Learning to double haul

Mark Kadoshima

Active Member
I've managed to have a good time fishing with only a forward single haul at most so far. I figure I might as well take some time to work on a double haul. I'm lucky enough to have a number of different weight rods...so....how far should I be able to cast assuming no wind with, for example, a 6 wt Scott Flex? I can use a 3 wt if it is thought to help 'feel' it better. I also have a glass 5 wt that is nice and slow..but not sure why I would ever have to double haul it. I'm not sure how to evaluate how good is actually good. I beach fish a lot, and it can be pretty tough at times, but I can usually always get it still fishable...but I'm not really aiming for a target....just trying to get it out there...anywhere out there. I've taken a lesson, but not sure what is good enough.
Any help appreciated.
 

Scudley Do Right

Active Member
If you're catching fish it's good enough. The 6wt flex wouldn't be the limiting factor. If you get your double haul down you could toss the whole line in to the backing. But you don't need to if you are catching fish. Best way I know to learn is go to an open field and break it down. Throw your rear haul side arm and let it fall to the ground. Then throw your forward haul and let it fall to the ground. After you get that down start picking it up off the ground and put it all together. I'm not a casting instructor just trying to help.
 

Grayone

Fishin' to the end, Oc.P
WFF Supporter
Get the 3wt. Lay line out in front of you with the rod inline and no slack. Pick it up for a backcast with control hand on line. Then as the line straightens just use your control hand to flex the rod (don't use the rod hand). Do this until you can do front casts and back casts with just the power generated with the control hand. Once you get the feel you will also learn to drift. It is a good drill for your control hand.
 

Cruik

Active Member
WFF Supporter
50' is solid. Usually you need a lot less, but sometimes you need to stretch it out. I've wanted for more distance for resident coho sometimes, but I can usually get good distance. Most of the time, the limitation is back-cast room before it's casting skill, I think.

I know some people need focused attention to learn casts, but I think my double haul just needed time and lots of practice. It's not just the timing, but line management when you're trying to get line out quick. I'm more often hauling in order to minimize the number of false casts than I am to get distance. I think a 6 is perfect for learning the double haul. I think mine developed more quickly while pitching streamers on lakes. No back cast worries and you're nearly always trying to stretch it out as far and as quickly as possible to maximize the time spent with fly in the water.
 

Fotdesign

Active Member
When I first tried to learn the double haul I felt overwhelmed. I had a few lessons that helped me with the process. I learned to slow down and think about each part of the stroke. Watching this Orvis tutorial helped me finally put it all together.

I agree that you don’t need to double haul but it does minimize the effort that I put into casting the same distance or longer. I can also cast off the beach for longer periods of time without feeling sore or tired. Just takes practice and it will come to you. Good luck.
 

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
WFF Supporter
I think it depends on what you are fishing for and how “far “ you feel you need to cast. A fly in the air doesn’t catch a thing, it needs to be in the water. I fished with a person that had a great, long cast but I caught more since my fly was in the water, not in the air.
On a lot of lakes, distance isn’t the issue as much as location. It can be near, a bit away, or a bit further.
Just my opinion, which isn’t worth a darn.
 

Steve Kokita

FISHON206
Come on Scott....it’s worth a little darn! Like mine. I totally agree with Scott, the fish are in the wet side. Accurate casts for sipping trout are more fun and can be very close. SRC beach fishing can require longer casts...Best practice is when we can....go fish!
 

