Cast your lure further and it’s highly likely you’ll get heaps more fish, especially in heavily fished waters or when it’s shallow and clear.
THESE days everyone is looking for an edge. We always want just that little bit more performance from every aspect of our lure fishing game. Casting distance has always been important, but now that our waterways are under more fishing pressure than ever, it has become critical. If we look at something as competitive as bream tournament fishing where a few grams here or there in your bag weight can mean the difference between the big bucks and a big drive home with a long face, casting distance is just gold.
There are plenty of things you can do to increase your casting length. The first is just to realise how important it is and to always have it in the front of your mind. Look to the simple stuff first. Always tune your reels so that the line sits evenly on your spool. You do this by adding a little washer onto the shaft under the spool. If the line load slopes up towards the lip of the spool add a washer or even two if you have to. If the line load bulges towards the rear of the spool then take a washer away. All good reels will have some extra washers for this purpose in the reel box.
Light line just casts further and most competition anglers use three-pound braid and two or three-pound test mono straight through for casting a long way with a vibe or hard-body on the flats. If two lures have about the same fish catching ability, always go for the one that casts further. This is where a bit of preparation comes in – the good guys are out there casting one lure against another to see which one goes that little bit further.
Casting technique is also important and you have to know which lures respond to hard flat casts and which ones can be launched into the jet stream and blown for extra distance down wind.
Rods for super distance have probably lagged a bit behind lures and lines as far as development goes. Materials seem to have hit a bit of a wall as far as resin systems, runners and types of graphite and fibreglass are concerned, which really only leaves improved design as a way to cast further. The trend, especially in bream tournament rods, has definitely been to extra length. Chris Wright is a gun on bream and he is always looking for rods that cast further and are tuned up to fire out long leaders. I guess he isn’t the only one. Modern bream anglers are fairly sophisticated creatures and they need distance rods that have tips to protect light lines while still boasting gutsy bottom sections to control fish.
I still get a bit of a kick out of seeing the bream thing get to the level it has and watching the best anglers using very light lines on rods that could actually work over much heavier string is a buzz. These guys are sharp anglers and now there are a few long-cast rods out there to take their fishing up another notch.
There’s a shot opposite of a very happy Chris Wright using his brand new long-cast rod – only a couple of years ago you could have been run out of town for using something 7’ 9” inches long to catch a bream.
A funny thing happened when I took that same rod to the mountains and cast lures from the bank with it. The thing cast a mile and belted the trout. Then I wanted to troll some lures so I just hung the silly long bream rod out of a rod holder and it worked a treat. The need for this particular type of rod was driven originally by a desire for extra casting distance on the bream tournament scene, but it turns out that a longer spin rod with a good tip and a gutsy butt section makes a diabolical general purpose fishing tool.
Don’t tell anyone, but I have been throwing a few lures in the surf lately and I can tell you that distance is really important here. I am probably the worst surf fisho on the planet but I know when you see a bunch of salmon out the back and the wind is in your face that throwing a lure a long way is a must. I have been going really light and I am amazed at how far I can throw a metal lure on six pound braid. The same lessons learned on the bream scene still apply. Catching even big salmon in the surf on the lightish line is fun but, man, you can still pull really hard on six pound braid! I just tie a long leader of 15lb mono which takes the strain of casting the metal lure and the braid follows along and cuts through the breeze.
There are certainly areas of lure fishing where accuracy is more important than distance, but adapting some of the things we have already looked at for increasing your casting distance will usually pay off in the form of increased action in most fishing situations. It doesn’t really matter if you’re casting lures for bream, roaming the banks of a mountain lake for trout or casting for striped tuna off the rocks. The general principles are the same – make sure you’re using the lightest line possible; tune up the spool on your reel; and select the longest casting lure you can find. Put a bit of work into deciding which rod will really do the job and then give it your best shot. I think you’ll find the same thing that I have – distance really is gold.