Fly Casting- Simple Curve Casts

by Carl McNeil of On the Fly Productions

like the title says, here’s two methods of of presenting the line with a curve near the end of it. as Carl mentions, the curves can be used to go around obstacles but they can also be used as we would with curve mends to reduce or increase drag during the drift on flowing water or when using the wind to drift our flies on stillwaters. and those are just a few examples, the world of presentation casts is about using your imagination to adapt to the situations at hand.

i’ll most certainly agree that the Underpowered curve is a tricky one to use while fishing and even if there’s no wind. practiced as we may, being accurate consistently just doesn’t happen and even if we get it right, we’re left with an enormous amount of slack that needs to be tightened up if there’s a strike…
however,  i really recommend practicing the Under-powered curve as an exercise in power application control. since most people over-power their casts, this one teaches them to do the opposite !

the Over-powered curve cast is closely related to the Tuck cast but we’ll notice that the difference between the two isn’t just about the plane in which they are performed.
the Tuck is performed with the fly leg parallel (over) with the rod leg and with the Over-powered the fly leg swings under the rod leg. we can see this clearly on the head-on shots.

next time you’re out practicing give these a try and you’ll see how easy it is to make these so-called ‘trick-casts’. if you do them, say, in a yard with bushes and other obstacles (and better yet a cat !) you’ll get the feel for their purpose right away while having fun.

try different casting planes and try to remember that even though it’s called ‘over-powered’ it does say ‘hit it like a brute’ :mrgreen:

10 thoughts on “Fly Casting- Simple Curve Casts

    • me too Aitor, we know very well leader design and length will greatly effect its turnover performance and this one’s more about showing well on film than being ‘realistic’.
      a straight piece of 0,60 mm turns over super-easy and a long tapered leader doesn’t, specially with a long thin tippet and light or wind-resistant flies.
      with shorter leaders and heavier flies like weighted nymphs and streamers what helps though is to cast a slower, larger loop and amplify the final stop/pullback movement.
      this leader issue is a good example of the compromises often required for filming purposes. as you noted, it might not be a usable cast in all situations but my feeling is the cast on the video is more important in the sense of inspiring fly fishers to break out of the ‘overhead cast box’ and experiment with different methods of presentation.

      • I love the DVD and I told so to Carl when he released it, however IMHO that traditional approach to overpowered curve casts results in frustration for the fisher pursuing moderately difficult trout with a dry fly. Those casts with the kind of leaders we use over here are just plain impossible to make. If you want a curve you must resort to other techniques.

  1. ok, so we agree ! and i guess we both disagree with these two casts being a requirement for the MCCI exam :mrgreen:
    at the moment i can think of at least four other ways 🙂 would you include your Natural Curve in the list ?


    • and this reminded me of your SL FP because i wanted to read it again and i can’t find it… and i remember the video but i see you’ve removed it.
      anyhow, i’m sure our readers (specially i :mreen: ) would be very interested in your new video !

      speaking of videos, i’ll try to remember to do a little one for you about that ‘finger-roll tightening of the grip during the stop’ that you showed interest in on the climbing loop post.


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