It does not matter if you are an expert fisher or a novice; there are two main considerations you have to take into account. Distance and accuracy will make or break any cast you do as a fisher. If you cannot cast with distance and accuracy, you will not catch many fish. As a general rule, spinning gear is for distance while bait casting gear is for distance.
Becoming a proficient caster is not as hard as you think. It is all in letting the rod and the spring of the rod do the work for you. Instead of throwing the lure, let the rods natural spring flick your lure into the water. Throwing the lure will make you lose accuracy and distance.
The power, action, length and guide size of your rod will determine how well it performs. If your rod is too powerful for your lighter lure you will not get enough back cast to properly flick your lure into the water. If the opposite happens, then you will not have enough power to propel the lure into the water.
If you are using a lighter lure, use a slow-action rod, this way the entire lure will give you power on the cast. If you want more leverage for a longer cast, use a longer rod. Having a guide that is too small will restrict the line flow and cause friction, making it harder to cast for distance. Another friction creator is having the guides places too far apart. This will make the line slap against the rod.
Rods are not the only thing that can affect your casting ability. Your line weight and type can drastically hinder or help your casting skills. For shorter casts use a stiffer, heavier line. Only use a line with enough weight to fill the spool and never overfill your spool.
Most modern reels will allow you to make accurate, long casts, but there are some specifications. Long spool spinning reels will cast further then short spool spinning reels. Long spool spinning reels will keep the line level during the cast. Casting for long distance with a short spool spinning reel will cause your line to slap the rod, creating friction and shorten your distance.
There are three basic casting techniques: casting for spinning gear, cast for bait casting gear and fly casting. Each one has a slightly different method depending on the gear you are using and the fish you are going after. For the novice fisher or the curious expert, here are instructions on how to cast for each type.
Spinning gear: 1) While gripping the rod, hold the line with your index finger. This will prevent the line from flowing off the spool with the bail open. 2) Briskly bring back the rood smoothly stopping at the 10 o’clock position. The weight of your lure should cause a slight bend in your rod. 3) Smoothly, using your wrists, stroke the rod forward. Midway through the stroke, release the line from your index finger. 4) To stop the line on target, feather the line with your index finger.
Bait casting gear: 1) Press the release but thumb the spool so that your line will not spin off prematurely. 2) Using both hands, swing the rod back smoothly overhead, stopping at the 10 o’clock position. Use a straight overhand motion for the best accuracy. 3) Use a smooth forward stroke to bring the rod forward, removing your thumb from the spool at mid-stroke.
Fly cast: 1) Let out the amount of line you want to use. Make sure you are standing comfortably facing your target. Align your entire rod arm so that the tip of the rod is pointing at the target and lower the tip of your rod. Remove the slack from your line. 2) Raise your rod slowly and accurately until the entire length of line is out of the water. 3) Force a bend in the rod by applying a short backward speed stroke. This will propel the ling into the back cast. 4) Stop the rod letting a loop form in your line overhead. 5) Pause back casting so that your line forms a ‘J’. Once this happens, start forward casting. 6) Make a quick short stroke and stop the rod, aiming your cast at your target. Let the line settle into the water and lower your rod into fishing position.
No matter what your skill level, fishing always becomes a better and more fun experience when you can cast properly. Casting with accuracy and distance can allow you to catch more fish, especially if you use a lure that provides action at any speed, will not turn over and looks like a baitfish.