When it comes to improving your cast, there’s no substitute for practice. Lots of practice. However, without a second set of eyes, it can be difficult to gain an honest image of your own cast on which to improve upon, making ‘practice’ wildly inefficient, often leading to more frustration than improvement.
For this reason, we take a lot of video when working with our anglers at Andros South. We find it to be one of the most helpful tools when it comes to diagnosing, and correcting, fly casting faults, and with today’s technology it couldn’t be easier! Gone are the days of old of setting up a bulky tripod and camera for a simple 30 second video. A basic smartphone works wonders, and aside from taking high-quality video, it can be easily referred to out of pocket for quick feedback.
Video has been used by athletes to improve mechanics in nearly every sport and can do the same for your cast. Consider the following for the quickest road to improvement.
- Make multiple casts. A good casting instructor never makes a correction after one cast. Faults can vary from cast to cast, and its important to identify casting flaws that are consistent with every cast in order to correct errors systemically. Make a series of false casts, rest, make another series of false casts, repeat, then evaluate to determine the reoccurring mistakes.
- Capture multiple angles. For the best image of your cast, attempt to capture every angle. A video taken off of your casting shoulder does best to capture the path of your rod tip and the movement of your casting arm/hand. A video taken off your non-casting shoulder does best to capture the movement of your line hand (ahem, your double haul). A video taken face on, or from behind, does best to determine whether or not you’re tracking correctly. Use all angles to diagnose accordingly.
- Make sure to include the fly line. Nearly all fly casting faults can be diagnosed by the shape of the loop of fly line in the air. After all, the path of the rod tip governs the quality of the cast, and the fly line follows the path of the rod tip. Make sure to include at least part of the fly line in your video (a high-vis colored fly line helps) to help determine casting faults.
- Use slow motion. Most smartphones today have the capability to take high-quality, slow motion, video. This is an incredibly useful tool allowing you to break down every nuance of the cast, pausing frame by frame as desired. Give it a try!