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There are a few common mishaps that occur when casting your fly line. The first is having your line wrap around the tip of your rod. Casting, pulling on a snagged fly or fighting a fish with the line wrapped around the tip can break your fly rod. This can be prevented with proper control of your line and rod. Here are a few tips to help you keep your fly line from tangling itself near the tip of your rod.
Check your length
Before you begin casting, you need to double check a few things. The first is how much line is out of your rod tip. You always want all of your tippet and leader AND about 1-2 rod lengths of the fly line to extend beyond the rod tip before you begin casting.
If the tip of the fly line is caught in your guides, the odds of becoming tangled increase. Be sure to stop and pull a few feet of line out of the tip before you get started. If you pull too much fly line out of your tip before you start casting, you’ll struggle to find a rhythm.
Don't keep an excessive amount of line beyond the rod tip. The less fly line you have out of your rod tip, the easier it is to gain a rhythm. If you’re casting heavier streamers, you’ll struggle to control your false casts so you need a minimal amount out of your rod tip.
When you begin false casting, many people rush because they’re trying to get to the perfect spot too quickly. As a result, they get tangled in something on shore or wrap the line around the tip. If you slow down your initial false casts, you’ll gain a better rhythm and create enough distance between your fly and the rod tip.
Many anglers like to place the fly in the water and let the current pull enough leader and fly line out to start casting. When this doesn’t happen, they’ll shake the rod tip and find themselves in a tangled mess.
Start the casting process by pulling as much line off of the reel as you can with your arms reach. If the leader is still in the guides, pull more fly line out and make sure it makes it’s way past the rod tip.
Focus on your pickup
When you’re ready to cast, many anglers make the mistake of picking up the line and immediately start casting. This can be a challenging way to find a casting rhythm. A more useful technique is to begin with a roll cast.
Roll cast the line out in the direction you would like to begin fishing and you can start your false casts from there.
What do I do once it is tangled?
This is where many anglers lose precious time on the water. If you see yourself snagged, don’t get frustrated and try to cast it out. Immediately pause and locate the fly.
Once you have the fly, you can work backwards to remove the tangle. The more aggressive you are with fixing your tangles, the more knots you will create. Similar to your casting, removing tangles in your line starts with patience.