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By Jeff Vaughan

This is a bit of a silly one, because everyone knows how to cast, or do they ?

I do a lot of carp fishing, so fancy I am at least a reasonable caster. But this winter a friend of mine who is a MASSIVE caster gave me a couple of pointers that made a big difference to my distance. I will cover that a little later but to cover the basics first.

Canadian Carp ClubA lot of Canadian and American anglers have a basic problem with casting carp rods accurately and at a distance. The reason is simple, they have been brought up on casting lures and the technique is very different. Watch a lure angler work and you will notice they cast from one side. Actually the very best (most accurate) lure anglers cast more overhead than the average Joe, but even they rarely need to get themselves balanced and set like good carp anglers. This is because when lure fishing you are conditioned to rapid, short distance casts with short rods. Any deviance from a true overhead cast will fire the lead at an angle, the longer the rod, and the further the cast the more inaccuracy you will get.

So the first point is to get yourself set. Front foot and body aimed at your chosen spot (normally aimed at a feature on the far bank) and your rod as near “over head “ as possible. Remember any deviation to the side is going to result in the lead also going in that direction. Making sure you are clear behind you and that the line is not tangled, you pull down with the bottom hand and push with the top hand to compress the rod and cast. While doing this you are transferring the weight of your body from the back foot to the front foot.

Now three things that will dramatically improve your distance: As your rod hits just past the 12 o’clock position, keep pulling on the bottom hand but stop the top hand abruptly. This imparts a “flick” into the cast that gives you extra distance. Most anglers do not do this, and probably the good casters who do, do not even know it!

Now the first of the two points I was doing wrong. The “drop” of the lead i.e. the distance from the tip ring to the lead makes a massive difference, and I never really focussed on that. To get maximum distance the lead should be as near to halfway down the rod as possible. According to the experts this gives the maximum compression to the rod.

Lastly, as above the movement of weight from back foot to front foot as above is obvious, but certainly I missed how important this is to real distance. My friend proved to me that by actually lifting the front foot and taking a small step you can dramatically improve distance. Apparently my normal cast was using mostly my arms and the step imparts far more body weight into the cast, and fortunately I have a lot of body weight !

These three points need a little practice but will make a huge difference. Where there is space behind I will also swing the lead a little and cast when it is swinging away from me, but again the expert proved this does not do anywhere near as much as the above three points. Also to be truthful, a true side cast in the hands of an expert will go further, because you can really wind the rod up through 360 degrees to get maximum compression but this cannot be truly accurate which is just as important.

Of course it also goes without saying, that like all sports, timing and co-ordination are all important and many other things effect casting distance; lead weight and shape, rig choice, balanced tackle, line diameter and reel loading to name a few. But all things being equal, the above tips do work with any outfit.

Here are some great articles to get you started!

Casting   |   Feeding   |   Fish Location   |   Fishing the Method

Fishing With Corn   |   Flavouring Baits   |   Float Fishing for Carp

Float News   |   Getting an Edge   |   Hook Baits

Quiver Tipping for Carp   |   Spodding   |   Marker Floats and Feature Finding