Haul & Haul Some More
We have had more than our share of windy days during the past couple of months. There are Permit and Bonefish on the flats and Tarpon in the channels IF you can cast in 20+knot winds. For most people that is a BIG IF.
So let's talk about casting in windy conditions. The very best way to handle wind casting is to face down wind. But even then, the back cast is difficult because the wind knocks the line down. A "hauling" technique on the back cast will help alleviate this problem. Simply pull on the line with your stripping hand as you make your back cast (a.k.a. "haul" on the back cast) and the hauling motion will load up the rod and increase the line speed, punching the line through the wind. (It also helps to make this back cast a "steeple" cast so that the line won't slap the water behind you.) Once the back cast has unfurled, you then make your forward cast to the target.
If you are casting against the wind, then you must put more emphasis on a tight loop and a "haul" on your forward cast. It also helps to cast sidearm with the line low to the water to avoid wind resistance. It is possible to make a long cast against the wind using this technique. When forward "hauling", pull on the line with your stripping hand as you make your forward casting motion. This "haul" will load up your rod and increase the line speed, punching the line through the wind. It is imperative that your casting loop be tight in this situation or all of that effort will be for naught.
Any time you use the "haul" technique, try to keep the pulling action on the line compact. In other words, pull on the stripping line hard with less than a foot long pull, trying to keep your stripping hand close to the rod handle. Most experts recommend that you keep your stripping hand within a couple of feet of your rod handle during the "haul". A lazy hand that winds up down around your waist during the haul will inhibit your ability to "double-haul".
The "double haul" is one of the more difficult casting techniques to master. Once mastered, it will help you cast in any wind condition. Timing and feel is everything when "double hauling". Once you have developed a "haul" on your back cast or on your forward cast, then try to haul again on the other end of the cast. Keep in mind that in between the "hauls" your stripping hand must return to the rod handle so that you may "haul" again!
Practice...Practice...Practice...eventually you will be able to cast no matter where the wind is blowing! If you have any questions about casting or would like a casting lesson, or if you would just like to check on the fishing contact Capt. Dexter Simmons at 305-745-3304 or by email email@example.com
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