starting the haul for the backcast at the guide ring

When casting together with other advanced fly fishers I’m often been asked about my opinion how I think they could improve their casting. Especially seeing them going for longer casts in many cases I recommend to delay the rotation further. The astonished reactions that I get then are showing that some fly fishers think they rotate “as delayed as possible” – but in fact they don’t.

Over a decade ago I saw a hauling variant used by the danish fly fisher Nicolai Eriksen, who starts the haul for the backcast at the guide ring. I noticed that the line hand was only able to reach the guide ring if the rod hand is situated in a rear position far behind the body axis. Furthermore in this position the wrist could be relieved if the grip of the fly rod is leaned against the forearm. For the rod hand I found this to be a good initial position to delay the rotation (see video below) !

Trying this the first time was quite unfamiliar, but after a couple of time practicing this hauling variant I realized that I was able to delay my rotation further – the more the grip of the fly rod is leaned against the forearm. After adjusting my motions accordingly it works even without hauling or starting the haul lower (not at the level of the guide ring).

To me this hauling variant is a good exercise for fly fishers to check if their casting motions are adapted to a very delayed rotation. Although I normally don’t use this haul variant in fishing situations I’m convinced that this exercise can improved the casting stroke and that it is useful especially casting softer fly rods for distance.

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