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How an hour with DerekD improved my fishing significantly


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4 days ago I had never had any interaction with @DerekD or made any posts on Deckee before.  I just signed up to read the Deckee posts I found on Google mainly.  And today I spent an hour or so with Derek who generously gave his time to meet up with me and give me some pointers on casting.

I started fishing 2 months ago and all the info I knew was from Youtube really.  I was never a great caster, just knew the basics like lining up your reel before you casted and looking behind you before you casted.  I'd watch all of these Youtube videos of fishermen just casting super far and making it look so easy - and keep in mind they're just filming regular fishing videos, not even about casting at all.  Meanwhile I'd try so hard and get half as far.  I'd watch countless videos on how to cast properly and still not really get anywhere and it was very frustrating to say the least.  Being a weak caster meant that if the wind was going against me that day, it was going to be a pretty crappy day of fishing.  

I knew my technique was bad...but I also blamed my rod.  It's a 3-5kg rod and all the Youtubers I watch were using 1-3kg or 2-4kg rods.  Figured that was totally half my problem right there.  

Meeting up with Derek today, I was pretty excited because of this shared interest of fishing.  Even though I've only recently started fishing, I've always wanted to fish.  Whenever I used to go hiking and see streams or ponds FULL of fish, I would wish I had a fishing rod and knew how to fish.  It's just so tantalizing, evokes a feeling deep inside of you like you just want to catch one and provide for yourself for just one meal at least.  I've been reading all about fishing, watching all the videos about Sydney/Australian fishing, listening to fishing podcasts.  I have been obsessed with fishing ever since I bought my rod and reel.  My partner can confirm because it's all I talk about lately.  So when I met Derek and he was willing to meet with me to teach me how to improve my casting, I was stoked.  I had read his article on casting a few days ago and I enjoyed it a lot, I like the why behind why things work because it's not just about doing, it's about knowing the why so that you can turn a lucky cast into a repeatable phenomenon.  

So when it came time to clock out, I raced over to meet up with Derek.  He had me cast my normal way at first for a few casts.  With the wind blowing against us, I casted maybe 10m away.  Not very good but that's why I was there.  Derek gave me a demonstration on how he casts on his rod, then showed me casting on my own rod to show me that while rod does matter, technique matters far more.  While my rod didn't go nearly as far as his did, his casts with my rod still went quite a ways away which proves that my rod is not half the problem after all.  I won't try to explain this part because Derek does it better than I can in his casting article already, but he showed me the correct technique to casting.  We talked through it and things were clicking in my head, suddenly certain things from his article like the hammer technique that didn't click for me at the time, clicked.  He had me try casting with the correct technique now and bam.  My cast went at least 2x as far as my initial cast.  And the only things we changed was my technique.  This was maybe only 15 mins into meeting him and I was already casting further than I've ever cast before and that was with the wind blowing against us as well.  

We spent the remaining time practicing casting using different angles, backhand, forehand, etc.  I'd mess up on certain casts and it's always a blow to the confidence with an audience watching, but Derek does a good job of not letting your ego get to you I think at least.  That was a big thing I noticed as a beginner and he's a great teacher for it.  Every time I cast successfully though - man my smile was never bigger seeing how far the lure would go.  We experimented with me trying his rod and swapping reels on my rod just so I could see the difference that lighter rods and lighter line makes.  For the first time I actually felt confident in my casting, like I knew what I was doing and not just swinging as hard as I could.  In fact, Derek showed me you should be doing the opposite.  Being calm and methodical got me further with my casting than flinging the lure as hard as I can.

So that's how an hour with Derek improved my fishing significantly.  By the end I was casting probably 3x as far as I initially had cast at the start.  I look forward to learning more from him in the future if this is what he could teach me in as little as 15 minutes.  I've got a lot to learn and want to learn, it has just been hard trying to learn it through Youtube only.

Edited by linewetter
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You have constructed an extremely descriptive account of your encounter, linewetter. Good onya for acknowledging the benefits that you experienced following your catch-up with Derek.

It's good to see somebody improve their technique, it's even better to see somebody find the light switch in a darkened room. Optimism plays a big part in successful fishing...

To me, further evidence of the benefits of being on this forum.


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On 1/18/2024 at 8:45 PM, linewetter said:

I have been obsessed with fishing ever since I bought my rod and reel.  My partner can confirm because it's all I talk about lately.

Alas, I can tell your partner that the obsession never abates. For me, it's 38 years and counting, and it would be longer if I was older, or started fishing earlier🤣

Well done on catching up with Derek. Sometimes the little pointers can turbocharge your learning.

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Hi @linewetter

It was a pleasure meeting you the other day. Your passion was contagious and the growth in the size of your smile as information started to click into place was a joy to watch.

I've been fishing since I've been a kid and my growth in skills was organic with little jumps in skills now and then. If I had to start from scratch these days I'd have the advantage of resources such as YouTube and Fishraider but those little tweaks and details that make a big difference are still hard to pick up. Considering you have only been at this for 2 months I'm impressed at how much you have picked up so far.

As for future sessions, if you are willing to learn and put in the hard yards then I'm willing to teach. That we are in neighbouring suburbs makes it a bit easier.



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