No matter where you fish – in a river, a lake, a back bay, a coastal creek, over wrecks, or in the surf – you need to be where the fish are.
If you’re not where the fish are, well, you know what that means.
For surf casters, this often means casting further.
Truly, sometimes fish – especially skates, bluefish, and kingfish – will come right up in the wash.
But other times, fish are feeding past the breakers.
If it seems like you need to add yards to your surf casting – even when you’re using a 12-foot Okuma surf rod – these tips should help improve your distance (and the experience).
1. Tape your fingers
If you can’t load the rod properly, you’re not going to reach the fish, period. That said, it’s tough to load and cast a 12-foot road that might have an ounce or more of weight dangling off of the end.
For fishermen using a spinning rod, casting places an astronomical amount of force on their casting index finger. The line can cut right through your finger.
If you’re using a conventional reel, just try braking that spool with a naked thumb. The line will rub your thumb raw in one cast.
To protect your fingers, tape them. Spin-fishermen should tape their index fingers and conventional casters should tape their casting thumbs.
Comfort is step one: now it’s time for technique.
2. Time it right
Practice makes better. You want to release your payload at the apex of the launch, not too early or too soon.
If you release your bait too early, it will fly very high but not very far. The opposite issue, releasing too late, will cost you distance too.
3. Learn the pendulum cast
The pendulum cast can also add yards to your cast.
Start by releasing a foot or more of the leader off the end of the road. For right-handed anglers, place your right hand under or just ahead of the reel, and your other hand on the butt.
Slowly swing the bait away from your body, arcing it back towards yourself before you release it. Strength is important, but a fluid motion is key.
4. Release at the magic angle: 45°
Whether you use the pendulum cast or not, you’re going to want to shoot for a 45° launch.
This is linked to the timing of the launch mentioned above. A 45° launch angle, when paired with the proper form and power, will give you optimal range.
A higher launch will rob you of distance, as will a lower one.
5. Size matters
The premise of this article already assumes you are using a 12-ft Okuma surf rod, such as an Okuma Longitude.
If you’re not, that’s fine. These tips will still help you.
But, there’s one thing that’s important and it needs to be said: size matters.
In fact, rod length is probably the single most important determining factor in how far you can cast a bait.
The rod is a lever, and the longer it is, the greater the factor by which your mechanical advantage is multiplied.
All things considered, longer is better. If you’re fishing a 7-ft or even a 9-ft rod and you’re struggling to pass the breakers, before you try all new techniques, maybe you should just get a longer rod.
Get Your Okuma Surf Rod and Get Out There
Ready for a new surf fishing rod, Okuma or otherwise? Check out the Okuma surf rods and other top brands online at Live Outdoor Sports.
They carry a huge range of surf rods with stainless steel hooded reel seats, aluminum oxide inserts, and other attractive features, ranging from heavy casters to light and responsive spinning models.
Take a look through their collection online at LiveOutdoorSports.com to learn more and gear up with something new before the summer is out.