Fly casting a double handed or spey rod, overhead cast
- the basics

salmon fly fishing tuition and instruction ally gowans

Overhead casting (double handed)

Making the overhead cast is not difficult, it just means making a good back cast followed by a good forward cast. (Note that what is commonly described as "an overhead cast" actually requires two casts to be made, cast back then stop, and then cast forward.) This brief description assumes the right hand up (descriptive text should be reversed for left handed casting). There are many techniques related to overhead casting and this page is intended as an introduction.

Starting the cast

Start with the line straight to the rod top. The left hand is positioned below the right arm, slightly above the waist. Right arm is straight from the shoulder to the rod handle. Line is held behind the second finger of the right hand. During the cast, each hand does the same amount of work, pushing and pulling in opposition to each other. Correct use of the left hand is very important.

double handed overhead cast

Accelerate and make the stop

Lift and accelerate the rod smoothly backwards with the right hand, simultaneously pushing the left hand forward to flex the rod. During this movement the the right arm rises and the right hand moves up towards the right ear. Maximum thrust is applied between 1030 and 1230 positions and then the rod is stopped.

double handed overhead cast

Drifting back until the line tightens

The rod is allowed to drift to 1400 or slightly further whilst the line is extending behind. Once fully extended behind, the line will tension against the rod tip and this should be felt by the angler waiting for the moment to commence the forward cast.

double handed overhead cast

Accelerate and make a stop before 10.00

To make the forward cast, push the right hand forward and, simultaneously, pull the left hand in towards the body bringing the rod butt up below the arm so that the handle is lying along the same plane as the fully extended right arm. Stop the rod movement at 1000 and the line will extend forward. Be careful not to jerk the forward stroke, every casting stroke is a smooth acceleration followed by a stop.

If you would like to know the secrets of overhead casting and the whole family of similar casts, contact me to arrange fly fishing instruction or attend one of my fly fishing courses.

double handed overhead cast
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Copyright 2007 Alastair Gowans AAPGAI and FFF Master and THCI, APGAI. All rights reserved.