Casting practice advice

Brook415

Newbie
Jan 21, 2017
17
5
46
Sf
Name
Brook francisco
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Hi Guys..., looking for some advice...I'm primarily a nor-cal rockfish guy but booked into my 1st SD tuna trip later this year. For the last couple years I've been using a lexa 400 which I can cast up to 10oz irons and jigs with no real problem. I know this reel won't cut it for all situations in SD so I ordered a Okuma Makaira. I know my thumb memory has atrophied due to the use of the crutch that is the Lexa and I'm going to be in birds-nest city until I can get educated.

My #1 question is WHAT should I practice casting with the mak? Is it sufficient to just put a small swimbait tail (simulate anchovy/sardine) on and practice with that + obviously my usual arsenal of different sized jigs + rapalas? I've got a little bit of experience with live bait, but I've never had to cast it.

My #2 question is HOW to practice casting?...Most of the boats here don't allow overhead casting , so what helped me out a ton with the lexa was going to the pier and practicing all types of setups both sidearm and underhanded, the pier rail was a pretty good simulation for the boat rail. So need to practice overhead as well?

Thanks for any advice or links, did some searching here but couldn't find any specifics on the above.
 
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stuman

Brawndo the thirst mutilator
Sep 18, 2004
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Which Okuma Makaira did you buy?

Which month are you coming to San Diego?

How long is your trip?
 
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yrd

BS on no pics ..!.,
Jun 14, 2009
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anything w/ HOOK-UP!!!
Go to the park, stand on a 4 to 6' brick wall with space all around. Start with a loop at the end of your mono. Use a 1 oz. egg sinker looped and start short casting. As you get used to the "feel", change to a 3/4 oz...rinse and repeat until your down to 1/4 oz...Never too much practice. If the 1 oz. doesn't work too well, use a 2 oz and downward from there.

good luck and don't catch too many grass baits(i.e. watch your retrieve or you'll end up with egg((sinker)) on your face)!
 
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Bob Sands

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Hi Brook, Welcome to your newest addiction of S.D.,West coast style fishing.

For practicing at the park, Try using the lightest weight Clothes pin you can find.. You can also cut down on the leg lengths to make it lighter.. Do not tie it on, rather pinch it on like you were pinning on some clothing to dry (I must be showing my age). Any hiccup in your casting technique or should you be whipping the cast will result in the clothes pin flying off the line.. By smoothing out your cast, you not only will make your live bait happier, get longer distance in the cast with less impact on the bait, but you will also keep your body from wearing down using muscles that may not be used to these casting techniques.

Smoothing out your cast by using a pendular style motion will really help when it is time to cast a smaller bait..The Pendular cast also provides the angler the ability to turn over the jig faster in order to get the butt of the jig to begin to "Turn Over" right from the moment the tip passes 12 o'clock. Getting the Butt of the jig to be in front asap is the difference between throwing a wobbly pass and a tight spiral (Football analogy) which will add distance to the cast. Additionally, getting your muscle memory started with correct form will help you advance your skills more rapidly and prevent you from having to correct bad form already practiced.

There is a wonderful series of U-tube videos where Frank LoPreste and Tim Ekstrom go into great detail on various casting techniques. These videos can provide a great baseline for understanding the proper body mechanisms and alignments that go into casting a artificial lure or a live bait..

By practicing these overhead techniques at the park or lake as well as using the clothes pin should give you a big head start for once you get on the boat... Additionally, if you are at the park, stand on a park bench and practice replicating the underhand lobbing of a bait or add weight to replicate the jig. There are many times where the underhand lob will be more appropriate than the overhead cast both on jigs and bait...

I have always been amazed that Fishing is one of if not the only sport where the majority of anglers do not practice their craft when not on the boat or water.. Golfers go to the Range, Bowlers practice bowling, Bball, Fball, etc. all require practicing.. Why is it Anglers tend to not want to go the park, or lake to practice and develop proper technique? Heck, watching how a jig swims at your local lake, trying different jigs, etc. will allow the angler to learn for themselves what makes a good jig or a jig that does not swim as well.. This fishing thing is a sport for those who actually want to get better and practicing proper technique vs developing lousy technique will advance the angler as it does in every other sport..

