It’s no secret that shooting line is an essential skill in nearly all avenues of fly fishing where distance is concerned. Flats fishing is no exception.
However, a common mistake we see when shooting line (in a purely fishing scenario) is completely letting go of the fly line. Angler ‘X’ makes one, two, three false casts, gears up to ‘let ‘er fly,’ makes one final haul, and then lets go to shoot it to the moon like Tim Rajeff.
That’s fine in a distance competition, where accuracy and presentation are of little concern, but if catching fish is your prerogative, it’s not always the best method. Instead, we recommend staying in control of your fly line, even when shooting line.
How? Shoot through the ‘OK’ sign. Not sure what we mean? We’ll explain.
Shooting Line Under Control – The ‘OK’ Sign
The best analogy we’ve heard to explain this simple tip comes from Deneki operations manager, Jordan Sly. When shooting line towards your target, form the universal ‘OK’ sign with your line hand, allowing the line to shoot through the ‘hole’ made between your thumb and index finger.
Doing so allows you to control your fly line at all times by ‘feathering’ or even pinching the fly line to an abrupt stop for pin point accuracy. By letting go entirely when shooting line, your fly and fly line are at the mercy of wind and any other factors upon letting go, while shooting line through your fingers allows for subtle manipulations of your fly in mid air.
Furthermore, by shooting through your fingers, your line hand is instantly in contact with your fly line the second your fly hits the water. No more fumbling around for the fly line when your guide starts calling strip, strip!
Will you lose some potential distance caused by the friction between your fingers and fly line? Probably. However, the increase in accuracy and line management is well worth it. Give it a try!
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