Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   



Use your rod like a sling-shot when you’re in a tight spot.

By Gibbs Milliken

At some point you may be fishing along a riverbank with little or no room to back-swing your rod. Tree limbs are overhead; thick brush is behind and on both sides. This is the perfect spot to make a toss to that lunker fish you see waiting in the shadows about 30 feet away. One practical casting solution is to use a bow-cast.

Bow-casting works best with spinning gear. Simply open the bail, lower the lure to your free hand while holding the line taught with pressure against the rod handle under your index finger. The lure is gripped with the opposite hand pinching the bend of the rear hook with two fingers well clear of the point or points. Keep your arms apart to form a wide arc while drawing the lure back to put a bow in the rod. Release the lure and instantly release your line-finger and — zip! — the flexed rod sends the lure flying forward exactly like a catapult or slingshot without moving your rod arm. For safety, always make sure that the bail is open and the line free of any wraps around the blank or guides before each cast.

When casting, lure and line weight are major factors and you will get more distance out of a slightly heavier lure on light mono or the stronger, yet thin diameter braided lines. In practice, I have found that 1/4 to 5/8-ounce lures work like a charm. For extra distance, just add a slight flip-of-the-wrist on the release and you can gain five or 10 extra yards to your bow-cast.

It is similar to flip casting, but is easier to learn and offers a wider range of distances with less effort and body movement. With practice, this special cast can become a really accurate presentation for reaching some difficult spots along the banks of small streams and ponds having thick undergrowth. This method also allows you to avoid using the same old fishing spots and to find fish that have not seen every lure in the box.

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