How Do I Load a Fishing Line?

How Do I Load a Fishing Line?
Your new fly rod and reel is rigged with line, leader and tippet. The next step is to learn to properly cast the line. The basics of fly casting is to realize that you are casting a line rather than a lure. Spinning gear uses a light line and weighted lure, while fly fishing uses the opposite. A heavier line propels a fly weighing very little forward. Loading the line is necessary to propel these tiny flies forward.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fly rod with matched reel
  • Fly line, leader and tippet matched to the fly rod
  • Yarn tied to the tippet for practice
Step 1
Stand so you are facing the target area of the water and hold the rod with your dominant hand. Move the foot on your dominant side back one half step and stand with your feet shoulder width apart so your body is supported and balanced. Grip the cork of the fly rod handle as if you are shaking hands with your thumb on top.
Step 2
Pull several feet of leader and fly line from the tip of the rod. Lower the tip of the fly rod to the ground and lock your wrist. Keep your elbow in close to your body and only use the elbow to raise and lower the rod tip.
Step 3
Lift the rod tip to an imaginary 10 o'clock position in front and slightly to your side. Begin loading the fly rod by bringing the rod tip back to the 2 o'clock position. Allow the line to coil and extend behind you.
Step 4
Turn your head and watch the line extend behind you and also note the slight bend in the rod and the heavy fly line loads in the length of the rod.
Step 5
Bring the fly rod forward with a smooth motion and do not bend your wrist. Avoid using a snapping or sharp motion as the rod moves back or forward. Stop the rod tip at the 10 o'clock position and allow the line to roll forward carrying the fly toward the target on the water.

Tips & Warnings

Avoid repeated false casts to load the rod. Many trout are caught within only a few feet of an angler. Long lengths of line are not always necessary to load a rod for casting.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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