Tips for casting in strong winds

Nothing like a strong cross-wind to spoil a bank angling session.  Even experienced anglers will tell you that casting in the wind remains a challenge, not to mention the extra vigilance needed to detect a bite when your line is bobbing up and down in the waves. Even worse is being in a competition situation, where casting accuracy is very important, and the wind keeps pushing your bait into the next anglers zone and leaves a huge loop in the line.

We’ve compiled some tips that will help:

  • One of the first things you should do is switch to a heavier weight, probably up to a P4. A heavier weight will also keep your trace from moving around in turbulent waters.  You could also consider changing to a Vaaldam trace.
  • Take 2-3 large steps into the wind away from your rods.  The move will compensate for the affect the wind will have on your line.
  • Adjust your casting direction, so if the wind is blowing from your left, cast slightly to your left into the wind to compensate.
  • Make use of wind pegs (windpenne), placed a few meters in front of your rods to control your line and avoid the loop in the line from getting bigger.
  • Lower the angle of your cast.  If the normal ideal casting angle is 45 degrees, try adjusting your angle to 35-40 degrees.  You might lose distance, but the bait and line will be exposed to the wind for a shorter time-period.
  • After casting, while the bait is still in the air, keep the tip of your rod as low as possible and pointed into the wind, even dropping the tip of the rod into the water in the last moments.  The sooner the line can be in the water, the less time the wind has to cause problems for you.
  • Using a heavier bite indicator will help slightly, and you can also let the indicator hang quite low (about 10-15cm above the water) as to minimise the effect of the wind.
  • Stopping the line with your hand on the spool moments before it hits the water, will allow the momentum of the bait to pull the line straight.  This technique requires some practise and perfect timing.
  • An alternative to the above tip is to make use of the line-clip. It will have the same effect as stopping the spool with your hand by pulling the line straight.  Be careful not to use too much force and breaking the line.  This technique is also helpful if the wind is blowing directly from the front or the back and you want to ensure that your bait doesn’t end up short of or over your feeding spot.
  • If you’re trying to stay on the same spot with every cast, don’t reel too much to try and get your line straight.  You’re only pulling your bait off the spot.
  • If you were fishing at your maximum distance when the wind started, consider moving your spot to about 70-80% of your maximum casting capability so that you can maintain your accuracy.  If needed, make use of an overhead cast which allows for better accuracy.
  • If you are not able to keep the line straight during the cast, make sure that you make it straight before you strike.

We hope this helps you on those windy days.  Remember that the more you practice, the luckier you will get.

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