Shooting Line

Shooting line is accomplished by starting with slack line at our feet, then after the stop in the forward motion has been made, release the line and allow the momentum of the line travelling forwards to pull some extra line out, thus the term “shooting line”. The most important part of this action is the time of release.

Beginners always seem to want to release during the stroke and not after it: Stop the rod, and then release the line. Remember shooting line works because we bend the rod in the cast. At the forward stop the rod it is still bent. It has yet to unbend and cast our line; we have to wait - albeit fractions of a second - for the rod to unbend. Release too soon and the dynamics of the loaded rod are diminished and we actually unbend the rod. Shooting line requires that the angler utilize the loaded rod to pull the line forward.

On the other hand, hanging on slightly too long will also affect the success of shooting line. When the rod stops in the forward motion, the rod flips over from a fully flexed position to a counter flexed position. The perfect time to release is when that rod passes the straight position. Again, timing is of the utmost importance when successfully shooting line.

There are different opinions on what the line hand is doing when shooting line. Some recommend feeding the line through the fingers of the line hand acting as another guide to the rod. Some recommend releasing the line completely and letting it all shoot out.  Sometimes there is a need to stop the line at the end of the forward shoot, in which case then you must feed it. If pure distance is the objective then release the line completely.

Shooting line is a learned skill, so dedicate some practice time to working on this technique and remember, timing and tempo are everything.