Q: My accuracy is OK when I do a 50- to 55-foot lawn haul, but if I try to incorporate false casting, my accuracy suffers. What can you recommend to improve my precision when I’m false casting?
A: Here is a technique that helps many people. When you practice this exercise, it’s critical that you are constantly watching the rod tip.
Start with about 30 feet of line plus your leader on the ground in front of you. Imagine that you are throwing the line at the rod tip. You are not attempting to make a cast but instead are trying to throw the fly line directly at the rod tip. Make a low, side backcast that will allow the line to fall to the ground, and stop at the end of the cast. If you threw the line at the rod tip, the line will be lying straight on the ground. If during the backcast you ducked the rod tip, meaning the line was not thrown at the rod tip as it fell on the lawn, a large, undesirable loop is evident. Repeat the same technique for the forward cast, stopping after each backcast and forward cast to examine the results.
When the line consistently falls straight in front and back, you are on the right track. At this point, try false casting, but always look at the rod tip and imagine that you are not casting but throwing the line at the tip. Your loops will tighten, and your false casting will improve.