Jim Darden

Active Member
I've managed to have a good time fishing with only a forward single haul at most so far. I figure I might as well take some time to work on a double haul. I'm lucky enough to have a number of different weight rods...so....how far should I be able to cast assuming no wind with, for example, a 6 wt Scott Flex? I can use a 3 wt if it is thought to help 'feel' it better. I also have a glass 5 wt that is nice and slow..but not sure why I would ever have to double haul it. I'm not sure how to evaluate how good is actually good. I beach fish a lot, and it can be pretty tough at times, but I can usually always get it still fishable...but I'm not really aiming for a target....just trying to get it out there...anywhere out there. I've taken a lesson, but not sure what is good enough.
Any help appreciated.
The haul will come naturally if you fish more. The distance depends on training your muscles for a gradual acceleration and a sudden stop. It's a little like skiing, it is a mileage game, the more you do it the better you will get. Get out there and fish more!
 

herkileez

Active Member
WFF Supporter
A sharp roll cast to get the line out in front to allow for proper loading of the rod, a quick double haul, and fly should be in the water with good distance. No false casting necessary, should actually mean more time fishing and less time with line in the air.
I agree. I either do a front roll, or one false cast to set up for the haul into the backcast, then a haul on the forward cast.
When I first started to learn the haul, I started trying to follow instructions about "coordinating" the bottom hand pull with the motion of the upper hand. In theory, this was correct, but I found this manner of teaching very confusing....like trying pat my head while rubbing my belly, or trying to put a cast together out of a bunch of separate pieces. When I show someone how to haul, I start them doing light false casts back and forth, then have them incorporate a slight tug with the bottom hand going forward and back. All I tell them is to give a slight tug...the body looks after the coordination to do that w/o a long-winded list of sequences. Once they sense the feel of that, and how it supercharges the rod action, I have them shoot some line going ahead, while increasing the tug with the bottom hand. They're often surprised at how easily the "feared" double haul comes together. It's now so natural to me that I find it odd to cast w/o at least a little haul.
 

castsN2trees

The fish are calling.....
WFF Supporter
Learning to dbl haul is like learning to drive a manual transmission.... your brain fights it at first, but just when you are getting completely frustrated, something just clicks...it just takes practice....

it’s not necessary in most cases.... and yes, accuracy is more important....

but just like a manual transmission, it’s just more fun.....you can’t do burnouts with an automatic transmission and you won’t get into the backing with a single haul....

Non-pro tip: always wear sunglasses when practicing aggressive casting..... you’ll be surprised where you’ll hook yourself, and it is hard to get hooks out of eyeballs...

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Get a casting lesson, once all this COVID-19 madness dies down. I'm 33 and I've been fly fishing since I was about 10, but had my first and only casting lesson a few months ago. It was the best investment in fishing that I've ever made.

I can highly recommend Dave at Emerald Water Anglers.
 

Nick Clayton

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
Distance casting might not be a big deal in regards to catching fish, right up until it is.

If you fish the sound for any time at all you'll have scenarios where the only shot at a good fish that shows itself is a quick, 70+ foot cast. Can someone catch an awful lot of fish at 50' or less? Absolutely. But that same person could catch more with 20' or more added into the casting equation. The big kicker is that learning to cast for distance doesnt mean you HAVE to cast that far, but having the ability to do so can pay big dividends. It's just another tool in the box to be used when necessary.


Its funny how I find being able to cast to good distance to be even more useful from the boat than on the beach. Just seem to encounter a ton of situations where a good fish will come up in a place that is reachable with a good cast, but just inconvenient enough in location to make a quick, and stealthy approach with the boat a tough task. Windy days this is doubly true since it's hard enough to maintain boat position as it is.

I would say my average amount of fishing distance is 60' or so. But having the confidence to strip off 20 more feet of line when the situation dictates, and get that fly towards the fish with minimal false casting often produces some of my best fish .


Basically theres no downside to learning to double haul, but there is definitely upside. Its worth the practice to get it down.
 
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Mark Kadoshima

Active Member
Thanks for all the help guys. I've got a big field just across the street, so I can practice easily and I believe still be 'socially responsible'. I'll aim for the feel of the correct casting first. Then try to limit the false cast to just one and see how accurate my double haul will be. I'll then slowly go for more distance with varying wind directions. I now at least have a rough idea as to what to target for. It also doesn't hurt to be able to outcast my buddy when we're together on his boat....just because...
 

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