Fly Fishing: The Double Haul Casting Technique

Here is my handsome husband, Capt. Steven Lamp, demonstrating the double haul casting technique.
Here is my handsome husband, Capt. Steven Lamp, demonstrating the double haul casting technique.

Being married to a fly fishing guide, I hear a lot of fishing talk. And one thing that comes up a lot is casting technique and what it takes to be successful at saltwater fly fishing.

Fly fishing in salt water is very different than fresh water fly fishing. Whereas with fresh water one is typically casting a short distance away, saltwater fly fishing requires long distance casting, oftentimes in windy conditions. And to make that long distance cast, the double haul technique makes all of the difference. 

The idea behind the double haul is to use maximum force through minimum effort to increase the line speed during the cast. A haul is a swift pull of the fly line with your stripping hand. So, the double haul is basically two pulls of the fly line. One on the back cast and one on the forward cast. 

To complete the double haul technique, you will need some practice, preferably with a fly fishing guide or a fly instructor. But the following with provide you with the basic steps of how to perform this cast.

Using an 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 wt fly rod with a weight forward fly line and section leader, begin with the fly line in front of you with most of the weight forward tapered out of the fly rod tip. Roll cast to straighten the line and make a smooth out haul. Sweep the fly rod back (backcast) and at the same time use your line hand to add a fast yet smooth pull or haul downward separating the rod from your stripping hand. Feed the line into your backcast by bringing your stripping hand back to the rod as the backcast demands it. As you come into your forward cast, pull your fly line to increase the load on the rod as you come forward increasing the line speed. If done properly, the line will “shoot” forward and launch the fly to the desired target with no more than two false casts.

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Island Genn
Key West Concierge

About the author: Island Genn

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