Hitting The Wall

CoverYou’ve heard the old expression about going after something hammer and tong. To learn how to fully load and unload the rod, instead think hammer and nail. Loading the rod requires definitive stops and starts. One way to achieve this is to imagine yourself tight between two walls, with nails on both. Using a two-headed hammer, pretend to smack the nails, first on the back cast, and again when the hand comes forward. Each time you hit the nail, the hammer stops cold. In fly casting, this causes the rod to unload briskly, much in the way a flexed pole propels a vaulter over the bar. The line shoots forward powerfully, with a tight loop. Lacking hard stops and starts, the line loses speed and distance and the loop opens up, making it susceptible to wind. To get full power from your rod, hit the nail on the head. —C.M.