The double haul cast. Like a lot of fly casting options, it’s a whole lot harder to think about than it is to do. For sure, once you’ve learned how you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. Done right, a good 2-haul practically casts line for you.
If you’re fishing small streams and ponds for trout and panfish, a good roll cast is important. In this approach, you’re fishing with floating line inside 40ft most of the time. And there’s usually some kind of ‘natures velcro’ waiting to catch your backcast. So you learn to load the rod, move smoothly, and slow your roll to pitch that loop.
The 2-Haul is like that – it’s about loading the rod and matching your hand(s) to the line as you move your arm. With the added bonus that your backcast is usually wide open behind you. The kit you’re working with a lot different, too – 8wt rod, sinking line, big flies.
When you’re on a boat and throwing weighted line at fish 50ft away, you’re going to want the double. The 2-Haul uses the power of your rod to move the line, which is great when you’re on the water for hours and casting an 8wt.
The 2-Haul is a requirement when you’re fishing in salt, and it’s also just the ticket for chucking big bass bugs and pike poppers on a pond.
Check out this video. Watch it five times. Then go practice.
What’s the secret to learning this? Well, there are as many theories on that as there are fly anglers. But good timing and relaxation show up in everyone’s idea of success. Relax and let the rod do the work. Don’t push the rod – pull the line to load the stick, then stop your hand and let it go.
The backcast is probably the most important part of the 2-Haul experience. If your line’s a mess back there, you’ve got nothing to pull against when you want to throw forward. Remember, unless you’re casting across the boat (duck!), there’s nothing behind you out on the salt. So get your stuff stracked, straighten out the line behind you, and get pulling to go long.
Get your kit, go find a big lawn and start throwing. The only way to learn is to do.