Beginner's Guide: How to Cast a Fishing Rod
How to Cast a Fishing Rod

How to Cast a Fishing Rod

How to Cast a Fishing Rod

It's important to know how to cast a fishing rod properly once you begin fishing. You’ll want to stand in a position that ensures you're comfortable, stable, balanced, and ready to react quickly. Until you’ve uncovered your own signature fishing stance, standing with a slight bend in your knees and your legs shoulder-width apart, is a good way to get started.

For maximum control, balance, and sensitivity of your rod and bait, hold your rod one of two ways. Place the foot of your reel in between either your ring and middle finger or your middle and index finger. Ideally, the hand you want to hold your rod and cast your line with should be your dominant hand. This hand will have the fastest reflexes and best control. The hand you turn the crank of your reel with should be the opposite. It's similar to baseball where you throw the ball with your dominant hand and catch with the opposite hand.

how to cast a fishing rod

Do not get into the habit of cranking your reel with the same hand you just casted with. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had fish hit my bait the moment it hit the water. If you get in the habit of fishing this way, you will most likely be switching hands a few seconds after your bait hits the water. Moreover, if a fish hits your bait during this switch, you won't be ready to set the hook. You'll miss your chance of landing a really good fish as a result. It might take some time figuring out which hand you're most comfortable casting and reeling with, but it will pay off in the end.

How to Cast a Spinning Rod

Step 1: Hold your fishing rod properly.

Step 2: Make sure the roller on the reel is in line with your index finger.

Step 3: Next, make sure your bait is at least 6 inches from the tip of your rod. Sometimes I have my bait 3 feet from the tip of my rod when casting. It all depends on where you're fishing and how much space and control you have.

Step 4: Take your index finger and pull your fishing line towards the fishing rod.

Step 5: Open the bail to your reel with your cranking hand.

Step 6: With your cranking hand on the handle of your rod, point the tip of your rod towards the spot you want to cast.

Step 7: With one controlled, fluid motion, bring the tip of your rod up and back behind your head using mostly your elbows and wrists.

Step 8: At the end of step 6 your rod will flex and bend. This is called loading up your rod. When this happens, use the “slingshot” force to launch your bait to your chosen spot.

Focus on Form & Control

The distance you want your bait to travel will tell you when to let go of the line with your index finger. If your bait smacks the water two feet in front of you, you let go of the line too late. Consequently, if it shoots straight up in the air, you let go of the line too early. Even if you want to cast as far as your rod and line allows, it's not as much about force and power as it is about form, control, and the follow through. Most of the movements will be in the wrist and elbows. I recommend taking as much time as you can to work on your casting skills. You don’t have to be perfect before you start fishing, but at least get into the swing of things before you head out to the water.

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