I really do listen to what readers have to say. Last week, for example, in response to my post on rod ratings, frequent commenter Koldkut wrote: “_What I tend to see on the water is that most folks lack in casting technique, a few minutes working on just casting usually garners about a 30% greater casting distance. Perhaps a subject that you could cover in another blog spot, John?”
Koldkut, I agree completely. But I can’t give a complete casting course in a short blog space. Instead, here is what I see as a few common casting mistakes with spinning and baitcast tackle and how to remedy them.

Stay out of the bushes — Everybody makes an errant cast sometimes, in which the lure is headed for the shoreline brush instead of the water. Control your spinning lure’s flight by feathering the cast with your index finger against the spool edge as shown in the photo. Accomplish the same thing with a baitcaster with your thumb against the reel spool.

Avoid the swipe — When making your forward casting stroke, the rod should travel in a straight line. Many people make kind of a semi-circular swipe on their forward cast, which makes accuracy impossible.
Watch your backcast** — You’ll want to move the rod sharply rearward to partly load it before forward casting, but pay heed to where your rod is traveling. I have twice been hit in the head by boating companions who didn’t bother to look before casting. So watch your backcast, and watch the other guy’s, too, if only in self-defense.

Remember the stop — At the conclusion of your forward power stroke in casting, remember to stop the rod abruptly as you release the lure. A firm stop transfers maximum energy to the lure. An uncertain wobbly stop–or no stop at all–robs distance from your cast and also impedes accuracy.

Concentrate — That’s the magic bullet for casting accuracy. Cast to a particular lily pad, for example, instead of just throwing toward a weedbed. By focussing on defined targets, your accuracy will improve considerably.

So there you have it. Any other suggestions?