Steve Rajeff Casts 243 Feet…. Single-Handed

Twenty years ago Steve Rajeff set the world record for single-handed casts with a 236-foot monster that many doubted would ever be exceeded. But yesterday we got word that at American Casting Championships in Toronto on Tuesday, Rajeff let fly with a 243-foot cast.
So apparently gravity is a problem only for the rest of us mortals.

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  • Fred Rickson

    Sorry, but casting for distance with specially made rods and lines reminds me of dead carp throwing in England and half pig throwing in southern Spain. Who cares? Every day during the summer I try to hit a six inch circle in front of a gulper on Hebgen Lake in Montana. At 236 feet, that would be a joke; and it is.
    Fred Rickson

  • Eric

    Wow! That ought to come in handy when your bragging with your buddies. Other than that it sounds useless.

  • Randy

    I imagine some – if not most – of these distance casters could hit your 6″ circle at 100+’ if they wanted to.
    While casting long distances might not have much practical application outside very specific fishing conditions, it is still an incredibly awesome feat of line control which I’m sure you’d be hard pressed to match, special equipment or otherwise.
    Some people enjoy the act of fly casting. That’s all this is about; it’s not about fishing for gulpers on Hebgen.

  • Don Grundy

    It’s a separate sport(hobby); like realistic fly tying.

  • bob

    No question that these are impressive feats. I’d be thrilled to cast HALF of those distances, but I believe that it’s universally agreed that casting distance doesn’t really add up to much in the vast majority of fishing situations. If you can get a fly 50 or 60 feet out, then you’ve covered 99.99% of fishing situations.
    Note to Randy: these distance casters cannot hit a 6″ circle at 100+, although I’d love to see that little test being included as part of the overall scoring.

  • Sorry Fred, but I agree with Randy: “I imagine some – if not most – of these distance casters could hit your 6″ circle at 100+’ if they wanted to.”
    I’m a shop owner and Echo Rod Dealer, owned by Steve’s brother Tim, who in his own right is an equally fine distance caster. It is true that the equipment used for these “Tournaments” (and there are such things) is designed for distance casting. In fact, Tim’s company Echo, makes such rods available to the public in #5 & #6 weights. But one thing that is not mentioned is that like the old “Punt, Pass & Kick”, accuracy is also a factor.
    That said, I’ve had the privilege of fishing with and attending seminar’s with some of the world’s best known casters such as Lefty, Tim, Flip, Chico, and even some women whom the public has never heard of and believe me when I tell you . . . THEY ARE INCREDIBLY ACCURATE!
    At last year’s annual Fly Fishing Retailer Show held every September in Denver, I witnessed the women’s casting competition wherein Patti Myers (co-owner of Water Skeeter) casted the line clear out of the 125′ pond, down one of the Exibition Show isles where they had a stripe down the middle in anticipation of such, and missed the line by only a couple of inches . . . exceeding over 150 feet! A WOMAN. And, if I might add, watching her and the other women cast was like watching poetry in motion.
    So please give them their due. They’re not freaks . . . THEY’RE JUST FLAT OUT GOOD!
    Right-on Randy.

  • Dave

    Just curios what weight rods Steve and Patti were using, and who holds the 5wt distance world record.

  • wbhoover

    Steve also won all of the “fly accuracy” events in these last Nationals as well. Henry Mittel also broke the American two handed fly distance record the previous day with a cast of 293 feet. However, if I had to bet on a person hitting a 6 inch target like a Hebgen lake gulper, or maybe a permit at 85 or 90 feet and catching that fish, it would be Rajeff.
    Most fly casters have never handled “Single Hand Fly Distance” tackle, and do not have any concept as to how amazing a cast of 243 feet with this tackle is. Yes – this is specialized tackle designed for distance casting. Seriously, most people cannot effectively false cast Single Hand Fly Distance tackle, because they lack efficient technique and line speed. The ability to cast this tackle, however, assuredly makes a better caster and fishermen of those who can from improved casting efficiency. If not mistaken, Steve’s second cast to the 243 was 222 feet, and he did that with a bum knee. That maybe a lifetime cast for even Steve. That deserves congratulations. I am sure that half pig or dead carp hurling is interesting to those that endeavor in such pursuits. I think tournament distance casting might actually make someone a better casting fisherman than pitching carcasses though. It must be callibaetis and trico envy.

  • Steve (Charlotte)

    These guys are no different than the long drive competitors in the golf industry. Fun to watch once or twice…I guess, but I’d rather watch The Masters, US Open, PGA…TPC, Buick Open, Bob Hope Desert Classic…..Skins Game…..US Amature…….State High School Golf Champioship…….you get the idea.

  • Tom

    To each his/her own, I guess. I can’t imagine staying interested in a distance casting competition for more than an afternoon — I like fly fishing for completely different reasons. Which reminds me of one of my favorite things to hate these days: the “Fly Fishing Tournaments”, one of which got a notice in this newsletter not long ago. Only when they can measure and score increases in the serenity of the competitors will these tournaments deserve mention in a serious discussion of the art and science of fly fishing. Leave that stuff to the Bass Masters and Field and Stream.
    Hmmm. My prejudices are showing. I guess I should pay attention when I say “to each his/her own”.

  • Pat Pendergast

    I have seen Steve cast for both distance and accuracy and he is good, damn good – the best in the world!
    Steve can also catch fish with a fly rod, he is a stick, make no mistake about it.
    Steve’s done more for fly fishing and conservation than most of us dream of. He makes his own excitement within the sport and gets people old and young intrigued and involved. That’s important!
    Steve is a hell of a good guy, a great fly fisherman and great for fly fishing.
    Congratulations Steve!

  • Glenn

    Kind of surprising to me to see people’s negative reactions to a long (make that “very long”) cast.
    I’m no expert, but I have a feeling that if I could cast 100′, it would be a lot easier control the line and make an accurate presentation in a fishing situation at, say, 40′.
    Anyway, I take my hat off to Steve R.

  • I am a bit surprised at the negative reactions as well. I watched a guy yesterday, cast 150′ while spey casting. It was beautiful to see. His experience and skill means that he really can control line under many different situations including dealing with winds, effectively and efficiently.
    And you know what that means? More fishing opportunities!
    In regard to the comment above regarding “Fly Fishing Tournaments,” I’ve been in two competitions, and they were seriously a lot of fun as well as a major way to improve some skills and learn new things. The two I was involved in, there were no monetary prizes – just gold, silver and bronze medals, and they were based on the “Olympic Spirit.” It was very good for me to be thrust into fly fishing situations I’d not faced before, and learn how to do it.
    The camaraderie was great and I made new friends with whom I could share an evening on the river with, just enjoying fly fishing.
    The new skills also have helped when I have had the opportunity to teach others some basic fly casting. So, don’t put these things down too much!

  • C.J.

    Dear Doubting Fred,…Seeing is Believing but PACK your Heart Medicine,,,cause you are going to need it!! Once you have seen Steve Rajeff in action… you’ll never be the same. “Flycasting is his game…Mr Perfect is his name.” A classic true sportsman representing the USA…No One Does It Better.