The perils of pendulum casting

Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:58 pm

While in Youghal last sunday I was impressed by some of the competitors who blasted their baits into the distance with pendulum casts. I am interested in learning the technique myself and took advantage of the opportunity to see it in action. However, as my mind emerges from the weekday haze in readiness for the coming weekend, I see a problem. Is it not a bit risky using this technique? After all there are prospective victims all in a line, not to mention passers by, waiting for an accident to happen. Do clubs have any rules or guidelines about it for their competitions? What do you think?

Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:48 pm

You've just put your finger on the reason why shockleaders are so important when casting. Although common sense should take precendence when fishing in crowded areas.

Wed Apr 21, 2004 5:28 pm

I appreciate what you are saying about shock leaders but even they crack off. I wonder if people genuinely understand the risk associated with extreme casting techniques. They are basically using a supercharged slingshot to fire a 5 oz. approx. projectile. If anybody is in any doubt, remember what David did to Goliath!

The chances of hitting someone may be small, even in a reasonably crowded area, but the result could well be catastrophic. Would I be over-reacting in saying that tournament casting styles should only be allowed in controlled conditions?

Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:13 pm

i have seen people cracking off even with shockleader. whether it was due to bad knots or damaged leader i don't know. what i would say is that the power build up is at its peak at the 'punch/ pull'. this is towards the end of the cast. a crack off is most likely to happen at this stage (?). the result is a lead travelling out to sea (probably at an angle) and not down the beach. a slow controlled cast is safe but use the noggin and don't take chances.

Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:26 am

Crack offs can be minimised by making sure your shock-knots are good and strong and also checking your shock leader rig at the end of each session so you know its good for the next time without having to be checked when you get there and to be let down by frayed line...etc.

Crack offs tend to happen at 2 times, i find. First is when pendulum casting and the weight is at its furthest point from you on the swing leading into the main cast. The second is at the point Mark mentioned, when you are at the end of the cast at the point where you remove your finger to release the line. Both can be avoided if the line and knots are checked. When it used to happen to me, i found that either the knot wasnt up to scratch or the line had too much of a beating.

Pendulum casting

Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:58 pm


As I was fishing in the above mentioned competition and am a member of the club. We do have in force safety rules regarding pendulum casting. Its 10lb of shockleader for every oz of lead once you use leads over 3 oz for all casting styles. I quess it may seem a bit scary looking at some people but in general most people take care. The venue we fished is a bit unusal as its means close contact with the public, but as we are local we try to keep avoid any situation that may impact on future fishing at the venue, therefore safety and litter are key concerns.
In truth the last day only 2 of the 25 or so anglers fishing were pendulum casting, one a member and one just there for the open. If you had time to look at them you would have seen that both quys had very good techniques and on grass/sand without bait would be capable of hitting over 200 yards. Most people in the club for what ever reason fish aerlised ground cast or the over head thump and no method is without safety issues. You generally find that people who can really cast (150 yards plus) have a lot of experience and look after there gear and are members of clubs more for Master angler points etc... and therefore take the whole business very seriously. ITs often the less experienced or quy just out for a day that will crack off as he has bad techique, bad knots and old line ect....
I am sorry if you were concerned but to try and put your mind at rest if your local to the area how about joining. You will be surprised how much you can learn and if you would like casting lessons I am sure 1 or 2 members would oblige.

All the above is my own belief and I am not speaking on behalf of the club.

Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:46 pm


Thanks very much for your kind offer getting me some help on casting. I have a call out at the moment but if it falls through I might get back to you. I live in Cork and though the opportunity of joining the club is tempting I think I will give it a raincheck. You see I have competed before in other sports and took competition very serious. But sea angling for me is for pleasure only, no pressure to show up and no pressure to catch the most fish. It's just me, my kit, the sea, the crabs :evil: and all too rarely at the moment, the fish :cry: .

On the day of the competition I must say I was very happy to be able to see the fishing, the kit and the casting technique. You can see this in my post on the reports forum. I also noted that only 2 anglers were using the pendulum cast and to be honest at no point felt in any danger. In fact I had a little giggle when one of the casts resulted in a blow up :twisted: (that's just my Irish sense of humour). It was not my intention to focus attention on you or your club specifically, rather it was to raise a general point.

I note the rules you mention in relation to pendulum casting but even they fall a bit short of the recommendation on some web sites that there should be no one within a 1/4 of a mile when using this technique! Maybe this is an issue that clubs should revisit.

If I appear all righteous and preachy then I apologise. Although safety is a high priority for me I must say that I am also concerned with the reputation of anglers and angling clubs. This reputation is good at the moment and I would hate to see it tarnished by some preventable accident.

Finally I know that you are responsible for much of the information regarding East Cork and Waterford marks. For a renegade like me this information is invaluable. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading more your of posts on the various forums.

Casting etc....

Fri Apr 23, 2004 2:04 pm


I can understand your reason for not joining, as I have found in recent years between familiy and work my time for fishing has become limited and now I only tend to fish the club competitions or at least try to make sure I at least fish these. This has resulted in a dramatic drop off in catches for me, particularly Bass which I have not had time to target specifically yet this year. The competition spirit can be a dangerious thing as the pure joy of angling can get lost, I am afraid that I have become a victum. What postive things I can say about the joining a club and match fishing is that you learn a hell of a lot about venues very quickly and tend to pick up snipits of useful info such as where is fishing well at present and learn to target individual species.
If I don't have time to fish, I always try to sneak an hour or two to practice casting, which has helped. Its true that most fish are caught within 70 yards (my experience anyway) but it is nice to have the option and it is needed now and again at some venues (ie slob bank). ALso if targeting dogs, ray, codling on open beaches its handy to have those few extra yards as these guys often will stay out that little bit more. However, the most difficult thing I have found as my distance has increased is not been afraid to cast short (macho thing) and I see it all the time. Good luck.