Today we continue on with our third installment of our Better Backcast Presentations series of posts where we cover some helpful tips and tricks for making more effective presentations, that’s right, on the backcast!
Last week we talked about the importance of staying square while presenting the fly on the backcast. Before that, we touched on a technique called ‘bracing‘ to help add power to the backstroke when attempting to present the fly on the backcast when dealing with heavy winds, big rods, and/or bushy flies.
Today, we’re talking about the line-hand and the importance of the haul for straightening out your presentation when delivering on the backcast.
Better Backcast Presentations – Part 3: Haul Big
As we mentioned at the start of our series, one of the most challenging aspects of presenting the fly on the backcast, particularly when casting directly into a headwind, is the relative lack of strength of your arm moving backwards as opposed to moving forward. Simply put, we’re much stronger ‘pushing’ the rod forward on the forward stroke than we are ‘pulling’ the rod backwards on the backstroke.
Thus, when attempting to drive a cast into a headwind on the backstroke, many anglers find it challenging to provide enough power with their rod hand to bend the rod enough to effectively straighten out the fly line and leader into the wind. That’s where the haul comes into play.
There’s a common misunderstanding regarding the role of the double haul in that it increases line speed solely by pulling the line ‘faster’ with the line-hand. While this is true to a small extent, the primary role of the double haul is to increase the bend in the rod, just like the power applied to the rod with the rod hand.
Therefore, when having difficulty straightening out the fly line and leader on the backcast, a helpful tip is exaggerate the haul by hauling longer and sharper on the backstroke. This will effectively put a deeper bend in the rod providing more energy to straighten the fly line and leader on the back cast. Haul big!