Efficient Fly Casting


Important key words for energy-efficient fly casting

These key words will present a special focus on how to handle fly casting without using too much energy. LESS is MORE. There are some absolute "Secrets" that most fly fishers need to take into consideration when fishing and I will discuss these Points while also discussing rod actions (secretly mentioning the Scierra Fly Rod Action Philosophy). Here are some key Words:


Initially loose and relaxed and even at the end of the stroke, just enough force to control the line you are casting. Imaging holding a newborn chicken in your hand while casting, and KEEP the poor bird alive through everything!


An OPEN rod allows the strong and deep parts of it to take part in what's happening and then YOU could use less force and focus more on presentation. The angle of the rod relies upon the following 3 factors: The Grip, The Wrist and The Leaning of the Body.


Start every casting stroke by moving your center of gravity, while your upper body and the rod just "enjoy the ride" and not before there is definite contact between a STRAIGHT line and a slightly bent rod tip, is it time to use your arms.


The factors explaining the action of a fly rod:

  • How deep does the rod bend towards “normal” resistance?
  • The Recovery Speed: How fast will the rod move from bent to straight (from the maximally bent position of a casting stroke, until it’s straight)?
    • This depends on the material (the carbon fiber quality)
    • But also on the stiffness of the rod (the thickness of the walls AND the diameter of the blank)
  • How smooth is the bending curve of the rod?

My Philosophy when designing Scierra Fly Rods

  • We want our rods to bend a good way towards the cork handles, to make sure it’s possible to engage the deep and strong parts of them. How deep will vary from series to series and rod to rod, but they are all more or less deep.
  • The Recovery Speed: Our rods are all fast, but there are understandable variations based on carbon fiber quality and on the intended stiffness.
  • We have spent a lot of time, energy and money to ensure as smooth bending curves as possible. This factor is extremely important when designing really good fly rods. The new Scierra rods are all good!

Start every stroke by moving your center of gravity (see point 3) JUST before the line has turned over. The philosophy of false starts when fly casting, is to gain contact between a STRAIGHT line and a slightly bent rod as early in a casting stroke as possible AND to wait using your arms until this contact is established.


As the rod starts bending form the pull of the line turning over AND from the false started stroke, the GOOD HEAVINESS builds up and this is the signal for using your arms.


As the SIGNAL mentioned in Point 5 starts "buzzing" in the sensory nerves of your casting hand and casting arm, this is also the signal to start the hauling process. A late and well timed double haul is what you are looking for. Remember that a perfect haul won't stop until the rod tip has turned completely over. The key word is: SYNCHRONIZATION. Accelerate both arms simultaneously to bend the rod effectively.


There are two versions of straight lines in fly casting: The first is viewed from the side and it goes without saying that if the rod tip performs circular "drawings", this is an ineffective way of casting. Our goal is for the rod tip to draw straight lines and this happens if your accelerations are smooth and your hand moves in a straight line (compared to a curve). The other STRAIGHT LINE is viewed from behind (or from ahead) and is the most important one. We are aiming for 2-dimentional movements in one plane (preferably the vertical plane) and in straight lines. I will use a special set-up of ropes to show how to train effectively to get nearer to straight lines when casting.


Skrmbillede_2016-05-17_kl._08.55.51.pngLESS is MORE
Never use more force than needed for placing the fly where you want it to be

  • How can you use more of your body, but lower percentages of your muscles’ maximum force potentials?
  • The key words again: The Grip, The Wrist, The Rod Opening, The Central Movements, The Quality of the Fly Rod (and fly line) ,The Double Haul, The Straight Lines, The Smooth Accelerations, The

The MORE LINE outside the tip guide and the longer you need to cast, the longer the PATHWAY.
Instead of increasing the power of the cast, think more about prolonging the PATHWAY. The longer you need to cast and the more line you’re holding in the air, the more important it is to use your arms late and let the movements of your center of gravity take care of the initial and contact shaping phases of your casting strokes.

Open the rod more and experience the true power of the true depth of a perfectly designed fly rod (a Scierra rod, of course).


The “LIFT” that tightens the loop
Here is a “secret weapon” for securing tighter loops for all kinds of fly casting – especially during forward casts. It is also a known strategy for the really long casts at fly casting competitions.

At the very end of a casting stroke, during the final “break over” of the rod, just before the STOP

…..lift your casting arm slightly (which in turn will also lift the hand AND the rod).


The Key Words of effective spey casting

  • The vertical lift
  • The Transport Phase of a single spey cast
  • The smooth transition between the lift and the sled (switch casting) or the transport phase and the sled (single spey)
  • The sled: A long and straight line and a smooth curve upwards and backwards
  • The rod opening before starting the forward stroke
  • The smooth transition between the sled and the forward stroke = The False Start
  • The low-powered use of the lower arm and the high stop
  • The lift during the “break over”, to ensure a tight loop and a high flight of the line.
  • LESS IS MORE! (About the fact that a good setup – fly line and fly rod – requires a minimum of power to deliver your fly where you want it).


- Mathias Lilleheim


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