Finally, for those not used to fishing larger fish from a west coast boat, setting up a 50 pound pull scale, tie it off to a bumper hitch or solid base, while walking around, side to side, up and down, front and back, can somewhat replicate the Pull of a fish..
This spring scale will also be used to test your knot strengths.. The more you test knots the more comfortable you will be on bigger fish, at least mentally.

If you are ever in the Van Nuys area of California I teach these techniques every Saturday from around 10 am to 3 PM at Bob Sands Tackle.. Folks from all over come by to see what this is all about...If I have time, I spend a fair amount of time with the anglers with zero obligation to purchase anything.. I just ask that you PM me if you are considering coming by to make sure I am in town and not fishing. These lessons seem to make a difference for both Newbies and experienced anglers alike..

You are also welcome to PM me and I will give you my phone number if you want to ask questions about anything fishing related.. It would by my pleasure to help in anyway I can.

Best of luck in the up coming season.

Respectfully,

Jamie
 
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Brook415

Newbie
Jan 21, 2017
17
5
46
Sf
Name
Brook francisco
Boat
None
Go to the park, stand on a 4 to 6' brick wall with space all around. Start with a loop at the end of your mono. Use a 1 oz. egg sinker looped and start short casting. As you get used to the "feel", change to a 3/4 oz...rinse and repeat until your down to 1/4 oz...Never too much practice. If the 1 oz. doesn't work too well, use a 2 oz and downward from there.

good luck and don't catch too many grass baits(i.e. watch your retrieve or you'll end up with egg((sinker)) on your face)!
Thanks and this is both overhand and underhand? I think I can manage this, I usually just go to the pier because it's close and I like the countless advice from the pier lurkers, although only about 10% of that advice is viable.
 
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stuman

Brawndo the thirst mutilator
Sep 18, 2004
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Keep practicing with your Lexa 400. That reel will handle most yellowtail and school sized tuna.

With the Lexa you thumb the fishing line. When you cast the Makaira thumb the spool. Thumbing the ridge on the side of the spool will make it easier for you to cast. It is smoother and more consistent than the fishing line.
 
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Brook415

Newbie
Jan 21, 2017
17
5
46
Sf
Name
Brook francisco
Boat
None
Hi Brook, Welcome to your newest addiction of S.D.,West coast style fishing.

For practicing at the park, Try using the lightest weight Clothes pin you can find.. You can also cut down on the leg lengths to make it lighter.. Do not tie it on, rather pinch it on like you were pinning on some clothing to dry (I much be showing my age). Any hiccup in your casting technique or should you be whipping the cast will result in the clothes pin flying off the line.. By smoothing out your cast, you not only will make your live bait happier, get longer distance in the cast with less impact on the bait, but you will also keep your body from wearing down using muscles that may not be used to these casting techniques.

Smoothing out your cast by using a pendular style motion will really help when it is time to cast a smaller bait..The Pendular cast also provides the angler the ability to turn over the jig faster in order to get the butt of the jig to begin to "Turn Over" right from the moment the tip passes 12 o'clock. Getting the Butt of the jig to be in front asap is the difference between throwing a wobbly pass and a tight spiral (Football analogy) which will add distance to the cast. Additionally, getting your muscle memory started with correct form will help you advance your skills more rapidly and prevent you from having to correct bad form already practiced.

There is a wonderful series of U-tube videos where Frank LoPreste and Tim Ekstrom go into great detail on various casting techniques. These videos can provide a great baseline for understanding the proper body mechanisms and alignments that go into casting a artificial lure or a live bait..

By practicing these overhead techniques at the park or lake as well as using the clothes pin should give you a big head start for once you get on the boat... Additionally, if you are at the park, stand on a park bench and practice replicating the underhand lobbing of a bait or add weight to replicate the jig. There are many times where the underhand lob will be more appropriate than the overhead cast both on jigs and bait...

I have always been amazed that Fishing is one of if not the only sport where the majority of anglers do not practice their craft when not on the boat or water.. Golfers go to the Range, Bowlers practice bowling, Bball, Fball, etc. all require practicing.. Why is it Anglers tend to not want to go the park, or lake to practice and develop proper technique? Heck, watching how a jig swims at your local lake, trying different jigs, etc. will allow the angler to learn for themselves what makes a good jig or a jib that does not swim as well.. This fishing thing is a sport for those who actually want to get better and practicing proper technique vs developing lousy technique will advance the angler as i does in every other sport..

