I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

• Evasive Casting - Drop, Pull, & Tuck

Bass fishermen often take sides when talking reels. Some are spinning reel fanatics. Others prefer baitcasters. Many can't decide between either. I'm a baitcaster guy. Baitcasters are excellent reels, especially when you need to squeeze out some distance. Sometimes the distance is so good, it can get away from you in a heartbeat. That's when evasive casting techniques come into play.

Not every cast is perfect. There are times when I notice a lure is flying a bit higher than I expected, inching closer and closer to a tree limb or other hazard. Some people will forcefully stop the lure dead in its tracks with their thumb or yank the lure back towards them and away from the limb. There is one way to salvage the cast and still hit your intended target. I call it the Drop, Pull, and Tuck maneuver.

Don't get me wrong. Lightly thumbing the line may help slow things down, but more often than not, that remedy often leaves me just shy of the target. Thumbing line is definitely a skill to apply in this situation, but I'm going to take you one step further. The technique I use allows me to keep the lure on target with the same amount of momentum without losing any distance.

It's really a split second reaction, so maybe it's not something one can learn to use right away, but it has helped me readjust runaway casts which slightly overshoot the intended target.

Here are some common limbs I sometimes worry about because they all exist at about my maximum safe casting distance. It takes a lot of oomph to get the lure underneath. Sometimes, I give a little too much gusto. The added graphics should be self explanatory (arrows & target symbols).

As the lure approaches an overhang, I will often notice I'm in trouble when the lure reaches the halfway point or sometimes a little later. At this particular moment in the cast, I quickly drop the rod tip and bring the rest of the rod down to about my hip or thigh, still keeping my eyes on the lure and my target. At the same time, I pull the cork butt of the rod back and tuck the reel under my arm at my side, bending at my elbow in one fluid motion. Although the lure is still moving forward, this changes the distance between myself and the problem and also helps lower the lure just enough to clear the limb. I may lightly thumb the line prior to splashdown, but usually, a quick pull back is enough to make a difference. The real trick is to do all of this without abruptly stopping the forward motion of the lure.

During the cast, your stance and rod position will likely resemble this:

Drop the tip & pull back in one fluid motion.

Pull back & tuck to the side, lightly thumbing if necessary.

It seems to suit the haywire sidearm cast better than an overhand cast. We all have our knee jerk reactions out there. Some become bad habits while many others become part of our everyday repertoire. It's all still a learning experience, good or bad.

Bonus tip:
You can also control the side to side motion of the lure in mid-air by turning your reel on its axis so that the outside of the spool faces the direction you want the lure to go. The adjustment is minor, but it can make a real difference when you need it to. If the cast starts to curve one way, that little turn of your wrist can put the lure back on target, or at least away from any hazards in a matter of seconds. For me, this tip is more about keeping the line away from anything problematic and not so much controlling where the lure lands.


Ryan - Baitcaster Reel said...

Ya know, it seems that people either absolutely LOVE baitcasting reels, or they hate them... or at least that has been my experience. I was lucky enough to have learned to use the baitcaster reel before any other so it actually is the most comfortable reel for me. I think that is the key, whatever is comfortable to you, is best because I have used the baitcaster reel in many situations that the average angler would use a spinning reel, mainly because it is my preference. Nice article!