Persistently casting low and left has three main causes – weak left arm action, pushing too hard with the right shoulder and aiming directly at the spot where you want the rig to hit the water. Our casting guru John Holden shows you how to cast straight.


man holding fishing rod

1. Space your hands properly

The grips and reel seat on some rods are so far apart that you can either push or pull, but not both at the same time. As a quick fix, ignore the butt grip so that your hands are about 30in apart.

man casting his rod

2. Maximise the rod’s arc

If you’re using an overhead thump, start with the rod tip as low as possible. Ideally, switch to an off-ground layout to maximise the rod tip’s path. Whatever the case, set up to make the cast with your left elbow held high.

3. Aim high

With the cast ready to go, aim at a point in the sky about a foot above your left hand, which itself should be held at roughly eye level.

4. Keep the action slow and smooth

Oddly enough, this is the most difficult part for most people. Use no more than half your normal speed and effort.

man casting his rod

5. Balanced arm action

Pull down with your left hand from the very start. The right arm will look after itself, pushing steadily upward and forward. Concentrate on feeling that your left hand is pulling down about twice as hard as the right is pushing. This not only gives height and power but also makes the rod behave like a giant catapult. Stay focused on the aiming spot until the rig is up and away. Straightness is a natural by-product of height, but you may find that accuracy is even better if you aim a little to the right of the intended flight path.

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