Finally, for those not used to fishing larger fish from a west coast boat, setting up a 50 pound pull scale, tie it off to a bumper hitch or solid base, while walking around, side to side, up and down, front and back, can somewhat replicate the Pull of a fish..
This spring scale will also be used to test your knot strengths.. The more you test knots the more comfortable you will be on bigger fish, at least mentally.

If you are even in the Van Nuys area of California I teach these techniques every Saturday from around 10 am to 3 PM at Bob Sands Tackle.. Folks from all over come by to see what this is all about...If I have time, I spend a fair amount of time with the anglers with zero obligation to purchase anything.. I just ask that you PM me if you are considering coming by to make sure I am in town and not fishing. These lessons seem to make a difference for both Newbies and experienced anglers alike..

You are also welcome to PM me and I will give you my phone number is you want to ask questions about anything fishing related.. It would by my pleasure to help in anyway I can.

Best of luck in the up coming season.

Respectfully,

Jamie

Awesome , great info...this gives me a bunch to start with and PM sent , Thank you!
 
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Brook415

Newbie
Jan 21, 2017
17
5
46
Sf
Name
Brook francisco
Boat
None
Keep practicing with your Lexa 400. That reel will handle most yellowtail and school sized tuna.

With the Lexa you thumb the fishing line. When you cast the Makaira thumb the spool. Thumbing the ridge on the side of the spool will make it easier for you to cast. It is smoother and more consistent than the fishing line.
I get exactly what you are saying...need to get this mak in my hands , really hoping it fits me well now that I took the dive on it
 
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Zr1tech

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  • Aug 19, 2020
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    Hi Brook, Welcome to your newest addiction of S.D.,West coast style fishing.

    For practicing at the park, Try using the lightest weight Clothes pin you can find.. You can also cut down on the leg lengths to make it lighter.. Do not tie it on, rather pinch it on like you were pinning on some clothing to dry (I much be showing my age). Any hiccup in your casting technique or should you be whipping the cast will result in the clothes pin flying off the line.. By smoothing out your cast, you not only will make your live bait happier, get longer distance in the cast with less impact on the bait, but you will also keep your body from wearing down using muscles that may not be used to these casting techniques.

    Smoothing out your cast by using a pendular style motion will really help when it is time to cast a smaller bait..The Pendular cast also provides the angler the ability to turn over the jig faster in order to get the butt of the jig to begin to "Turn Over" right from the moment the tip passes 12 o'clock. Getting the Butt of the jig to be in front asap is the difference between throwing a wobbly pass and a tight spiral (Football analogy) which will add distance to the cast. Additionally, getting your muscle memory started with correct form will help you advance your skills more rapidly and prevent you from having to correct bad form already practiced.

    There is a wonderful series of U-tube videos where Frank LoPreste and Tim Ekstrom go into great detail on various casting techniques. These videos can provide a great baseline for understanding the proper body mechanisms and alignments that go into casting a artificial lure or a live bait..

    By practicing these overhead techniques at the park or lake as well as using the clothes pin should give you a big head start for once you get on the boat... Additionally, if you are at the park, stand on a park bench and practice replicating the underhand lobbing of a bait or add weight to replicate the jig. There are many times where the underhand lob will be more appropriate than the overhead cast both on jigs and bait...

    I have always been amazed that Fishing is one of if not the only sport where the majority of anglers do not practice their craft when not on the boat or water.. Golfers go to the Range, Bowlers practice bowling, Bball, Fball, etc. all require practicing.. Why is it Anglers tend to not want to go the park, or lake to practice and develop proper technique? Heck, watching how a jig swims at your local lake, trying different jigs, etc. will allow the angler to learn for themselves what makes a good jig or a jib that does not swim as well.. This fishing thing is a sport for those who actually want to get better and practicing proper technique vs developing lousy technique will advance the angler as i does in every other sport..

    Finally, for those not used to fishing larger fish from a west coast boat, setting up a 50 pound pull scale, tie it off to a bumper hitch or solid base, while walking around, side to side, up and down, front and back, can somewhat replicate the Pull of a fish..
    This spring scale will also be used to test your knot strengths.. The more you test knots the more comfortable you will be on bigger fish, at least mentally.

