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Casting Tip of the Month - Curve Casts

courtesy Atlanta Fly Fishing School

Question: I mend my line to get a drag free float, however I know there is a way to cast a curve in my line so it starts off with a mend. What is the best way to accomplish this?


There are several different casts that will produce curves. The curve cast, the curve mend, and the curve reach are three of them. The curve cast is produced during the cast, it always curves the end of the line, and (in my opinion) is one of the most difficult casts to master. It is also the only true “cast” of the three. The curved mend and the reach mend are made after the casting stroke before the line falls to the water; and, therefore, are mends, not casts. Let’s examine the reach mend and the curve mend since they are more easily mastered and will accomplish your objective. To make the reach mend, cast your line slightly harder and at a slightly higher trajectory than normal. After the stop at the end of the casting stroke “reach” your rod tip straight up stream. To have a mend run the entire length of the line, from the rod tip to the fly, the rod must be dropped to the side immediately after the casting stroke stop. If you pause very long after the stop only the back end of the line will mend upstream. The curve mend is best used to cast around obstructions or to get a portion of your line mended upstream when casting across a fast water current seam to slower pocket water. A curve mend is actually two reach mends, one made after the other in opposite directions. To make a curved mend to the right first reach right immediately followed by reaching back to center or left. You can control the location and size of your curve by varying the timing of your reaches. Reaching immediately after the casting stroke will place the curve toward the tip of your line while a pause after the stop will place the curve closer to your rod. Likewise, a quick reach followed immediately by the opposite reach will create a small curve length whereas a long pause between reaches will create a long curve length. You can also vary the depth of the curve by reaching far to the side or only slightly reaching the tip sideways.

Try combining the reach mend or curved mend with your “on the water mends” for an exceptionally long drag free float.

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