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Casting Technique Questions

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I have watched the beginner videos and read a few articles. I ordered a bait caster and in a few days I will be able to start practicing with it. I have a few questions on what to start with and when. There are so many different casts I have learned about in the past few days, the straight forward overhand cast, side arm cast, back hand cast, roll cast, pitching, and flipping. Most guides recommend starting with the overhand cast. It seems to me the overhand cast while seeming the easiest is also the loudest in terms of lure entry. Now I might and probably am wrong but it is just the conclusion I have drawn cause it seems crankbaits are about the only technique that really uses an overhand cast since distance is a big factor with them. 

 

Would it be more beneficial to practice a few different casts on a rotation since I am just starting out? For example to 5 overhand casts, 5 side arm, 5 back hand, and repeat. I am 29 years old, which to me is a pretty late start to get into bass fishing. I am just trying to maximize my time and be as efficient as possible with smarter practice. My hope is move from the back yard/pool to using my bait caster out on a pond or lake as soon as possible. 

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I wouldn't start with an overhand cast.  Easy to get a backlash if you release too late.  Nor would I try to learn several styles of casting at once.  Concentrate on one.  Once that is going nicely, then learn another.  Personally I suggest starting with a side arm roll cast.  This cast helps smooth out the casting stroke and keep the rod tip loaded.  Also if the release is too late the lure will just go further to the side rather than into the ground...or water...which is very apt to cause a nice backlash.  Unless you are fast with the thumb.

 

It seems to me whenever I watch someone like KVD on a fishing show that they use a roll cast more than anything else.

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3/4, then sidearm, then the underhand/roll thing, then overhead, then pitching, then flipping, then backhand, then skipping, and then what ever else they come up with. I remember watching a pro at a hawg trough doing a twice around the world pitching thing and thinking "I'll never do that", and haven't.

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Agreed. A simple sidearm cast before an overhead. If you are a bit early or late with a sidearm cast, it just "sprays" out left or right of your intended target. Once you can sidearm cast to an intended target, it means your thumb release and other mechanics are a bit "trained." Then, move to the others including an overhand cast.

 

There seem to be a few prevailing overhead cast methods. A lot of pro bass anglers, KVD for example, don't seem to extend their casting arm forward, sort of pull the rod back and then snap it up where the elbow is tucked and the wrist straight above it vertically. Others use a more aggressive form extending.

 

A few tips would be to start with relatively short casts with a heavy lure or casting plug. Then, increase distance and try lighter weights, both more difficult. 

 

Brad

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In my fishing classes, I always found that beginners pick up pitching faster than anything. Once you get there, move up to side arm, roll cast, and variations of the chuck and duck. 

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Arm motion isn't the hard part.  Learning to effectively load the rod and how to release are the toughies.  

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Don't go you there and try to KVD cast right away. Thats a good way to waste a spool of line. Start with short smooth casts and work your way up.

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10 minutes ago, sully420 said:

Don't go you there and try to KVD cast right away. Thats a good way to waste a spool of line. Start with short smooth casts and work your way up.

:grin:  Hopefully the OP realizes I wasn't suggesting he cast across to the other shore like KVD.

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I teach my students the "difficult" overhead cast first, once mastered everything else is simply!

 

I fish a lot of offshore deep water structure, casting is the most effective & efficient way to fish it.

 

Overhead casting

Deep Crankbaits, Texas Rig, Jig-n-Craw, Carolina Rig, or just a few.

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Fishing from shore learning the overhead basic cast is essential to master. Everyone has a different casting motion using the overhead casting technique. I'am no longer comfortable making the overhead cast with the rod tip at a straight upright possition and tend to kept the rod tip more of an angle a few feet to one side as my most common casting motion.

The side arm cast is simply a overhead casting motion sideways, used for skipping.

My second most common cast is the loop or roll cast using the rod tip to make a circular loop or roll with the lure for shorter distance and low to the water trajectory. I use this cast more often then pitching and you get very accurate with practice.

If you don't have a boat flipping and pitching isn't a high % used cast IMO.

My 2 cents worth of advice.

Tom

 

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22 minutes ago, Catt said:

I teach my students the "difficult" overhead cast first, once mastered everything else is simply!

 

I fish a lot of offshore deep water structure, casting is the most effective & efficient way to fish it.

 

Overhead casting

Deep Crankbaits, Texas Rig, Jig-n-Craw, Carolina Rig, or just a few.

I have been thinking about my introduction to a casting reel which took place about 15 years ago .... I am 50 and my waters are all Smallmouth. Today, I spend a lot of time in Maine fishing for Largemouth.

