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Fly line wrapped around the reel seat

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When the perfect opportunity to catch a fish presents itself, it always seems like something goes wrong. It could be anything from you making a poor cast or mending in the wrong direction. These preventable mistakes are ones we kick ourselves about, but understand that they happen to the best of us.

A mistake that is often made but disregarded is getting the fly line wrapped around your reel seat. This mishap can prevent a perfect cast. Here are a few tips to keep your fly line from wrapping around your reel seat.


Don’t Drop Your Line

Don’t ever drop your line when casting. This is one of the main reasons fly line wraps itself around the reel seat. Dropping the line from your reel hand before you “shoot” (cast the line on the water) gives up all of your control.

Keep your line in your reel hand until it hits the water. Many anglers think that letting the line slide through their reel hand as they shoot is causing them to lose distance. This isn’t the case. Unless you’re tightly holding on to the line, keeping it in your reel hand as you cast is not inhibiting it.

Once you’re ready to shoot, form a circle with your middle finger and thumb. This will allow you to keep the line controlled and give it the least amount of restriction.


Check your hand position

If you’ve held on to the fly line your entire cast and you still find your line getting hooked around the reel seat, it could be because your reel hand positioning is wrong. When you’re ready to shoot, you want to keep your reel hand close to the rod.

If you keep it away from your rod hand when you’re ready to shoot, the rod has to pass over the fly line and it increases the chance of it getting tangled around the reel seat. As you’re getting ready to shoot, bring your reel hand close to the rod right before release.

This allows the line to stay tense and keeps it from tangling halfway through your cast. There’s no more frustrating of a feeling than a blown cast. Keeping your reel hand properly positioned is an easy way to avoid this.


Don’t Snap your Wrist

If you’re holding on to your line and keeping your reel hand in close proximity to your rod hand and still finding the line wrapping around the reel seat, it likely has to do with your casting mechanics.

By snapping your wrist, you’re causing more movement in your line and giving it a chance to wrap around the reel. While you want minor snaps in your wrist, when it becomes over exaggerated the cast will not be as productive as it could be.

Keep your arm and wrist movement smooth. This will allow for cleaner loops to form in your fly line and prevent any unnecessary tangles.



To overcome these minor mishaps, it’s important to practice your casting. Through practice, you learn your bad habits and can identify ways to overcome them. These details are what separate good casters from great casters.

Fly fishing is already difficult enough, so put in the extra time to become a great caster!

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