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Fly fishing can be a fun way to fish. It has a different style than traditional fishing and is a great way to spend some time outdoors. However, it is not the easiest thing to pick up.

If you are a fly fishing beginner, it helps to know the different steps and practices of the activity. Of those fly fishing techniques, the most important to learn is the fly cast. In this guide, we will look at two different styles to help you understand the best way to cast a line.

The Fly Fishing Basics of a Forward Cast

There are two different fishing techniques that we will look at in this article. The first is the basic forward cast, which is perfect for people who just want to get out on the water.

The first part of the forward cast is loading the fly rod. Fly rods are a special rod type that are much more flexible than the classic spinning rod. However, to use them to full effect, you need to be able to get them to bend properly in your hand. This process, known as “feeling the rod load,” is critical to this fishing process.

To control that load, you first want to let some line out of the fly rod. While the line on a fly rod is thicker than other styles, it has a special plastic sheathing that makes it buoyant. As a result, the more you let out, the more load you add.

However, also note that the rod will not load if you do not release the right amount of line. The amount you want to let out depends on various factors, such as weight and rod length. While you should contact your rod’s manufacturer to better figure out how much line you should let out for a specific set up, the general rule is to release three lengths of your rod.

When gripping the rod, you should grab it as if you’re shaking someone’s hand. Put your thumb on top with four fingers wrapped around the rod, but don’t grip it too tightly. This fly casting motion requires fluid movement, which means you need a firm-but-relaxed grip to get the full amount of release.

Making sure your wrist is stiff, and your elbow is tucked at your side, keep your fly in front of you and cast it back. Then, pull the rod back to a 10 o’clock position and only bend your elbow.

Once the line leaves the surface, you want to pause at the top of your back-casting motion. From there, start your forward motion in a straight line towards wherever you want the lure to land. Finish by stopping your hand with the tip of the rod still slightly pointing upward.

At this point, you will once again feel the rod “unload.” However, do not bend your wrist. Rather, as you see the line fly, slightly turn your thumb down and keep your hand where it is.

How to Properly Perform a Roll Cast

The other fly fishing casting style we’re looking at is the roll cast. This technique, which is distinctly different than the forward cast, should be used when you have no space behind you.

A roll cast is different from a forward cast because it keeps the line and fly closer to your body. For those reasons, you should try to wear a hat and sunglasses when using this maneuver.

To correctly perform a roll cast, you want to use the same firm, thumb-forward grip used in the forward-cast to hold the rod out in front of you. From there, bring the rod tip back in a way that makes the small segment of line hang loosely behind your casting shoulder. Note that you want the line to sit in front of you in this position, with most of it stretched across the water.

This motion is not a rapid movement. Rather, you want to start slow and then gradually gain speed. A slow-starting momentum is important because it will help you keep control of the fly cast as it goes. Just don’t let the line unfurl behind you. Roll it out in front of you and let the fly catch up with the forward movement.  Stop when the rod tip is still pointing slightly upward.

The Two Basic Fly Casting Techniques

Fly fishing can be tough for beginners. However, the two above fly fishing tips go over the most basic casting styles to help you get started with the basics.

Fly fishing casting can be tough to learn, but anyone can get the hang of it in time. Whatever brand you choose, from basic to loop fly rods, as long as you know the basics of the fly cast, you will be out on the water in no time.

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