everything you need to know about CASTING...
Having mastered the basic Overhead Thump cast for casts of up to 70 yards with a fully baited trace, you can add power and distance to it using some simple additional actions.The position of the feet remains the same, for balance and stability. If you are wading into surf, shuffle your feet continuously to prevent the wave action undermining your footholds and unbalancing you. It helps you stay dry too!
Twist from the waist to face well past your right foot, at > 120 degress to the sea. The further the twist, the more power you will exert when you pull through in the casting action. The waist twist generates the power, not your arms.
Give the rod further room for manouvre by pushing it further to the rear - you will have to bend the left arm at the elbow now, and straighten the right arm, and make sure visually that you do not to drop the lead or trace into any rocks or snags.
Its like a golf swing now - the weight is on your right foot, and the left heel can lift off the ground for balance. The action now starts with your feet, and the transfer of weight from right to left (back to front) accelerates the release of the waist twist.
This should put some 30 yards (25 m) onto the original cast, bringing it > 100 yards.
The next step is to begin the casting action from a forward position - you start with the rod facing the sea, point at its target area, and bring it back in a smooth arc with moderate speed to the original starting point. This will begin to load the rod with pressure - rods in effect act like coiled springs and this pre-loads the rod.
You stop the backward swing when the rod is facing directly behind the sea, at 180 degrees to its target area, and the lead is no longer hanging down limp, but flying horizontally off behind the rod. There will be extra pressure on your rod and the line. As this pressure builds, you pull through the cast as before with legs and waist twist and the arms adjusting the rod tip for direction, trajectory and accuracy.
This additional pressure within the rod should generate casts well beyond 100 yards.
To move beyond this, you need to consider sizeable changes to the casting action. There are so many options - the Unitech, the South African, the Back Cast... the list is endless.
This next action is called an Off-The-Ground cast for reasons that are self-explanatory.The starting point in terms of feet is the same, although you can face more to the right if this proves more comfortable. If you have back problems, avoid this cast.
The longer the trace, the larger the arc described by the lead and the greater the pressure building within the rod. We do NOT pre-load the rod with a backswing.
We drop the trace onto the ground (it must be level & snag free) and keep the rod tip only slightly above the ground. You need to watch everything in this cast or ...
Let the line between rod tip and lead go taught without moving the lead / trace.
Yours arms will be helds straight out and away from you, to give the lead the widest possible arc to accelerate through... this generates the additional distance.
Your left hand is at head height and the right hand is lower (to keep the tip low). This clearly is a "round the body" casting action but the emphasis is on a smooth movement with the power being released from the legs and waist twist.
A longer rod (some can be up to 14 feet long) will help and it works really well with big stiffer rods matched to heavy shock leader and big 5-8 ounze weights.
This cast will go close in distance to a full pendulum cast, i.e. > 130 yards (120 m).
Whatever method you use, raw power does not work. Aim for a smooth action, one where the power is applied to the rod mostly in the final seconds of the cast.
The Pendulum Cast: This type of cast is a development of the "off the ground" castYou pre-load the rod via a backswing that has the lead "airborne" behind the rod tip. Only try this out once you have your "off the ground" casting technique perfected. A key issue is that you practice this when there is no-one around that can get hurt - you get this wrong, and it goes very wrong - lead travelling at speed is lethal. Practise on a field or flat beach, well away from other anglers and the general public. Allow at least 500 m off clear space in case your line snaps. Routinely check the leader for abrasion/damage.
This cast is by far the most powerful of them all. Improved rod materials have increased the potential of this cast, which means it is also the most dangerous cast possible.
Place the feet as in the previous cast, lift the rod to the vertical and allow the lead to drop to about eye level. Make sure that there is plenty of leader on the reel at this point.
Twist at the waist to face as far away from the direction of the cast as possible. Now practice the pendulum action so that at the upper end of the swing the lead is flying parallel to the ground. The pendulum goes away from the body and back towards the body. Start the cast - slowly - when the lead is on heading back towards the body.
Start to load the rod. Do not bring the power on too early or the lead will snap off.
Once the waist releases, the power is applied with the leading arm (left) pulling and the trailing arm (right) punching. The hands end up in the same position as in previous casts.
Given the lead stays well off and away from the ground throughout the casting action, the pendulum can be used on rough ground or when wading. Do not use it when fishing in a group - a lead snapped off in mid pendulum cast can travel 500m, very fast.
The technique, distance and smoothness takes time to master but with the right equipment it will send baited traces out up to and past 200 yards (> 180 m).