Making a "haul" when flycasting is done to
increase line speed and is useful for several situations:
picking up a heavy line, as when float tubing with a sinking
line; casting into the wind when a strong, hard cast is
necessary; and, of course, for the ol' heave ho' - when you want
to throw that fly as far as humanly possible.
The haul is,
essentially, a supplementary pull with the line hand, on the
line itself, which is executed simultaneously with the casting
stroke (either backcast or forecast). If a haul is made only on
the backcast, it is called a single haul. If two hauls are
made, one on the backcast and another on the forecast, it is
called a double haul.
When to Haul
Casters in the
process of developing the haul are at time frustrated with the
timing of the haul stroke: "When, precisely, do I make the haul
during the casting stroke?"
The answer is: "When
there is a load on the rod." This then becomes the crux of the
matter, because many casters do not properly load the rod,
especially on the backcast. And if there is no load, there
can be no haul!
Loading the Rod
So let's back
up a step, and discuss loading the rod. It is, of
course, a bending of the rod, but from a very specific force:
that of the speed and weight of traveling line. When the
rod is abruptly stopped (unloading the rod), the line continues
to travel and the rod starts to load, because of the pull from
the line. The caster now further loads the rod by starting
a casting stroke in the opposite direction, and by adding the
haul, if desired. But remember, the line cannot be slack in the
air when the haul is made, because there is then nothing to haul
A fundamental error that disrupts this
entire process is when a caster disrupts the rod's ability to
load from this abrupt stop by overwhelming the road with arm
strength, and not giving the rod the necessary time to load from
the line weight and speed.
Now we have to back up
again, because many casters are not aware that an abrupt stop
(called by some experts the "power stop") is the most basic
ingredient of competent fly casting. Mel Kreiger calls it
the "whummp" factor. Others say, "Accelerate to a hard
stop." Whatever you call it, the rod stroke must start slowly,
accelerate rapidly, and stop abruptly, so that the line is flung
by the rod top, not the caster's arm.
In sum, before a
successful haul can be made, you must first have the rod loaded
from the force generated by the line's own eight and speed.
To develop or
improve your haul, set up a single motion cast where the line
will be preloaded for you. For instance, picking up line
off the water leads almost to a natural haul. You will
notice that, as the rod tip loads from the heavy drag of the
line, your line hand will want to help out by giving a pull on
the resisting line. Another means is to lay about 25 feet
of line on the grass. Make a single side arm cast.
As you start the cast, the grass will offer some resistance,
which will load the road, and you can then introduce a short
haul. Once you get the feel of a proper haul, it is easier to
develop longer and stronger hauls on an overhead cast.
reference for double hauling is Mel Kreiger's second videotape,
Also see "The
by Sexyloops's Paul Arden. Good video and pantomime technique.