Stop! In the Name of Love (and a Good Cast)
When we watch casting, we are absorbed by motion: the back and forth motions of the rod, the fluid flow of the line trailing behind in symmetrical loops. Done correctly, it’s a spectacle of motion, one that makes fly fishing so visually appealing. Always remember that the stop is a key component, one that makes all that casting motion work. A good cast is built by gradually accelerating the rod forward, and stopping it, precisely, then changing direction and gradually accelerating the rod backward, and stopping it again to change course. With each stop, you let out more line. With more line, you exaggerate the time between stops. If you don’t stop the rod crisply on the forward and backward strokes—if you just slush and slop your way forward and back, with no precise rhyme or reason—you cannot load the rod. Your cast will droop, sag, flutter, and die. The stop is as important a concern as any motion or power in your cast. Stop with authority, forward and back, and you will cast farther, straighter, and more accurately. —K.D.
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