Fly Fishing for Beginners – The Overhead Cast (where’s your rod really stopping!)

Fly Fishing for Beginners – The Overhead Cast (where’s your rod really stopping!)


picture of man holding fishing rod
The correct stop position for the overhead cast. The rod is just beyond the vertical position.

When we are teaching fly fishing for beginners and we are looking at the overhead cast there are always a few common problems we encounter. In this series we address some common issues.

To successfully master the overhead cast it is vital that, on your backwards cast you stop the rod just beyond the vertical position. One of the most common issues when we are teaching fly fishing for beginners is that although the arm may stop the rod keeps going. This is because of what we call a “broken wrist”.

a man holding a fishing rod
A common fault. The arm has stopped in the correct position but the “broken wrist” has allowed the rod to keep going.

Beginners rarely realise that they are allowing the rod to travel  beyond the correct stop position during the overhead cast. I always ask people I am teaching to show me where they think they are stopping the rod and they nearly always think they are stopping correctly. They cannot believe it when they are shown just how far back the rod has travelled!

If your cast just isn’t working and has no energy or doesn’t shoot out across the water and present the fly well then this could well be an issue.

Fly Fishing for Beginners Tips

  • Get a friend to watch your cast to see where your rod stops.
  • Video yourself when casting to assess your stop position.
  • Buy some double sided velcro and strap the rod to your wrist to provide support and stop the wrist from “breaking”.

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