The recent conversation about golf swings and fly casts got me thinking about another very basic, yet often overlooked, aspect of the cast. It all starts with the grip. Get your grip right, and a lot of good habits follow.

When I’m really focused on making a pinpoint shot (when the margin of error is inches, rather than feet), I often change my grip by putting my index finger on top of the cork. The late, great Lee Wulff used to fish this way. By doing this, you lengthen the surface contact down the length of the handle, and that has two benefits: 1) You’re more in tune with the rod as the line loads and 2) There’s a psychological benefit to “pointing your shots.”


I stick with the thumb on top 99 percent of the time though. That’s just more comfortable for me. Whether you’re a thumb caster, or a pointer, it’s very important to ingrain the habit of having that digit on top of the grip. You’d be surprised how often I see people on guide trips struggle with their casts, only because they have a sloppy grip, with no thumb feeling the spine of the rod.

The cure to many casting flaws is often right there in your hand. Take some time as you fish, and just try the index finger grip… it isn’t for everyone, but it is a handy exercise that will help you hone your accuracy.