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Cramer on Casting – Controlling your loop

Bob Cramer

Mossy Creek guide, Bob Cramer, continues his series of casting tips.

It’s the line’s job to carry your fly to your target. As the loop unrolls the line pulls the fly through the air, turns over the leader and presents the fly to the target. Forming a loop in the line is a critical part of being a good caster. Remember, you form a loop by stopping the tip of the rod.

A tight loop tends to give you more control over your cast and especially important during the presentation cast. Better control means improved accuracy. On small streams, a tight loop will get your fly into places you couldn’t reach without it. When its windy, a tight loop travels a lot better.

Practicing forming good loops is not hard. Go out in the yard and start false casting with a normal overhead cast. Get a good loop going that travels parallel to the ground. As you are casting, begin lowering the rod tip to one side.

Watch what happens with your loop as you are doing this. As you change the plane of your rod you will notice the plane your loop unrolls in also changes. Continue lowering your rod tip until it is straight out from you, even with your waist. You will now see that your loop is unrolling sideways.

When fishing, adjusting the plane you cast your rod in allows you to get your cast under overhanging branches of a limb lying in the water.

Another great exercise it to set a hula hoop upright. Place a target 5 feet away, on the other side of the hoop. From 20 feet away, see if you can cast the fly through the hoop and hit your target. Then move the target to 10 feet. Can you hit it? This is what separates the decent casters from the great casters.