limited proficiency may be quickly acquired, it will pay you to practice this phase of strip-casting faithfully; its importance is equal to that of thumbing the reel in bait-casting. During the cast the outrunning line must be subject to exactly the proper control, must run out neither too fast nor too slow, or the line will foul at the first rod guide.
Having stripped the line from the reel, and controlling it as above indicated with the left hand, presuming that you are casting from right to left, carry the rod to your right and slightly to the rear, pointing a little downward toward the water, and then swing it smartly to the left across the body and slightly upward. When, during the swing of the rod, the rod tip points in the direction you wish to cast—as a matter of fact, just a little before that point—release the hold of the left hand on the line sufficiently to allow it to run out through the fingers. Do not release it entirely, as this will feed the line to the first rod guide faster than it will run through and a tangle will result. The cast is quite similar to the side cast in bait-casting from the reel.
The cast being completed, that is, the bait having reached the water at the desired point, the line is retrieved by stripping it in through the guides with the left hand, taking pains to lay the coils down evenly on the bottom of the boat as in the preliminary stripping from the reel. The line should be stripped in at a moderate rate of speed, rather faster with artificial lures than with natural, in order to impart lifelike motion to the bait, and care should be taken to have the line and rod always under control, so that immediate advantage may be taken of a strike.
The importance of a taut line should not be overlooked. After hooking a bass the fish is, of course, played "by hand" rather than from the reel unless an extra-long run takes out all the free line. This should not be considered a disadvantage, for, as a matter of fact, the very best and safest way to play a fish is by this method; that is, by controlling the giving and taking of line with the left hand independently of the reel.
Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.
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