Encyclopedias are written on how to improve your fly cast. You can peruse a seemingly endless amount of instructional videos online, or browse thousands of pages. Casting is a skill that only gets better with practice, hours and hours of practice.
However, there are a few small tips that can help you improve your casting distance almost instantly. These small tweaks to your process should give you noticeable results right away. Try these three tips the next time you’re out slinging a line.
First, with your line hand (your non-dominant hand not holding the rod), as you release the line into your final forward casting motion, don’t totally drop your hand away and allow the line to drop freely.
Instead, as you release the line into your cast, bring the tips of your middle finger and thumb together to form an open circle around it. While doing that, bring your hand up to a few inches below your dominant hand in its final casting position.
This will keep the excess line on a more narrow trajectory instead of it waving and bouncing as it travels up towards the guides. Think of it like this, you’re basically turning those fingers into an additional guide that starts much closer to the reel. Doing so helps to streamline your cast, and should reward you with a few extra feet of distance right away.
Second, practice keeping your elbow closer to your body. You often see fly anglers cast with their arms flailing away from their torso and shoulders. Ask yourself this, if you were going to carry a heavy grocery bag would you straighten your arm completely and hold it out away from your body?
I wouldn’t. Rods are designed with an incredible amount of technology nowadays. They’re more than capable of getting your cast out to distance. Allow the rod, and your musculoskeletal system to do the work for you.
Keep your elbow in closer to your core, and focus on really snapping into your stops as you halt your back cast and then your forward cast.
Third, as you stop the rod in your forward cast, point the rod tip out ahead of you. Imagine you’re poking a balloon that is just beyond the end of the rod. It’s easy to allow your tip to sink or come across your body as your line is still traveling through the air. Pointing the tip out until the line is all the way out will ensure you don’t drop the tip and cut your cast short.
These tips are simple, and don't require a huge overhaul of your casting stroke. They’re meant more as corrective measures to aid in improving your overall cast. Once you get the hang of them, you should naturally progress past them, but they should serve you well in the short term.