Saltwater Casting Tips

A drone view of a fishing boat on a green ocean.

Five things you need to know, practice, and understand for saltwater fly-fishing success.

Orvis master instructor Pete Kutzer shows you the basic skills necessary for any angler who wants to catch fish in big, open saltwater environments.

An instructor standing on grassy lawn holding a fly rod

Adding Distance to Your Cast

Pete Kutzer demonstrates the best way to add distance to your fly cast. It's important that you keep your fly rod tip moving in a straight line along both planes and that you lengthen your casting stroke as you add line.

Close-up of an instructor holding a fly rod

Shooting Line at the End of a Cast

In this episode, Peter demonstrates how to shoot line at the end of a cast. Sometimes, the fish are just beyond your normal casting range, and you need a little extra distance. That's when you need to shoot some line during the presentation cast. The key is to wait until you see the loop unrolling in front of you before you release your grasp of the line. If you release too early, you end up feeding slack upward through the guides, which causes the flexed rod to "unload" and causing your cast to collapse altogether. You must retain your grip on the line until after the rod stops.

An instructor demonstrating a cast

The Double Haul

In this lesson, Peter explains why the double haul is useful for adding distance to the cast and taking pressure off your casting arm and wrist. Then he demonstrates exactly what you need to do for a successful double haul, from the right timing to the proper length of your haul.

An instructor holding a fishing rod while standing on a picnic bench

The Double Haul: Part 2

Even if you understand the concept and the mechanics behind double-hauling, teaching yourself to do it can be difficult because you can’t watch yourself while you cast to see what you’re doing right or doing wrong. So what’s the big secret? Cast sidearm, so the rod and line move parallel to the ground. This allows you to watch the whole process: the loading of the rod, the timing of the haul, and the way your line speed increases when you do it right. When you can actually see the mechanics of the double haul, you can more quickly perfect it.

An instructor casting with a fly rod while standing next to pond

Casting in the Wind

Peter demonstrates how to cast in the wind, no matter what direction it's coming from.