It's November now and there are some guys just starting to fly fish. Mostly
they are crossing over from spinning but have not much of an idea how to cast
a fly rod. They may be one of your buddies or just someone you may meet on
the water. They may be having one devil of a time trying to make a fly rod cast
like a spinning rod. You may be able to help. Watch their rod hand.
If you like, try this right now. Hold your right hand up, closed fist as if you were
holding a fly rod, turn your hand so you can see you finger nails. That will put your
thumb on the top of our imaginary rod handle. Watch how far you can bend your
hand back and forth, quite a ways. This is the same grip you would use on a spinning
rod. Add to that swinging the rod in the wrong manner and you have a prescription
for failure. If their cast goes back and looks like they are hitch-hiking like me here,
they definitely need help!
Remember, we want these guys to join us in fly-fishing, lets try to help if we can.
Now roll your hand over so you can see your thumb-nail. You will see you can not
bend it as far in either direction. This may help some of the new guys shorten the
casting stroke and get some line out. It could help.
This is also useful if you are having any problem with tailing loops. Sometimes with
your thumb on top of the rod grip you may be putting too much force on the forward
cast and collapsing the rod's tip. Try moving your thumb off to the side, it will rob
you of some of the power and force and may temper those tailing loops for you.
Now you can see that moving the thumb to the side can be useful for at least two
different things. There may be more. Several of the worlds very best distance fly-casters
use the off-center grip. It may be something more comfortable for you, then again,
maybe not. Only one way to find out though, right? ~ James Castwell