THE SLINGSHOT STANCE
My left foot is forward--I'll assume you're right-handed--and points straight at the target. My right foot points about thirty degrees to the right of the target. My feet are shoulder-width apart. (If my right foot it too far back or too far outward I will not be able to fully rotate my hips during the cast.) My knees are slightly bent. With the lure hanging down about two feet from the rod tip, I keep my elbow in place and slightly rotate my hips and shoulders and move the rod tip straight back. I cock my wrist and stop the rod at about three-thirty to the horizon. My rod hand is about ear-level and not past my rear shoulder. My forearm points to about one o'clock.
Holding the rod in this position will make it easier for us to make our cast without lowering the rod tip from the target line and to move our right arm in-sync with our body rotation. More about that later.
Finally, I shift my weight to my back foot.
Leading with my elbow, I begin slowly, making sure I move my right arm in-sync with my weight shift and body rotation.
I do this for two reasons:
- 1. If my arm moves faster than my body I will, in effect, become an arm-caster and lose power. Ever wonder why a major-league pitcher looks as if he's throwing so effortlessly?
2. If my arm gets in front of my body I will prematurely lower the rod tip and therefore unload the rod.
Back to my cast. Pushing up with my right hand, and pulling down with my left, I accelerate the rod and move the butt perpendicular to the target line When my right arm is about three-quarters extended, I reach maximum speed by breaking both wrists halfway. Abruptly, I stop the rod at about eleven o'clock and release the line. All my weight is on the ball and toes of my front foot. My front leg is straight.
THAT EXTRA DISTANCE
So, we practiced these techniques and we're casting farther than ever, but wouldn't you know it: we're back on the beach and the fish are ten feet beyond our reach.
What's a surfcaster to do?
We'll again borrow techniques from fly casters, and lengthen our casting stroke similar to the way spey (rhymes with say) casters lengthen theirs.
To do this I start out with a different stance. I hold the rod across my body, my right arm is about three-quarters extended, my right hand about shoulder level. The rod tip points forward, about forty-five degrees to the right of the target line and about thirty degrees above the horizon. My weight is on my front foot. I begin the cast keeping my right elbow pointing down, shifting my weight back, and moving the rod tip up and back in a oval circle until I'm back in my slingshot stance. Without stopping, I make my slingshot cast.
SETTING THE HOOK
Since you're lure is now really out there, you'll need a longer, more powerful hook set. Therefore, as I retrieve the lure I hold the rod across my body. To fight fatigue, I balance the rod in my right hand. The rod butt is under my left armpit. My weight is on my left foot. My right foot is back. When I feel a strike I point the rod towards the lure, quickly take up slack, then rip the rod tip up and back as far as I can.
So now if you don't catch a fish what will you tell your wife? Luckily, we anglers are blessed with a treasure of excuses!
Editor's Note: I can truly say that Randy knows what he is doing! I just finished trying out these techniques - and by Ned they work!)