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The Underhand Cast

In double handed Salmon casting the Underhand cast was designed (by a well known Swedish caster called Goran Andersson) to accommodate a very economical casting technique when using what are in effect shooting heads. These shooting heads are very short fly lines which can be attached to the running line on your reel (via a loop to loop connection) allowing the angler to carry several different densities of line to cover any situation they may encounter during their fishing trip.

The Underhand casting technique used to cast these lines is not too far away from our well known Spey casting technique, but with a few slight differences which are as follows:

  • The rod tip is raised much higher on the initial lift, just leaving the leader on the water.
  • A mirror image of this lift is produced in the back cast so that the end of the fly line in the D loop does not touch the water, only the leader.
  • As the leader only is touching the water, a much longer leader than usual is required to assist with anchor grip to help make the cast more efficient.
  • As the cast suggests, most of the work is done with the bottom hand, with the top hand used only as a guide.
  • The delivery is a short stroke only with the rod tip stopping in a high position at the end of the forward stroke.

This cast is quite handy when presented with little room behind as a good forward cast can still be produced whilst only creating a small D loop behind the caster, as long as the small amount of line you are using to create your D loop affords you the correct casting weight within it. So if you are making your own shooting heads for instance, make sure they are going to load your rod correctly.

Things to be aware of when using the Underhand cast

  1. You will find that fast action rods lend themselves better to this type of cast.
  2. Although your stroke length is shorter, it must still be a progressive acceleration throughout.
  3. As you are now shooting several yards of thin running line, managing this line during casting can become an issue.

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