Terry Edmonds' Casting Masterclass
Terry Edmond's needs no introduction when it comes to casting. A world record holder with over 30 years of casting experience behind him. Here, Terry breaks down everything required for maximum range.
To become skilled at long-range fishing, nothing is more important than having a powerful, accurate and consistent casting technique. Without this, fishing at range will always be challenging and angling well at distance simply will not be possible.
Casting techniques have evolved a lot through the years, and now once understood and practiced, long range fishing can be done very efficiently.
The casting technique itself can be broken down into many parts, but I consider these three parts to be vital to cast long. Within this, there is many smaller parts to the cast, that can be refined as you become more skilled in casting.
Fishing areas on lakes where there is less pressure and lines is always going to work to your advantage
Time, Power and Speed:-
Time is required to get the lead moving the way we want it to go and to give us time to bend and compress the rod. The more time we have, the more we can bend the rod. The rod then stores energy, the more we compress the rod the more energy it stores, this is why time is important especially with stiff rods. Expansive arm position and an effective step is the way we make this time.
Power - This is required to actually bend the rod, we need to recruit our big muscle groups, these are stronger and more explosive. Too many people rely on the smaller muscle groups in the arms and this limits the distance that will be cast, it also means that casting will become tiring very quickly.
Speed is created mainly towards the end of the cast, the arms are very good at accelerating the rod and lead, but also with a sudden stop will transfer power. The later the speed is applied, the better.
Setting Up For Casting:-
The first thing we have to do is get the drop on the rod right, this is where you lower the lead to set up the cast. The advice I always give is between the butt guide and the first guide on the tip section after the spigot or overfit. Somewhere in between these two points will be the perfect drop. There is no wrong or right but I recommend if the rod feels soft you will need shorter drops, if the rod feels stiff, longer drops.
I always have my whole hand in front of the reel, this moves the lever point up the rod and makes the powerful rods we use for distance casting easier to bend.
Arms have to be raised above your head as high as you can, this gives you bigger arcs and levers, the hand nearest the reel placed behind your ear, this makes your arms in an expansive position.
Your natural body angle will mean your stomach will be pointing around 45 degrees from your target this allows you to use your body in the cast.
The feet are placed very close together with the left foot pointing at the target where you want to cast. This helps with accuracy. By placing your feet close together, you also have room to create time with an expansive step.
To initiate the cast, we are going to have a big step with the front foot, while looking at your target, keeping your arms high, when your front foot is planted you will then push with your legs, through your body and a fast punch finished with a late fast left hand will finish the cast.
Do not look too high into the sky when casting, as this will lead to high casts and shorter distances and when hitting at the clip on a too high cast, you will be short of the required distance as too much bow will be created in the cast
To improve your distance casting, you have to practice the correct movements until it becomes muscle memory. Its like any sporting movement.
Accuracy is the path that the rod takes and is controlled by the hand near the reel, a right-handed caster must ensure his right hand is going towards the target, not line up with the left. If the right arm goes at the target, the rod goes at the target and if you don’t let go too early, the lead will go at the target. We are trying to be like a robot, setting up the same every cast and replicate the movements time and time again.
The Hardware I Use for Range Work:-
For long-range fishing the tackle you choose is important, and the most important item for me is the rod that you use.
I always use powerful 13ft rods for my distance fishing, stiffer blanks pull bigger arcs in the cast and transfer power faster at the end of the cast as the recovery is quick. They can also handle bigger leads; this is vital when casting against adverse winds and using higher diameter mono lines. Contrary to many people’s belief, 13ft rods are actually easier to cast further with, this has been proved on my casting tuitions now for many years.
For the last two and half years I have used the kaizen 13ft, 4lb test curve rods for all my fishing. It’s a fast tapered blank, this means it has a powerful butt and mid-section that quickly tapers down to a fish playing tip even in higher test curves. It also means that a lot of the weight in the rod is in the butt section so feels really well balanced and light in the hand. The 4lb test curve rating may seem a bit daunting to some, but it’s not over stiff and if anybody is after a Kaizen rod for distance work, it would always be my recommendation.
Next is line choice, there is no doubt that my first choice these days is tapered lines. There is a leader built into the mainline that has no knots, making it extremely smooth to cast, very strong and extremely safe for fish, as there are no knots for rig components to slide over.
The Long Chuck tapered mono I have used in France and on my UK waters, has caught me fish over 60lb, and being low stretch, means it helps transfer energy in the cast, but also helps to feel the lead down at range, which in an angling sense, is very important. I prefer using the 15lb (0.33mm) version but will drop to 12lb (0.30mm) if the venue is clear of weed and snags, or if I need to fish further.
Reel wise, you are looking for a big pit style reel, I have cast many reels over the years and the truth is they all can cast a long way, it's what you prefer I am currently using reels by Daiwa.
Most of my long-range angling is done with Hybrid Lead Clips, setup with the Nano tubing and accompanying Tail rubber. This tubing is heavy and thin, I also cut it down so it’s only a few inches longer that my rig, this helps the rig fly further in the cast but still prevents tangles in flight.
Lead size is always between 4 and 5 ounce, choosing the tournament shaped leads for maximum range. The heavy lead helps with casting distance, loading rods and combating unfavourable winds. My longest casts have come on 4.5 ounce leads.
The great advantage of using Lead Clips is that you can utilise most hook link materials soft or stiff, especially when used in conjunction with anti-tangle sleeves that I use for all my fishing. The soft hinge hinge rig is a favourite of mine, but can’t really be used on Heli Safe setups when fishing extreme range.
I also advise that you use a fingerstall for all your casting and please, double check the clutch is done up tight before you cast. A slipping spool and high powered casts, can cause nasty cuts and tangles.
Common Mistakes I See When Range Fishing:-
Casting too high - If you release too early, the lead trajectory will be too high and the lead will not travel as far as it could, basically dropping out of the sky. You will also wate a lot of energy, especially if you let go early and carry on moving the rod.
Buying rods that are too soft to cast at range - I often see that anglers buy a softer rod as they feel it's easier to compress, this of course is true. The trouble is, softer rods recover slower so the lead speed is slow and they will struggle to reach the required spots. Stiffer rods with a half decent technique are always easier to get distance with.
Overfilling spools - Another common belief is that if you fill the reel up to the very top, you will gain distance. In my experience, all this will produce is more wind knots, so you're much better to slightly under-fill and have trouble free fishing, you won’t lose any distance.
The last common mistake is the belief that to improve, you just have to hit the cast harder and harder, which is untrue and will simply burn you out quicker. Learn a powerful technique moving the right way in the right order, not only will you cast further and more accurately, the potential for more distance is greatly increased and you'll be able to cast at range for longer periods without fatigue.
Fishing at range isn’t easy and a lot of anglers find it difficult as it requires practice and hard work. The rewards though, are very worthwhile as not all anglers are prepared to work at it. Fishing areas on lakes where there is less pressure and lines is always going to work to your advantage, especially on high pressured waters. Effectively getting rigs safely into these 'safe' zones can quote literally change a season. It’s also very satisfying to have a skill that not everybody has, that’s why I enjoy what I do, the effort you put in is high, but the sense of achievement is greater.
To follow Terry's journey, including information on his casting tutorials, his own angling exploits and weight training journey, he can found on Instagram at terry_edmonds and his latest Korda film with Darrell Peck is available now on YouTube, watch below.