Simon Lynch, the newest addition to the team here at VMO, was recently invited to a field casting event In Ipswich. This was the first time Simon had attended such an event and he has put together a short piece detailing how the day panned out.
On Saturday 14th April I attended the England casting team tuition and fundraising event held at Suffolk Sportscast in Ipswich. The aim of the day was for the England team to help as many anglers improve on there casting techniques as possible, regardless of their ability and for anglers of all abilities to not only learn from some of the very best in the country, but also to get a good measure of their casting. Judging the distance of a cast can be tricky and there really is no better way to get an accurate measure than to attend an organised casting event.
As well as casting tuition, there was also a raffle and hot food and drinks to help in raising funds to go towards the cost of attending the world championships being held in Italy on the 2nd – 9th June. Despite representing their country, Team England receive no government funding, so these events are crucial in allowing them to compete around the world.
Meirion Pritchard, friend and Team England member, invited me along to the day so I could see first hand just how well these events are run and to get some invaluable advice and tuition not just from him, but the other members of the team. It was an early start and a 5am drive from South Wales to Ipswich but we got there in plenty of time for a quick brew and to set up our gear before the masses turned up. I was soon introduced to some of the team and made to feel very welcome.
Once other anglers assembled, Jay Lee, the England manager, called us all together to introduce us to the team members and to put our minds at ease. He emphasised that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask any advice and to just enjoy the day with a view to learning how to improve our technique. The team also had a good selection of rods and reels for us to try out should we wish to do so. Next, the team went round and checked everyone’s shock leader knots for safety and in some case retied the knots for them. It was great to see that none of the team members take safety lightly and everyones knots and leaders were thoroughly inspected. We were soon enjoying a demonstration of the various casts the team use and to say I was blown away would be an understatement!
Here’s a short clip of Meirion Pritchard in action-
Next it was our turn to see what we could do and we formed a queue as each angler took it in turns to send a lead down the court. After a few casts in front of the team, some of us were taken to one side for one on one tuition. I teamed up with Meirion and Owan Moyle for most of the time but then I was introduced to Stephen Boyt who demonstrated to me the ‘Off The Ground’ style cast. He showed me the correct way to position my legs and explained the importance of keeping the left arm straight as well as hip and body rotation.
To start with I did feel out of my comfort zone, having to break away from bad habits, but after a few more casts I soon picked up the general idea. It made a difference having some solid guidance to work on and I steadily began to improve on my distance.
My rod was an Anyfish Anywhere Match Pro and the reel was a Daiwa 7HT magnofuge. The guys seemed to think that this was a very capable combination and would hold me in good stead for years to come whether I was casting or fishing. My reel was loaded with 18lb 0.37mm Varivas Yellow Sport line (what I use for fishing).
To begin with I had the magnetic braking set on full and managed a few casts of around 80 – 100m. I gradually eased the magnets back so that although I still had some control, the reel didn’t feel like it was holding back quite so much and I finished the day with a cast of 133.6m.
I was thrilled with this huge jump in distance and it was brilliant to know that I had some excellent guidance on hand to hopefully build on my future casting distance.
As the day came to a close we gathered round for the raffle and to have a general chit-chat. The 58 anglers who had participated were over the moon with how the day had panned out and many went away with a personal best cast. The team raised £880 towards funding their travel and accommodation for the championships in Italy.
Anyone thinking of attending one of these events really need not feel intimidated- you couldn’t wish for a better bunch of guy’s who are only too happy to freely give advice.
If you’re looking to add a few extra yards to your cast I would highly recommend hooking up with the guys at an England casting team fundraising event. I would also like to personally thank Meirion for inviting me along and taking me under his wing for the duration of the day.
VMO will publish the list of casting events that the England team put on across the country so keep an eye out on Facebook for full details.