View Full Version : Who Has Tried Casting Off Hand?
01-12-03, 10:42 AM
Just curious how many here have tried casting with their other hand (non-dominate)
We had a dozen or more fly rod casters together yesterday at the river for an informal "cast around". The topic was casting with the wind. One of the ways to get around strong wind comming from your casting side is to switch hands. I was suprized that none in the group had tried this before and they were suprized at how well they could cast off hand. Anyone here tried this?
I'm fair-to-mediocre with my left hand, but hauling with my right has me, as Lefty says, looking like "a monkey hoeing cotton."
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I took a casting lesson several years ago from deep south in Birmingham. I was brand new to the sport. My instructor told me to try with my left hand (i'm right dominant) and said that he thought that i cast better that way. My casts did look pretty good, and i think that I was pretty accurate too. But...it just doesnt feel right. I am far from excellent i occassionly give the left a try if Im in weird spot or have to hang on to keep from falling in with my right. I am also surprised that I can do that at all. I can't do anything else with the non dominant at all.
01-13-03, 08:58 AM
I'm like Pato...I was surprised at how little the quality of my cast dropped when I switched to the left hand.
I've done it a few times when the trees kept me from getting a right-hand cast where I wanted. I'm probably more accurate with a left-handed presentation than with a backhand presentation on the right hand, which is the other option I know in that situation.
Come to think of it, I haven't used this in about a year. I should start it back up.
Obtuse: Eccentric and cantankerous
01-13-03, 10:13 AM
Hi Scott, I find that I can go either way as the situation calls for. When one arm gets tired, I just switch.
I do it all the time. I just can't cast very far lefty b/c of the hauling problem mentioned above. For me, hauling with me right hand kind of like that old trick where you try and pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time. http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/smile.gif
Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God.
- Tony Blake
I have been casting with either hand since I first started to cast back in the late 40's.
I was about 13 at the time.I usually casted left handed however since I am left handed but when bait-casting and spinning I was always right handed.Because of arthritis in my left hand thumb I have been using my right hand more and more and I even now double haul with either hand.By the way,I have often been curious about Lee Wulff's ability to cast with out a rod so at 68(last year)I taught myself to do that--I can now reach 25 or so feet and with either hand--I have discovered that my arms are 5/6 wgt.You should try casting with your hand /arm only---I will really bring home the importance of the micro snap of the wrist in casting.Oh,and also try hauling without the rod---yes it all can be done.Pato I often suggested to my students to use the off hand when I saw they had trouble with their on hand.I think that basically in flycasting that actually it is the line hand that requires the most attention --after all it is the line hand that must do the hauling at the precise time and do the manipulation of the line during the retrieve.But then what do I know -I am just a senile old man
I have fooled around with casting lefty and it works OK in short distance situations. For distance casting or sightcasting where accuracy is at a premium, it just doesn't work for me. Then again, I am extremely right-hand dominant.
The problem of wind over the casting shoulder is very common in coastal situations so you have to learn some method of dealing with it. I learned to cast across my body (backhand) to combat the wind and I have reached the point where I am just about as accurate backhand as I am casting normally.
It is a hell of a lot of fun to catch a good fish on a backhanded cast...you feel like you've done a card trick or something...
01-13-03, 09:57 PM
I'll switch hands ocassionally. Interestingly, when I do so it isn't the casting hand that gives me trouble, it's the line hand. Even though I can manage a decent cast with my off hand, I can't seem to coordinate my line handling like I can when I use my natural casting style.
"I have laid aside business, and gone
01-13-03, 11:30 PM
If you are talking about line hand management while fishing (after the cast) simply switch back to your dominate hand for the line management / retrevive.
If you want to take your line hand "out of play" during off-hand casting then keep your hands together during the cast. Pretend you are chopping wood with both hands on an axe handle and you'll know what I mean. Your rod hand will make the cast.
If you are talking about line hand management in terms of the double haul, just keep practicing...I am! Sounds like Kent is too!
bbell...I know what you mean, it's always a great feeling when that backhand card trick works http://www.georgia-outdoors.com/ubbngto/wink.gif
01-14-03, 07:28 PM
I was referring to both. Now I know how to solve one of the problems.
"I have laid aside business, and gone
01-14-03, 08:30 PM
Surely, someone besides myself, has turned around 180 degrees, false cast, and let the line and fly lay behind them , upstream ,and caught fish? It's a little spooky seeing that finely honed hook come zipping by on the wrong side of your head , but what the heck? Are you trying to catch that big Brown or not? Leave a few in the creek for me!
01-14-03, 10:05 PM
I sure have done that enough. I believe that's what bbell was talking about in his card trick post on the 13th. Another way to handle the wind from our casting side besides off-hand casting or turning around and backhand casting is to cross body cast. Anyone prefer this method?
01-15-03, 08:40 AM
Scott, for short casts I stick with the cross-body technique. On warm or salt water, where I need a longer stroke, I'll cast backwards. That way everything is the same except when I turn loose of the line. Under that condition, I've never been concerned with delicacy (since those flies tend to plop), but I'll try bbell's idea.
01-15-03, 10:18 AM
Cross body casting is different than back hand casting and can be done in two different ways. Reaching your arm cross body while facing the target is the most common method. It is usually more accurate than backhand casting but you are limited to short casts due to the limited stroke length as bbell pointed out. The other way to cross body cast is foreign to most casters but allows for a long stroke length and is my preferred method in the salt flats or big lakes. Hold the butt of the rod exactly where you normally hold it. If that means shoulder high and 10 inches to the side then that is where it needs to be. This will allow for the most natural casting stroke. While holding the rod hand on the cork in this natural position lean the tip of the rod over your head. It only needs to tip to over your head or opposite shoulder, as the wind will take the fly line away from you. Remember we are doing this because a regular cast is blowing the line back into us so by getting the rod tip over head the wind will blow the line cross body. To enable the long stroke length you must keep the rod over your head and not across your body. Try it!
Longbranch, that is close to what I'm talking about, except I just turn 90 degrees to the target (that way I am sort of facing the target and can aim a little better). I also will flip the rod during the end of the cast so that the reel faces the target rather than making a true backcast presentation. This tends to flip the fly up in the air a bit at the end of the cast and provides a soft entry if you do it right. The wind will sometimes catch the leader and fly and you can even guide the path of the fly and adjust where it lands once you get it down.
Scott, I have never really thought about all this, I just intuitively do it, but you helped me realize that there is a difference between a cross body cast and a backhand cast. I guess that a cross body cast would be made facing the target and extending the arm to the left. I do use this in tight streams for short casts, but I can't get enough arm extension to make it work in distance casting, thus the 90 degree turn and backhand style cast.
01-16-03, 09:31 AM
I do cast occasionally with my off-hand, and as others have mentioned, line-management and hauling feel strange that way.
Mostly what I use the off-hand cast for is to get in my right-brain. You're thinking...What the heck is she talking about. A few years back, I took a drawing class to see if I could draw a straight line. One of the exercises our instructor gave us to do before actually trying to draw was off-hand drawing. I am right-handed. I am not a creative sort of person, more on the analytical side. I am often working in my left brain, identifying objects, making lists, interpreting data. To be able to draw well, I had to get in my right brain, to be more visual and perceptive. So, in the same line of thought, when my casting is suffering, I'll often switch hands and cast a while, in order to stop analyzing every little thing that I am doing wrong and to begin just casting.
An explanation of this theory, as it applies to drawing, can be found on Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (http://www.drawright.com/theory.htm) website.
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