Video Pro Tips: The 5 Essentials of Fly Casting

New Zealand-based On the Fly Productions—husband-and-wife team Carl McNeil and Jeanie Ackley—released “Casts that Catch Fish” a few years ago, fundamentally changing the way we look at casting videos. Carl’s brilliant technique and Jeanie’s work behind the camera allowed us to see every facet of the casting stroke and how it affected the line. We’ve posted many clips from their videos before. (See here and here, for instance.)

At the heart of Carl’s instruction are the “The Five Essentials,” described by Bill Gammel, a respected fly-fishing and fly-casting instructor from Texas, and his father, Jay. No matter what kind of cast you are trying to make, these essentials apply. In the videos here, Carl walks you through each essential and explains why it is so important. But remember: Just watching these videos won’t make you a better caster. You have to actually practice these techniques to master them.

Click here to order a copy of Casts That Catch Fish. (You can stream it for less than $7.)

Essential 1: Eliminate Slack Line

Essential 2: Timing

Essential 3: Vary the Casting Arc

Essential 4: Power Application

Essential 5: Straight Line Path of the Rod Tip

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