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Fly Fishing, Fly Casting and Fly Tying Resources

The Five Essentials of Fly Casting
These 5 essentials were developed by Jay and Bill Gammel based on their observations of what great fly casters have in common. Applying these essentials to your fly casting will result in considerable improvement in your cast.

1. Efficient loops are formed when the fly caster moves the rod tip in a straight line path to the target. The fly line follows the rod tip. There are three other possible paths for the rod tip to travel during the casting stroke: Convex, dome-shaped path, which cause the loop to be open and wide and very inefficient; Concave path, which the top leg of the loop drops below the bottom leg of the loop causing a closed, collapsed, tailing loop; Lateral, sideways path which the rod and the top leg of the line swings outward from the path.

2. The size of the casting stroke is defined by the length of line beyond the rod tip. Short length of line requires a shorter casting stroke; a longer length of line requires a larger casting stroke. Casting stroke variation is a result of changes in the rod load due to the changes in the weight of fly line being cast.

3. During the casting stroke, power must be applied at the proper place and the proper time. In fly casting the function of the rod hand is to accelerate the rod so that it may load or bend against the resistance of the fly line. The hand accelerates the rod slowly at first and continues to increase in speed until the rod reaches a position perpendicular to the target at which point the rod hand accelerates even faster, and concludes, with a short, ultra fast stop of the hand. The majority of acceleration takes place near the end of the stroke.

4. The pause between each cast, to allow the line to straighten, must get longer as the line beyond the rod tip gets longer. Learn to vary the timing and stroke length to maintain the straight path of the rod tip,

5. Slack in the casting system must be kept to a minimum. A fly line
with slack in it will not load the rod properly. Some portion of the casting stroke will be wasted by having to remove the slack before the rod can begin to
load properly.