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Line Release when Shooting

Here’s something fairly short and sweet. When shooting line, what is the best time to release it?

A few months ago I needed to have a play with my line release timing. My shooting distances didn’t seem to match the line being carried. Carry increased but shooting wasn’t increasing proportionately. Consequently, I was having to work hard to get full turnover on long casts without a following wind. I wondered if something (else!) was missing. Having to work hard usually indicates a technical fault.

Read up on Sexyloops forum and found some graphs plotting line speed and rotation speed (angular velocity if you want the technical term). They said the best time to release is about when the rod is fully straight again (Rod Straight Position) after being bent earlier in the stroke. To be precise, at RSP1.

Right then. How do we put this into practice? Let’s assume we are doing the right thing with our rotation and haul timing – ie being late for both.

  • Start hauling when we start rotating (yes there are probably finer adjustments but this will be fine).
  • Finish hauling just before the end of rotation.
  • Release the line immediately the haul is finished.
  • Hopefully, that means we release at about RSP

I had been delaying the release longer but realised after the research that I needed to let go earlier. So I went earlier and the shoot felt much more energetic. How much more? Always hard to say because it’s impossible to make a fully controlled experiment which isolates a single factor so we can compare the before with the after. My best guess, using a tape measure, is that it gives me a distance benefit of between 6′ and 10′ (2-3m). It’s exceptional value if maximum range, the longest repeatable casting distance, can be extended by that much. Oh, and here’s a quiet killer, it works the same going both ways – for back casts as well as forward casts.

Why does it work? Not going into the Newtonian equations in this piece so here’s an analogy instead. Imagine you are driving a car with an automatic gearbox. If you want an efficient launch you take your foot off the brakes before pressing the accelerator pedal. If you are still on the brakes you be will retarding the vehicle at the same time as trying to make it accelerate – forward or backwards. Well, a late release is applying a braking force on the line shoot.


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