Overhead Punch Cast: good for both distance and accuracy
1 Getting lined-up
Before you set your arms and hold the rod in the normal position, the first thing you have to do is point your front foot in direction of cast. With that in position, the next thing to do is stand comfortably with rod overhead and reel position just above your head and then look down the rod blank in the target direction. Comfortable? Now it’s time to move onto stage two.
2 Part loading
There are three key steps to starting the loading process. Firstly, bring your body weight back over your rear leg. Now pull your arms back with the reel now behind your head. Finally, keep the reel arm tight to the head and with your butt grip arm start pointing upwards in an attempt to lock your legs, body and arms ready for the cast.
3 Loading it up
Here comes the important part: keeping the body stabile, step the front leg forward as you drive the body forward off the rear leg. Keep the rod overhead until you feel the body reaching its most forward point. Now pull hard down with the butt-gripped arm and push hard forward and up with the reel grip arm. Finally, bring the rear foot forward next to the front once the lead has been released.
This final stage is where you can gain or lose a lot of yardage. Firstly, you need to keep your balance at the moment of release and secondly, you need to keep the rod pointing upwards at about a 45-degree angle until the lead lands. If you lower the rod when the lead is in flight, you will slow it down reducing the distance you would of originally hit.
Over The Shoulder Cast: perfect for all-out distance
1 A clock face
With this approach you need to adjust the body, but still have the front foot facing towards the direction of the cast. The body should be side on to the lake with all your weight over the rear leg. Twist the trunk of the body and shoulders around so they are facing away from the lake and point the rod further around the body with the lead flicked out straight. If the lake is the 12 o’clock position, the hips should be facing 4, the shoulders 6 with the rod pointing to about 8 and the lead at 10.
2 Feet placement
As you start to make the cast, drive the rear leg forward and begin to rotate the body trunk. This will start to bring the rod around automatically over the reel arm shoulder. It’s important to keep driving the hips forward, as the shoulders will follow. As a result of doing this, the rod tip is now travelling at massive speed and this is when most will begin to be off balance so feet placement is critical. Balance is everything with this style, as the more stable you are, the more tip speed you will create.
3 Finishing the cast
Now that the hips are facing forward, keep pushing the shoulders forward. Your body will now be in a similar position to the overhead thump but with the rod coming over your shoulder instead of over the head. Finish the cast with your arms pulling and pushing (i.e. the butt-gripped arm pulling and the reel seat-gripped arm pushing) and try to keep the rod up in the same position as the overhead cast until the lead lands. This style of cast should be practised loads before applying the ‘full squeeze of power’.
Now hit your spots with zero fuss
Thanks to the above info, you should now be able to hit all areas of your lake, but the second stage to maximising your time on the bank is to get your rods in with minimal disturbance and this can now be done with total precision and at zero cost.
Swim Mapper is a new, free-to-download app which works using a series of photos and icons, and allows you to mark down previous features/spots and record important information such as distance (number of wraps around marker sticks), depth (feet or metres), substrate (silt, weed, clay, sand or gravel), plus additional notes such as catch log etc. This is a huge edge if you fish just one water, as you can quickly build up a lot of information.
However, what’s also brilliant about this brand-new app from tackle monsters Fox, is you can share information with friends, so if, for example, you are heading down to Linear’s Manor Farm for the weekend and you know your mate Heavy Metal Dave has angled down there in the past and has used said app, he can share that valuable info with you and in return for doing so Fox will give him three free swim downloads!
With that information you now have a major head-start: you’ll know the exact distance to previous ‘hot’ spots, what the lakebed is like there and how much Dave feed. Brilliant, eh?!