Casting From the Shoulder

The shoulder is the fulcrum of the cast, not the elbow and not the wrist, although they are involved. That is to say that the arm swings at the shoulder during the casting stroke. And that is precisely what it does. The casting stroke is exactly like a simple arm swinging motion. In fact, if one merely bends the arm at the elbow until the forearm is parallel to the ground and then swings the arm at the shoulder (as one might when running), it’s the perfect casting movement. Look at the two drawings below by Jason Borger and note the arm positions–especially note the elbow positions– during the casting stroke.

Jason and I produced a DVD for the Federation of Fly Fishers showing the 15 Most Common Casting Errors. To purchase a copy from the FFF, go to 15 MCCE.

The Back Cast.

The Back Cast. Note the starting position of the forearm parallel to the ground. The arm is lifted back and up until the hand is a high as the side of the head. The forearm now points straight up.

The Forward Cast.

The Forward Cast. On the forward stroke, the arm moves back down and forward as the elbow swings back. Note the position of the upper arm, elbow, and forearm, here shown at the end of the stroke.