Like it or Not!

| December 20, 2023

Finally Back Online in Denton Texas

One would think, as we are well underway into the third decade of the 21st. Century, that reliable internet in a town approaching 200-thousand in size, there would be a company that comes up through the static, the fog and the ashes of internet companies squealing dialups … that there would come a RELIABLE internet provider, heck maybe even two providers!, who could compete to see who’s best at providing a good (just good will do) product that is RELIABLE! But no …

The world has been waiting on the double haul video that I was finally able to upload today, with the help of my crew, (note – nothing even close to the number of personnel now working diligently to create content at deep South Texas fly shops I know of!) of three – me, myself and I. Actually, this video lesson is for my casting students, but this one is public to quench the questions. Students have close to ten videos to go through – private ones – that come before this very, very last wrench in the works!


What is a “double haul?” This is a rare question from the seasoned fly fisher who has developed their own cast, but for a new fly rod caster? that is a loaded question. It’s loaded with complications, extended explanations and lots, and lots of time.

Reams have been written, videos have been made, and egos have been crushed by the double haul. Bloviating about the double haul, while not in epic quantity, still welcomes opinions, some of which are based on an instructor’s own unique experience and abilities. 

Why Double Haul?

It’s a simple question with a simple answer – actually, multiple simple answers. The first answer you might not expect – don’t. The first answer: Don’t take on the double haul. If you are content in your environment, casting smaller rods with confidence and not experiencing the need to increase efficiency for any reason? Just leave it alone. If it ain’t broke? Don’t fix it. BUT, if you find yourself wanting to try fly fishing in less-than-deal conditions, say on the Texas Gulf Coast, or on an exotic trip to the Keys or Belize? Your guide’s expectations are different than an inland guide’s expectations. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE ABLE to cast bigger rods, bigger lines and bigger flies greater distances – as soon as you step on deck. 

A double haul, founded on a good cast can extend your adventure into new experiences never imagined, and extend the life of a fly fisher’s physical ability to fly fish. I’ll explain.

Lefty Kreh described the double haul as a way to “… bend the rod …” That sounds simple enough, but this cast is one thing that Lefty seemed to deemphasize because the speeding up of your fly line and resulting rod bend, with a double haul is, for most, a complex weapon that will not go well – unless you are already a pretty darn good caster. The double haul, to a young caster, can even rise to a mythical status, a mountain to climb … someday. It takes timing and coordination. I put off learning the double haul for years, once I was having great success with Lefty’s teachings on the standard cast …

Where the Double Haul Starts

The double hauling fly rod caster’s success starts long before they attempt the double haul. It starts with a solid foundation in a steady and consistent fly rod casting stroke. That stroke, in my opinion is best taught and absorbed if it is THE KREH CAST. So that is where we would start if I were teaching you to double haul, and you have never cast a fly rod. 

Learning to double haul, as I describe to my casting students, is like jumping into a Formula 1 car and taking it for a spin. Yes, you can learn to double haul, but let’s learn where all the pedals are, and where the steering wheel is first?

Lefty Kreh on Set The Complete Cast

Why the KREH CAST?” And what is the Kreh Cast? The Kreh cast is a casting style developed, refined and taught by the late great Lefty Kreh. While Lefty was most certainly a mortal, much of his teaching will last long after he threw off his mortal coil. (There’s a self awareness to the title, “The Complete Cast.”) Lefty’s departure from the fly fishing scene is like the departure of a great sports figure – imagine Michael Jordan’s departure. There’s still a vacuum here, and it hasn’t been filled, although folks are attempting.

(OPINION) I believe the Kreh Cast is the best foundation to build a double haul on because it is already a cast designed for the toughest conditions, and most constrained environments. Breaking down the advantages, here they are:

  • Angle of cast – based on rod tip no more than head high with conditional exceptions. That level takes the line out of the highest winds that live higher above the surface of waters.
  • Side arm casting is what you will have to do ANYWAY – if you are on the deck of a skiff with your guide or another fly fisher behind and above you!
  • The Kreh Cast is a large muscle group cast. Add a double haul, and your endurance over a day of casting a heavy rod in adverse conditions is greatly increased.
  • As you “time” your double hauling, the angle at which you stand, and the angle of the line both allow you to SEE what your line is doing when it passes behind you.

