Fred Whitehouse of Mt. Vernon, Virginia, is looking for casting help:

The most notable thing about my backcast is the line ends in a big curve or sag. The forward cast ends in the line being nearly straight. I have heard much about what is supposed to happen to the line during the backcast. Does it make a difference and what are the characteristics to look for?

Q. I made a video of myself casting. The most notable thing I see is that the backcast ends with the line in a big curve or sag. The forward cast ends in the line being nearly straight. I have heard much about what is supposed to happen to the line during the backcast. Does it make much difference what goes on during the backcast? Are there good and bad characteristics to look for? - Frank Whitehouse, Mt. Vernon, VA

The backcast represents about 80 percent of a good cast. It is the foundation on which you build the cast. When there is a deep sag in the backcast, you cannot make a forward cast until the rod has moved forward enough to remove the sag and straighten the line.

The reason for your sagging backcast is that you stop the tip in a windshield wiper-type stroke that results in the rod tip dipping back and down; hence the line goes back and down, creating that sag.

Start with your rod low when beginning a backcast; then try throwing the line at the rod tip. I think you'll see an improvement in both the back and forward casts.

-Lefty