a variation of the ‘Figure of Eight’ retrieve

as all fly fishers know, once the line’s out there we have to bring it back in one way or another and we don’t depend on our reels for this.
whether for retrieving the fly to impart some ‘life’ to it or simply bringing the line back in to cast it out again, some form of retrieve is necessary and to do this well (to avoid tangling the line or have it washed away by current) we need to find the right line management for the particular situation of the moment.

among many, the figure of eight retrieve is quite common and here’s a very clever variation of the ‘8’ as it not only brings line in at a regular speed (but nobody says you have to retrieve it at a regular pace !) but it’s all stored where we need it most: right there at our fingertips and not on the ground or water. particularly suited for situations where we’re fishing rather close (a non-conclusive example might be upstream dry or nymph fishing in rivers), here’s a great tip from Peter Hayes on how to combine retrieve and temporary line storage at the same time.

as a child, i was taught a very similar technique to the one below with the biggest difference being that the line was brought in between the four fingers instead of using the thumb. the inconvenience of this method being that even though we don’t have to twist our wrists as much, less line can be brought in and because of the narrower gap of the fingers it doesn’t shoot out as well but the basic principle is the same as the one below.

as Peter writes, this is a:
“Constant speed retrieve as an alternative to the standard figure 8.
Benefits. Very Fast, Never tangles.”

enjoy !

2 thoughts on “a variation of the ‘Figure of Eight’ retrieve

    • hej Joakim, nice to see you here !
      yup, that’s a good one too. we wouldn’t use it for the same reasons as the ‘8’ but they’re all good to know well and have in our bag of tricks. thanks 😀

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