How to Use a Fly Fishing Rod

How to Use a Fly Fishing Rod
Fly fishing is an enjoyable and fascinating method of fishing for many species of fish, qhether you are fishing for trout in a cold mountain stream or on the flats of the Florida Keys casting for bonefish. The ability to understand and use a fly rod is the basis for successful fishing.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly rod Fly reel Fly line Leader Tippet Flies
  • Fly rod
  • Fly reel
  • Fly line
  • Leader
  • Tippet
  • Flies
Step 1
Set up the fly rod by connecting the pieces of the rod together, making sure the eye of the rod is aligned with the reel seat.
Step 2
Place the reel on the reel seat, and secure it in place with the locking rings.
Step 3
Pull the fly line from the reel, and feed it through the guide eyes and the final guide on the end of the rod. The leader is tied to the main line using a nail knot, the tippet to the leader using a blood knot and the fly to the tippet using a clinch knot. Refer to the Orvis Animated Knot Series (see Resources) for further instructions.
Step 4
Hold the rod in your dominate hand as though you are shaking hands with the grip, then close the grip. Keep the wrist straight and locked as much as possible. This will help in casting as well as in preventing repeated-motion injuries such as tendonitis.
Step 5
Assume a comfortable stance with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Step 6
To perform the most common casting motion, imagine that the rod is a hand on a clock, with the rear stopping point at 1 o'clock and the front point at 11. Practice moving the rod between these two positions, allowing for a brief pause at both the rear and front points. Use a steady rhythm moving front to back.
Step 7
Begin by pulling line from the reel and shaking the line from the end of the rod until there is 6 to 8 feet of line in front of you.
Step 8
Lift the tip of the rod to begin moving the line up and toward you.
Step 9
Raise the entire rod up and back to the 1 o'clock position, and follow the line by turning your head. Pause, allow the line to loop behind you and move the rod back to the forward position.
Step 10
As the line shoots forward, lower the tip of the rod, allowing the line to settle gently to the water's surface rather than dropping. The goal is to gently drop a fly to the water as if an insect were settling for a drink or falling from a branch. The fly should land in the water with the line settling gently behind.

Tips & Warnings

Practice is perhaps the most important part of proper fly casting. Learning to properly cast a rod will greatly increase your enjoyment while fishing. Be patient as you learn, and do not allow yourself to become frustrated.
The most serious injury lies in the possibility of hooking yourself during the cast. Keep track of the line and fly by following it with your eyes. As you become more proficient you will be able to sense the location of the fly during the cast.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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