Casting is the first step in spin fishing, once you have set up your gear. The longer the cast or the more accurate the cast, the higher the chances you have of catching a fish, most of the time. There are quite a few factors that can affect your casting distance and accuracy and it is not just about technique. The conditions and the equipment you are using also play a role. Here are some tips about how to cast farther with a spinning rod.
Let start off by discussing the best way to cast a spinning rod to increase your accuracy and distance. To begin with we need to talk about how the physics of the rod works in a cast. The rod loads with power on your backcast, and it is this power that you want to transfer into your forward cast, and then the lure.
You want to hold your rod with one hand near the reel and one hand at the butt of the rod. When you cast, bring the rod from a horizontal position to a vertical position, to around 12 on the clock face. Do this by pulling back with your top hand and pushing forward with your bottom hand. Once the rod is at 12, pause. It is this pause that loads the rod and fills it with power. You will feel the rod become full of energy and the top section with flex back behind you. Once the rod is loaded, push your top hand forward and pull your bottom hand back to transfer the power into your forward cast. It should feel a little like throwing a dart, and point the rod where you want the lure to go.
Now, it’s time to get this power into your lure. This is all about timing, once your rod is at around 2 on the clock face, you want to release the line from your finger and the power will move from the rod to the lure. Hopefully, you have made a long accurate cast. Here is a video to demonstrate it.
Rod Action & Load
Imagine you are shooting a slingshot. The more you pull back the rubber, or load the rubber, the further your shot will go. It is the exact same thing with a fishing rod. The more the rod loads, the more power inside it and if that power is transferred correctly, the farther your cast will be. But how does this all translate into the rod you own and its action?
A rod with fast action and heavy power will only bend in the top third of the blank, it will not load that much. A rod with medium action and power bends in the top half of the blank and will load a lot. A rod with light action will bend all the way down the blank, but if it does not have enough power, it could snap under stress or transfer the power away. The best set-up for distance casting is a medium action, medium power rod.
Rod length matters in terms of distance, that’s why you see guys on the beach with 12-14ft rods. The longer the rod, the further your cast is going to go. If you take two rods with the same power and action, the longer one will cast further than the shorter one.
Your line does make a difference. The lighter and thinner is it, the more distance and accuracy you will get. This is because a thinner line creates less drag in both the air and on your rod. If you are using mono, a 10lb line will cast better than a 20lb line. The best line to use is a braided line. Braid is super thin and light and will increase your distance and accuracy without a doubt.
This is quite obvious, the heavier your lure the more it will load your rod and that means a longer cast. You have probably come across this before when casting a light lure on a light rod, you do not get much distance. Casting a heavier lure on a long rod gives you a lot of distance.
If you are using a bulky lure, like a spinnerbait with skirts and blades, it is going to create a lot of air resistance once it has been cast. The more aerodynamic the lure the longer your cast will be. A 1/4 ounce spoon will cast further than a 3/8 ounce spinnerbait even though the spinnerbait is heavier. It is due to the air resistance of the spinner. If you need a longer cast in a certain situation, change it up and put a more aerodynamic lure on.
Wind can be your enemy or your friend. If the wind is behind you, your cast will go even further than usual. If you turn and cast across the wind, it will catch the bait and cause more drag on the line. This will shorten your cast and you will have to compensate for the wind to get the accuracy you want. In short, use the wind to your advantage whenever you can.
Start With More Line
This is the hardest and probably the most overlooked tactic for adding distance to your cast. This is because it goes against what you have been taught when you first started to cast, and no one has told you that there are different techniques once you get good. When you start a cast, you will have 1-2ft of line out and go from there. Once you have mastered this, try starting with more line out, and slowly make it longer and longer. So why does this help you cast further?
The more line you have out, the bigger the arc your rod, line, and lure are going to make on your backcast. This arc translates to power. The larger the arc, the more momentum, the more power, the more your rod loads. Simple no? Letting more line out at the start of your cast will load your rod more, give you more power and therefore distance. Be careful and look behind you though, as you will now have a lot of hooks back there that are a bit of danger.
Each of these factors will help you cast farther but if you use all of them, you are going to win. It does take time to get the feel of things, but do not give up and keep practicing.