The proper way to cast a waggler

Zerkalo

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This will be very obvious to most people, but I usually have a few thoughts after a fishing session, and having gone yesterday and fished a waggler I realised something I do without even thinking about it. So I thought I'd mention it and see if people agree.

When casting a waggler, if you get a swooshing sound from the rod, chances are you're doing it wrong. What you want is a bit of a lob rather than a push.

This means, to a right handed person, the right hand does a lot more work pushing the rod, rather than casting a feeder and the left hand pulls. The result, with the proper weight of float, is the float sailing through the air in an arc and landing with a nice plop, feathering the line and the rig will always land in a straight line.

I never get tangles fishing a waggler on still water but for some reason on rivers I do. I think it's because I've been swooshing too hard on rivers as I'm usually trying to cast further and the rig lands in a ball, made worse by the flow.

I will probably get some stick for mentioning something that is so obvious, but it became clear as day to me yesterday.

When I fish a slider later in the year for the first time I think casting in this proper way will be even more important.
 

OldTaff

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It’s an interesting observation about the swoosh - although I cast without thinking after all these years it came home to me how tricky a process it is when I started to show my son. He got the basics fairly quickly but there is that whipping out of the cast and the noise that showed he was overpowering the rod and those were the casts ending in tangles or a very short cast.
 

nejohn

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If you get the whooshing sound you are either using the wrong rod, the wrong float or the wrong technique or a combination of all 3. You shouldn't really need to load a waggler rod on casting like you do with a feeder rod. It is surprising how much distance you can get with an underhand cast if you get the balance between rod and float right. Casting a slider is also a technique that takes a bit of practice but the worst thing you can do is try to put to much power into the cast. I find adding a small bead between the float and the stop knot helps as it seems to keep the float locked against the bulk shot during the cast making it fly better
 

ukzero1

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That 'whoosh' can also be the result of casting too light a float to get the distance you want to fish at. Some anglers don't think to change the float, instead they try to put more power behind the cast.
 

Zerkalo

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Swooshing sound is definitely a bad sign and sure way to get tangles, it also doesn't equate to more distance. When I went fishing with my dad last, he wanted to fish the waggler, I handed him a float and he said "That's a bit of a long float". I told him it's better to have a heavier float than too light as you can cast past your target and sink the line. I forget what straight waggler weight I was trying to use on the Severn but you can need quite a big float to reach the middle of that river, along with the right technique of course. I need practise on the river this year.
 

Robwooly

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The swoosh isn't good with a rod but with a rod rest it makes for a fine imaginary fencing duel if the fishing is slow.

A heavier float makes casting easier but has it's drawbacks I've found when casting to chub that are up in the water on my clear canal, they don't like any splash despite the best attempts feathering on the landing. I find it's easier to cast a stick more accurately and less intrusively than a waggler but sometimes you need to fish on the drop the way wagglers can. It's also amazing what difference to casting distance the line diameter makes and if spooled to the rim. The only swoosh heard should be that of the challenge to the evil baron for the hand of the fair maiden.
 

alsur

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No right way in my opinion if I was on small shallow river I would cast underarm, if I was fishing well out on Lower Thames an overhead cast with some force would be needed to reach distance. So cast can vary from a gentle underarm to an overhead lob up to a hard overhead punch.
 

Markywhizz

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I can’t say I really involve my left hand when casting either a float or a feeder. I suppose if I was trying to cast to the middle of a reservoir with a feeder I would but not generally.
 

Jimpanzee

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Swooshing sound is definitely a bad sign and sure way to get tangles, it also doesn't equate to more distance. When I went fishing with my dad last, he wanted to fish the waggler, I handed him a float and he said "That's a bit of a long float". I told him it's better to have a heavier float than too light as you can cast past your target and sink the line. I forget what straight waggler weight I was trying to use on the Severn but you can need quite a big float to reach the middle of that river, along with the right technique of course. I need practise on the river this year.
My assumption is that a heavier/bigger float has more chance of spooking fish when a) casting and b) when bait is taken they feel more resistance - is that correct?
 

Zerkalo

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My assumption is that a heavier/bigger float has more chance of spooking fish when a) casting and b) when bait is taken they feel more resistance - is that correct?
I'm not sure, definitely a bigger splash, but not sure about resistance. I think that was my dads thinking though. If he could catch in anyway he'd be underarm flicking it with a couple of rod lengths out with a light float.
 

Silverfisher

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Have to say casting a waggler is one of the few things I’m quite competent at. I can mess up on the stick at times and a lot on the feeder but generally I can get wagglers to go where I want them whether overhead or under arm casting as they are a good shape and weight for casting and are fairly tangle proof. Only time it goes wrong is when it’s very windy or when the line gets a bit low on the reel. Or just when I have a mind fart 😅
 

tipitinmick

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I cast a waggler like Tony Scott. Now there’s a blast from the past for you young Zerkalo. Look him up for homework. 🤣🤣. Simply position the waggler 2.5’ from the rod tip and in one movement flick back then forward. Use the tip of the rod only. Like Ukzero1 says ... if you have chosen the correct size waggler then you’ll have no problems whatsoever.
 

smiffy

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Simply. If your rod is making a whooshing sound then you need a bigger float. One that will cast further than you need. If you’re worried about a splash then you can feather the line, which you can’t do if your float is too light👍
 

NoCarpPlease

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I mostly cast single handed with a waggler - especially with a closed face reel.
As per RMNDIL, I
retrieve the line
swing the hook in at catching height
check the bait
hold the hook length about 6” above the hook
put a slight bend in the tip
cast
works with closed face or auto bail reels ... I learnt nearly 40 years ago using these reels and it’s second nature.

imagining a clock face I can cast anywhere from 9 o’clock to 3 using this technique ... depending on bankside vegetation.
The horizontal cast is very useful for getting a float in under far bank branches.

Worth adding that no less an authority than Billy Lane recommended an underarm cast for the slider (although he preferred unloaded floats).
 

MarkW

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Have to say casting a waggler is one of the few things I’m quite competent at. I can mess up on the stick at times and a lot on the feeder but generally I can get wagglers to go where I want them whether overhead or under arm casting as they are a good shape and weight for casting and are fairly tangle proof. Only time it goes wrong is when it’s very windy or when the line gets a bit low on the reel. Or just when I have a mind fart 😅
The local test for you casting a waggler is getting really tight to the ratholes at places like the Thames just below Godstow Bridge or on the Channel, in both places where the width is just within maximum catapult range and where you need to get your bait placement inch-perfect. There was a time I could do this (once watch Dave Harrell doing this on the Channel as well) but my eyes can't focus quickly enough now to get the feathering exactly right.

I also once watched Ivan Marks fishing across the Bristol Avon below Newbridge (1978 National) where he was putting a big bodied waggler alongside a big thorn bush despite a force 9 crosswind then dropping a small ball of groundbait crammed with casters right on top of it. A master-class.
 

Silverfisher

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The local test for you casting a waggler is getting really tight to the ratholes at places like the Thames just below Godstow Bridge or on the Channel, in both places where the width is just within maximum catapult range and where you need to get your bait placement inch-perfect. There was a time I could do this (once watch Dave Harrell doing this on the Channel as well) but my eyes can't focus quickly enough now to get the feathering exactly right.
Good stuff 👍🏻

As you say it’s getting the feathering right that’s the key as the accuracy bit is relatively (within reason) point and shoot with wagglers if the winds kind.
 
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