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The Ultimate Surf Casters Guide

How To Improve Your Casting Distance

Improve Casting Distance

When you’re at the beach and you throw out your best cast do you really know how far it went out? It’s very deceiving to judge distance while looking out over the water. Wouldn’t you like to know for sure?

Not to long ago my neighbor wanted to learn how to surf fish. He had plenty of experience casting with fresh water equipment but since surf casting is a lot different I needed to give him some pointers.

My method certainly isn’t original but it is effective to improve your casting distance.

At first, when you try this out, you might be surprised that you aren’t casting as far as you think you are.

You’ll need to get a couple of things to get this setup. (You can get them anywhere but if you click the pictures they link over to Amazon.)

Tape Measure

Marker Flags

I took my neighbor over to a park near by with a wide open area. We used the flags to mark out 120 yards in 20 yard increments. (You could also use a 30 foot tape measure to mark out 60 foot increments which of course would be 20 yards).

After giving him some basic instructions we began practice casting. I watched him cast and then gave him pointers that would help him get more distance. It didn’t take long before he was getting over 80 yards with ease.

One of the keys to surf casting is learning the best moment of release. Too early and your cast goes too high, too late and it hits the water too soon.

The optimum release point is when the stiff part of your rod is in front of you at about 45 degrees with the ground.

This is the best picture I could find to show the release point. It’s just after the rod tip starts to straighten.

Surf Casting

What’s nice about using the flags is you get immediate feedback on your casting distance. It’s easy to tell right away whether you are improving and what you might be doing wrong.

Of course we only had pyramid sinkers attached for practice. We started with 3 ounces and then compared it with 6 ounces to see the difference. You should also do this with different surf rods if you have them.

You don’t have to go to the beach to do this. Not everyone that loves surf fishing lives near the beach. Sometimes you can scratch that surf fishing itch just by practicing your casting in a safe open area. It also gives you the confidence to know what you can do when you get the chance to go out.

Some Casting Tips

ready to castStand with your feet spread about shoulder distance apart and positioned sideways from the direction of your cast. Hold your rod pointed directly straight back from the direction of cast. Remember, your cast should be directly over head. Pull down with the arm in front (that would be the arm holding the bottom of your rod and push up with the other arm as you bring the cast over head. Remember the release point is key.

Try this to get a little more distance. With your rod positioned for the cast, swing the weight back and forth towards you and start the cast when it starts to swing out away from you. You’ll notice that it increases the bending force on the rod which will put more distance into the cast.

Let me know if this help you get more distance in your cast.

14 Responses to How To Improve Your Casting Distance

  • I like the “field” method for practicing, I also use it in the beginning of each fishing season to test my equipment.

    • Yes tom, I agree. If you’re not fishing year round it’s a great idea to practice at the beginning of the season to sharpen your skills and get back in the groove.

  • 29.10.15
    Hi Randy
    As U said nothing like learning to cast in the open field or the a big park with less trees. Again you said The legs movements & manipulating the the rod should be in one sweep movement & should synchronize. Same time the releasing at 11 o clock angle is very critical.

    Yes Sir, these lessons I got it from you a couple of years back & mind you without your help I wouldn’t have been casting 90 yards now.

    Unfortunately when I am improving the casting & remembering Randy by each cast the miserable Braid line cut my Index finger so deep it is almost 2 months since I went out for fishing. Any way many, many thanks to Randy.

  • have you ever used or know anyone who uses the Breakaway Cannon Casting Aid? if so what’s your thoughts on this

    • Yes Mike, I’ve heard of the Breakaway Cannon. Never used it or had a reason to so far. What I’ve decided to do is switch to 65# Braid and just use my finger. You can read about it here.

    • The purpose of the Breakaway Cannon is to prevent slicing your finger while casting heavy weights and/or large baits, especially when using braided line.

      The spool on a spinning reel rotates to allow a fish to take line, against the force of the drag, without exceeding the breaking strength of the line.

      When casting a heavy weight and/or a large bait, the drag can slip during the cast and the line can slice your finger . . . In the case of braid, deeply !

      Also, the more power that is being put into the cast, even with lighter weight(s), the more chance there is for the drag to slip.

      Whenever you are casting, a “Shock Leader” is recommended to prevent the danger of a heavy weight with sharp hooks breaking free and causing serious injury . . . The “rule of thumb” is 10lb of breaking strength for every Ounce you are throwing, including the weight of the bait. Weaker casters can get away with slightly less, but a powerful caster should always follow the “10lb per Ounce” rule.

      The Breakaway Cannon prevents the spool from rotating during the cast, by having the line wrapped around a “capstan” on it, secured by a finger-released “trigger”. It is an excellent device, which prevents injury and allows increases in casting distance, since you are able to put more power into the cast without the line slipping !

      Tight Lines !

  • Randy, I was on a tuna boat and there was a kinda casting competition going on between the crew during a no bite.
    I noticed the captain use a cross handed throw and very effective as he produced more whip in the rod vs the traditional throw.

  • Thanks Randy. When I first started casting in the surf I was swinging the
    rod to my side – – which was all wrong. I wasn’t landing my cast where
    I wanted it. Your method brings me a more accurate cast with greater
    distance. Thanks again for your expert advice.

  • Randy
    Thanks for your help in casting, living in kuwait, we dont know whats its like tomorrow,unfortunately they have banned fishing in kuwait,we dont know till when.

  • My brother and I have casted on a football field. Sort of a fun competition. I use a 10ft OceanMaster rod(long handle) with an Abu Garcia BigGame conventional reel, 65# braided line with mono shock leader and 6oz lead. I can at best get around 90 yds. Its great fun and practice !
    My brother uses an 11 ft rod with a penn Battle7000 65#braid and a Cannon Blaster release.He has a shoulder injury but can still whip 6oz out to 80yds.
    Found that a little ReelMagic spray lube applied to my spooled line and the rod eyelets increased my distance by ten yards. I use it on all my rods and reels. Protects them from the saltwater and keeps them looking and working like new.

  • hope this works now,i have been trying to post a reply for quite some do a fantastic job and thanx for all the tips!!!

  • Randy – Good tips. One thing I don’t understand. At one point you say to release when the straight part of the rod is at a 45degree angle. This would be in front of you. Correct? But at another point one of the comments agrees with your tip, but says it is at the 11o’clock position. This would be behind you. Which is correct?

    • 11 o’clock would be in front/ If you think of 12 as straight up and 1 o’clock as just starting to move the rod behind you.