The Quest for Longer Fishing Casts

Summer’s here, and it’s fishing season again. I spend a lot of time fishing, which means I spend a lot of time thinking about fishing. Particularly, I think about getting my lure as far out on the water as I can. Here are a few observations on making longer fishing casts:

I’m a beach fisher primarily, because my rocky beach is just a few steps from my front door. Casting off the rocks is great recreation, and an excellent way to harvest dinner.

Casting is throwing at a target, just like shooting, throwing a ball, and archery. The key is follow through. Follow through in casting, shooting or throwing comes from directing your effort at your target, and sustaining that effort until your projectile hits the target. Throwing a ball, keep your throwing arm pointed at the target until the ball arrives there; shooting an arrow, do not drop your bow until the arrow hits (or passes!) the target. Casting, keep your fishing pole directed at the point you want it to hit until it lands in the water.

This discipline may be most important in fishing, because the fishing line coming off the reel creates drag on the projectile, your lure, shortening its flight. If you don’t believe me, watch how much farther your lure flies if your line breaks! Continuing to point your pole toward your target allows the most direct path for the line to travel, reducing drag as much as possible. This also means that you should correct your aim if you “overthrow,” ending with your pole pointing to the far side of your target. After each cast, immediately adjust if necessary, to allow that line to flow as freely as it can. Your cast will go farther that way.

Choosing the right line helps lengthen casts. For me, mono-filament is for mending nets. I use Spiderwire brand Stealth high performance braid for fishing. It provides 30 pound test at an 8 pound test diameter, and extreme sensitivity—I’ve had to learn to feel the difference between a nibble and a wave top plucking at the line! I’ve never bothered to measure the distance, but casts go a long, long way. It’s rather expensive, but I mitigate cost by buying it in 1100 yard bales. It also seems to last longer than monofilament, which mitigates the cost a bit.

Of course, as with many physical activities, it doesn’t pay to think too hard about it. I find that I soon fall into a casting rhythm that allows me to cast considerable distances without over analyzing it, or trying too hard. It’s sort of a Zen thing . . . .

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2 Responses to The Quest for Longer Fishing Casts

  1. Charity says:

    I went fishing here for the first time a week ago. I managed twice out in the ocean (in a kayak) and once on the Rogue. I’m thankful for my small freezer, since I landed two lingcod, a black rockfish, a kelp greenling, and two beautiful spring Chinook salmon. (I also kept my father’s black rockfish and kelp greenling. I made the best soup from the bottom fish carcasses – nothing to waste.) Do you catch any bottom fish? I went back through your fishing tags and don’t see any.

  2. Mark Zeiger says:

    Hi Charity, kelp greenling are very common off our rocks, enough so that if the Dolly Varden char or salmon run, we throw the greenlings back. We get a type of cod that I believe is technically Pacific cod, but locally they’re known as Tom cod. Lingcod and all manner of rock fish are common in our region, but not easily available from shore right around our place, unfortunately.

    A couple of years ago, ALy used my mom’s halibut recipe on greenling, and it works very well. Because they’re small, we’ve begun layering them in a small pie dish with the various recipe components–that’s less work for similar results.

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