Fly casting - the Overhead Cast
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Overhead cast - the basis for a whole family of straight line casts.

Learn to overhead cast well and the basic movements required to side cast, back hand cast and progress to shooting and hauling line become surprisingly easy, they are just adaptations or additions to the lift and lay down basic overhead cast. The overhead cast follows the fundamental casting rules given on my fly casting page and it is not difficult to learn if these rules are observed.

Start the cast with the line straight and then accelerate smoothly in an upward direction making sure that the rod tip stops whilst it is rising so that the line projects backwards above the horizontal plane. If the tip is stopped when it is going downwards behind you the line will go downwards too! The stop should be a perfect stop - accelerate to a sharp, precise stop, with the tip rising and the line will fly back and the back cast is complete. A good precise stop is absolutely essential if most of the rod energy is to be transferred efficiently to the line and catapult it through the air.

The back cast started in accordance with the rule that the line must be straight and so must the forward cast so there has to be a pause by the rod to allow the line to extend fully behind. The pause time between the back cast stop and the start of forward cast can be used to relax and adjust the rod position whilst the line is making its way back. The slow and very smooth backwards movement of rod lets the caster find a comfortable posture before making the forward cast and helps the rod to begin moving the line smoothly. Once the rod has started to move the line it accelerates smoothly forward and downward and makes another perfect stop at a suitable level to project the line forwards, somewhere around the 10:00 clock position. The line extends forward and straightens and as it falls towards the water the rod follows to ensure that it lands taut, straight and softly.

Note that the vertical plane has been used for this demonstration, this illustrates why this method is called the overhead cast, the line flies overhead and over the rod tip. Any plane can be used to make straight line casts of which the overhead is but one example. Moving the rod to use the side plane keeps the line low and allows the angler to avoid obstacles. Moving the rod to the other side of the body lets the angler to fish safely when the wind blows from his rod hand side. There are many variations and additions that can be made to the simple overhead cast.

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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.