Casting on the beach

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This shows Jim casting lead core (Cortland LC-13) under generally milder surf conditions. Lead core is wonderful for cutting through wind. You don't need a tight loop because of its high density. In fact, you should not use tight loops in casting lead core. Lead core casts are sloppy casts in terms of normal standards. You retrieve until your LC-13 head is inside the rod tip. Roll cast to get the rest of the head near the surface of the water. Back cast by raising the right arm and hauling with the left arm. Pause then forward cast with full body/arm motion and hauling again with your left arm. The head is allowed to settle in the water if another back cast is necessary - using the water drag to load your rod as it back casts.

The cast is timed with the breakers to allow the cast to settle on the water after the energy of the last breaker is dissipated and the head and fly have a chance to settle down to depth before the next wave hits.

He is using a stripping basket attached to his waist in front (it is clearer in the second video). After casting, you can see him retrieving the fly and placing the shooting line into the basket.

This movie shows a closer view of Jim casting in much rougher water. You can see his white stripping basket. He has had to back cast more here to synchronize with waves. He finally completes the cast after a large wave hits. Watch him step back before being buffeted by wave hydraulics. You need to be on the watch continuously.

Leadcore casts very well directly into moderate winds. With winds from the North, it would be safer to cast backhand or to switch to your left hand (if you can). Normally, casting is achieved with the right arm held at an angle, which is very obvious in the second movie. Timing is critical with winds and if you pause too long you are in likely to either hook your self or damage your rod with leadcore and weight fly impacts. Decrease the distance cast to be on the safe side or stop fishing completely. Left hand casting is the best solution so develop an ability to switch hands.

Initially, before the first cast it is a good idea to wet the head and shooting line with a shallow water cast in the more gentle areas. Walk along the water line while stripping out line until you get 70 to 80 feet of line out. Then stretch your shooting line strip by strip as you place it in your stripping basket. Stretching is required with all shooting lines whether Rio, Scientific Angler, Cortland or Sunset Amnesia.

The next movie shows Jim with fish on. He is strip retrieving the line. Two fingers of the rod hand lock the line alternately with the left hand stripping into his stripping basket. This is the fastest way to land a fish. With larger perch or doubles of large perch, you may have to walk back at beach the fish, but you can land fish using this strip method even with 3 pound perch. With larger fish, you have to let line slip through your fingers (wirh drag) when the fish runs. This is another significant advantage of using a stripping basket. Without a basket, you are safer to get all of the slack line on the reel to fight the fish. The result is that you will be delayed getting a cast back into more fish because you will have to set up to cast again (stripping shooting line off of the reel). After releasing the perch, Jim immediately continues casting so that his fly is in the same water that he just found a fish in with in a few seconds.

A stripping basket helps immensely to focus on catching fish. It relieves you almost completely of the necessity to do slack line management. Slack line should always be out of the water so you are independent of local currents and the impact of seaweeds of slack line. Occasionally, you might get sloppy and line will miss the basket or be blown out by winds.

I didn't use stripping baskets for a long time so I did build skill in slack line management using loops secured by lips and left hand. After I finally converted to use a stripping basket, I will never go back. I recently forgot my basket in the car and spent a few hours casting without it. It felt like one-half of your attention has to go to slack line management and the time that your fly is in effective retrieve in fish holding waters is impacted greatly as well as your focus on line control and detecting the grabs. That day, I finally got a solid grab but missed it because of distractions! The use of a stripping basket is essential to achieving Zen focus on finding fish and keeping your flies in active retrieve where they are holding.

Last Changed: August 24, 2002

This page © Copyright 2002, Glenn Yoshimoto