In contrast, the cast taught by most CCI instructors, and at TPWD fly fishing events, is what I call the Wulff Cast. Generally, the Wulff cast is one that is taught to be purely vertical and powered from the arm muscles – specifically biceps. There is no doubt Joann Wulff is a power caster who has had great success with her cast. There is no doubt the Wulff cast is an easy cast to teach and demonstrate. There is no doubt the Wulff Cast is a departure from the antiquated clock cast of cane rod days.

The vertical alignment of the Wulff Cast invites more opportunities for disaster though. 

  • Fly lines are up in the wind.
  • What about intermediate and sinking lines?
  • How does your backcast look? Is someone walking behind you? Is someone standing behind you?You will never know until you hear a scream – because your body is squared up, straight forward, and unless you have eyes in the back of your head? 
  • How does this cast work with an 8-weight rod? a 10? a 12?
  • The fly passes – almost exactly – over your head (if you’re lucky), then over your guide’s head (if he’s lucky), and then? It passes right back over heads (if you are both lucky again)! A little too slow, the line sags and someone will have a body piercing they didn’t pay for. Day over.
  • Want to double haul a Wulff Cast? Show me how that works out. 

And there is the ultimate refute of the Wulff style Cast – adding a double haul to the Wulff Cast is impractical and borders on impossible. This cast would require the caster to pull straight down on the line to “haul” it and keep the casting elements properly aligned. There is no doubt it can be done, but the need for accuracy (angle) in the haul increases dramatically. In comes the non-casting shoulder to get an equal workout the casting shoulder joint is getting from the Wulff Cast. At least both of your biceps will match in bulking up. And your surgeon can double his income on both rotators. Sure, the Wulff cast accounts for distance records, but look at the video of those records. They don’t resemble what I am describing here – as the “Wulff Cast” in any way. (END OPINION)

So your ability to double haul starts with your fly rod casting – without double hauling. Your success with learning and using the double haul is built on your original cast. This alone, is reason enough NOT to jump into the deep end of the double haul – until your cast is ready.


To double haul is to strip away a lot of the “beauty” of the cast, and implement a supercharger that gives you the chance to challenge, and perhaps beat all the physical variables on the water day-in-day-out.

The double haul is not artistic. It is a mechanical tool, a wrench you throw into your cast that requires coordination of your lesser coordinated hand on the lesser coordinated side of your body. In basketball practice we used to call it the “chocolate side,” a left-hand layup for a right-handed player. That hand that has been sitting in the same spot, feeding fly line into your improving, improved and now accomplished cast? That hand is now called into active duty. Once you figure out how to use this new wrench? A whole new world will open to you.


The Complete Cast – at 45-minute mark. SEE THE COMPLETE CAST ON VIMEO TODAY


  • Spend less energy REDUCE energy spent on each cast and cast longer and more
  • more bend into the rod – pick up more line = longer casts
  • Length of casting stroke determines necessary haul length
  • longer stroke longer haul pull (match them up rod tip and haul length)
  • Speed comes from the haul — line hand — more speed increase the double haul
  • NO EXTRA FORCE in the rod hand.

What I add to this –

My video adds a different perspective to the Kreh Cast The Complete Cast segment on the double haul. It is nothing more than that – a different perspective from cameras looking at what should look like the same technique taught by Lefty Kreh. If it doesn’t? Well … you get the idea, and I am sure you will try and do a better version than this one!


Once you have your double haul as a second nature, you will realize you can release line in BOTH directions to decrease false casts to distance. Not only do you deliver more line, it conforms well to the speed-up-and-stop Kreh principal, it also allows you to deplete all energy that is in the line.

You can do a very good drop on the backcast to widen your live action field. Try it!

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Body-Mind-Soul, Casting, Fly Fisher Health and Wellness

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

Comments are closed.

Discover more from Flyfishing Texas

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading