One of the simplest means to make your fly cast longer and straighter doesn’t have anything to do with physics lessons, reaching, hauling or any of that stuff. Simply take five minutes to straighten out your fly line before you start making casts, and your casting efficiency will improve dramatically. Casting a kinked and coiled line that’s been stuck on the reel for months, on the other hand, is about as efficient as trying to push a corkscrew through a straw, especially if you want to shoot the line at the end of your cast.

Lines are naturally going to develop memory when they are coiled on reels. So before you fish, strip the entire fly line off the reel, tie or hook it to a fixed object (or your friend) and pull the line until it straightens. You can also strip sections of the line out and stretch it by pulling the line taut between your hands. Keep at it until the line falls in loose folds, rather than tight coils, to the water or boat deck.

Of course, the best way to straighten out a fly line is to have it pulled by a really big fish. But if you’re casting kinked and twisted line, you might come up too short to have that happen.