TOWARDS the end of last year, we had Tim Rajeff and Kath Hunt of Echo Fly Fishing visit us in South Africa as part of their countrywide tour, running casting clinics in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. They brought with them a bunch of Airlflo lines and a quiver of rods from the new Riverglass rods, to the bruiser EPR series for the salt and the Bad Ass Glass (a fan favourite). Both certified master casting instructors, Tim and Kath travel the world and help a lot of people iron out issues with their casting. Other than building and selling rods and lines, this is what they do.

For those who have not managed to make it to one of their events in SA or elsewhere in the world, we were fortunate enough to get our hands on their casting cheat sheets – one for the basics, the other for distance. We know, we know, you’re a casting god, you don’t need any help. That may be the case, but we saw enough people improve their casting with just a few minor tweaks to believe that these pointers will help almost anybody. Uber-confident on all your basics? Head on over to their Distance Casting Cheat Sheet.

 

Tim Rajeff on the Bokong river in Lesotho.

 

Tim and Katherine’ 6 basic rules of casting:

1. The rod tip must accelerate throughout the entire casting stroke on both the forward cast and the back cast
a. Save the power for the end of the cast
b. Flick water off a paint brush
c. Snap your wrist at the end of the stroke
d. Short aggressive power stroke for stiff rods – long smooth power stroke for soft rods
e. Practice the roll cast

2. The stroke length must vary with the distance of the cast
a. Short cast short stroke, long cast long stroke
b. Use a dart throwing motion for short casts – use a baseball pitching motion for long casts
c. Use approximately a 180 degree stroke for ultimate distance
d. Practice the water cast

3. The rod must stop at the end of each casting stroke
a. The better you stop the better the cast will be (good stops transfer energy better)
b. The stop is an unusual motion that needs to be practiced
c. At the stop on the back cast stop your thumb should point towards the sky
d. Practice the water cast

Tim Rajeff laying down dry flies on the Bokong river in Lesotho

4. Tempo
a. The shorter the distance the less one must pause to allow the line to straighten out completely (short cast short pause)
b. The greater the distance the longer one must pause to allow the line to straighten out completely (long cast long pause)
c. The faster the cast the less one must pause to allow the line to straighten out completely (fast cast short pause)
d. The slower the casting stroke the longer one must pause to allow the line to straighten out completely (slow cast long pause)
e. Practice the false cast

5. The 180 degree rule (trajectory)
a. The forward cast will go in the opposite direction of the back cast
b. A low forward cast deserves a high back cast
c. The longer the cast the more difficult it is to change direction
d. The 180 degree rule applies to all casts
e. Practice the false cast

6. Tight line rule (remove slack from the line)
a. Smoothly lift line off water prior to maximum acceleration
b. Pick up casts use longer stroke than false cast
c. Use single haul
d. Practice the water cast

Want more? Check out their Rules for Distance Casting and read our issue 14 profile on Tim here.