Q I have been doing a lot of fly-fishing from a kayak, and casting from this position feels awkward. Some people have recommended using a longer rod (mine is 9 feet). Do you think a longer rod would help?
No, I don’t. Your problem is that you have a sag in your backcast, caused by the rod tip dipping down and back. The line hits the surface behind you, and you try to elevate the cast. The line goes in the direction the rod tip stops. If the tip stops on the backcast while it is rising, you will throw a straight line with any rod. To accomplish this you must make a side cast. Lower the rod tip to the surface, and imagine you are bringing it up along a wedge. Be sure to speed up and stop the tip while it is rising. If it dips down and back, you’ll eliminate the sag problem.