Video: Two Tips to Make You a Better Caster

In the latest installment in the series about fly casting from the folks at Mad River Outfitters in Columbus, Ohio, Brian Flechsig goes back to basics: He focuses on two underrated yet foundational concepts of casting. After 30 years of teaching folks to cast, I can attest to the value of his first point: start every casts with your rod tip low. It makes a huge difference in how the rod loads, leading to a good backcast that makes everything that comes after it easier.

The second tip also makes a lot of sense—and Pete Kutzer has always advocated for a thumb-on-top grip—but I’ve never seen someone advocate for putting the thumb right at the top of the grip. I’m also not sure that it works for every situation. Some folks like to cast with their index finger on top, for instance, when their casting light rods and dry flies. What do you think?

6 thoughts on “Video: Two Tips to Make You a Better Caster”

  1. The entire fly casting series from Mad River Outfitters with Brian Flex hating is truly outstanding. There is a hidden gem that is hands down the single best fly casting tip of all time – even for experienced casters. It’s a must view video that offers one very simple but incredibly effective technique for improving accuracy and turnover that I have not seen anywhere else. Hidden gem is an understatement!

    Episode 20: Stopping the Cast with Flip Pallot

  2. It seems like this will rip the line thru the water vs lift it off the water…. Is there some nuance on this esp if dry fly fishing and want to be as stealthy as possible?

    1. Great question! Joan Wulff demonstrates the answer in her Dynamics of Fly Fishing video at the 22:00 minute mark.

      Rod tip low to the water with all slack removed and line is straight. Then slowly raise the rod tip until the fly line clears the water at which point you make a back cast by smoothly accelerating to a stop. The leader and fly will clear the surface with very little disturbance.

  3. Makes sense to me. I think Mad River Outfitter’s videos are very well done and informative. They are right up there with the Orvis instructional videos.

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