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How to Cast a Fishing Rod Correctly: Tips for Successful Fishing

how to cast a fishing rod
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: March 8, 2022

Fishing is fun only when you know the tools and their uses. There are four types of fishing reels and rods: spinning, spin-casting, fly fishing, and baitcasting. Regardless of the similarities in action and their modus operandi, each rod is designed with its unique mechanism and element, which in turn affects the method.

Wondering how to cast a fishing rod? One of the biggest key steps toward an accurate casting is to get familiar with all the mechanisms found on the rod. Another step is to learn how to handle the reel with ease.

How to Cast a Fishing Rod –  Successful Fishing Tips

Casting with a Spin-Casting Rod

Face the direction of your cast: before casting the line, it is very important to face the desired direction.

Once you are on the right track, you could then slightly slant your knees, and ensure your hips and shoulders are in the same direction.

Hold the Handle with the Thumb Beneath the Reel Button:

Spincasting rods are designed with a recessed seat that has a projection that is similar to that of a trigger found beneath the rod.

Use your index finger to wrap the projection; this will secure your grip.

  • You can handle the rod with any of the hand that is most dominant to you: either your left or right hand.
  • If you intend to cast and reel with a particular hand, then it is very advisable to use a different hand after casting.

Push and Hold the Rear Button:

Move up your casting thumb until the pad rest on the button. Afterward, press down the button. Once you press the reel button down, it disconnects the spooled line, and this will cause it to fly once the casting motion start.

  • When you push the button, the line will drop. If it drops below 3 -4 inches, it literally means the force you apply while pushing the button was good enough, in such situation, is it advisable to reel it and give it a shot once more.

Lift Your Casting Hand, Until It Is at Your Face Level:

The movement that generates from your elbow is more effective than the movement from your shoulder.

The movement from the elbow will produce a perfect snap once the cast is completed.

Once your hand is positioned at the face level, the rod will slightly point behind or remain in a vertical position.

  • Let the rod handle be located above your waist region always.
  • Take caution: do not raise your hand too high. Doing this can lead to an accident by hooking your clothes or other objects that are close to you.

Swing the Rod Frontward Quickly:

 Stop the tip of the rod at an approximate angle of 30 degrees.

  • Ensuring a free and flawless movement can be one of the most effective steps toward a good cast.
  • Being forceful when handling the rod will only affect your balance and precision.

Once the Rod Is on Your Eye Level, Release the Button of the Reel:

Once this is carried out rightly, the force that is on the rod will help drive in the bait or lure it forward in a specific direction.

This will make the line to unspool, till you push button that is connected to the reel.

  • If you release the reel button late, it will take the lure or bait will drop into the water.

Push the Button That Is Linked to the Reel Once Your Lure or Bait Approach Its Targets:

Once you push the button again, the bait will drift down at the spot you want it.

From that moment, the patient will be all that is required to have a great catch.

Angling with Spinning Tackle

Point Your Body in Your Cast Direction:

  • Do not allow your shoulder or hips to turn during the casting motion.

Hold the Rod Handle with Your Most Dominant Hand:

Spinning reel can be cast with one hand while the other hand cast the reeled.

  • More people tend to be right-handed, and as a result, the reel is attached to the right while the spinning reel is on the left.
  • The reel is designed in an easy manner that can help you change its orientation from right to left and vice versa.

Stick Your Finger on the Line and Drag It Against the Rod:

You will need to align each coiled line with the rod by rotating the reel bail.

Now use the index finger, to sum up, the nearest section and drag it into the rod.

Doing this will form a slack that gives more room to cast effectively.

  • Once the line is snagged using your finger, then try to introduce the cast.
  • The piece that rotates behind the spool is called the reel bail. The reel bail collects all the line and sends it back on the spool once you reel it in.

Use Your Free Hand to Open Your Reel Bail:

Swinging the metal loop on the other side of the bail, do this using the left hand; if you are right-handed.

For those who are left-handed, open up the bail using you the right hand.

  • While trying to flip your reel bail open, ensure you maintain the grip you have on the handle.

Pull the Rod Back over the Shoulder of Your Casting Arm:

Uniformly move both hands together (upward and out award), in a similar way to holding the bat of a golf club or a baseball.

Once You Whip the Rod, Let Go of the Line:

As soon as you observe the rod pass before you, then it time reduce the grip that is on the line.

One of the ways to enhance your accuracy is to keep the index finger at the point you want the lure or bait to land.

  • If you are using a spin-casting rod then, it is best to delay a little before releasing the line, a little delay will cause the bait to go down into the water.

Using a Baitcasting Rod

Face your desired direction: square up the hips and shoulder with the portion of the water you want bait or lure to the land.

Ensure you are well position while standing, matching the line of your toes with the direction of the whole body.

Doing this will support the line to fly properly.

Regulate the Tension and the Reel’s Drag:

 It is advisable to regulate the tension and the drag to what you feel is most convenient for you before you take out the baitcasting reel.

This is done by spinning the magnetic wheel located behind the rod above your grip. Do this till you get comfortable with it. This will cause the line to peel off from the reel without stress.

  • Baitcasting reels are designed to function with a tension knob and a centrifugal decelerating system.

Casting the Fly Fishing Tackle

Let Your Body Face the Direction Where You Intend to Cast:

Move to the position where you feel stable enough and secure. Stand with your hips and shoulders in the direction of the zone in your target.

  • While carrying out a fly-fishing session, there is a possibility you can stand directly in the water while fishing. This is why it important to stand on a solid based.

Hold the Rod on Your Most Dominant Hand, Just at the Waist Level:

Ensure you hold the rod in a parallel direction or diagonally, just a little bit angled in an upward direction, while the reel face downward and your thumb placed at the top of the handle.

Keep one of your hands relaxed beneath your elbow.

  • Casting the fly fishing tackle requires enough comfort, so casting fly fishing should be done with the hand you have more coordination.

Use Your Forearm to Draw the Motion of the Rod:

Once the rod back is a sweep, the rod will slightly bend this will cause the line to flip back into the tight arc.

The entire process produces the momentum that is required to move the bait or lure. This process is known as a “whiplash effect.”  

  • Ensure your arms are placed on the backstroke. Your forearm or wrist while casting the fly fishing tackle.

Tips for Successful Fishing Rod Casting

  • It is advisable to try all the casting procedures on land before fishing in the water.  While doing this, replace the lure or the bait with rubber. Use this to practice plug to avoid losing it or damaging it.
  • If you fish with different rods, then it is advisable to consider going with a spin casting reel for lures or bait and its lightweight lines and consider using a baitcasting real once you intend to use a heavier lure.
  • Before you start casting it’s always a good idea to use a good fish finder to inspect the whereabouts of the fish.

When you know how to cast a fishing rod, fishing becomes a piece of cake. We hope you will get the best out of your next fishing expedition after reading this article. So, cast your rod correctly and enjoy fishing to the fullest.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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