Saltwater Quickcast

Good Evening Saltwater Demi Gods and those Alike -

I've been looking at the amazing CI pictures that @Mems posted (thanks for sharing) and now I'm anxiously waiting to try my luck. With my trip to flats Shangri-La quickly approaching, I wanted to get your opinion on your favorite saltwater quickcast techniques. The quickcast I've been practicing allows me to pinch the fly (hook up) against the grip with my right thumb, while the left hand manages most of the line (left thumb and index finger pinch the portion of line I'll be hauling while the pinkie finger manages the excess line neatly coiled).

This will be my first saltwater trip (besides fishing the PS beaches) and I'd love to hear what has and hasn't worked for you (not looking to accidentally hook my guide or myself). Thanks for your advice and feedback!


Active Member
Holding the fly with your right thumb against the grip while left hand manages the line is an alternative I guess, whatever works for you from your practice. What works for me was holding the fly with my left hand and let the line dangle down a bit from the rod tip, don't let it out too much to the point of tangling, just enough to load up the rod quickly with a few false casts. But whatever works for you go with that.

I don't know about the neatly coiled line with the pinkie finger however, doesn't sound realistic in the heat of the moment and especially the wind :)
Guide boats will have for you a deep standing cylinder shape bucket for you to store the excess line in so you that. When you first get in strip out all the line you think you can and cast it all out. Then strip the line in just like we do into our stripping basket so it's ready to depart the rod in the correct order. If you just only strip out into the basket then the aft section of the line will be on top of the fore section and that might cause tangles when you cast to that fish and your hands are shaking with adrenaline :)

If you want a quick loading line then consider the Bruce Chard's taper it was made for that close quarter quick loading requirement.
Good luck! Post a report!
Thanks KFish. I figure the wind is definitely going to be a factor and also the sudden rush of adrenaline that hits causing you to forget everything. Will definitely post a report, you'll just have to wait a month for it.


MA-9 Beach Stalker
Definitely practice your saltwater quick cast before your trip. Hold the fly at the bend of the hook. If you are wading the flats then you can allow some of your floating line to trail behind you. Hold 3-4 coils of line loosely over your pinky finger as you scan for fish. Stripping out 40-45 feet of line is plenty. Less line if spotting light is poor. Keep practicing casting accuracy in the 15 to 45 foot range.


Active Member
If you are wading, a good stripping basket really is the best way to do it, but I can understand that you might not want to drag one all that way.

The strategy that I have ended up with is to hold the fly in my left hand, with a rather large loop of line out of the rod - something like 20’ of fly line plus the leader. That lets you roll cast to any fish that creep up on you at less than maybe 40’ (on a calm day). Not making a false cast will catch you a lot more of those close in fish! I manage the rest of the line by having big loops on each of the other fingers of my left hand. I think that separate fingers in each loop might tangle less often. If I need to make a big cast with a haul, I drop the loops and go from there.

The total amount of line to carry depends on a lot of things, like how far away you can see the fish, your casting ability, wind, eelgrass in the water etc etc. On a decent day that would be around 60’ of fly line. Even if it’s flat calm and you can see the fish a mile away, most of the time it’s better to wait until the fish is in the range that you can make with only one false cast and a decent line shoot. False casting twenty times spooks fish (and it makes you look like an idiot ;)


Active Member
Strip out the line you will need to cast 40 feet. Let it drag behind you in the water. Keep your fly in your other hand. Have enough fly line out to load the rod, like 6 feet. Try not to step on the fly line or get it tangled in your feet. Scan for fish and movement and try to identify the species. You will be tempted to cast to milkfish. Not always a bad idea, as bones can travel in the same school. It is better to be able to cast accurately to fish at 40-60 feet than beyond that. Let the fly sink to the bottom and do little tugs in the sand. Try and strip away from the fish, not at the fish. If the fish zooms over to the fly long strip, it has the fly in its mouth. If it does a shudder, it is trying to spit the fly, hit the fish with a strip strike. Don't lift the rod tip. When the fish runs clear line. you can take your left hand and make a circle with your thumb and index finger to make another loop and it helps keep the line from wrapping your reel seat. Tip up and get the line on the reel, have fun, bonefish are fast. They make a couple of runs, when they curve, do the bannana they are done. They calm down if you turn them over. Good luck, Mems.
Thanks @DimeBrite, @Chucker, @Mems and @Scudley Do Right. Really appreciate the info. I have been practicing my accuracy over the last few weeks and will continue to do so until I’m in CXI. I’ve also been beating into my brain to not lift the rod to set the hook (bad trout fishing habit:D).

I definitely don’t want to look like this although it’s a masterful technique!