Podcast: Orvis's Perk Perkins On Fly Casting

February 5, 2010 By: Marshall Cutchin

I had the pleasure of guiding Perk Perkins back in the 1980s in Key West, and I still marvel that he could cast as far as I could using a “slow” rod in the wind. In this new podcast, he talks about fly rods, casting dynamics, and various tips and tricks for casting in less than ideal conditions. This is some pretty good insight from an expert angler who’s never completely bought into the “faster is always better” theory of rod design — even while his company is producing some of the best-selling fast-action fly rods on the market.

“The first thing I’d say is, ‘Don’t fight it.’ A rod is designed to cast a line optimally with a given amount of force. And if you try to over-force that cast — if you try to compensate by putting more energy into the rod — you’re taking the rod past it’s optimum, and it’s going to perform less. Putting a lot more energy into a cast does not help, even though it’s the instinctive thing to do.”
“Usually on a windy day you’re going to have the opportunity to practice cast, because you’re not going to be seeing as many fish. Practice casting with less energy, and one you’ll be amazed at how much more enjoyable it is and two, how much more effective the cast can be — or equally effective with less energy.”