    If you are even in the Van Nuys area of California I teach these techniques every Saturday from around 10 am to 3 PM at Bob Sands Tackle.. Folks from all over come by to see what this is all about...If I have time, I spend a fair amount of time with the anglers with zero obligation to purchase anything.. I just ask that you PM me if you are considering coming by to make sure I am in town and not fishing. These lessons seem to make a difference for both Newbies and experienced anglers alike..

    You are also welcome to PM me and I will give you my phone number is you want to ask questions about anything fishing related.. It would by my pleasure to help in anyway I can.

    Best of luck in the up coming season.

    Respectfully,

    Jamie
    It is pretty amazing how you guys support our community. I was looking at a UC90 Monster elsewhere, but seeing what you guys have been doing lately I would rather support you!
     
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    Bob Sands

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    Thanks and this is both overhand and underhand? I think I can manage this, I usually just go to the pier because it's close and I like the countless advice from the pier lurkers, although only about 10% of that advice is viable.

    Hi Brook, the main reason I do not recommend the pier for practice sessions is that due to the height above the water of most piers, the angler may not get the same feel for distance once they are closer to the water as they would be on a boat. Second, when throwing a jig, the high angle of the pier will probably affect the swim pattern of the lure, especially as you get closer to the pier.

    A lake, park or park bench, a break water or rocks that more closely resemble being on a boat, will allow the angler to really get a feel for casting distances and casting improvements or defects in their casting technique. Just as importantly, not being so high up above the water on a pier will allow the angler to really see how top water lures behave when fishing closer to the water..

    However, the pier will be good for making sure the angler casting is "Spatially Aware" of folks walking by or are nearby as they are casting.. Once on the boat, Spatial awareness of other anglers locations, be they static or walking around when you are casting, following a bait or fighting a fish, really is something that needs to be practiced in order to hone this concept... Being aware of boat parts such as lights, bait tank, or other parts of the boat or rods on tackle boxes or ??? is all your responsibility as you prepare to cast and then actually follow thru with the action.

    When casting on the bow, where you might not see folks running up the opposite side of the boat to get into position to cast a bait or lure off the bow is the responsibility of the casting angler. When in doubt of where other anglers are or where they are moving to, stop your cast and wait.... even if the boil is right in front of you.

    Looking behind you and calling your cast to alert others is always needed but also being aware that other anglers might be walking towards you as you are ready to cast bait or lure, often themselves unaware of their surroundings of other anglers about to cast, is all part of your responsibility to be aware of as an angler, especially during a cast or in truth at all times on the boat.

    If the Pier is all you have for practicing then that is fine but trying to replicate more accurately what is affecting your cast or lure retrieval on the boat may be even better.

    Best of luck as I know you will have a great time in this amazing sport.

    Respectfully,

    Jamie
     
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    surfgoose

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    As always, Jaime is right on the money. The only thing that I will add is that my casting weight is a clear plastic bubble, the kind that you can add water to to add weight as desired. This keeps the line and weight up on the surface and out of the crap on the bottom. No better way to practice live bait presentation that I've found.

    For lures, the best way to check the way a lure swims at various speeds is to use a big swimming pool, so that you can see the lure.
     
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    Rocket Dog

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    as using the clothes pin should give you a big head start for once you get on the boat... Additionally, if you are at the park, stand on a park bench and practice replicating the

    I’m gonna be calling you Jamie in order to start a workout routine started.
     
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    SouthBayKiller

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    This, especially watch the timing between the flip of the bait and the left hand kicking the spool slightly forward but then stopping the spool before it overruns. That gets you most of the distance without putting extra stress on the hook into the bait.
     
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    stonefly

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    I learned with the cloths pin but there were anchovies in those days.

    Practice with a wet spool as said but the approach I would take is to start with the condition your reel is least likely to fluff and practice putting power into it.

    What I mean by this is to spool with some cheap sacrificial #60 line and work on it till you can huck a 8 oz. weight backing off on mags, tension control or whatever that reel has while reducing weight as you develop.

    Then change out your line to whatever you plan to fish and work practice back down through lighter weights.

    A training wheels approach for sure but experience in cutting line out of your reel is no help either.
     
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