A well executed double haul is essential to nearly all avenues of fly casting. Whether it’s casting further, casting better into the wind, turning over heavy flies, or just taking the load off of your rod arm, the double haul is the secret sauce, and therefore worth perfecting. Today we’re coming at you with a bit of an advanced tip for those who are comfortable with the ‘timing’ of the double haul, but want to take their haul to the next level.
Still working on the basics of the double haul? Not to worry, check out this awesome video by our buddy Bruce Chard for a great drill on double hauling instead (brought to you by the good folks at Gink & Gasoline).
Better Double Hauling
In all realms of fly casting, slack is the enemy! Other than the rare exceptions where slack is intentionally created for different presentations, slack line during the cast does nothing but rob your cast of energy. As the rod accelerates through the casting stroke, it is important that it remains under tension the entire time until finally coming to an abrupt stop. Any slack during the casting stroke allows for the rod to begin to straighten prematurely, instantly robbing your potential.. Makes sense right?
Where does slack come from in the cast? There are many common casting faults that can result in slack entering the system, but that’s a topic for another post. One of the most overlooked portion of the cast where slack is picked up however is during the haul. We see this in beginner and experienced casters alike, but with a simple correction we’ve found this tip can make all the difference.
During the haul, we all know that it is necessary to not only yank on the line with the line hand, but to return to the starting point as well (a down-up motion if you’re a Mel Krieger fan). That way, your in position for the next haul, right? However, most casters fail to return all the way to the starting point on the upward motion of the haul, particularly on longer casts. By not returning to the staring point, you create a small segment of slack in the line between your line hand and the first stripping guide, which as we know is no bueno!
Instead, on the upward motion of each haul, try to allow your hand to travel all the way back to the starting point. Some even prefer to let the line hand travel all the way to the first stripping guide. Doing so ensures two things; First and foremost, the fly line is always under constant tension, resulting in the most efficient cast possible. At the same time, doing so allows for longer haul potential, which is critical on those longer hero casts.