Henry Gilbey
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Henry Gilbey blog

Do you have any idea how far you can cast certain lures, and does it actually matter?

I was contacted the other day by an angler from Europe who was asking me how far I reckon I can cast a 6’’ long OSP DoLive Stick rigged weedless/weightless, because on a beach he wants to fish he tells me that the bass are generally caught more than fifty yards out. My reply was twofold - I don’t actually have a clue how far I can cast that particular lure, and if the bass are feeding that far out then either a DoLive is not the answer or it might be worth a go at night.

And because fishing thoughts occupy my brain about 100% of the time I got to thinking - how far do our lures actually go? Yes, I know that a lot of bass we catch are hooked very close in, indeed the fish I caught last night could not have been more than about twenty or so yards out when they hit my needlefish, but I would also argue that depending on where you fish there are in fact a number of times when being able to put various lures out a long way can and does help.


How far do our lures go though, and does it matter anyway? I got involved in some tournament casting over grass in my bait fishing days, and whilst I was never one of the top casters (lots of hooking left out of court, in fact it’s where I met my mate Del - on a casting court where we were both out of bounds!), I got it out there okay and it definitely taught me how to bend a fishing rod. Did learning to cast properly catch me any more fish though? I am not sure it did, at least not with the kind of bait fishing I was doing, and I always vowed to myself that fishing came first and that if I ever went casting instead of going out fishing when the conditions were good I’d pack the casting in. I can vividly remember driving over Laira Bridge in Plymouth on my way to practise my casting one day when I knew the tides and conditions were right to head out (bait) fishing - I gave myself a talking to, turned my old van around, grabbed my fishing gear, and I never went (grass) casting again.


Some lures cast far better than others of course, and some types of lures obviously go out like missiles whereas some fly more like bananas. Sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesn’t, and I know I tend to shy away from hard lures especially that don’t cut it so well punching out into a headwind and so on - which can be a mistake. I see these distance figures on some of the Japanese lure websites and packaging, but from the few videos I have seen where they are measuring casts it seems to be over grass or down a beach - and as with the tournament casting I did for a while, I would always argue that casting when you’re fishing is where it matters, and when you now put wind and waves and different rods, reels and braids, how well or badly different anglers cast into the mix, and you’ve got a mix of variables that add up to not very much really!

You know when you watch your lure fly out on a perfect arc and the sunshine catches your “no bloody way it’s completely invisible to fish” fluoro leader and you think wow, I can actually get it out there okay? And then you go and hook a fish? That kinda does it for me, far more so than needing to know how far a lure has actually gone because it’s a male appendage measuring competition where the longest is the alpha. Where and when is what it boils down to at the end of the day. You all have a good weekend, hope you get out fishing somewhere, and as much as we’re not doing too badly on the bass fishing front around here at the moment, might there be any chance of seeing some SW winds again this fine year?