 

Self taught, I practiced flipping, pitching, side cast and back cast.

I did try the odd overhead cast put it was difficult and the side and back cast was getting the job done.

There is an argument as to why the most difficult "overhead cast" would be taught first so as to avoid what happened to me. I still work on the overhead cast but my brain will avoid it when any other casting option is available.

 

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@roadwarrior the video is exactly what I do...a two handed over head cast but the reel isn't really "overhead". My reel is more around shoulder high, right hand going forward & left hand pulling back.

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4 hours ago, Catt said:

I teach my students the "difficult" overhead cast first, once mastered everything else is simply!

 

I fish a lot of offshore deep water structure, casting is the most effective & efficient way to fish it.

 

Overhead casting

Deep Crankbaits, Texas Rig, Jig-n-Craw, Carolina Rig, or just a few.

Do the Happy Gilmore three step wind up!

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I learned on a side arm cast.  It a good place to start because of the low consequences listed above.  The roll cast then naturallycomes next.  If you are in the back of the boat then a backhand is critical to develop next.  The pitch is my second used cast but has a lot of risk to learn.  It is fun, can be practiced in the yard.  I pitch crank baits into pockets, and all other types of lures.  It is a short to mid range technique that for me is the most accurate.  The breaking and spool tension is turned way down so your thumb is the boss....

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3 hours ago, roadwarrior said:

So the part about the cast being all in the wrist, As @WRB pointed out pretty much all the other casts are variations of the cast in the video. Is that why the overhead cast as shown in the video is so important to master first ? 

5 minutes ago, Angry John said:

I learned on a side arm cast.  It a good place to start because of the low consequences listed above.  The roll cast then naturallycomes next.  If you are in the back of the boat then a backhand is critical to develop next.  The pitch is my second used cast but has a lot of risk to learn.  It is fun, can be practiced in the yard.  I pitch crank baits into pockets, and all other types of lures.  It is a short to mid range technique that for me is the most accurate.  The breaking and spool tension is turned way down so your thumb is the boss....

Do you use the standard overhead cast for anything technique specific? If so, was it hard to get down like others have mentioned when you are starting off on a side arm cast?

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I only bomb cranks and I am not a huge crank guy.  By the time you have the others down you will just do it and not even think about it.

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In my years of fishing I use a side arm cast 90% of the time. Probably because I typically fish fairly narrow rivers and from a kayak. It’s the natural way I started casting as a kid and seemed the easiest. I imagine learning to cast as an adult is a completely different experience 

3 hours ago, J Francho said:

Do the Happy Gilmore three step wind up!

I did that once. Sent the whole top half of my 2 piece rod flying into the river lol gave the rest of the people fishing their a good laugh.

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The price is wrong, Bob!

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Regardless of which technique ya start with the most important thing y'all will learn is to let your rod do the casting!

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Most of my cast is done with overhead cast since I fish mostly from bank, and that also what I first learned. Another one is sidearm cast where I want the lure to land lower and very useful with finesse style fishing (one hand sidearm lob cast). After these techniques then cast with your other hand. I can cast with my left both overhead and sidearm, but accuracy is not as good as my right. After all these done then should be easier to practice pitching, skipping and backhand cast.

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17 hours ago, Catt said:

I teach my students the "difficult" overhead cast first, once mastered everything else is simply!

 

I fish a lot of offshore deep water structure, casting is the most effective & efficient way to fish it.

 

Overhead casting

Deep Crankbaits, Texas Rig, Jig-n-Craw, Carolina Rig, or just a few.

This is probably fine....as long as you are teaching.  However, it may not be the best way for a person trying to teach themselves.  How many times do we read of people buying a baitcaster and then giving it up because it is too hard to learn?  Smooth is key...as you know.  Even a straight side arm cast can cause a beginner problems.  I should know.  :(  I didn't learn of the roll cast until later.  Maybe that is why I am bias towards it....because I already knew how to cast the first time I used it.

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In my experience most new to baitcasters have problems due to coming from spinning reels where you snap your wrist once the rod is loaded.  When using a Baitcaster that is a g-u-a-r-a-n-t-e-e-d backlash.  You have to move more towards a fly casting type of motion with your arm.  

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11 minutes ago, TOXIC said:

In my experience most new to baitcasters have problems due to coming from spinning reels where you snap your wrist once the rod is loaded.  When using a Baitcaster that is a g-u-a-r-a-n-t-e-e-d backlash.  You have to move more towards a fly casting type of motion with your arm.  

This is true. My fly fishing skills (while they still leave something to be desired) improved after learning how to use a baitcaster.

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