Wednesday, 27 March 2013


First off a big thank you to everyone visiting the blog.  I am amazed at the following round the world.  The blog has been visited by fishers from 23 different countries!  I have been delighted with the positive comments from fishers and non-fishers alike.  Please do not hesitate to add to what I have posted or to put me right if you feel I have got something wrong.  You can do it by posting a comment at the bottom of the posts. The weather here in the UK is still very cold and wintery so I am blogging rather than fishing, but that will change soon and I will be able to make my posts more exciting!

Most of us have a favoured arm when it comes to casting.  In reality a lot of single handed rod fishers only have one “casting” arm.   However, there are many reasons why it is a good idea to be able to cast with both arms.  Let me review them:-

·         You have flown abroad on a fishing trip and on taking your suitcase out of the taxi you sprain the wrist of your casting arm.  Disaster!  However, if you can switch arms for casting you could prevent the holiday being a total failure.

·         A strong wind is blowing the fly behind you on the back cast and you run the risk of imbedding the fly or heavy lure in the back of your head on the forward cast.  Being able to change casting arms means that the wind is now blowing the fly away from you on the back cast.  You are safer and don’t have to keep ducking or resorting to casting across your body or forward casting away from the water and laying the line on the water using the back cast!

·         Being able to cast left-handed means that in an adverse strong wind you can move away from all the right-handed fishers and fish a location that is less disturbed, catch more fish and leave them green with envy!

·         When sharing a boat with a companion, ghillie or guide you can cast with an arm that takes the fly over the water and not over the boat occupants.  I find fewer apologies are required!

Fishers on the Yakima: Left and right-handed casting keeps the guide safe!

·         When teaching your left-handed pal, you can hold the rod the same way they are.

·         Particularly when river fishing, being able to cast with both arms means you can handle dealing with obstacles and the wind better.  Also, you can cover both sides of the river more comfortably. 

·         When the fishing is a little too easy (yes, that has been known to happen) and (say) you are on a four fish ticket/limit, having caught the first brace fairly quickly you can make it a little harder by switching rod arms.

·         When your favoured casting arm feels like it is about to fall off (often a sign of poor casting technique) you have a fresh arm in reserve.

Now learning to cast with the other arm is almost as difficult as learning to cast with your usual arm but all it needs is practice.  The best way, I am told, is to get two identical rod and line setups and practice the overhead cast action with both rods simultaneously.  You don’t even have to be casting on water, casting on short grass can be fine.  Now when my wife reads this she will know why I keep our lawn nice and short!  When fishing, a good time to practice is when the fish are having their afternoon siesta.  At that time, you probably don’t want to pack up and go home because you are anticipating the evening rise, so to usefully use the time, have a casting practice session.    I also favour having my own “siesta” as when I get tired even my good casting can end up as aerial knitting!

So rise to the challenge, be brave and let’s see you becoming ambidextrous and more able to conquer the conditions and land more fish!  Wow! I surprised myself with that line.  Am starting to sound like Joan Wolff?




  1. Makes me want to get out there and have a go. Barcode

  2. Yes, We have cold east winds at present as soon as temperatures rise a bit I'll be on the bank or in a boat.

  3. Alan, I have first "hand" experience with switch-hitting. After a serious injury to my right hand, I was forced to use my left in order to get back on the river. I spent a good deal of time lawn casting, as you describe. It worked, I fished and even managed to catch a few, but I'm glad I have full use of my right hand again, makes it all so much easier.