Casting for Distance - Part 3
Locking in the Rod

by Bill Leuchten

We've heard many times that it's not good to bend the wrist when casting. But then we are told to use it occasionally when extra power is needed. (Next month I'll discuss when to use the wrist). Let's look at the hazards of breaking the wrist.

When the wrist breaks, it causes the rod not to load. This is the same as when a baseball player strikes the ball with a bat. If the wrist breaks backwards when the ball strikes the bat, there will be no power delivered. The bat is knocked backwards and isn't forced into doing any work.

In fly casting, if the wrist bends during the forward or backward cast, power will be lost. A stiff wrist forces the rod to load under the pressure of the fly line. There are gadgets like large rubber bands and leather tethers that are for sale and can keep your wrist from breaking on the forward cast, but what about the back cast? A powerful backcast is what I stress most when teaching. And the gadget I promote here is the natural, god-given meat of your wrist. (See picture A). When you pull the rod back to throw the line in back of you, your wrist will be unable to fail with the butt of the rod in your wrist. This is what creates the power. I analogize the backcast to throwing a Frisbee.


The red dot is where the rod butt digs during the back cast. A small bruise may occur but better there than your ego. Mention this article to get 15% off a casting lesson with me.